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Using Annotate for Word WINDOWS Edition


Annotate for Word 2007/2010/2013 PRO is a custom ribbon toolbar for Microsoft Word for Windows that adds hundreds of buttons that automate commenting on documents. With one click, a teacher or editor can add paragraphs of text to a document from organized sets of buttons. Text can be provided as either inline or highly legible marginal comments. Best of all, Annotate for Word 2007/2010/2013 PRO makes it easy to update all of the content used by the Annotate toolbar. You can change:

  • The labels of groups
  • The labels of buttons and drop-downs
  • The content that appears when you click a button

Annotate for Word 2007/2010/2013 PRO is currently available in two editions. The underlying software is identical, and so the documentation provided here applies to BOTH versions.

  • College Edition (CE)
    Annotate for Word 2007/2010/2013 CE PRO is particularly designed for for high school and college teachers who grade and comment on student writing. Because of the ease of customization, and a large library of built-in grammar comments, CE PRO is also used by professional editors and writers of all types.
  • Legal Writing Edition (LWE)
    Annotate for Word 2007/2010/2013 LWE PRO is specifically designed for legal writing instructors and practicing lawyers who comment on drafts. The software is the same as the College Edition, but the library of over 600 built-in comments is authored by Professor Mitchell Nathanson of Villanova Law School.

Table of Contents:

See our FAQ for issues regarding installation and troubleshooting.

Basic Functionality: Quickly Adding Comments to Word Documents

Annotate is designed to make it easy to add detailed comments and pre-written text to documents. These comments can be inline, or margin comments. You can create both kinds, and even toggle between inline and margin comments with ease. The bulk of these buttons, and their underlying content, can be easily edited. Annotate also unifies crucial Microsoft Word functionality into a single toolbar, so you can comment, adjust Track Changes and similar features, and edit your Comment Library all from one place.

To use Annotate for Word:

  1. Open Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010
  2. Open the document you’d like to edit (or a blank document just for practice)
  3. Select the Annotate ribbon (the image shows the College Edition)
    Choose the Annotate tab
  4. Highlight some text or place the cursor in the location where you’d like to insert text
  5. Click a specific button to add text. Notice how when you hover on a button you get a preview of the text that will be inserted. The buttons, and their groupings are largely self-explanatory. A small down arrow after a button name indicates that there is a drop-down list of additional choices. Positives include positive and/or supportive comments, so you can make sure you are not just criticizing.
    Click a button
  6. The text will appear as a comment bubble, or inline text, depending on the type of button and the setting of the Toggle Inline/Bubble button. The following example shows a margin comment. Clicking the Toggle Inline/Bubble button (seen below in the Commenting group) would insert the text inline rather than as a margin bubble. Regardless of location, the inserted text can be immediately edited to personalize feedback for the particular situation.
    Inserted Comment Bubble

Customizing Annotate for Word 2007/2010/2013

Annotate for Word 2007/2010/2013 PRO makes it easy to change the content that appears when you click. Here’s how:

  1. Make sure you are viewing the Annotate ribbon by clicking on the Annotate tab
    Choose the Annotate tab
  2. Click the Customize button on the far right side of the ribbon.
    •  If your monitor has an unusually narrow resolution, you may have to click a right arrow button to see the right side of the ribbon
      Click Customize
  3. Your comment library will appear in a grid above the document.
    1. Click Save and Update after making changes – your buttons and their underlying content will update. You can leave the Comment Library pane open and continue to change/save/edit as you go…Easy!
    2. Help instructions are one click away.
    3. To edit using the grid view, simply uncheck the “Use Default?” checkbox and enter new values into the “Custom” cells. You can flip back to the default by – you guessed it – checking the “Use Default?” box.
    4. Enter new values for any/all of: Custom Label, Custom Comment, Custom Advice, or Custom Reference/URL. If you’re entering a URL, leave OUT the “http://” So just enter, “,” not “”
    5. You can get to the focused editing window shown below by clicking Edit Details.Edit Detail
  4. Close the Comment Library at any time by clicking the x in the top right of the grid. You can reopen it any time…
  5. You can click Save and Update at any time to refresh the content in your Annotate ribbon.
    • Notice that the default text is always available, so you don’t have to worry about losing the original text and links. Simply check Use Default? to return to the default text.
    • Notice that you have many, many ‘Custom’ entries that you can change.
    • Notice that there is an ‘In Text Comments’ group of buttons that place selected text into the body of the document rather than a marginal note. These can also be edited and added to.
    • You can change the location and width of the Comment Library. You can resize individual columns and scroll left and right.
  6. See your changes – and click to use them!
    Use your new button and comments

Review the Default Comment Library

You may find it convenient to review the Comment Libraries supplied with your edition of Annotate in a long list. Of course you’ll need to edit your personal library by using the features provided with your version of Annotate.

Adding Comments to a Document

Annotate for Word 2007/2010/2013 has a number of different ways of adding comments to an open document.

  1. By clicking/selecting the appropriate option from the Annotate ribbon (the Annotate tab is located to the right of the File tab).
  2. By adding your favorite options from the Annotate ribbon to your Quick Access Toolbar (QAT). To add any button to the ‘QAT,’ right-click it and choose Add to Quick Access Toolbar. You can then click the item you want at any time, or press ALT and then the appropriate item number to make a selection. See Microsoft Word 2007 help for more on the Quick Access Toolbar.
  3. By pressing ALT, then ‘za’ (for the Annotate ribbon), then a value. Pressing ‘C’ at this point will insert a blank comment into the document.