Changing author name in MS Word's "Track Changes"
January 25, 2009 5:16 PM   Subscribe

I'm using "Track Changes" in MS Word (or, well, its near-clone in Open Office). I've already made a number of changes — under the wrong name! How can I get those changes attributed to the right name?

When I registered my copy of Open Office, I did it under a goofy name rather than my real name. Now, years later, I'm helping edit a grant application with some big-deal researchers, and lo and behold, the changes I make are attributed to "Miles J. Handlebar" rather than my real name. Not the end of the world, but it's a little unprofessional — and it's likely to cause unnecessary confusion on a big project where we've already got dozens of real names to keep track of.

If I change my name in the "Preferences..." dialog, all subsequent changes I make are attributed to my real name. But the changes I've already made are still attributed to this Handlebar character.

Is there any way I can change the attribution on the changes I've already made? Or has my imaginary friend Mr. Handlebar left his mark on the project for good?
posted by nebulawindphone to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Well, my first guess is supported by a tip in this book: you just edit the info out with a text editor like Notepad, then bring it back into Word.
posted by rokusan at 7:15 PM on January 25, 2009

I just tried this in Writer and it seems to work.

1. Save a copy with all of your Handlebar changes in place but not accepted. Let's call it copy1.

2. Reject All the changes you've made and then save as copy2. Close copy2.

3. Open copy1 and Accept All the changes. Save as copy3.

4. With copy3 still open, go to Edit -> Compare Document.

5. Choose to compare with copy2.

All the changes should now be visible and attributed to your current username in copy3.
posted by hayvac at 9:24 PM on January 25, 2009

If you are feeling adventurous, you can unzip the .odt file, which in fact is just a plain zip archive, do a find/replace for "Miles J. Handlebar" in the *.xml files and zip everything back up again.

Make sure you keep backup copies though, there might be a checksum or other catch.

Don't you just love open formats?
posted by ghost of a past number at 4:58 AM on January 26, 2009

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