How to minimise the file size for Turnitin submissions?

The maximum file size for submission to Turnitin is approximately 20MB, though staff may  choose to reduce this for an individual assignment.

Students can compress a document so it is small enough to be uploaded to Turnitin. This may be necessary for long documents (such as dissertations) and documents that contain many images. To compress a file:

  • Save Word documents to PDF format – this may compress the document to a small size,

If the file is still above the maximum upload limit you can follow these instructions to compress the PDF further.

  • To compress or minimise the file size of large PDF documents:
Use software to compress PDF documents. (download and
install this free software: PDFCreator from:

  • Launch the PDFCreator.
  • Drag your document on to the PDFCreator window OR click Document > Add and locate and open the file (change “postScript files (.ps)* to All files (.) in the bottom, right to see your documents).
  • Click OK when the message appears saying: “It is necessary to temporarily set PDFCreator as default printer”.
  • Click save.
  • Change the filename if you want to retain the original uncompressed version.
  • Once the file has finished compressing the default printer will be changed back and the compressed PDF file will open.

Or use to compress your PDF online for free

  •  Open the PDF in the *Preview *application.
  • File > Save As…
  • In the Quartz filter dropdown menu choose ‘Reduce File Size’.
  • If you want to keep the original uncompressed version, change the file name.

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