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I'm using Outlook 2007. My default display is Surname, First_Name.

Three-part surnames are quite common in South Africa, I can't comment for the rest of the world. Lets take a very common one as an example:

  • First name: Sarel
  • Surname: van der Merwe

If I enter this into the Full Name field for a contact as "Sarel van der Merwe", then I have the following options in the file as drop down:

  • Sarel van der Merwe
  • der Merwe, Sarel van

The second option is clearly incorrect. If I click on the Full Name button and enter the information into the seperate fields, it makes zero difference! You can manually correct the way you want to display it, but that is stupid for one and it introduces problem number two: what happens when you add a company name.

  • First Name: Sarel
  • Surname: van der Merwe
  • Company: ACME Engineering

Now the drop down offers the same options as before, with the addition of the company name.

  • Sarel van der Merwe
  • der Merwe, Sarel van
  • ACME Engineering (Sarel van der Merwe)
  • ACME Engineering (der Merwe, Sarel van)

All very well. So you correct the File as field:

  • ACME Enginering (van der Merwe, Sarel)

But manually editing this field throws Outlook off balance and the file as doesn't consider the company name and contact name as two lines on the card display - it all just appears a one line, so instead of displaying the card as:

ACME Engineering
van der Merwe, Sarel
Mobile: (xxx) xxx-xxxx

you get

ACME Engineering (van der Merwe, Sarel)
Mobile: (xxx) xxx-xxxx

Is there any way out of this mess?

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