Since its creation in 1983, Microsoft Word has gone through many different iterations to become the powerhouse document editing suite it is part of today. If you’re a content creator, marketing professional or website owner who wants to ensure that the content you create or receive is authentically human and unique, you’ll need to know
Since its creation in 1983, Microsoft Word has gone through many different iterations to become the powerhouse document editing suite it is part of today. If you’re a content creator, marketing professional or website owner who wants to ensure that the content you create or receive is authentically human and unique, you’ll need to know how to check for plagiarism in Word. This article can help you do just that. Let’s jump right in!
The Humble Beginnings of Microsoft Word
You may be surprised to learn that the very first version of Microsoft Word was released on the Macintosh computer. Since then, various versions known under the common moniker of 2.0, 3.0, and so on began to take shape. Around the late 1990s, with the introduction of Windows 95, Microsoft switched to a year-based version formatting. This also allowed Microsoft to continually seem on the cutting edge as versions continued to be released every few years.
It’s hard to believe that at one time, we did without features like tables and automatic document recovery but Microsoft Word’s growth from a simple word processor to a more comprehensive part of a suite of office programs shows just how sophisticated communication has become in modern times.
Microsoft Office 365, released in 2020, introduced its first use of AI-powered features, such as “Ideas” which help offer suggestions for further improvements. The company itself has wholly embraced AI tools as a central feature of Word, and you can leverage the intelligent assistant to help you do everything from dictate and translate across 60 different languages to crafting your resume based on the type of job you’re applying for.
You can expect these types of features to continually evolve as the system (and the AI behind it) become more adept at learning how humans communicate.
Checking for Plagiarism in Microsoft Word
Of course, plagiarism has always been a problem, but only now are we fully able to harness and use tools like AI to help us flesh out our writing. This has made plagiarism more difficult to track, since AI can pull from multiple sources across the web, including books, PDFs, images, and more. It’s no longer enough just to do a simple text comparison or find instances where one document’s text matches another. As AI has developed, so too has Microsoft Word developed to leverage it.
And as a result, plagiarism checkers have become even more sophisticated in pinpointing instances of plagiarism from AI writing tools like ChatGPT and others. Microsoft’s answer to the ongoing issue of plagiarism is its Similarity Checker, which gradually began rolling out to Office 365 users in 2020. Interestingly, rather than highlight potential plagiarism in a negative way, it looks to offer suggestions and recommendations to the writer when a citation would be ideal and when to quote directly. Of course, the author has full control over whether or not to implement these recommendations.
Because Office 365 and Word 365 with it is a subscription-based product rather than standalone software, updates continue to be released. Since taking the time to find and insert the correct type of citation can often be challenging and distract you from focusing on what you’re writing, it makes sense that building in such a feature frees up writers and content creators alike from stopping their work to go figure out the proper citation style when they’re “in the zone”. Original authors get the credit, writers and content creators get to acknowledge the experts, and the resulting content is more credible and authentic – everybody wins.
To use the Similarity Checker in Microsoft Word, from the Home tab, choose Editor. In the Editor pane, locate Similarity and click on Check for Similarity to Online Sources. Keep in mind that as of this writing, Similarity Checker is only available for English language documents.
When the check is complete, the Similarity Checker will show you which percentage of your text is similar to other text excerpts it has found. It also notes the areas of your document that should be checked. As you review each one, the Similarity Checker will suggest where to add citations. You can choose to accept or ignore its suggestions.
Microsoft Word’s Similarity Checker also lets you customize your style of citations for APA, MLA, or Chicago style. It’s important to note that if you change from one style to another, the citations won’t update automatically, however, you can delete the citation and run the checker again with the new style selected to get an appropriately formatted version.
Should You Use Microsoft’s Similarity Checker or Originality.AI?
If you want to check for plagiarism in Microsoft Word, the Similarity Checker will let you compare your document against others while highlighting any text that could be problematic. It does not detect every type of plagiarism and does not learn as a result of having compared the works.
Originality.AI works differently by pulling information from a variety of sources, including websites, academic research, books, reports, and more. Ongoing machine learning and advanced AI algorithms help Originality.AI to continually refine its understanding of plagiarism and alert the user as to how much of the document could be plagiarized.
As well as checking for plagiarism, Originality.AI can also determine whether or not a given text has been written by an AI like ChatGPT. You have the option of running both a plagiarism check and an AI writing check concurrently or each option individually. Plus, because Originality.AI offers the option of an unlimited number of scans, users, and websites with the auto-refill feature, you can consistently check a variety of types of content without having to stop and top up your account each time your credits run low.
Try Originality.AI today for yourself and you’ll see that when it comes to checking for plagiarism in Word, there’s simply no comparison. Microsoft’s Similarity Checker vs. Originality.AI is like comparing apples and oranges; both have very different approaches to helping fight back against plagiarism while consistently working to ensure that genuine, well-researched, and well-written content is prioritized and embraced.
Plagiarism Expert Sherice Jacob brings over 20 years of experience to digital marketing as a copywriter and content creator. With a finger on the pulse of AI and its developments, she works extensively with Originality.AI to help businesses and publishers get the best returns from their Content.