Does Track Changes identify you as “Author” instead of your user name when you are making edits or writing comments? If so, someone has used the Document Inspector to remove hidden properties and user information from your file. This tutorial shows the basic method to stop Microsoft Word from calling you “Author” in Track Changes and comments and start using your user name, instead.
This tutorial also includes an advanced method for those who need additional help. Only follow the advanced method if the basic method does not work for you because the advanced method requires you to open the Trust Center, which houses many sensitive options.
Important Note: These methods only affect future comments and edits.
There is no straightforward way to change existing “Author” labels to your user name because the Document Inspector’s data removal process is permanent.
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than fifty other videos about Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Word in Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). The steps are similar for Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010.
Basic Method to Stop Word from Using “Author”
1. Select the File tab in the ribbon.
2. Select the Info tab in the Backstage view.
3. Select Allow this information to be saved in your file under the Inspect Document heading.
This option will only appear if the Document Inspector has already removed hidden properties or user data from your file. It will disappear once selected.
4. Select the back arrow to return to your document.
5. Enter a new comment to ensure your user name appears instead of “Author.”
6. Save your document.
Advanced Method to Stop Word from Using “Author”
Caution: This method requires you to open the Trust Center, which contains many sensitive options. Proceed carefully and complete these steps on a secondary copy of your file rather than on the original.
Note that you may not be able to open the Trust Center if your network administrator has restricted access.
1. Open a secondary copy of your original file. (Please see the caution statement above.)
2. Select the File tab in the ribbon (see figure 1).
3. Select the Options tab in the Backstage view.
4. Select the Trust Center tab in the Word Options dialog box.
5. Select the Trust Center Settings button.
6. Select the Privacy Options tab in the Trust Center dialog box.
7. Uncheck the Remove personal information from file properties on save option.
8. Select the OK button to close the Trust Center dialog box.
9. Select the OK button to close the Word Options dialog box.
10. Select the File tab in the ribbon (see figure 1).
11. Select the Info tab in the Backstage view (see figure 2).
12. Select Allow this information to be saved in your file under the Inspect Document heading (see figure 3).
13. Save your file.
If you want to edit anonymously by changing your user name to “Author,” visit “How to Remove User Names from Existing Track Changes in Microsoft Word.”
If you want to change your user name to another name before creating new comments and edits, visit “How to Change Your User Name for Track Changes in Microsoft Word.”
And, if you would like an overview of editing and commenting in Word, visit “How to Use Track Changes in Microsoft Word.”