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Searching for colleagues' addresses (Windows)

Outlook's auto-complete addresss search doesn't work as you may expect. For several technical reasons, the Global Address List (GAL) is currently populated with names in different formats depending on where the data is being drawn from – some by surname, some by first name or initials, and some by title. By default, Outlook searches its data from left to right, rather than on whole or partial strings as may would expect, and is context- and white-space sensitive. This can make finding your colleagues and contacts difficult unless you know exactly how their name is formatted. In both Office 2013 and 2016, you can get round this by using the more advanced search option:
  1. Click the New email icon to compose a new message:


  2. Click the To button to open the advanced search dialog box:
    Note: although the resulting dialog box looks identical to the one you get if you click the Address Book icon, the search function behaves differently.


  3. Make sure the More columns radio button is checked:


  4. Now, the search will use all date and search on the text as you type, so you can search on CRSid, first name, surname or title, and suggestions will appear as you type:


  5. Highlight the name you want and click OK to close the dialog box:
    Note: you can double-click a name to add it to the To list in this dialog box, and continue with another search.


  6. The name is added to To field of your new email: