Fix Compile Error in Hidden Module in Excel and Word

6 tested solutions to get rid of this error

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
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Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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  • Already stumbled across Compile error in hidden module while using Word or Excel?
  • It is an error that prevents users from accessing their Word or Excel documents.
  • Here are some easy fixes that are guaranteed to restore your files in no time.
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Compile error in hidden module is an error message that might pop up for some MS Word and Excel users.

The error message is generally triggered when Office users open Word or Excel. Consequently, neither application launches.

How to fix compile error in hidden module?

Does the Compile error in hidden module error message pop up when you open Excel or Word? If so, these are a few resolutions that might fix it.

1. Update Adobe Acrobat

The Compile error in hidden module error can be due to two Adobe Acrobat template files in MS Office folders. As such, updating Adobe Acrobat is one potential resolution for the issue.

It’s also of utmost importance to run software that comes from a trusted source, which is why we strongly recommend you only install Acrobat from its official website.

As a powerful editing suite that is closely connected to Microsoft Office file formats, Acrobat delivers an all-digital document experience.

In fact, there is no need to start over if you happen to run into an error, you can quickly export PDFs into other Microsoft 365 such as Word, Excel, or Powerpoint.

1.1. What does Adobe Acrobat provide?

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Simplified workflows across any platform from desktop, to mobile and web
  • Convert a PDF to Microsoft 365 formats
  • Enhanced collaboration tools to share, review, and sign documents across devices
  • Edit data in scanned tables and convert forms to fillable forms
  • Powerful editing toolkit (merge, convert, delete, rotate, crop and more)

To manually check for Adobe updates, click Help on Acrobat’s window.

Select Check for Updates to open the updater window. Then you can press a Download and Install button if there are updates for it.

Get Adobe Acrobat

2. Move Pdfmaker Files to Another Folder to fix the compile error

Pdfmaker.xla and are the two Adobe Acrobat files linked with the Compile error in hidden module issue. As such, moving those files out of their MS Office folders might also fix the error.

This is how you can move those files to an alternative folder in Windows 10.

  1. Press the Type here to search button to open Cortana’s search box.
  2. Enter Pdfmaker.xla in the search box to search for that file.
  3. To search for, enter that file title in the search box.
  4. Then right-click the files and select Open file location to open their folders in File Explorer.
  5. If you can’t find those files with the search tool, open the MS Office Startup and Xlstart folders in File Explorer. The Startup folder includes, and the Xlstart directory includes Pdfmaker.xla.
  6. To move the Pdfmaker files to the desktop, right-click them in File Explorer and select the Cut option.
  7. Right-click another folder (or Windows desktop) to move them to and select Paste.

Excel won’t open files? Check out this amazing guide to get rid of that white screen in no time.

3. Update the Norton Antivirus Software to fix the Compile error in hidden module

Norton Antivirus is also linked with the Compile error in hidden module error. If Norton AV is on your desktop or laptop, updating that software might fix the issue.

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You can check for updates by pressing the Update Me Now button on this webpage. Alternatively, right-click the Norton Antivirus system tray icon and select Norton LiveUpdate.

4. Uninstall Norton Software to fix the hidden module error

  1. If updating Norton Antivirus doesn’t fix the hidden module error, consider uninstalling your Norton software. To do that, press the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut.
  2. Enter ‘appwiz.cpl’ in Run, and click the OK button.compile error in hidden module excel uninstall norton
  3. Select the listed Norton Antivirus software, and press its Uninstall button.
  4. Then click Yes to remove the software.

5. Run Stellar Repair for Excel

No error is a match for this powerful tool and the compile error in hidden module makes no exception. Stellar Repair is the ultimate repair software for Excel protecting your workbook data from corruption and permanent loss.

Stellar Repair for Excel fixes severely corrupt .XLS/.XLSX files, with the highest degree of precision and restores all data to its original state while preserving all properties and formatting.

Let’s quickly look at its key features:

  • Repair corrupt Excel files and restore original formatting, layout, and specifications
  • Uncluttered, intuitive UI with an integrated step-by-step wizard and repair recommendations
  • Easy Find and Search options to quickly track down your files and folders
  • Real-Time Pre-recovery Preview feature
  • Fully compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and, XP
  • Supports Microsoft Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, and 2000 versions
  • Powerfully data recovery toolkit (including tables, charts, cell comments, formulas, and filters)

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6. Re-register OCX files

1. Press the Windows key + X hotkey to open the WinX menu.

2. Select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list.

3. For a 32-bit Windows platform, input the following commands in the Prompt and then hit Enter, one by one: regsvr32 -u c:windowssystem32mscomctl.ocx
regsvr32 c:windowssystem32mscomctl.ocx

4. On 64-bit Windows platforms, input these commands one by one and press Enter after each one: regsvr32 -u c:windowssyswow64mscomctl.ocx
regsvr32 c:windowssyswow64mscomctl.ocx

5. The compile error in hidden module is now solved.

The Compile error in hidden module error can also be the side effect of Windows updates. As such, registering a mscomctl.ocx file using cmd might also fix the issue. 

One of these resolutions for the Compile error in hidden module error might kick-start Word or Excel so that you can launch them again.

Some of the more general tips in our post for fixing MS Office applications that don’t open might also come in handy for fixing the hidden module issue.

Let us know which one worked for you in the comments section below.