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.