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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, and Office365 (O365) versions of Word.

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

Need Admin Approval?

If you access Microsoft Word through a school or organizational account you may need to ask your tech department to allow access to AP or Microsoft Office add-ins in general. This is a simple request that will take your IT partners just a minute or two. Generally, they’re happy to experiment with technology that will help educators – especially when it has a strong free version!

AP makes it easy to create libraries of reusable comments then insert them into Word documents with a few clicks.

Sign up for AP and you’ll get a 14 day free trial (no credit card required) to our College Edition and Legal Writing Edition Libraries, plus advanced features like Comment Histories, Analytics, Sorting and Coloring Favorites and using Google Translate to create dual-language responses.

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

You can choose to license these advanced features and/or our College Edition or Legal Writing Edition libraries from inside the app. Or bring AP to your institution to easily share Libraries, powering tutoring, writing across the curriculum, peer review, project based learning, Technical Writing, Lab Report grading, Business Communications, Legal Writing, AP English, or any number of initiatives.

You can install the 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.

Get started in five minutes! Or learn about our powerful forever-free, paid-individual and institutional licenses (to facilitate sharing of libraries).

Using Annotate PRO with Word:

Annotate PRO (AP) for Microsoft Word (2016/2019/O365) installs through the Office Store – a few clicks, sign up for an AP, and you’re OFF!

AP appears as a ‘Taskpane’ – you can search multiple Libraries, 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.

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 then build course- or subject-specific ones then quickly add/drop as needed.

To create a comment in Word, just highlight text 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.

Many of our College Edition Comments 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. Notice the big, friendly text-entry area in the AP taskpane that makes it easy to type custom comments on the fly and add them with one click.

AP options include:

  • Turning auto comment on and off; turning this capability OFF allows you to insert comments into the body of the document OR into a comment bubble you create manually. If you use Word’s Track Changes feature you’ll probably want to go this route. Learn more about AP and Track Changes.
  • Turning Comment History on and off.
  • Making URLs printer friendly by showing the entire address; turn off to embed URLs.
  • Show/hide the Free Form comment text entry area.
  • Show/hide AP’s Google Translate features so you can translate your feedback OR show a dual language response.

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.

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

I am a PhD student teaching an undergrad biology lab. I use Microsoft Word to review student lab reports. Annotate PRO has already saved me a lot of time and mental space, freeing me to write more personalized comments for each student.

Carrie Ann Adams

Biology Lab Instructor & PhD Candidate, University of Alberta


Or checkout this short “how to install” overview video to learn more…