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Keep Editors Separate in MS Word

on January 2, 2017 by Proofreading Pal in Proofreading and Editing facebook in twitter

To borrow from Homer Simpson, “Microsoft Word, the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.”

We rely on Microsoft’s ubiquitous writing program for everything from term papers to to-do lists. Most of the time, it does the job. But every once in a while, it makes life difficult.

Sometimes, very difficult.

At ProofreadingPal, we’ve occasionally noticed this irritating problem: two proofreaders will work on a project, but Word will combine their edits under a single “Author” user name. This is a big deal for us. ProofreadingPal prides itself on having two proofreaders edit every document.

Like so very much with Word, the solution for this is simple but not intuitive. Note just a few of these other posts we’ve got up that make the same claim:

(Of course, editing PDFs isn’t always a picnic, either.)

And yeah, MS Word has a help page, but not all of us have three hours and a tech degree.

So here’s a quick guide to how you fix the problem and restore individual editors to a document in Word 2007, 2010, and 2013 in Windows:

  1. Under Prepare (or File in Word 2010 and 2013), click on Word Options

  1. Click on Trust Center

  1. In Privacy Options, there is a document-specific setting to “Remove personal information from file properties on save”

  1. Uncheck this box

Here’s how it works in Word 2016 in Windows:

  1. Under the Review tab, click Protect
  2. If the Privacy option is active, it strips the document of personal information

If you’re having this problem in Word 2011 on a Mac, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Click on Word in the Menu bar
  2. Select Preferences
  3. In Personal Settings, select Security
  4. In Privacy Options, there is a document-specific setting to “Remove personal information from file properties on save”
  5. Uncheck this box

In Word 2016 for Mac, do the following:

  1. Under the Review tab, click “Protect Document”
  2. Uncheck “Remove personal information from this file on save” box

Following these steps will correctly reflect the user name of each editor.

Chris R.

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