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Author Topic: Is there a way to have user-level control on sorting Outlook 2007 GAL?  (Read 5111 times)

superboyac

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Is there a way to set up an Outlook/Exchange system so that each user can decide whether they want their global address sorted first/last name or last/first name?  Our administration decided to change it to last/first even though 90% of people naturally think of people by first names.  But there's no way to control the GAL on the user side, so the one setting is final for all users.

If you can tell me how to enable sorting options for the GAL, I will forward it to our IT and maybe that can be implemented.  It's annoying because it affects all the autocomplete settings for our emails.  If I want to send an email to Bill Johnson, I naturally will begin typing B-I-L... and expect autocomplete to find it.  But with last name first, if you want to take advantage of autocomplete, you have to type the last name letters...which is not how most people think.  Anyway, help is appreciated as usual.

superboyac

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I f---ing hate this sorting on Outlook 2007 for contacts and addresses.  It's insane.  I've set everything I could possibly find to sort by first name, and when I go to type in a name in the email, it doesn't return any results unless I type the last name.  I even copied our Exchange global address book into my own contacts, so that I can control how it sorts, because our administration has decided last name is the way that's better (even though no one agrees).  I'm going to post a bunch of screenshots below and maybe someone can help me with what's happening:


First, since I can't f-ing sort the network global address list, I copied all the freaking address to my own local contacts folder and called it "gal-copy", see below:
Screenshot_20090305-165707.png  Screenshot_20090305-165934.png

Next, I made sure all the available options for sorting in the program were set to first/last (not last/first).  What the f-ck these options do is beyond me because they don't quite work right:
Screenshot_20090305-170732.png

Then, I changed the autocomplete option so that it checks my local addresses first and then goes to the network GAL.  At least that's what I think this option does.  I'll be f-cked if that works decently either:
Screenshot_20090305-165608.png


So, everything should be setup correctly, right?  Sure, but nothing works right.  Let's give it a shot.  My coworker's name is "Crystal Lee".  So, I send her an email:
Screenshot_20090305-172339.png
First of all the name appears Last, First even though I just did all the stuff above.  That's because when the name was made, even though there are separate fields for "First Name" and "Last Name", there are also motherf---ing fields for "File as" and "Full Name".  See how "FUll Name" shows last name first?  You can't change that unless you manually go into each name and change the order.  Very lame.  You'd think with all these options, you'd be able to tweak the display and sorting to your heart's content, but no, that's not true at all.  And with all the options, it seems to be obsessed with the "full name" field and uses it for everything, despite all my settings:
Screenshot_20090305-172734.png

Well, now that I've sent that email, any subsequent email to her should autocomplete after the first couple of letters.  Let's try it.  I type the first couple of letters, and NOTHING!
Screenshot_20090305-173304.png

Of course, if you use the last name, it works fine:
Screenshot_20090305-173606.png


As you can tell, the contacts/addressbook system in Outlook is nonsense.  Coupled with the fact that our admin decided to change the sorting order results in a useless autocomplete feature.  Imagine if you didn't have autocomplete anymore, so lame.  It's like going backwards in time 15 years.  If any of you can find a solution for this, please, please tell me.

superboyac

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I've found a couple of macros online that can help this problem.  I'm experimenting with them to see if it really works.  I would kill for the opportunity to use The Bat at work.

superboyac

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(Warning:  Explicit Language)

Outlook's addressbook sorting and management is the biggest pile of fucking shit I have ever come across.

Shades

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Full functionality from Exchange is only accessible through Outlook. So, never expect to have TheBat on your work PC.

It is my personal experience (with 'unsupervised' encryption/decryption from messages inside Outlook) that one should prevent using the GAL at all.

EDIT:
Unsupervised added, meaning third party software that has to use Exchange.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 08:15:24 PM by Shades »

SKesselman

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Hi Aram,
I looked here and unfortunately, it says only the administrator can change the name format. Unless you make your own folder with your own settings. I don't know if this would work with Exchange; I've never used it. 

Another way to get around this might be to put the first and last name in the First Name field, so that no one has a last name, forcing Outlook to go by first name.  :)  This has always worked for me, but again, the GAL is foreign to me.

I think the easiest is to just type "Crystal". When you hit 'Send' it will ask you if you mean Crystal Lee or another Crystal, if there is one. If there isn't another Crystal, it will automatically find her address & send your email.

I am so sorry for you; last time I was that frustrated I threw my laptop on the ground as hard as I could, thus breaking it  :D into many pieces. I hated that thing.


Best of Luck!

Edit: By using the last suggestion, you won't actually see auto complete working as you know it...it looks like it won't work, I think because we associate auto complete to mean "will get sent to the intended recipient".  But it happens half a second before it sends.
-Sarah
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 10:57:44 PM by SKesselman »

superboyac

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Well, I do manage with the workarounds, but it's just ridiculous.

Why the fuck does sorting for hundreds of employees need to be controlled by an administrator?  What's the point of having separate fields for first, middle, last names?  Why can't the end user just click a button to sort however they please?

Imagine if Outlook/Exchange only allowed the administrator to sort the mail message views.  That would be insane.

I'm telling you, not having the autocomplete addresses working right is driving me absolutely nuts.  It literally takes you back to how email was 15 years ago.


Let me ask you guys this:
Would it be possible for the administrators to create two GAL's, with only the sorting different, and allow the users to choose which one to load with their Outlook?

superboyac

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Can someone recommend to me the best or most active forum for Outlook and Exchange?

superboyac

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Fuck Outlook GAl!!!!

When you go into the GAL and lookup addresses, there's no way to copy the freaking email address to the clipboard!!!!!!  This thing is a worthless piece of shit.

Shades

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You could try this site: http://www.msexchange.org/

With this site you have access to a lot of manuals/howto's/articles for whatever Exchange related. Since the GAL is managed by Exchange (which seems logic to me), maybe you get lucky there.

It is a nice site for anyone who has to administer and/or work with Exchange.

SKA

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Re: Is there a way to have user-level control on sorting Outlook 2007 GAL?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2009, 01:51:51 AM »
Another link(you may know it already, Superboyac) : www.slipstick.com/outlook

Ska

superboyac

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Another link(you may know it already, Superboyac) : www.slipstick.com/outlook

Ska

Thanks for the link.  What is the site for?  Just information?  Looks good, I'm going to check it out.

superboyac

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Outlook is so bad.  Makes me appreciate the Bat so much more.  Man, I love the Bat.  Groupwise was bad also.  Outlook is sooooo slow.  Bat is so fast.  I love the small programmers.  They focus on a subject and create wonderful, practical software.  These large companies create crap.  But you have to use it because everyone is using it.