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Using Annotate for Word – Mac Office 2011 Edition

Annotate for Mac Office 2011 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 Mac Office 2011 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 Mac Office 2011 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 Mac Office 2011 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 Mac Office 2011 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.

You have to tell Annotate to run each time you open Word:

  • Click Open/Refresh Annotate in the Annotate menu to open your library and load your buttons and comments. This may take a minute or so, depending on your computer. Each time you change the Comment Library, save the file then click Open/Refresh Annotate to update your toolbars.

The FIRST time you click to add a comment Annotate will grind a way for a few seconds:

  • This is because Microsoft Word recompiles our code each time you restart Word. We can’t do anything to improve this situation…but notice that the second time you use one of your buttons the Comment appears in a split-second. If you don’t restart Word very often, you won’t have to deal with this annoying but necessary fact of life in Mac/Microsoft land.

Notice that the Annotate toolbar appear in two places:

  1. The Word Main Menu, just to the right of the File menu.
  2. A Floating Toolbar, that you can reposition.

How to use the Annotate Comment Library:

  • When you click Open/Refresh Annotate your Comment Library will automatically open. It contains explanations of how to create buttons and menus of buttons.
  • If you are a FREE Annotate user, you’ll be able to edit/change 5 rows.
  • PRO Annotate users can edit/change up to 300 rows, creating as many drop-downs and buttons as needed within that total limitation. If you need  a larger Comment Library, consider the Legal Writing Edition of Annotate PRO, which provides space for 1,000 rows.
  • Each separate table represents either a BUTTON or a DROP-DOWN with a set of buttons. See the introductory text in the Comment Library document for specifics.
  • You can order tables and content in any way you’d like, mixing buttons and drop-downs. More frequently used comments might be more effective as buttons, while related but more infrequently used comments can appear in drop-downs.
  • The second row of each table (the column titles) is ignored by Annotate. But don’t delete it…Annotate adds content starting in the third row.
  • Make any changes you like to the Annotate Comment Library Word document and click Refresh in the menu. You can keep the Comment Library open, and update as much as you’d like.
  • DON’T use special characters, like “&” in your comments. Comments are currently plain text only (so boldfacing and similar won’t carry through, although it won’t cause any issues).

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can I add new rows?
    Yes! Totally cool…you can add and remove rows, making sure to leave the second row of each table as it appears. You can copy the table format and make new tables.
  • What does “+” in front of some of the default Button Labels mean?
    The “+” indicates a positive comment. That is, building positive comments into the library (and visually identifying them) so you can more easily give writers encouraging feedback.
  • Are the “Entry” numbers important?
    No. They’re just a guide. So you don’t need to update them as you add/remove content. But don’t remove the first column.
  • How do I bring the Comment Library back if I’ve closed it?
    Just click Refresh/Open Annotate in the Annotate menu.
  • Can I share my library with colleagues? For instance, if my school creates a master library?
    Absolutely! The Comment Library is just a Word document…keep the file name the same and share all you like. Others will simply overwrite their personal library, located in the Word/Startup folder, with one you provide.