Archive FAQ > Pseuds

What is a pseud?

Pseud is short for pseudonym, or pen name, and it is an additional name associated with your account. Pseuds can be used for different purposes:

  • Unlike user names, they don't have to be unique. You can go by any name you like, even if your pseud is the same as another Archive user's user name or pseud.
  • Pseuds allow people who've posted under multiple names over the years to gather their work together under one account while retaining the names that were originally associated with those works. Do note that all names will be publicly connected—your user name will always display with alternate pseuds and all pseuds will be visible on your Profile page. For example: jane_smith_1996 has been posting podfic to the Archive for a few months now, but wants to import her work from her old 14th_doctor_lover Livejournal, and even post some of her old works posted under high_school_drawer_fic on FanFiction.net. She can make separate pseuds that all are connected to the jane_smith_1996 account, but display the name with which each work was originally associated. If someone decides they'd like to find an old work by 14th_doctor_lover and they search for it on the Archive, they can find it even though it's not jane_smith_1996's username.

You can choose for pseuds to appear on works, series, bookmarks, or comments. They'll always show your user name next to them in the following format:

Pseud (User Name)

How do I add a new pseud?

To add a new pseud:

  1. Log in to your account on the Archive. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create an account.
  2. Under the "Hi, [user name]!" menu in the top bar, select "My Dashboard".
  3. From the sidebar (in the default skin), select "Profile". When accessing the site with mobile devices or when using small window sizes, this menu can be found at the top of the screen and begins with the "Dashboard" option.
  4. After the Bio section, select the "Manage My Pseuds" button.
  5. Select the "New Pseud" button, which will take you to a form page.
  6. Fill out the form and select the "Create" button.

What characters can I have in my pseud name?

Pseuds can contain letters and characters in any language script, numbers, underscores, spaces, or dashes. Letters and characters may include any diacritics, such as ã, æ, ß, ë, and ý. These are just examples; any type of diacritic can be used.

Pseuds must contain at least one letter, character, or number.

What is a default pseud?

Your default pseud is the one automatically associated with your works, comments, and bookmarks unless you choose otherwise during the posting process. Initially, your user name is set as your default pseud, but you can choose to make any of your pseuds the default (refer to How do I set a default pseud? for instructions). Any pseud that isn't your user name will display on works, comments, or bookmarks in the following format:

Pseud (User Name)

How do I set a default pseud?

When you first create an account, your user name functions as your default pseud. To change the default to another pseud, you need to have already created that pseud (How do I add a new pseud?). Once you've created a pseud that you'd like to change to the default, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your account on the Archive. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create an account.
  2. Under the "Hi, [user name]!" menu in the top bar, select "My Dashboard".
  3. From the sidebar (in the default skin), select "Pseuds". When accessing the site with mobile devices or when using small window sizes, this menu can be found at the top of the screen and begins with the "Dashboard" option.
  4. From the resulting menu, select "All Pseuds". This will provide you with a list of all the pseuds you've created on the Archive along with your primary user name.
  5. Select the "Edit" button for the pseud you want to be the default option.
  6. This will take you to the same form you filled out to create the pseud. The second option on the form is a checkbox labeled "Make this name default". Check the checkbox and then select "Update" at the end of the form.

All works, comments, and bookmarks posted under the previous default pseud will remain under that name unless you go back and change the pseud by manually editing the work, editing the comment, or editing the bookmark.

How do I choose which pseud to post under?

When you post a new work, you'll have an option to choose "Author/Pseud(s)" in the Preface section of the "Post New" form. Simply select the pseud you want to use and post as usual. You can select multiple pseuds as authors of the work.

When you post a comment or bookmark, you'll have an option to select a different pseud in the menu where your default pseud is shown. Select the menu, choose the alternate pseud you wish to use from the list, and post as usual.

How do I edit a pseud?

  1. Log in to your account on the Archive. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to create an account.
  2. Under the "Hi, [user name]!" menu in the top bar, select "My Dashboard".
  3. From the sidebar (in the default skin), select "Pseuds". When accessing the site with mobile devices or when using small window sizes, this menu can be found at the top of the screen and begins with the "Dashboard" option.
  4. From the resulting menu, select "All Pseuds". This will provide you with a list of all the pseuds you've created on the Archive along with your primary user name.
  5. Select the "Edit" button for the pseud you want to change. This will take you to the same form you filled out to create the pseud.
  6. Make any edits and then select "Update" at the end of the form.

By following these steps, you can edit the name of any of your pseuds with the exception of the pseud currently set as your default or your user name. To change your user name, go to Can I change my account name? in the Account FAQ.

Please note that changing a pseud will change all existing uses of that pseud on already published works, comments, and bookmarks.

Someone else has the same pseud as me! How did this happen?

Unlike user names, pseuds aren't unique. This is partly to allow users to reflect names they've used over the years on other services, even if someone else has used the same names. To ensure that users won't be mistaken for other users with the same pseud, user names are displayed in parentheses next to the pseud.

Why does my user name display in parentheses next to my pseud?

Unlike user names, pseuds are not unique. To ensure that users won't be mistaken for other users with the same pseud, user names are displayed alongside pseuds. The only exception is if a user creates an alternate pseud that is identical to their user name. For example:

  • Suzy_Fangirl—her user name—has created two additional pseuds, Suzy Fangirl and Suzy_Fangirl.
  • If she posts a work using her user name, it displays as: Suzy_Fangirl.
  • If she posts a work using the Suzy Fangirl pseud, it displays as: Suzy Fangirl (Suzy_Fangirl).
  • If she posts a work using the Suzy_Fangirl pseud that she created, it displays as: Suzy_Fangirl.

In the case of an orphaned fanwork, users can either leave their pseud attached to the work or have it removed. For more information on how it would display, go to How do I orphan my work(s)? in the Orphaning FAQ.

How do I delete a pseud?

To delete a pseud:

  1. Log in to your account on the Archive.
  2. Under the "Hi, [user name]!" menu, select "My Dashboard".
  3. From the sidebar (in the default skin), select "Profile". When accessing the site with mobile devices or when using small window sizes, this menu can be found at the top of the screen and begins with the "Dashboard" option.
  4. After the Bio section, select the "Manage My Pseuds" button.
  5. All of your pseuds will be sorted alphabetically. Select the "Delete" button for the pseud you want to remove and confirm your decision. This pseud will then be deleted from your account and the Archive. For more information on what will happen to your works, comments and bookmarks, refer to What happens if I delete a pseud?

If you want to delete your default pseud, you will first need to choose another pseud to be your default. Once you have a new default, follow the steps listed above to delete the unwanted pseud. To learn what a default pseud is, refer to What is a default pseud? For instructions on how to make a pseud your default, refer to How do I set a default pseud? If you want to delete your account and not just a pseud, refer to How do I delete my account?

What happens if I delete a pseud?

If you delete a pseud, then all works and comments left under that pseud will automatically be assigned to your default pseud. You'll be offered the option of assigning the bookmarks under the pseud you are deleting to your default pseud or deleting them as well.

You cannot delete a default pseud. You will have to assign another pseud or your user name as the default first. Go to How do I set a default pseud? for instructions.

What is a pseud description?

A pseud description is a short explanation identifying your pseud. For example, you may want to note which other sites you've used that name on or which fandoms you write for using that pseud. If you'd like to give more details about yourself, you can put these under your profile (refer to the Profile FAQ for more information). You can add or edit your pseud description at any time by following the steps under How do I edit a pseud? in this FAQ section.

Can I make an anonymous pseud?

Pseuds currently cannot be made anonymous. To help differentiate between identical pseuds, the Archive has to connect them to the user name. At this time, if you want some works to be completely unconnected to your general account, we recommend that you set up a second Archive account using a different email address (see How do I create an account? for more information).

Alternatively, you can post works under an existing pseud, and then immediately orphan the work. Refer to the Orphaning FAQ for more information.

Where can I get more information if my question isn’t answered here?

Some frequently asked questions about the Archive are answered in the broader Archive FAQ. Questions and answers about our Terms of Service can be found in the Terms of Service FAQ. You may also like to check out our Known Issues. If you need more help, please contact Support.