Changing or removing the user name in Word2000 comment balloons

ppblue used Ask the Experts™
Is it possible to change or remove the 'user name' that appears on top of comment balloons in Word2000?  Individually, or better still globally?
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Word puts your user name, initials, and a unique ID that identifies you in each comment you create. I don't see an obvious way to remove it using Word's normal interface, but you can do it using a macro.

The "Comment" object is exposed in Word's macros. You can make a macro that loops through all comments in the active document and clears the user name and initials from the comment. You can't touch the unique author ID, but I believe that is used only internally in Word so you won't see it on the document.

Try creating a new macro open the Visual Basic Editor and put this in the code:

Dim oCmnt As Comment
For Each oCmnt In ActiveDocument.Comments
    oCmnt.Author = ""
    oCmnt.Initial = ""
Next oCmnt

Now, i'm using word 2003, so i don't know if the "Initials" thing is a new feature between the two. If it and it gives you errors remove that line.

When you create new comments though it'll still have the username and stuff. You'd have to run the macro every time you want to clear out all the comments in the doc.
Top Expert 2012
They can be changed with VBA:

Sub ChangeCommentAuthor()
    Dim cmnt As Comment
    For Each cmnt In ActiveDocument.Comments
        cmnt.Author = "Anonynous"
    Next cmnt
End Sub

I 'unno if you're a programmer, to create a new macro in word you go Tools->Macros->Macros..., type a name into the "Macro Name" textbox, click Create, and then the VB Editor will open. Put the code I gave you above into the new subroutine that gets created

Then you can run the macro anytime by going tools->Macros->Macros..., selecting the macro from the list and clicking Run.
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A dirty trick:

1. save your file as RTF.
2. open the new RTF file with e.g. Notepad
3. search for e.g. "atnid brundo" (old name) and replace with "atnid ppblue"
    (new name).
4. search for e.g. "atnauthor brundo" (old name) and replace with
    "atnauthor ppblue" (new name).
5. save.
6. open the RTF file with Word.
6.a look at balloons and at rectangles appearing when you hold the mouse
      over balloons
7. save as doc.

It is not common to change the author... but I understand you, it happens that you work on someone else's machine and get his name in your comments :-((

For more information about RTF files and its fields, see, especially under the title "Comments (Annotations)".


Thank you all for the excellent help.  Frosty555 and Graham Skan, your macro will be help me with this problem in future.
Not knowing any VBA, I used Brundo's method to resolve the problem, will check  it later with the macros, but I am sure it works too. BTW, Word2003 seems to have a setting which can change comments, but not Word2000.

This is the first time that accepted multiple solutions before, I hope I did the right thing. Thank you for your help.
Top Expert 2012

No problems
A word of caution about replacing any text directly in the Word file (however saved - doc, rtf, xml, etc)). There is a danger, especially with short texts, of changing more than you want to. The Word object model understands the function of any particular piece of data, so will not modify anything that do fit the target object.


Thanks for notifing me. Actually, I discovered that the text in the comment was also modified and redid it accordingly.

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