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how to limit names showing in address book

is there any way to control which contacts appear in  'select names' (email) other than using folders? the problem is that there are many contacts that i rarely send email to and don't want to sort through all contacts when i want to send an email to a number of  people. i've tried using folders but the use of folders seems to mess up the autoresolution function. (i have already checked and reset the nick file). autoresolution often resolves to one name when others may be options, picks from one folder for some partial names and other folders for other partial names. unless there is some way to reset the way autoresolution searches the folders i'd like to find a workaround through controlling what shows up in the 'select names' screen.

thanks.
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squares
Asked:
squares
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1 Solution
 
Neo_mvpsCommented:
What version of Outlook are you running?  If Outlook 98 or 2000 what mode?  The reason that I ask is that with 98/2000 in Corp/Workgroup mode you can specify which folders get searched first.  With Internet Mail Only, you can't.

Outside of that, there really isn't a way to control how the auto-resolution feature works.  Outlook was designed to look at one address book at a time and as soon as it finds a possible match it doesn't query any more folders.  This was done to speed things up.
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squaresAuthor Commented:
whoops.  would have been nice to include that info.  ol2k, internet mail only.

you mention outlook looking at one address book at a time; what does it consider an address book,and how does it decide which folder to search first? i ask this because there doesn't seem to be any pattern to it's searches. i have 3 contact folders under the main contact folder. sometimes the autoresolution options will come from one folder, sometimes another (though always the same resolution for the same partial name (not nickname). and there is one name that always comes up as an option (if i enter the right nickname) no matter which folder i put that contact in.

related: highlight a contact folder>properties> activities>highlight email or contacts>modify, there is the option to pick which folders to search. what is this for? i haven't found any difference in operations whether one, four, or no folders are picked to be searched, or if subfolders is picked or not.

thanks,

squares
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Neo_mvpsCommented:
Outlook 2000 Internet Mail Only mode searches the default Contact folder first.  From there, it searches any folder you have enabled as an address book (R-Click on a contact folder and select properties.  Go to Outlook Address Book tab) in the order in which you have added them.  I think the easiest way to see this would be to open the address book and select View | Folders and Groups.

By a little testing here, it looks like it search additional folder in the order the folder was enabled.  As for the name that comes up, Outlook will also store names that it resolved to in the Nickname (*.nick) file.  This file only becomes problematic when you have been sending to one person for a while and then their email address changes.  Occasionaly Outlook doesn't catch on and pulls the old information out of the *.nick file.

As for the activities tab -- that controls what folders Outlook will look in when you want to see related information for that record.  For example, open a contact record and go to the Activities tab.  This tab uses the setting from the folder properties to know which folders to go search for related items.
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pls_aCommented:
Have you tried creating groups instead of contacts ? or am i helping on the right direction ?
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squaresAuthor Commented:
pls_a,  perhaps i wasn't clear enough. i do have some groups set up, but i am referring to going through the list of contacts and picking which ones i want to send a particular email to.

neo-mvps, this is why is seems so odd. outlook will frequently resolve (pick with a solid black line, not suggest with a dashed line)to a name that is from a subfolder, even though there are options in the main contacts folder. and these names may not be in the nick folder. you mentioned that it searches subfolders in the order enabled. does this mean it should search the main folder first no matter what? is there any way to correct the search order?
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Neo_mvpsCommented:
yes and possibly if you don't mind the default contact folder always being first.  outlook 98/2000 internet mail searches default contacts folder first and then progresses to the order in which other contact folders where enabled as an address book.
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squaresAuthor Commented:
neo_mvps,  i tried you suggestion: i deactivated all the subfolders as ol address books, restarted ol, then activated them one at a time. i tried several names in email. some partial names seemed to give only names in the main folder, unless none existed and it went to subfolders. a couple of names fully resolve to names in subfolders (solid underline), even though options exist in the main folder. (i cleared the nick file, so that shouldn't be an influence). if there is an index in ol, it acts like there is something wrong with it.
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Neo_mvpsCommented:
and that wouldn't be the first time someone has found something strange in outlook. ;)  Outside of that (and I know this will be hard to accept) but IMHO I don't think you are going to come to a perfect solution on this, but in case you game for one more suggestion... take a look at assigning contacts to categories.  That might help you sort your contact list by groups and quickly send messages out.
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squaresAuthor Commented:
thanks. let me give using categories a try. i'll get back to you in a few days.
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squaresAuthor Commented:
neo_mvps, sorry about taking so long. using categories is  a possible solution, but a bit clumsy for my needs, i would have to go to category view, hold ctrl to select all names i want to send to, click on send email to contact, then block the group and move them from to: to bcc:, since i always use bcc when sending to multiple people.  you are right, ol2k just isn't set up to handle this situation conveniently.

thanks again,
jeffrey
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