Address Book Integration - or rather LACK of it

Posted on 2005-03-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-18
I've been wrestling with these inadequacies for years, but now I have a client with the same problems.

1. The simplest. I receive an email. In OE I can "Add sender to address book". I'm sure the same fuction is cleverly hidden within Outlook somewhere, but I can't find it (nor can my client).

2. I select New Message and type the email then I select the "To:" button. Does it give me my contacts? No. That would make sense. Where Outlook actually GETS the list of crap it presents to me at this point I know not.

3. My favorite. Following 2 above, I see nothing in the list presented to me that I can use, so I hit "Cancel" to cancel this dialog and go back to the email To: box and type something else. What happens? The whole f@#$ing email has disappeared and I have to start over. BRILLIANT!!!

4. I type a few characters into the To: box and I am presented with yet another list of entries from god knows where. I select (say) "John Smith" and find out the next day that it had picked up some old garbage from somewhere with an obsolete email address and used that instead of. sensibly, going to John Smith in my contacts and using the correct address.

These are only a hanful of the address-list problems. I won't even go into mail merge or other lack of integration with other Office products.

Is there anything sensible to do (other than purchasing Lotus Notes (which I know nothing about but which HAS to have better integration than Office)). Any plug-ins that performs sensibly in this regard? Any documentation which explains why properly-integrated features, if they exist within Office, are so well hidden?
Question by:MikeLong
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Accepted Solution

MontyV earned 1000 total points
ID: 13455625
1.)  This is just as easy.  When you open your e-mail right click on the e-mail from the send and select "Add to Outlook Contacts"
2.)  I'm assuming you are referring to the Global Address List (GAL).  If you are looking for contacts on that profile/computer than just use the drop down list in the top right and change it to "Contacts" under "Outlook Address Book."  This should give you the list of all contacts in Outlook.
3.)  This one I'm not to sure what the problem you are trying to explain so you may need to rephrase this question.
4.)  If you would like to remove the nicknames that Outlook remembers you need to exit outlook delete the .nk2 file and it will recreate itself once you restart outlook.  Remember though this will delete all nickname files which is just bascially a history of e-mail you have tried e-mailing.  As long as you don't care that you have to rebuild the history then who cares.  

Suggestion if you want everyone e-mails to go to one place then I recommend everyone saving their contacts to a public folder.  This way everyone will have access to these e-mails and you can still keep private addresses on your local profile.  Below is a link to the different file types which will include the .nk2 file i referred to in number 4.

LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 13456023
By the way, your attitude does not really help in getting answers.
You can always attract more flies with honey instead of vinegar.

"Any documentation which explains why properly-integrated features, if they exist within Office, are so well hidden?"
I'm sure these are hidden just to frustrate you. Not really, but there is alot that can be found in the MS Knowledge Base.
And also you may want to try browsing around www.slipstick.com. It is filled with tons of information, tricks, etc.

Expert Comment

ID: 13460121
have you tried looking into the folders?
in the folders (in outlook) you can see what contacts you have set up, the contacts that you call crap are stored there, you might see the reason why and you can delete some of those contact folders (they are folders containng all your contacts)

in the options section, there is one called address book, go into it, go to the tools and options section inside of the adress book.

there you have a selection in the bottom, just click add, and choose the contacts folder that you want to display contacts from when you look for the contacts.

lets go from here. one things at a time.

try that and we will continue with the rest.
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Author Comment

ID: 13462418
Thanks all.

1. I still say that's well hidden.
2. There are all manner of differences between the presentation of  GAL and Contacts. It could have been done WAY better.
3. I was wrong. The email doesn't disappear. It seems it's "sent" - but to an invalid address and so it's sitting in the Outbox with nowhere to go.
4. Sounds like, to avoid confusion, I need to delete the .nk2 file every time one of my contacts changes his email address. There COULD be a hint of integration with Contacts here, too.

Oh well. Oooooommmmmmmmmm :-)

Expert Comment

ID: 13462835
Thanks for the points.  Sorry if these solutions are not to your complete satisfaction.  .nk2 file is just where the nicknames are stored.  The history of the e-mail will suffice.  This should be deleted if you have many e-mails that have changed completely that may be in your history.  This has happened when we changed our exchange domain.  Thanks again.

Author Comment

ID: 13462888
MontyV, your solutions ARE to my complete satisfaction. It is Outlook contact integration that remain inadequate. :-)
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 13463793
Why not try to get hired by Microsoft. Tell them that you will redesign their Outlook Contact integration for them.
I'm sure that they will snatch you up.

Author Comment

ID: 13464503
My remarks are directed toward Microsoft software. Nothing personal against anyone and it's not as if I'm the first. Your remarks are directed toward me personally and are MEANT to be offensive.
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 13466699
I was not trying to be offensive in my last statement. Microsoft is always looking for competent people to hire and looking to improve their products.

Making remarks toward MS here does not help. Make them directly to MS so that THEY are aware of your dissatisfaction.

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