Software

How to change the display of Outlook contacts


To address a new e-mail message, you may click the To button to display all your contacts. By default, Outlook displays the names in alphabetical order, by first name. If you have many contacts, you might prefer to see the list in last-name order. Fortunately, it isn't that difficult to make the switch. To display contacts in last-name order, do the following:

  1. Choose E-mail Accounts from the Tools menu in Mail view to launch the E-mail Accounts Wizard.
  2. Select the View Or Change Existing Directories Or Address Books option and click Next.
  3. Select Outlook Address and click Change.
  4. Select the Contacts lists one by one. Most of you will have just one item -- Contacts: Personal Folders. Click the File As (Smith, John) option in the Show Names By section for the Contacts list you want to sort by last name.
  5. Click Close and then Finish.

You may have to close and reopen Outlook to see the change.

I let Outlook do the work whenever I can by entering the contact's name in the To field. Outlook then displays and updates a limited list of contacts based on the characters I enter.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

7 comments
Rod.Wright
Rod.Wright

I'm using Outlook 2007. I gather your description is for Outlook 2003. What is the scheme for changing the sort values in Outlook 2007?

wpowell
wpowell

Can this be accomplished with the global list and if so, how?

ssharkins
ssharkins

I haven't installed Outlook 2007 yet. Perhaps a reader will know.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I don't have 2000 installed anywhere, so I can't check. Perhaps a reader will help out? I know there's a big difference in the UI between 2000 and 2003, so it wouldn't surprise me if this doesn't work in 2000. Try it out and let us know what you find. It might be possible, but simply require a different route. Let us know what you run into and maybe we can walk you through it.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Unfortunately, I don't know. The Global List is part of the Exchange system. You might ask your Administrator. Perhaps someone will have the answer for us both.

kcjohns
kcjohns

Tools > Account Settings > pick the Address Book tab > Double click on your address book > Choose "Show names by:" then choose the radio button at the bottom to pick what you want. I have mine set to "file as" since I format all my contacts so the "file as" makes most sense to me. -- Kevin