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For the same person I usually have a few different names and mail addresses as the from and to fields of my mails. For example:

John Doe
John Doe (john.doe@googlemail.com)
John Doe (john.doe@gmail.com)
john.doe@googlemail.com
'John Doe'
Doe, John

So the same person has multiple names. This just happens over time a lot for me.

The problem is that I cannot sort my mails by sender now and have all his mails in one place. His mails will be in different locations in the list.

I would like to normalize all these names to "John Doe". Can I do this in Outlook? Is there a native capability for this or can I use an addon?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The Display As value in your Outlook contact record for that person has nothing to do with the sorting or grouping of emails, sent or received.

In Outlook you have the choice of sorting or grouping email by many different values, including the From and To names. In all email the sender has control over the name displayed as From. For example, in your Outlook Account Settings you set "Your Name" and "E-mail Address".

enter image description here

Those are the values that Outlook puts in the "From" field of an email for purpose of sorting. The "From" value is part of the email "header" once it's sent.

If the same person has different From names in different emails, that would indicate that they have changed their account settings, or, more likely, that they are sending emails from different machines (work, laptop, desktop, tablet, phone, etc.) and have different values set on some of them.

There are a lot of choices available in the "Arranged By" setting at the top of the email list display... enter image description here

but I don't think any of them are going to give you what you want. You can arrange by "Email Account" which you would think would use the account the email is sent from which would improve things for you - but that refers to the Email Account on your end of the email - regardless of whether you sent it or you received it. Ideally there would be a choice for grouping by "Sending EMail Account" but no.

I've noticed this issue many times, but I'm pretty sure there is nothing you can do about it - at least not in Outlook 2007.

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Hm ok I think you are right. I will try writing an Outlook Addin in order to overwrite the sender information by force. This problem is terribly annoying to me. –  usr Feb 5 '12 at 23:10
    
That would probably be a pretty popular addin! If you feel my answer is correct, would you mind accepting it? thanks! –  Dave Becker Feb 6 '12 at 4:23
    
I will accept it, but I will wait a few days to see if somebody has another solution. –  usr Feb 6 '12 at 9:27
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