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Posted by in FAQ: Annotate for Word (pre-2017) - Windows Editions

Annotate doesn’t have any content in the buttons, and it crashes Word!!!

Does Annotate look like this inside your Microsoft Word (notice the rows of empty buttons)?

Annotate Without SQL Server CE Installed

If Annotate installed just fine, but the buttons don’t have any content (not even labels), and clicking one of them might cause Microsoft Word to crash, then one of two things is happening:

  1. Your Operating System is 64-bit, and will require one more step to get the database that powers Annotate completely set up. Yes, we know – this is silly. Hey, this is why people like Macs!
    • See below for detailed help with this issue. Don’t worry, you can fix the problem in seconds.
  2. You installed Annotate in a non-standard location, which means it can’t find the library!
    Solution: Please uninstall (via the Windows Control Panel) Annotate and reinstall, this time leaving Annotate in the default location.

Solution (for #1 above):

Download and Install Microsoft SQL Server Compact Edition

  1. Make sure you have exited Microsoft Word before beginning this process. 
  2. Determine whether you have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows Operating System. If you have 64-bit, you’ll run BOTH of the installers downloaded in the next step. Here’s how to check:
  3. Download the free installers (these are Microsoft components). You need both if you’re using a 64-bit system.
  4. Run one or both of these installers by double-clicking on each one. Follow the prompts and use default choices. Run both if you are on a 64-bit system.
  5. Open Microsoft Word after installing the Microsoft Components and your Annotate buttons should be filled in with content…and you’re off to the races!