Annotate PRO for Microsoft Word

Grading papers and creating meaningful feedback is hard work. It is some of the most important work teachers can do. Annotate PRO for Microsoft Word is a simple (but mighty!) add-in that makes it easy to give personalized, detailed feedback to students on their work. We support Word 2016, Word 2019, Word 2021, and Office365 (O365) versions of Word. It also works with Word inside Microsoft Teams!

Annotate PRO (AP) is free and installs into Microsoft Word in seconds, through the Office Store 

You can also install the free AP Chrome Extension to use the same comment libraries with  Blackboard LMSBrightspace (D2L)Canvas LMSGoogle ClassroomGoogle DocsGmailMicrosoft Teams (web version)Microsoft Word (apps and web)Microsoft Outlook (web)Slack (web) or Schoology LMS.

I'm about halfway through a set of papers, and I just LOVE how easy it is to draft a comment on the fly while grading a paper and then to go back to the Annotate PRO Feed after I'm done with the paper and add those comments into my library. I have two more sets of papers to grade over the next week or so, and I'm actually looking forward to it!

Tracy Norton

Associate Professor, Touro College

Using Annotate PRO with Word

The Taskpane

AP appears as a ‘Taskpane’ – you can search multiple Libraries, access Favorites, type Freeform (or Translate) Comments, even quickly add and remove Libraries, all from this space.

The Taskpane can be detached and ‘floated;’ if you’re a dual-monitor maven you’ll love it. Just click the top of the Taskpane and drag and it will pop out into its own floating box.

Drag the Taskpane anywhere you want!

Notice that there are two Libraries in use in these screenshots – AP supports using multiple Libraries at the same time. Use one for all your standard writing comments, course–or subject–specific ones, then quickly add/drop as needed. Or license one of AP’s existing Libraries of expert-written feedback.

Taskpane Lightning Menu

  • Auto Comment: when turned on, inserting Comments will automatically generate a comment bubble in Word. Turning this capability OFF allows you to insert comments into the body of the document OR into a comment bubble you create manually. More detailed information about this function can be found in the support documentation. If you use Word’s Track Changes feature you’ll probably want to go this route. Learn more about AP and Track Changes.
  • Print-friendly URLs: Make URLs printer-friendly by showing the entire address; turn off to embed URLs as hyperlinked text.
  • Show Freeform: Show/hide the Free Form comment text entry area. This is the text box under the selected Libraries in the screenshot.
  • Google Translate: Show/hide AP’s Google Translate features so you can translate your feedback OR show a dual-language response.

Adding Content from AP

To create a Comment in Word, just highlight the text you want to give feedback on and choose a Comment from AP.

You can use full-text search, click a green Library button to scroll through (great for discovery) Libraries of Comments or use a Favorite button for frequently used comments.

AP will add a comment bubble and insert your chosen text. Of course, you can further personalize the content.

Comment History

AP+ and Institutional users can click through from AP to view a history of all the comments they have created using the Free Form comment entry option in AP for Word. Click here to learn more. 


Many of our premium Libraries, like College Edition or Presentation Skills Editions, have Comments that include links to additional explanations, which appear as clickable links in Word documents. When you create your own content you can format the text and add links to videos, webpages – anything that might help students digest and implement feedback. The screenshot below shows the finished product. 

What I like best about Annotate is that it allows me to customize the program to reflect my own voice and style. I also love the fact that it allows me to draft quite lengthy comments, all the better to explain complex or multi-step concepts to my students.

Lisa T. McElroy

Professor, Drexel University Earle Mack College of Law