How to see who created a Word document


Word documents can be used to collaborate on projects. That could mean lots of versions and lots of editors. So how can you find out who created the document in the first place? Fortunately, there are several ways to do this, and we’ll show you how in this article.

Find the document’s author inside the app:

  1. Go to ‘File’ > ‘Info.’
  2. Look under the ‘Properties’ header.
  3. You can find the author’s name in the ‘Related People’ section.

Find the document’s author outside the app:

  1. Right-click the file.
  2. Select ‘Properties’ from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click on the ‘Details’ tab at the top of the Properties box.
  4. Find the author’s name under the ‘Origin’ header.
Note: you can find the document’s original author if the property has not been altered.

Please continue reading our visual, step-by-step guide on how to see who created a Word document.

Who is the author of a Word document?

In Microsoft Word, the author is a property that can be added to and removed from the document. Whenever you create a document, your name automatically appears as the author. However, as this property can be changed and even include multiple authors, it is impossible to determine who the original author was.

List of authors.

In this article, we’ll show you how to find the current author of the document. But as anyone with access can change this property, the current and original authors may differ.

Method 1 – Find the author inside the Word document (app)

You will need the desktop version of Word to use this method. Please start this guide by opening your Word document in the application.

  • Click on File in the top menu.
File tab in Word.
  • Then click on Info in the blue menu.
  • The Author of the document can be found under the Related People header.
Info > related people.

Add, remove, or edit an author

  • Right-click on the author’s name to remove the author.
  • Select Remove Person from the popup menu.
Right-click author > Remove Person.
  • Click Add an author and enter the author’s name to add an author.
  • Or click the address book icon to add authors from your address book.
How to add and remove an author in Word.
  • To edit an author, right-click on the author’s name.
  • Select Edit Property in the popup menu.
Right-click author > Edit Property.
  • Enter the author’s name or email address, then click the OK button in the Edit box. (4)
  • Or click the address book icon on the right side of the Edit box. (1)
  • Single click to add an author or double-click to add multiple authors. (2)
  • Click the OK button in the address book. (3)
  • Then click the OK button in the Edit box. (4)
Add authors from the address book.
  • Click on Allow this information to be saved in your file.
Allow this information to be saved in your file under Inspect Document.
  • Then save your file.
Save.
  • You can also view and edit the author by clicking on Properties.
  • Select Advanced Properties from the dropdown box.
Properties > Advanced Properties.
  • You can view and edit the author in the Summary tab.
  • Click the OK button and save the document if you changed the author.
Summary > Author.
  • Click on Allow this information to be saved in your file.
Allow this information to be saved in your file.
  • Then save your file.
Save.

Method 2 – Find the author outside the Word document

You will need a Word document saved on your computer to use this method. Please locate your document to follow this guide.

Right-click file > Properties.
  • You can find the authors in the Details tab.
Details tab > Authors.
  • Click on Remove Properties and Personal Information to remove the authors.
  • Select Remove the following poperies from this file.
  • Check the box next to Authors.
  • Then click the OK button.
Remove Properties and Personal Information > Remove the following properties from this file > Authors > OK.

Method 3 – Find the author inside the Word document (web)

You will need a Word document uploaded to OneDrive to follow this method. Please start this guide by opening your document in the web version of Microsoft Word.

  • Click on File on the top menu.
Click on file.
  • Go to Info on the blue menu.
  • Then click on Version History.
Info > Version History.
  • To open version history another way, click on the name of your file at the top.
  • Then select Version History from the dropdown box.
File name at the top > Version history.
  • The version history will appear on the right side of the window.
  • You can find the original author at the bottom of the list.
View the version at the bottom of the list to find the author.
  • Click the three dots to download the original copy.
  • Then select Download from the dropdown box.
Three dots > Download.

Names further up the list are of people who edited the document. The name at the bottom of the list is either the person who uploaded the document or the person who made the document in the web version of Microsoft Word.

If the author created the document in the app version of Word, the name at the bottom of the list would be the person who uploaded the document, but not necessarily the person who created it.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know whether the author created the document in the web or app version of Word. However, you can download the file to see who the original author was using Method 1.

Method 4 – Find the author outside the Word document (web)

You can use this method if your Word document is uploaded to OneDrive. Please start this guide by locating your document.

  • Click the three dots next to the file’s name.
  • Then select Details from the popup menu.
Three dots > details.
  • The document’s details will open on the right side of the window.
  • Scroll down and find the author’s name under the Added header.
Added.

Version history is not directly available in the shared and recent tabs in OneDrive. However, you can access version history by opening a preview:

  • Click the three dots next to the file’s name.
  • Then select Preview from the popup menu.
Three dots > Preview.
  • Click the three dots at the top of the preview page.
  • Then select Version History from the dropdown menu.
Three dots > Version history.
  • You can find the document’s author in Version 1.0 under the Modified By header.
Version 1.0 > Modified by.

Conclusion

The easiest way to see who created a Word document will depend on where the file is located. If the file is stored on your computer, we advise using method 2, as you can achieve this without opening the document. Similarly, if the file is stored in OneDrive, method 4 is the best solution as you can access this information without opening the file.

However, if you plan on altering the author property, method 1 for the app version and method 3 for the web version will enable you to do that.

To find out how to check when a Word document was created, please read our guide on All the ways to prove when a Word document was created.

Thanks for reading.

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