Accepted File Types for SafeAssign

The SafeAssignment plagiarism detection service (run and hosted by the Blackboard company) supports the following file formats:

  • Microsoft Word documents i.e. files with .doc and .docx file name extensions

  • Acrobat documents: .pdf

  • HTML files: .htm and .html

  • rich-text files: .rtf

  • plain-text files: .txt

  • open office documents: .odt

  • zip files: .zip

For the latest list of supported formats, faculty and teaching staff can initiate a SafeAssignment Direct Submit under the Blackboard Control Panel.

Also, it is highly recommended that students and instructors name documents submitted to SafeAssignment using only alphanumeric characters, the period, the underscore and the hyphen,  for example: or

In particular, using space/blank characters, quotation marks, diacritical marks, the pound sign, percent sign and any other special characters should be avoided when naming documents for SafeAssignment and for most any other Web-based/cloud computing application.

Exception to Safeassign

If an instructor wants to use SafeAssign and Inline Grading to review and annotate submitted files (now that this is possible), they should clearly tell students in their syllabuses that they will only accept DOC, DOCX, or PDF files. Students might try to submit otherwise formatted files based on what they see on the SafeAssign submission page only to disappoint instructors who are expecting to annotate and grade those files with Inline Grading.

SafeAssign presents to students on its Submission page that "Students can submit papers in Word (DOC, DOCX, ODT), Plain Text (TXT), Rich Text Format (RTF), PDF, and HTML formats." This is a wider range of formats than Inline Grading allows: "Supported document types that can be converted are Word (DOC, DOCX), PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX), Excel (XLS, XLSX), and PDF (PDF)." ( "Create SafeAssignments" and "Grade Assignments")

Last updated: 

September 21, 2016