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Install Annotate PRO for Microsoft Word 2016+

You install Annotate PRO for Microsoft Word 2016 from the Microsoft Office Store.

Annotate PRO is free, providing you with 30 Comment slots to customize.

Annotate PRO College Edition adds 100+ more pre-written comments suitable for college and high school writing feedback. To celebrate the release of our Microsoft Word 2016 Add-in and companion Google Chrome Extension, we’re offering both solutions for free, to all teachers, until October 31, 2017.

After October 31 2017, Annotate PRO College Edition will be $36 per year for individuals. We also offer organization/institutional pricing so educators, editors, tutors the world over can bring cloud comment libraries into their daily work, saving millions of hours while creating far better feedback.

Annotate PRO for Microsoft Word 2016 Gettin’ Started Guide:

First, make sure your Word 2016 installation is up to date. Microsoft are releasing updates that directly affect add-ins like Annotate on a monthly basis.

Second, if you’re a Windows user, make sure you have Internet Explorer 11 and that it is up to date. If you’re using Windows 8.1 or later, you’ve got IE11. If you’re on Window 7 or 8, you may have to install it.

  • Install Internet Explorer 11 (only if you’re on Windows 7, or 8. Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 users can ignore).
  • Make sure IE11 is updated. To do this, open IE11, click the gear icon in the top right of the screen, and check Install new versions automatically.

If you have a computer provided by your institution or company your ability to update Word and IE11 may be limited. Please contact your IT department if this is the case.

Steps to install the free Annotate PRO Word 2016 App:

  1. Open Microsoft Word 2016 (you may know it as “Office 365”)
  2. Visit the Insert tab
  3. Look for either the Add-ins button or Store button – (what you see depends on how wide your window is). If you only see Add-ins, click it to reveal the Store button


  4. Click Store and then search the Office Store for “Annotate PRO”
    1. The process is much like adding an app to your phone.
  5. Install Annotate PRO.
    1. Once installed, you’ll see an Annotate tab in Microsoft Word
      1. macOS users and Windows users with old versions of Word 2016 may not see the Annotate tab until later in 2017; Microsoft are still rolling out this feature for Mac users. Try updating your Word 2016 install and, if you don’t see an Annotate tab, click Add-ins to access Annotate PRO.
    2. To use Annotate PRO, click Annotate, then the  Annotate Home button – . Annotate PRO will open in a ‘taskpane’ on the right of your Word document.
    3. Create an account – use your school email if your institution has a license to Annotate PRO.
    4. Signing up with email requires verification that you own the email account; you’ll receive a confirmation email within a minute or two and must click on a link in that email to verify your email.
  6. Once you’re ‘in,’ you can use the Add a Library button on the Annotate PRO home page to review available libraries, like the College Edition or Legal Writing Edition, and choose to install them.

Quick Overview Video – Installing Annotate PRO for Microsoft Word 2016

FAQ – Annotate PRO for Microsoft Word

What version of Word 2016 do I need to happily use Annotate PRO?

Microsoft has become a lot cooler and competent over the last few years…but their naming conventions for Office still leave a lot to be desired.

  • Office 365 is the name for a subscription version of Office. It is the same thing as saying “Office 2016,” at least for now.
  • Office 2016 is the latest Office product from Microsoft.
  • If your installation of Office 2016 is managed by a central IT group your ability to update might be limited.
  • Windows versions of Word 2016 all start with “16” but Mac versions start with “15.” Go figure.

Please check out our post on updating Word to make sure you’ve got the latest version possible.

To see what version you’ve got:

  • Windows 7 / 8 / 10:
    • Open Word 2016
    • Click File > Account or Help from the list on the left
    • You should see your
  • macOS
    • Open Word 2016
    • Click WordAbout Word in the app menu
    • Your version should be displayed.

For help see this Microsoft support page.

In general, you should be in good shape if your version of Microsoft Word is at least:

  • Windows 7 / 8 / 10:
    • Version 16.0.6741 or later
  • macOS:
    • 15.20 or later
  • Office Online:
    • January 2017

Windows users need to make sure to update Internet Explore 11, also. All Word Add-ins use IE11 to run.

Ideally you have IE11 set to automatic updates. Here’s how:

  1. Open IE11 (Windows 10 users may not even know they have it, since Microsoft Edge is the default browser).
  2. Click the Tools menu or cog icon in the top-right of the screen.
  3. You’ll see the version number of your install and (hopefully) a checkbox that allows you to install updates automatically. If you don’t see this checkbox it’s because your central IT folks have set up some other process for updates.
How do I update Word 2016?

While Microsoft Office 2016 was released to the public in fall 2015 it is continuously updated. We find many users, especially those who receive Office through their school/organization, have 'old' versions of Word 2016.

Sometimes the technology folks at an organization control the updating of Word - you can't just do it yourself.

Many of the capabilities Annotate PRO uses in Microsoft Word 2016 have improved dramatically since that September 2015 release. For instance, older versions of Word 2016 don't support showing a custom Ribbon like Annotate; instead, Annotate PRO shows up in the "Add-ins" dropdown on the Insert tab.

So update Word if you can! Here's how.

Why change Annotate from the old version? What has changed?

We created the first version of Annotate in 2008…and thousands of teachers and students have benefitted since.

The first version only worked on Windows; we added a Mac version in around 2011 and soon half or more of our users were on a Mac (walk into any coffee shop and you’ll see the same thing).

Annotate was always caught between Mac and Windows, because Microsoft perennially ignored Mac. We were using two completely different code bases, plugging into Microsoft Word the only ways possible at the time.

Microsoft has completely overhauled the way that developer can extend Office. There are many, many benefits to the change but also a few drawbacks if you’re a diehard Annotate user.

Two steps forward (the good):

  • Modern look and feel.
  • Support from Microsoft – they’re serious about this new approach.
  • Will work on iPad!  We’re not there yet, but this will be a pretty easy addition, we think.
  • Cloud libraries: wherever you can log into Microsoft Word (using Word Online, for instance) you can use your Annotate PRO library. No more worrying about work vs. home computers, or Mac vs. Windows.
  • Full text search: instead of searching the ribbon for the right comment, you can just start typing and Annotate PRO will surface matching comments. Zing! Pow!
  • Easy sharing with fellow faculty and students. We can automate assigning custom libraries to users with specific email addresses. So everyone logging in with an “@youruniversity.edu” address can automatically get a custom library and/or access to our College Edition Library.

One step backwards (the not so good):

  • No offline access. See this FAQ post for more info and to comment/complain/wish.
How to install a new Comment Library?

Want to create a new Library in Annotate PRO? Read on!