Word: Doubled-up user name in comments

October 16, 2021

Here’s a strange one Adrienne M in one of my editors’ Facebook groups was able to solve for me a couple of weeks ago.

One of my clients (Dr Jun X) was getting a double-up of his first name in his comments. Just his first name, not his surname or his ‘Dr’ title.

I got him to try these things:

  • Check the User name setting under File > Options > General. It was fine.
  • Modify the XML file to change the reviewer’s name (using parts of these instructions: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/word-removing-reviewer-names/), and that seemed to work, but doesn’t hold for a new document he tested a comment on, as I expected.
  • Do a Registry search for his doubled-up name in case it was lurking somewhere in the bowels of the system (last resort, and not done as we found a solution).

He thought it might be a conflict between a global name that he’s used for Microsoft products vs the internal name set by Word (I wasn’t sure what he meant by that). I also asked him if he’d only ever opened this document locally, or if he’d worked on it in the online version of Word. Or if it had come from someone else use Word for Mac. Yes, I was clutching at straws…

I then posted the question on one of the editors’ Facebook groups and a few people came back suggesting it was likely a conflict between various Microsoft account credentials (which didn’t surprise me—I have several: my own, plus different ones with different clients and Microsoft just CANNOT deal with that! It’s so bad trying to find anything with the various credentials that I refuse to use OneDrive etc. as I invariably have a different login for it than I thought or that Microsoft wants me to use. I think Microsoft assumes everyone only works for one employer and therefore only needs one credential, but we freelancers work with many clients, which potentially means different credentials for each organisation—it’s all very confusing and Microsoft certainly doesn’t make it easy. But I digress…)

The different Microsoft accounts was the trigger that Adrienne needed to point us in the right direction. Underneath the username area in the Options is a checkbox for Always use these values regardless of sign in to Office (how have I never noticed it before???) Checking that box solved the problem. My client said: ‘I went back and ticked that option and it solved the problem. To test, I then went back and unticked it and the problem comes back.’ Thanks Adrienne!

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