Microsoft Outlook contacts – stored as First name, last name when needed as Last name, First name

When adding names to Outlook contacts, you may inadvertently have added some so that they are stored as First name followed by Last name, and others as Last name followed by First name. If you want to view the contacts, it is really easier if you have consistency in the way they are seen.

To change all contacts to Last name followed by First name if using Outlook 2003 or earlier:

  1. Click Tools – Options.
  2. On the Preferences tab, click Contact Options.
  3. From the Default “File as” order dropdown, select Last, First.
  4. Click OK twice.

You then need to change the display of your Outlook contacts to be sorted by the File as field.

To change display of Outlook contacts so they are sorted by the File as field if using Outlook 2003 or earlier:

  1. Click Tools – E-mail accounts.
  2. Click View or change existing directories or address books. Click Next.
  3. Click Outlook Address Book. Click Change.
  4. Click File as (Smith, John).
  5. Click Close; click Finish.

You will need to close and restart Outlook for the changes to take effect.

To change individual contacts to Last name followed by First name if using Outlook 2003 or earlier:

  1. Click Go – Contacts.
  2. Double-click any contact that is not in the Last name, First name format.
  3. From the General tab, click the File as dropdown and select Last name, First name.
  4. Click Save and Close.

To change all contacts to Last name followed by First name if using Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013:

  1. Click File, then from the Account settings dropdown, click Account settings.
  2. On the Address Book tab, from the Name list, click Outlook Address Book.
  3. Click Change.
  4. From the Show names by options, click File As (Smith, John).
  5. Click Close twice.

You will need to close and restart Outlook for your changes to take effect.

To change individual contacts to Last name followed by First name if using Outlook 2010:

  1. Go to the Contacts folder.
  2. Double-click any contact that is not in the Last name, First name format.
  3. From the File as dropdown select Last name, First name.
  4. On the Contact tab, in the Actions group, click Save and Close.

To change all contacts to Last name followed by First name if using Outlook 2007:

  1. Click Tools – Options.
  2. On the Preferences tab, click Contact Options.
  3. From the Default “File as” order dropdown, select Last, First.
  4. Click OK twice.

You then need to change the display of your Outlook contacts to be sorted by the File as field.

To change display of Outlook contacts so they are sorted by the File as field if using Outlook 2007:

  1. Click Tools – Account Settings.
  2. Click the Address Books tab.
  3. Click Outlook Address Book. Click Change.
  4. Click File as (Smith, John).
  5. Click Close twice.

To change individual contacts to Last name followed by First name if using Outlook 2007:

  1. Go to the Contacts folder.
  2. Double-click any contact that is not in the Last name, First name format.
  3. Click the File as dropdown and select the name in the Last name, First name      format.
  4. On the Contact tab, in the Actions  group, click Save and Close.
  5. Repeat as necessary for  other contacts.

Find more information about our Microsoft Outlook training Sydney, Australia.

Find more information about our Microsoft Outlook training Surrey, Middlesex and London, England or our Microsoft Outlook training Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, England.

About jdonbavand

I am a trainer of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Project and Crystal Reports. I have called my blog "If Only I'd Known That...." because I hear it so many times in training sessions. In fact, if only I had a £100 (or 150 Aussie dollars)for every time someone says "If only I'd known that." ....
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