Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequent Questions

I have lost my license key, what can I do?

Please go to My Licenses to retrieve your license data.

Does PDF Annotator® require Adobe® Reader?

No, PDF Annotator is a standalone application that does not require any third party software.

I have updated to PDF Annotator 7, but want to revert to the previous version

Just download and install the previous PDF Annotator version from our download archive and unlock it using your existing PDF Annotator license key.

Will PDF Annotator run on my Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android Tablet, Blackberry or SmartPhone?

Unfortunately not. PDF Annotator requires Microsoft Windows.

We have currently no plans for supporting additional operating systems.

Which Windows version do I need to run PDF Annotator?

We currently support these Windows versions:

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 7

PDF Annotator runs on desktop computers, notebooks, Tablet PCs, and supports external graphics tablets.

What happens to my tools and settings when I upgrade to a new version?

After an upgrade, we will copy all your settings from the existing installation, including your custom tools and stamps in the toolbox.

If you customized the menus and toolbars in the old version, these changes will not be copied on major version upgrades. The new version will include new menu items and toolbar buttons, so a reset of the menu and toolbar system is required. This only applies to major upgrades (like from version 6 to Version 7), and only affects menus and toolbars (not your tools and stamps in the toolbox).

Are there known limitations with the current version?

We currently know about these limitations:

  • Adobe® DRM protected documents cannot be opened. However, this does not refer to documents that just require a user or owner password.
  • Documents protected by digital signatures cannot be opened. Digital Signatures are not supported.
  • Under some conditions, AES-128 encrypted documents cannot be opened.

Do you have an SDK or component of PDF Annotator available, for integration into our software product?

There is no SDK or embeddable component available or planned at this time. What you can do, and we have many integrators going that way, is to run PDF Annotator from within your application on the command line.

Depending on your requirements, there are a couple of undocumented features to customize and restrict the UI, and you can wait for the process, or set a copy hook on the file you opened, to get notified once it is written. Also, we offer customization, depending on what exactly you would need. Please contact us for details if this would be an option for you.

How to ...

How to generate PDFs from applications which don't support that out of the box

The situation:

You have created a document in some application which doesn't support PDF export, and want to convert it to a PDF document?

The solution:

PDF Annotator includes a "Print to PDF Annotator" virtual printer. Using this printer, you can create PDF documents from any third party application. The new PDF document will immediately open in PDF Annotator, so you can start annotating.


The "Print to PDF Annotator" printer is missing or not working

The situation:

There is no "Print to PDF Annotator" printer, or after printing, nothing happens.

The solution:

Please follow these steps for a clean reinstall of the "Print to PDF Annotator" printer:

  • Reboot your computer.
  • Download this separate setup for the "Print to PDF Annotator" printer: Print2PDFAnnotatorSetup.exe
  • Run Print2PDFAnnotatorSetup.exe by double clicking it in Windows Explorer.
  • Follow the steps through the setup wizard.
  • When asked to reboot, allow to reboot your computer once again.
  • Make sure to log into Windows again, using the same account you were logged in before.
  • The setup will finish the installation after you logged in again.

Why do I get PDF Security Restriction messages with some PDFs?

The situation:

When opening a specific document, you get a message about Security Restrictions, and you cannot annotate or perform certain tasks in PDF Annotator.

The solution:

These security restrictions are part of the PDF standard. Restrictions enable document authors to allow or disallow certain tasks, like viewing, printing, commenting or editing their documents.

If the author allowed to print the document, you can create a digital copy of the document, then annotate or edit the copy.

If the file is protected by an owner password, but not by a user password, and you know the owner password, then hold the SHIFT key pressed while selecting File, Open, and you'll be able to enter the owner password. With a correct owner password, there will be no constraints on editing the file.

PDF Annotator respects the copyright holder's decision on what to allow and disallow for a published document. If you created the files on your own, check the preferences of the tools you created them with, and recreate them without denying editing (or with allowing commenting). If you received the files from someone else, contact him/her and ask for an editable edition of the file.

When printing through Adobe® Reader®, white boxes overlay my orginal document.

The situation:

When printing from Adobe® Reader®, white boxes are overlaying your original document.

The solution:

In most cases, this problem is caused by outdated printing drivers and has already been fixed by the printer vendors. Check with your printer vendor's website if you have installed the latest printer driver, and update to the latest drivers.

This has also been a known problem with previous versions of Adobe® Reader. If you run an older version, update Adobe® Reader® to the latest version.

When viewing an annotated document in Adobe® Reader®, grey boxes overlay my orginal document.

The situation:

When viewing a document, which has previously been annotated in PDF Annotator, in Adobe® Reader®, grey boxes are overlaying your original document.

The solution:

Probably, the Show Large Images option in Adobe® Reader® has been disabled. Start Adobe® Reader®, select "Edit, Preferences, Page Display" and make sure the "Show Large Images" option is checked. By default, this option is - and should remain - checked in Adobe® Reader®.

When printing through PDF Annotator, marker annotations white out the text below

The solution:

In most cases, this problem gets reported when printing to PostScript (PS) printers. Try using an alternative printer driver for the same printer (PCL, for example). Or try printing through Adobe® Reader®, which usually always works.

The main menu or toolbars are missing.

The solution:

You can hard reset the menus by deleting a registry key:

  1. Close PDF Annotator
  2. On the Windows start menu, click "Run"
  3. Type regedit.exe and click OK
  4. Find this key:
    For PDF Annotator 7.x: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\GRAHL\PDFAnnotator\7.0\Toolbars
    For PDF Annotator 6.x: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\GRAHL\PDFAnnotator\6.0\Toolbars
  5. Right click on the "Toolbars" node and select "Delete"

I'm getting a "Missing Required Windows Service: TabletInputService" warning

The situation:

I'm getting a "Missing Required Windows Service: Please ensure that required 'TabletInputService' is running" warning and cannot start PDF Annotator.

The solution:

"TabletInputService" is part of the Windows operating system, and required to run PDF Annotator.

To start this service, and to configure it so that it automatically starts with Windows, please follow these steps:

  1. Click the Windows Start button.
  2. Type services.msc and hit ENTER.
  3. You will probably have to confirm this step if you have administrative rights, or get your Administrator confirming it.
  4. Scroll through the list and find "Tablet PC Input Service". Double click it.
  5. Click "Start" to start up the service.
  6. Set "Startup type" to "Automatic" and close the Properties window with OK.

The mouse cursor is not correctly displayed

The situation:

The mouse cursor doesn't look like it should, multiple icons are layered or there is a strange shadow around the cursor.

The solution:

Open "Control Panel -> Mouse Properties -> Pointer Options" and activate "Display pointer trails" and change the trail length to "short".

I have configured PDF Annotator as default application, but when clicking on a PDF in the web browser, it still opens with another program.

The situation:

You want to open PDFs from within your web browser in PDF Annotator, but another program opens within the browser.

The solution:

This depends on your browser configuration, and on third party tools installed. For example, Adobe® Reader® installs a browser plugin, and registers itself to display PDF documents within the browser. To disable that, start Adobe® Reader®, go to "Edit, Preferences, Internet" and disable the "Display PDF in browser" option. You will have to restart your browser after that. In PDF Annotator, go to Extras, Settings, Integration, Exlorer and press the "Set as default viewer for PDF documents" button, then OK. The button will be inactive if you have already set PDF Annotator for default. Now, when you navigate to a PDF in your browser, you will get the download prompt like for any downloadable file, instead of the file being displayed in the browser. You can then select "Open" to open the document with PDF Annotator.