My previous tutorial “How to Change Your User Name for Track Changes in Microsoft Word” shows how to change user names for comments and edits created with Track Changes. However, Word doesn’t have a straightforward way to change user names connected to existing comments and edits, so that tutorial only works for new comments and edits. As an alternative, today’s tutorial demonstrates how to replace user names connected to all Track Changes (existing and future) with the default label Author.
This solution obviously isn’t ideal for those of us who would like to change our user name for existing comments and edits to something other than Author, but it is useful when anonymity is important.
The images below are from Word 2016; however, the steps are the same for Word for Office 365 and Word 2019 and similar for Word 2013.
How to Remove User Names from Existing Track Changes
Caution: This process is not reversible and applies to all users associated with the document, even those who haven’t used Track Changes. It also permanently removes authorship and “Last Modified By” data. Therefore, you should complete this process on a secondary copy of your document rather than on the original.
1. Open a secondary copy of the original document saved under a different file name. (Please see the Caution statement above.)
2. Select the File tab.
3. Select the Check for Issues button in the Backstage view.
4. Select Inspect Document in the drop-down menu.
5. Save your document by selecting Yes in the question dialog box. (This dialog box may not appear if you recently saved your changes.)
6. Deselect all the options in the Document Inspector dialog box except Document Properties and Personal Information.
7. Select the Inspect button.
8. Select the Remove All button next to Document Properties and Personal Information.
9. Verify the inspection results.
10. Select the Close button to close the Document Inspector dialog box.
11. Save, close, and reopen the document.
12. Verify that all user names have been changed to Author in the Track Changes balloons.
This tutorial was requested by several of my blog readers. (Thank you, readers!) Please let me know in the comment section below if you have a Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, or writing topic that you would like me to address in a future post.