Q. To activate Microsoft Word on my new laptop, I had to open a Microsoft account, but I didn’t use my real name. Now, when I edit a document in Word and add a comment, it lists the note under that made-up name. Any way I can get it to switch back to my real name?
A. The Track Changes, Comments and other tools built into Microsoft Word are designed to let users collaborate on a document — and keep tabs on who did exactly what to the file (and when). When the document-editing tools are enabled, every text deletion and insertion is marked in the file and labeled with the name or initials of the person who made the change. Nonprinting comments added to the file from collaborators are also tagged with names.
Even if the program picked up the moniker you used to create your Microsoft account, you can reclaim your rightful name by making a change in the program’s settings. When you make the switch, though, the new identification takes effect from that point forward and does not retroactively change the name attached to your editing changes.
In Word 2016 for Windows, go to the File menu and select Options. In the Word Options box, select the General tab. In the “Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office” section, enter the name and initials you wish to use, and turn on the check box nearby to “always use this name.” Click the O.K. button. (If you already have a document open in Word and want to change your name there, you can also select the Review tab and click on the tiny icon for the Track Changes options in the ribbon tool bar to get to the Change User Name settings.)
To change your username in Microsoft Word 2016 for Mac, go to the Word menu in the Mac’s tool bar and select Preferences. In the Preferences box, click the User Information icon and enter your preferred name and initials, then check the box next to the option to always use this name. Close the box when you are finished.
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