A neat tip for user name with OneNote (and other Office apps)

Here's a quick tip I found after playing with my user name that works for me to help make my changes in a shared notebook a little easier to see with OneNote 2010.

As a side note (no pun intended), the maximum initials length you can have in Office is 9 letters. That's just enough room for me to set my name and initials in OneNote both to be "John Guin" (in File | Options in OneNote 2010, in Tools | Options | Display in OneNote 2007) so I have this:


Now my initials are the same as my name, and instead of just displaying the default 2 letters to the right of an outline that I changed in a shared notebook, others will see my full name:


(The tester in me needs to point out that 2 letters is not necessarily the default. It is actually the first letter of each name you type in the control. If my name was typed as "John Carl Thomas Guin," my initials should show as "JCTG".  I’ll change my name near the bottom of this article, by the way, just to show the difference.  Boy, it takes a tester forever to explain all the whatnots and why fors around a simple name feature…)

MT is Mike Tholfsen, by the way. But it could be "Mark Thomas" or "Michelle Thornton."

Here's what folks see when Mike and I jointly edit a page and have OneNote 2010 set to show authors :


Now it's obvious where I was working!

Oh, and if any right clicks on the content I edited, my name shows as well:


Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


Comments (10)

  1. Geoff says:

    Great tip!  I see how that could be useful!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Great tip.  You wouldn't happen to know how to delete those user tabs, would you?

  3. John says:

    What do you mean by "user tabs?" The little bit of UI that shows the initials? If that is the case, the View tab has a Hide Authors button.

  4. Kevin Whitefoot says:

    Unfortunately for me OneNote 2010 only allows nine characters in the initials field.

  5. Aritra says:

    If I change my name and initials later, it doesn't get updated on previous notes and came up as different author. which is kinda annoying.

  6. John says:

    Yes, this is annoying but we do not have a feature to "go back in time" and change user names associated with content.  Interesting suggestion, though.

  7. Ken says:

    Quick question, so if I type out an entry it puts my initials, but if one of my coworkers edits anything in it, a spelling mistake for instance, and it then shows their initials and not mine anymore and it looks like they wrote it.  How can I track multiple author entries or have it show only the person that initially wrote the entry?

  8. Bruce says:

    I there any way to prevent someone from falsifying their name/initials; I did some testing and found that if you set your name/initials the same as someone else, OneNote will consider both of you the same author!

    This could be abused. Is there anything that can prevent it? Does OneNote keep any lower level information about the author, or only the user-supplied name/initials?

  9. Bruce says:


    The only way to trak multiple authors in that instance is through page versions – if you load up the previous page version, it will correctly show that you authored that section. But for the author tracking on the right, it appears to only keep track of it on a per-line basis…

  10. Kunalsinh L. Parmar says:

    how can i remove it (my name) from my all one note.

    please help me.


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