Every so often I get a question about Author Names and how they work in OneNote. Folks who use more than one machine will typically want to use this to track which machine was being used when they made edits. OneNote will let you do this (and more) and here's how.

 

First, a quick demo. Amit is a tester on the OneNote team, and I opened a page recently which had many changes he had made. Since we only show the initials on the page by default, I had a list of "AS" (his initials) showing.

Notice how "Amit Sinha" has many different colors here:

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?

He was using several different machines to make edits to this outline. That's not the reason there were this many colors, though. He actually used a slightly different name for himself on each machine.

For instance, the top dark purple color has this name:

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The second light blue uses this name:

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And finally, the green uses this name:

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So Amit has three "names" in use that all use the same initials: "Amit Sinha," "Amit Sinha PC" and "Amit Sinha - Mail." Although the initials are all the same, the text name he uses on each machine is enough to make OneNote treat each as a different user. Since OneNote is treating each entry as coming from a different person, it shows each color differently.

 

If Amit wanted to "fix" this, all he would need to do is change his user name to be the same on each machine. He can do this in File | Options. This won't go back and change anything that has already been created but will change the behavior in the future when he makes edits.

 

So if you want your changes to all appear as just one user, make sure your user name and initials match on all the machines you use. If you want to use this to track your machine usage, vary your user name on each machine.

 

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,

John