In March, Microsoft announced Microsoft Editor to help users with grammar and spellings in Office apps and on the web. Soon after the initial announcement, the company made the extension available for both Chrome and Edge users.
Today, the Redmond giant has announced Similarity checker for Microsoft Editor users. The feature will allow users to check if a block of text is copied from the internet and requires a citation. It will also help users to add an in-text citation if the text is copied from an internet source. The feature is powered by Bing Search and is designed to help writers focus "less on the mechanics of writing, and more on the content. "
Similarity checker is currently available in Office Preview builds in Microsoft Word for Microsoft 365 EDU A3 and A5 customers. Microsoft plans to make it generally available to all the Office 365 users in July with the exception of Consumer and Enterprise users who will get the feature later this year. Eligible Microsoft 365 users can follow the steps below to try out the Similarity checker:
- In Microsoft Word, click on Editor on the top right corner under the Home tab
- In the Editor pane, click on 'Check for similarity to online sources' under the Similarity tab
- Once the check is complete, you will get a percentage denoting the amount of text that is copied from the internet
- Click on 'Similarities reviewed' to manually check each paragraph. Editor will also allow you to judge if you want to add a citation
If you are using in-text citation then you will get an option to choose between MLA, APA, or Chicago citation style. The tool will also add quotation marks around the cited text and will convert the text into a block quote if it is longer than 40 words and exactly matches the online content. Lastly, if you plan to add a bibliography to your document, you can use the 'Copy full citation' option and paste all the citations into the bibliography.