Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Changing the User Name in Existing Comments.

Changing the User Name in Existing Comments

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 7, 2016)

Denise notes that when she uses Track Changes and inserts a comment, the user's name shows in the comment. When she is ready to finalize the document, but with Track Changes still on, Denise wonders if she can go back and change the user name on one or more comments.

There are a couple of things you can do to make the changes. First, you could change the user name and initials to the name you want in the comments and then, effectively, recreate the comments. (You can copy the comment into the Clipboard and then paste it back into the document.) This has a downside, however, as the date and time stamp for the comment will be updated to reflect when you recreated the comment.

Perhaps a better approach is to use a macro to make the changes. When a comment is created, it is added to the Comments collection, which can be accessed through VBA. Each comment has Author and Initial properties that, respectively, represent the comment author's name and initials. The following macro is an example of how these can be changed:

Sub ChangeCommentAuthor()
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim sAuthorname As String
    Dim sInitial As String

    If Selection.Comments.Count = 0 Then
        MsgBox "No comments in your selection!", _
          vbCritical + vbOKOnly, "Cannot perform action"
        Exit Sub
    End If

    sAuthorname = InputBox("New author name?", _
      "Comments Author Name")
    If sAuthorname = "" Then End

    sInitial = InputBox("New author initials?", _
      "Comments Initials")
    If sInitial = "" Then End

    With Selection
        For J = 1 To .Comments.Count
            .Comments(J).Author = sAuthorname
            .Comments(J).Initial = sInitial
        Next J
    End With
End Sub

All you need to do is make a selection that contains the comment you want to modify (select the text in the main document that includes the comment indicator) and then run the macro. Enter a new name and initials when prompted. When the macro is done running, it may not appear like anything has changed. If you save your document and reload it, you'll note that the comment author names have been changed as you indicated.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8612) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Changing the User Name in Existing Comments.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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