How to install PDF Annotator silently (unattended installation)

Please find below the instructions to create an unattended installation of PDF Annotator (silent install).

These instructions are addressed to system administrators who wish to deploy PDF Annotator under a multi-user license on a large number of devices.

These instructions require technical knowledge. If you don't need an automated installation, or only wish to install PDF Annotator on a single computer, please follow the regular instructions to install PDF Annotator.

Quick Reference

All you need is a silent PDF Annotator install with default settings?
Follow these three steps and skip the rest of this document:

  1. Download the latest PDFAnnotatorSetup.exe version:
    https://www.pdfannotator.com/en/download
    (this is a multi language version)
  2. Optional: Put your license information in a text file, name it key.ini and place it in the same directory like PDFAnnotatorSetup.exe:
    [Names]
    1=PAS7S1-SH123456789R1
    [Keys]
    1=ABCDEF-GHIJK-LMNOP-QRSTU-VWXYZ-ABCDE
  3. Run silent installer from the command line:
    PDFAnnotatorSetup.exe /SILENT
Silent Installation
Download Setup Files

Make sure to download the latest version of the PDF Annotator setup file (PDFAnnotatorSetup.exe) directly from the manufacturer’s website:

https://www.pdfannotator.com/en/download

This is a multi language version setup.

Previous versions are available through the Archive link on the page above.

Installation Command Line Parameters

The Setup program accepts these optional command line parameters:

/SILENT, /VERYSILENT

Instructs Setup to be silent or very silent. When Setup is silent the wizard is not displayed but the installation progress window is. When a setup is very silent this installation progress window is not displayed. Everything else is normal so for example error messages during installation are displayed.

/SUPPRESSMSGBOXES

Instructs Setup to suppress message boxes. Only has an effect when combined with /SILENT and /VERYSILENT.

The default response in situations where there's a choice is:

  • Yes in a 'Keep newer file?' situation.
  • No in a 'File exists, confirm overwrite.' situation.
  • Abort in Abort/Retry situations.
  • Cancel in Retry/Cancel situations.
  • Yes (=continue) in a DiskSpaceWarning / DirExists / DirDoesntExist / NoUninstallWarning / ExitSetupMessage / ConfirmUninstall situation.
  • Yes (=restart) in a FinishedRestartMessage / UninstalledAndNeedsRestart situation.

These message boxes are not suppressible:

  • The 'Exit Setup?' message box.
  • Any (error) message box displayed before Setup (or Uninstall) could read the command line parameters.

/NOCANCEL

Prevents the user from cancelling during the installation process, by disabling the Cancel button and ignoring clicks on the close button. Useful along with /SILENT or /VERYSILENT.

/DIR="x:\dirname"

Overrides the default directory name displayed on the Select Destination Location wizard page. A fully qualified pathname must be specified.

/TASKS="comma separated list of task names"

Specifies a list of tasks that should be initially selected or deselected. To deselect a task, prefix its name with a ! character

Only the specified tasks will be selected; the rest will be deselected.

Valid task names:

  • desktopicon (Create desktop icon)
  • startmenuicon (Create start menu entry)
  • contextmenu (Add PDF Annotator to PDF files' context menu)
  • pdfprinter (Install the "Print to PDF Annotator" virtual PDF printer)

Example:

  • Deselect all tasks, then select the startmenuicon and contextmenu tasks:
    /TASKS="startmenuicon,contextmenu"

/LOG

Causes Setup to create a log file in the user's TEMP directory detailing file installation and actions taken during the installation process.

The log file is created with a unique name based on the current date. (It will not overwrite or append to existing files.)

The information contained in the log file is technical in nature and therefore not intended to be understandable by end users. The format of the file is subject to change without notice.

/LOG="filename"

Same as /LOG, except it allows you to specify a fixed path/filename to use for the log file. If a file with the specified name already exists it will be overwritten. If the file cannot be created, Setup will abort with an error message.

Reboots

A fresh PDF Annotator installation will not require a reboot.

PDF Annotator upgrade installations may require a reboot after upgrading the "Print to PDF Annotator" virtual PDF printer.

Installation Program Exit Codes

The Setup program may return one of the following exit codes:

  • 0 Setup was successfully run to completion.
  • 1 Setup failed to initialize.
  • 2 The user clicked Cancel in the wizard before the actual installation started.
  • 3 A fatal error occurred while preparing to move to the next installation phase (for example, from displaying the pre-installation wizard pages to the actual installation process). This should never happen except under the most unusual of circumstances, such as running out of memory or Windows resources.
  • 4 A fatal error occurred during the actual installation process.
    Note: Errors that cause an Abort-Retry-Ignore box to be displayed are not fatal errors. If the user chooses Abort at such a message box, exit code 5 will be returned.
  • 5 The user clicked Cancel during the actual installation process, or chose Abort at an Abort-Retry-Ignore box.

Before returning an exit code of 1, 3, or 4, an error message explaining the problem will normally be displayed.

License Key Installation

Setup can automatically install license number and key, so that no manual input through the unlock wizard is required.

Setup will pick up the license information from a file called key.ini, which has to be in the same directory like PDFAnnotatorSetup.exe.

Prepare your key.ini file:

  • Create an empty text file and rename it to key.ini.
  • Open the file in a text editor like notepad.exe.
  • Enter your license number and unlock key like in the example below (use the clipboard to avoid typos):
    [Names]
    1=PAS7S1-SH123456789R1
    [Keys]
    1=ABCDEF-GHIJK-LMNOP-QRSTU-VWXYZ-ABCDE
  • Save the file and place it into the same directory like PDFAnnotatorSetup.exe.
Silent Uninstallation
Uninstallation Command Line Parameters

The uninstaller program (unins???.exe) accepts these optional command line parameters:

/SILENT, /VERYSILENT

When specified, the uninstaller will not ask the user for startup confirmation or display a message stating that uninstall is complete. Shared files that are no longer in use are deleted automatically without prompting. Any critical error messages will still be shown on the screen. When /VERYSILENT is specified, the uninstallation progress window is not displayed.

/SUPPRESSMSGBOXES

Instructs the uninstaller to suppress message boxes. Only has an effect when combined with /SILENT and /VERYSILENT. See /SUPPRESSMSGBOXES under Installation Command Line Parameters above for more details.

/LOG

Causes Uninstall to create a log file in the user's TEMP directory detailing actions taken during the uninstallation process.

The log file is created with a unique name based on the current date. (It will not overwrite or append to existing files.) It is not possible to customize the filename.

The information contained in the log file is technical in nature and therefore not intended to be understandable by end users. Nor is it designed to be machine-parseable; the format of the file is subject to change without notice.

/KEEPSETTINGS

Instructs the uninstaller to keep user settings (current user registry settings and setting files; license file), otherwise these will be removed as well.

Reboots

PDF Annotator uninstallation may require a reboot to uninstall the "Print to PDF Annotator" virtual PDF printer.

Uninstallation Program Exit Codes

The uninstaller will return a non-zero exit code if the user cancels or a fatal error is encountered. Programs checking the exit code to detect failure should not check for a specific non-zero value; any non-zero exit code indicates that the uninstaller was not run to completion.

Note that at the moment you get an exit code back from the uninstaller, some code related to uninstallation might still be running. Because Windows doesn't allow programs to delete their own EXEs, the uninstaller creates and spawns a copy of itself in the TEMP directory. This "clone" performs the actual uninstallation, and at the end, terminates the original uninstaller EXE (at which point you get an exit code back), deletes it, then displays the Uninstall Complete message box (if it hasn't been suppressed with /SILENT or /VERYSILENT).