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I don't understand, how does 'smart addresses' in Mail.app work. Recently I mentioned, that for some emails I don't see person's full name in 'From' column. I started to dig into this behavior and found out, that I have few contacts in my Address Book, that are not recognized by Mail.app. Here how it looks:

  • I have a person in Address Book with filled email entry and filled first/last name (localized).
  • I have an incoming email from that person (from email specified in Address Book), but first/last name in the email itself doesn't match with ones specified in Address Book (e. g. 'From' field in email looks like 'John [work] <his-email@address.com>' while Address Book entry is 'John Smith' (localized, in Russian)).
  • And Mail.app doesn't recognize that this mail is originating from that person in Address Book: if I click on 'From' field, it suggests to me to add sender to Address Book, while for others' emails I have 'Show in Address Book' menu entry (especially for ones with full localized name in 'From' field).

I'm wondering, is that behavior correct or I'm missing something? I'm using Snow Leopard & Mail 4.0; my system language set to English, if that matters. I'd like to have some clarifications on that Mail.app behavior: whenever it fixable or not (and if it's fixable, I'd like to see a fix).

By the way, is it possible to match sender's address against Address Book entry in filter rules or not? That would be great, if I can create rules like 'move all mail from that person to that folder' without specifying exact source address.

Thanks, Ivan.

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Are you sure the email addresses in address book are in the email fields and not something else like phone number or instant messenger? –  ridogi Jul 10 '10 at 3:02
This might be a duplicate of apple.stackexchange.com/questions/37090/… –  bouke Sep 7 '12 at 12:58

3 Answers 3

Sometimes the email address that a person receives mail at, let's say mary@contoso.com is not the email address that shows up when she sends you a message. It may come from something like mary@e2k7.contoso.com which would be due to a misconfiguration of the SMTP server that her company is using. To get around this you can add that incorrect smtp address to her address book record as a second email and then all emails from mary will be correctly identified.

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I'm having the same problems as well, huge pain. The fact that it doesn't recognize that the email addresses are the same baffles me.

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I just searched for the same issue. It is how the Mail app works. There is nothing to do about it.


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