Microsoft KB Archive/172795

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OL97: How to Control the Sort Order of Your Contacts

Article ID: 172795

Article Last Modified on 1/20/2007


  • Microsoft Outlook 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q172795


This article describes how to control the view of your contacts. You can control the order of fields in the card view as well as the sort order.


By default, the Contact folder "Address Card" and "Detailed Address Card" views display the File As field first. These views also default to sort your contacts by the File As field. The File As field defaults to the contact's "last name, first name." While you can manually change the File As field for each contact, there is no user interface to globally change how this field behaves.

By defining a customized view or modifying an existing view, you can globally rearrange the contact field and sort order. In this way, you can sort your contacts on a different field, such as "Company."

The following steps demonstrate how to create a new view that lists your contacts by Company instead of Name:

  1. Open your Contacts folder.
  2. On the View menu, click Define Views.
  3. In the "Define Views for Contacts" box, click New.
  4. In the "Name of new view" box, type Company Sort.
  5. In the Type of view list, click Card.
  6. Under "Can be used on" click All contact folders and then click OK. This will open the "View Settings for Company Sort" box. This box allows you to set the sort field and the order that fields appear in the Card view.
  7. Click Fields to open Show Fields. This allows you to choose the fields displayed and arrange their order.
  8. In the Available fields list, click to select the Company field and then click Add. In the "Show these fields in this order" list, click to select the Company field and repeatedly click Move Up, until Company is at the top of the list.
  9. Click OK to return to the "View Settings for Company Sort" box and then click Sort.
  10. In the Sort Items By list, click to select Company.
  11. Click OK, OK, and Close to close all dialog boxes.
  12. On the Standard Toolbar Current View list, click to select your new "Company Sort" view.

Your contacts should now appear in card view with the company name appearing at the top of each contact. Your new view also sorts the contacts by company name. Those contacts with no company name appear first in the sort order.

Keywords: kbhowto kbusage KB172795