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Microsoft Word/author's name in the Reviewing Pane


QUESTION: Hi Suzanne, how are you?
I use Word 2013 and Windows 7.
I access Review>Tracking>Reviewing Pane. I make insertions, deletions, and what have you.
Question #1
My question deals with the user’s name that appears in the Pane. The name that appears is my name, Chris Krepke. But that’s not what I want and expect!
I want to see the name of the author of the document in which I’m working. That name can be seen by clicking File. In the bottom right corner, in the Related People section, the name of the author appears.

Question #2
To make things even more confusing… when I click File>Options the Word Options dialog box appears. A list at the left side starts with a highlighted “General “. In the center of the dialog box I can see
“User name” and “Initials”.  To my chagrin, the names in the two boxes are not the names I see when clicking "File" and looking at the Related People section!
To top off this puzzle…when using Word 2010, the problem I describe in the first question does not exist. The names that appear in the Reviewing pane are the names that can be found when I click File>Options and look at “name” and “Initials”.  

All this may be a bit confusing, but I hope you can help.


ANSWER: The name and initials you see at File | Options | General are those of the user in whose name the Office application is registered (that's you). When you make changes in another user's document, you are the owner of those changes (the Reviewer), so your name or initials are displayed. If you send the document back to the author and s/he makes changes or adds comments, the name/initials will be his or hers, but the changes you made will be attributed to you.

Provided the author of the document has Office set up properly, you can see his or her name in the file Properties. Nowadays this will usually be correct; in earlier times, when it was not uncommon for Office to be an OEM version (which came installed on the computer when purchased), the "author" name was often "HP Valued Customer" or "Gateway User" or the like because owners had never changed it.

Although I don't advise it, if you want the changes you make to the document to be made in the author's name, you can (temporarily) change the user name at File | Options | General. You can also access this dialog through the Track Changes Options: in the Tracking group on the Review toolbar, click the dialog launcher (small arrow in the bottom right corner). In the Track Changes Options dialog, click Change User Name...

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QUESTION: hello Suzanne!
Your prompt reply is much appreciated.
But because I'm not an expert, I can't understand your advice.

What do I have to do so that the name appearing in the Reviewing pane is the same as the name that appears when clicking File and looking at "Related People" at the lower right?

I also don't understand why the name appearing when clicking File and looking at "Related People" at the lower right is different from the name that appears when clicking File>Options and looking at "User Name".

Thank you


Related People shows the Author of the document; that's the person who created it. Unless you created it, that's not going to be you. But when you make changes to the document, YOUR name and initials are displayed as the Reviewer. If you want your edits to appear to have been made by the author, you will have to temporarily change your user name to that of the author at File | Options | General.

When you save the document (if you haven't changed your user name), you'll see your name for Last Modified By.
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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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