A Powershell version is also available: Use PowerShell to Bulk Change Contacts
To change the default File As format used for new contacts, go to Tools, Options, Contacts options in older versions or File, Options, Contact (or People) options in Outlook 2010 and newer.
Outlook's Contact's offer a number of File As formats and this format can be used for the contact's name display in the Address Book. However changing the File As format on a large number of contact's is time-consuming when you need to change the contacts one by one. You can do it using VBA or a utility (listed below).
The file as format options are shown in the screenshot. The VBA code sample supports all 5 formats.
Along with changing the File As order, you can change the order Outlook assumes you use when you enter the name. This setting determines how the names populate the dialog when you press the Full name button. If the name order is wrong in FileAs ("Mary, Smith" when using last, first format), check this setting. If you choose Last First format you don't need to use a comma to separate the names when you enter them and First Last1 Last2 correctly puts the name in the middle position into the last name field, not the middle name field. Outlook will detect names separated by commas as Last, First format, regardless of the Fullname format setting.
The following code sample supports all 5 File As formats available in Outlook. Press Alt+F11 to open the VBA editor then copy and paste into ThisOutlookSession. Uncomment the strFileAs line that uses the format you desire before running it. (Uncomment the line by removing the apostrophe from in front of the strFileAs = [name_format] command you wish to use.)
See page 2 (or the text file below) for code sample 2 to change the FileAs format on selected contacts.
To test for a value (such as Company name) and use a different File As format if the value is empty, you need to use an If... Then statement.
With objContact If .CompanyName = "" Then ' Firstname Lastname format strFileAs = .FullName Else ' Company name only strFileAs = .CompanyName End If .FileAs = strFileAs .Save End With
See Bulk change FileAs format to match Outlook's default setting for a version of this macro that reads the default setting in the registry and applies it to existing contacts.
To use, select the Contacts folder in Outlook then return to the VBA Editor and press the Run button or F5 to run the macro. You can run the macro later by pressing Alt+F8 (after selecting the Contacts folder) then choosing the macro and pressing Run.
To help eliminate errors, we have text files containing the VBA code samples available. To use, open the text file and Select all (Ctrl+A), copy then paste into the VBA editor. To save to your computer, right-click and choose 'Save Target as'.
Original code - change contacts in default folder | Change selected contacts in any folder
Public Sub ChangeFileAs() 'Fromhttp://slipstick.me/5z Dim objOL As Outlook.Application Dim objNS As Outlook.NameSpace Dim objContact As Outlook.ContactItem Dim objItems As Outlook.Items Dim objContactsFolder As Outlook.MAPIFolder Dim obj As Object Dim strFirstName As String Dim strLastName As String Dim strFileAs As String On Error Resume Next Set objOL = CreateObject("Outlook.Application") Set objNS = objOL.GetNamespace("MAPI") Set objContactsFolder = objNS.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderContacts) Set objItems = objContactsFolder.Items For Each obj In objItems 'Test for contact and not distribution list If obj.Class = olContact Then Set objContact = obj With objContact ' Uncomment the strFileAs line for the desired format ' Comment out strFileAs = .FullName (unless that is the desired format) 'Lastname, Firstname (Company) format ' strFileAs = .FullNameAndCompany 'Firstname Lastname format strFileAs = .FullName 'Lastname, Firstname format ' strFileAs = .LastNameAndFirstName 'Company name only ' strFileAs = .CompanyName 'Companyname (Lastname, Firstname) ' strFileAs = .CompanyAndFullName .FileAs = strFileAs .Save End With End If Err.Clear Next Set objOL = Nothing Set objNS = Nothing Set obj = Nothing Set objContact = Nothing Set objItems = Nothing Set objContactsFolder = Nothing End Sub
Test for Names and Company
If you have a mix of contacts for people, with a value in the Fullname field, and companies, where the Fullname field is blank, you can replace the With objContact... End with code block with the snippet below.
This code checks for a value in the fullname field and if it's blank, it looks for a company name. If a value is in the company name field, it's used in the FileAs field.
With objContact ' Test for blank name field If objContact.FullName = "" Then If objContact.CompanyName <> "" Then .FileAs = .CompanyName End If Else .FileAs = .FullName End If .Save End With
Change Mailing address
If you need to switch the mailing address to the business address field (or from business to home address) you can check for a value in the business address field, and if not blank, copy it to the .MailingAddress field.
Use .HomeAddress if you want to make the home address the mailing address.
As with the code above, replace the With objContact... End with code block in the macro with the snippet below.
With objContact If .BusinessAddress <> "" Then .MailingAddress = .BusinessAddress .Save End If End With
Customize the code
I call this code sample my "super-duper bulk contact changer macro" because it's so easy to change it to work on other Contact fields. Simply replace section in the original macro that changes the FileAs field with other fields.
For example, changing it to .Body = "" will erase text from the body, solving a problem Nox had syncing contacts to a smart phone. If the phone can handle some text, you could keep some of the text, replacing 1024 with the number of characters you want to keep.
' keep some text .Body = Left(.Body, 1024)
If obj.Class = olContact Then Set objContact = obj With objContact ' erase the entire body .Body = "" .Save End With End If
Any text shown in Red has an error in it.
Blue, Black, and Green are "good", with the Blue color indicating VBA commands (If, Then, End etc), Black is your variables, and Green is used for comments. The second line in one of the 5 sets of Green lines needs to have Black text. You do this by removing the apostrophe (') from in front of the line. If more than one of those 5 lines is black, add an apostrophe to front of the format line you don't want to use. (In my screenshot, the second set is the format I want to use.)
Change only the 'subject' field used by the Address book
Note: this was written for an older versions of Outlook and is not needed with new versions.
Use the Outlook File As Order custom form to change just the display in the Address book, from Last name first, to First name first or use the File As entry.
- This method will not change the actual sort order in the Contacts folder or format used on the File As field.
- Will return an error if there are distribution lists in the Contacts folder.
- This has the same options as you'll find in Tools, E-mail Accounts, View or change existing Address books, Outlook Address book properties, but also adds Last name first option and full File As format, including the Company name.
- Works on any contact folder - select the folder before clicking Run in the VB Editor or pressing F5. Leave the editor open and select another folder to use it on additional folders.
The original code works on the default Contacts folder and many users asked for a version that worked on the selected folder. We edited the code to change the selected contacts in any folder. Note that you do need to select the contacts, not just the folder.
Code Sample 2: Change FileAs on Selected Contacts
This code sample is an edited version of the previous code and works on the selected folder. I tested it in Outlook 2010 but it should work in all versions that the original code works with. This is the same code that is in the text file on page 1.
To use, you need to select the contacts. Use Select All (Ctrl+A) to apply it to all contacts in a folder or use Ctrl+click to select some contacts.
Public Sub ChangeFileAsSelectedContacts() Dim Session As Outlook.NameSpace Dim currentExplorer As Explorer Dim Selection As Selection Dim currentItem As Object Dim folder As Outlook.folder Dim obj As Object Dim strFirstName As String Dim strLastName As String Dim strFileAs As String Set currentExplorer = Application.ActiveExplorer Set Selection = currentExplorer.Selection On Error Resume Next For Each obj In Selection Set folder = currentItem.Parent 'Test for contact and not distribution list If obj.Class = olContact Then Set objContact = obj With objContact ' Uncomment the strFileAs line for the desired format 'Lastname, Firstname (Company) format ' strFileAs = .FullNameAndCompany 'Firstname Lastname format strFileAs = .FullName 'Lastname, Firstname format ' strFileAs = .LastNameAndFirstName 'Company name only ' strFileAs = .CompanyName 'Companyname (Lastname, Firstname) ' strFileAs = .CompanyAndFullName .FileAs = strFileAs .Save End With End If Err.Clear Next Set Session = Nothing Set currentExplorer = Nothing Set obj = Nothing Set Selection = Nothing Set currentItem = Nothing Set folder = Nothing End Sub
More Bulk Change Contact articles at Slipstick.com:
- Bulk Change Contact's FileAs Format to Match Outlook's Default Setting
- Bulk Change File As Format for Contacts
- Bulk Move Phone Numbers to a Different Phone Field
- Macro to Swap First and Last Name Fields
- Show the Home Address on a Contact Form by Default
- Update Contact Area Codes
- Update Contacts with a New Company Name and Email Address