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Outlook 2013 (as well as earlier versions) has a quick reading pane that shows a brief preview of a message. It includes the sender name, first N lines from the message, and sent date (by default).

What controls the string that appears in the Sender portion. In case there is doubt as to what I mean by Sender portion, it's within the box highlighted in red in this screenshot:.

I have done a lot of experimentation, and it appears to not come from any of the message headers themselves (I have tried every combination of Return-Path, From, and Sender headers). I should note that the Sender address does appear correctly on the right side of the reading panel, which shows the full message (under the uppermost blacked out solid box in the screenshot). There appears to be some metadata in the PST file itself that includes this Sender name. Can anyone point me to a reference, or otherwise help me ensure this field is populated correctly in a generated PST file?

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  • What makes you say that it doesn't come from the 'From' header?
    – zelanix
    Jan 28, 2014 at 23:08
  • You can test this easily. If you have an SMTP account and you change the 'Full Name' field in outlook and send a test message it will show up with the name entered there.
    – zelanix
    Jan 28, 2014 at 23:11
  • When I open the full message headers in Outlook, the From header is there and it is populated. So are Return-Path and Sender for that matter. But Outlook does not display it on the left part of the quick reading pane.
    – Jeff Evans
    Jan 28, 2014 at 23:11
  • This is not from Exchange, but rather from a PST file generated by the Aspose Email API product. I have also asked the question on their forums, but I suspect this question should have an answer independent of how the PST file was created.
    – Jeff Evans
    Jan 28, 2014 at 23:13
  • Ok, so now you're asking a different question I think! When Outlook receives a message it will store it to the pst file using whatever is in the 'From' header but then it will read the data from the pst file without reparsing the message each time. While third party tools may enable the storing of a different 'From' name in the pst file, this is nothing to do with Outlook.
    – zelanix
    Jan 28, 2014 at 23:17

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