Change how contacts are sorted

If you have a lot of contacts, your contact list can get a bit cumbersome. Sorting your contacts—by last name or by category, for example—is a quick way to find who you need.

To sort your contacts, do the following:

  1. Click People.

    Click People

  2. Click Home > Current View > List.

  3. Click the column heading you want to sort on. For example, to show your contacts alphabetically by last name, click File As.

    Click a column header to sort on.

Tip:  If you have assigned contacts to different color categories, you can click the Categories column header to sort that way.

To find a particular contact, use the Search Contacts feature.

Change the format of your contact names

Your contacts might not all be formatted the same way, which can mean they don’t show up as expected when you sort using the File As column. For example, some might be filed as First name, Last name while others might be filed as Last name, First name. If your contacts aren’t being sorted the way you want them to, try the following:

  1. Click File > Account Settings > Account Settings.

    Click File > Account Settings > Account Settings

  2. On the Address Books tab, pick the address book you want to change the name format for, and then click Change.

    Click the address book you want, and then click Change.

  3. Under Show names by, pick File As (Smith, John).

Note:  If your email is on an Exchange server, you can change the name format for your contacts in the main Outlook contact list and any contact folders you create, but you can’t change the name format for people in the Global Address List (GAL). This address book is set up automatically and managed by an administrator.

Change the format of individual contact names

After you sort your contacts list using the File As column, one or two contacts still might not show up the way you want. To change how an individual contact is formatted, do the following:

  1. Double-click the contact you want to change.

  2. In the box to the right of File as, click the drop-down arrow and pick the format you want. For example, if you’re trying to get John Clarkson to be filed using the Last name, First name format, pick Clarkson, John from the list.

    Click the box to the right of File as, pick the format you want.

    Tip:  If you don’t see the right format, you can type the name in the File as box using the format you want.

  3. Click Save & Close.

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