Compile Error in Hidden Module: Distmon in Excel 2003 and 2007

If you have installed Excel 2003/2007 and Adobe Professional 7, 8 or 9, you may get the following error when you start Excel 2003 or Excel 2007:

Compile Error in Hidden Module

Cause Compile Error in Hidden Module:

The cause of this error is PDFMaker.xla, which loads at startup.


The easiest solution is to delete PDFMaker.xla from your computer. Since Adobe Professional 8 uses DLL-addins to add the toolbar in Excel, you can safely delete the PDFMaker.xla file on your computer.

PDFMaker.xla may be at one or more locations on your computers.
Typically, PDFMaker.xla is stored in your profile directory:
C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART\PDFMaker.xla
In other scenarios, PDFMaker.xla is stored in your Program Files directory.

After you deleted the file PDFMaker.xla, the error “Compile Error in Hidden Module: Distmon” at startup of Excel shouldn’t appear. To be sure you delete all PDFMaker.xla files, you can search your C:\ drive for all PDFMaker.xla. Make sure you search in subfolders and hidden files and folders.

The error described above has been occured in combination with the following applications:

  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 7
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 8
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 9
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
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Jim Barta

I just did a search for files and folders PDFMaker.xla and got two results. I right clicked on them and deleted them and eerything seems to work fine now. Thank You for the advice.

John Freeman

I have deleted the PDFMaker.xla file twice and am still getting the error at Excel startup. I am running XP with Office 2007 and Adobe 9 Standard. Any help would be appreciated.


I had the same problem. There are more than one PDFMaker.xla files in your system.
Do search for files and folder (and subfolders). Delete all of them and you should be golden.


Just installed Acrobat Standard v.8 upgrade over Acrobat Standard v 6 (on Vista) and received this error message opening Excel 2002 (SP3). Removing PDFMaker.xla from the profile directory seems to have eliminated the message.

Thanks for the info.

John Freeman

After deleting the XLStart folder in Program files/Microsoft Office/Office12 and doing a search for all PDFMaker files and deleting them, I ran Excel and it re-installed and then ran Adobe 9 and it re-installed and everything seems to be working fine now.

Hope this helps.

Srini Lokula

Dear Christian,

I have been getting this error for a while but ignored assuming that one of the file’s got corrupted. Today, I googled for an answer and here you are. I followed YOUR INSTRUCTIONS and it DID WORK.

Thank you for the posting.
Srini Lokula


Thanks a million guys.


Thanks, It works. I uninstalled my NitroPDF professional and removed PDFMaker.xla in Program Files. Thanks a lot!!


Simply removed the xla file and error no longer appeared, excel also seemed to load a lot faster.

hanif aziz

same problem after deleting pdfmaker.dat, but when we delete few times a message came serious errors with “do you want to disable the add-in, click yes and it solved the problem.
Thanks to all of you


used windows search feature and found all instances of PDFMaker.xla – removed them all. Excel loads / closes very fast and without incident. MANY thanks!


No files names PDFMaker.xla, hidden or otherwise so nothing to delete.
Tried deleting XLStart, but after Excel ‘repaired’ itself, same error.
Office 2003 and Acrobat 8.
Any other suggestions?


thanks very much. finally someone was able to help me. neither Adobe nor Microsoft’s sites had a workable fix.


After all else failed, I did a repair installation on Adobe 9, then did the search on the *.xla, *.dot, and *.xla.lnk, found the files, deleted them, and everything seems to still work fine.

Hope it helps.


Wonderful! Thank you! That was so annoying


I find that removing most adobe products helps things go faster in all honesty.


Thank you! renaming the file in the profile settings did not work but deleting it did! go figure!

Seko Addis

I used the windows search to locate and delete all the PDFMaker.xla files and it worked very well


Great stuff.. thanks


thanks, it helped,and worked okay now..


Very useful information, Thanks a lot


Found the PDFmaker.xla file and deleted it. Worked beautifully! Thank you for the info.


Found the file here: c:\Documents and Settings\user\Recent
I deleted it but it did not solve my problem. I still get the error message when I open AND close Excel.


Julie, you probably just deleted a shortcut. The actual file is in your Program Files folder


Thank you for your tip

Basetty Srinivasulu

It works well. Thanks for your help.


Thanks for the tip. It cleared the problem up straight away. The file was in the program files directory which kind of makes sense.


Shyuan-Bai Yang

I found the PDFMaker.xla and deleted it.
Now my excel works okay now.
Thanks for the info.


I deleted the PDFMaker.xla and no longer have the error; howver, I no longer can use editing tools, in particular the highlight tool, Adobe Acrobat Pro now.


Just a note: When performing your search, be sure to check in the hidden folders/file, too. First search found nothing until I checked that box…

Alan Trotter

Help – I followed your instructions and got rid of the “distMon” issue but now when I open a spreadsgeet it appears blank until I click on a cell withdatainnnnnit and then the whole sheet appear! Alo- when I cloeit aablank Book1.xlt isopen behind it
Please help

Alan Trotter

Help – I followed your instructions and got rid of the “distMon” issue but now when I open a spreadsheet it appears blank until I click on a cell with data in it and then the whole sheet appears!
Also- when I close the file a blank Book1.xlt isopen behind it!
Please help!


Worked a treat, got rid of both annoying messages & excel opens much faster… Cheers

Matthew Schow

That fix worked for me beautifully, thank you so much! And now my create PDF function doesn’t crash Excel when I use it, which was causing me problems as well.


The tip on searching hidden files was the kicker! I couldn’t understand why the fix wasn’t working. Thanks so much, Cinnamon!

nitesh verma

Go to this link for solution…..u r done in less than 5 mins::

Rick Villa

Thanks for the help. Deleted pdfmaker.xla and all is right with the world.

Mike Bindman

Thanks for the info. Your advice worked like a charm. Went the the C:\ Drive, searched all files and folders (including hidden files) and removed all instances of the pdfmaker.xla. Once removed, I opened up Excel 2007 and the error was gone. Appreciate the assistance.

Linda Reed

I have had this issue on several of the PC’s in our office and have resolved the problem following the advice above (thank you very much!). However, I have one PC that will not cooporate. I did the search for both types of files (*.xla and *.dot) and the return shows the files, BUT someone had already renamed the files (pdfmaker.xla to pdfmaker.old.xla and to

Anyone have any ideas on how I can fix this PC?


Rick Malamed

I found PDFMarker.xla in several locations on my c: drive. I deleted them all and now Excel 2010 is running without the annoying error. THANKS!


Thanks – did the trick 🙂

Donna Thompson

I deleted two different PDFMaker.xla files and all works great now. Thanks for the help – that message was so annoying.


I have similar error but it is known as M_Base not Distmon, any idea how to fix it?
The full messages says: “Compile error in hidden module: M_Base”

James C

Thanks. Works great now. I have Adobe Acrobat X Pro and I found the file in Program Files. Spent a lot of time checking out the Microshit Site and found nothing. Thanks again.


I have been getting this error for a while but ignored assuming that one of the file’s got corrupted. Today, I searched in google for an answer ,it worked .Error get resolved.



Thanks excellent support


Thank you so much man, I done with it. thanks


Dude, you rock! I LOVE google/the www. Man, I could be a computer geek with what I learn online!!! Thanks!!!!

James Taylor

Thank you. It worked perfectly and my problem is resolved. Thanks for all your help.


Thanks so much for the help, i have been having this problem for so long, i didn’t think there was a way to fix it. I followed you instructions and it worked like a charm.

Thanks Heaps

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