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  1. #1
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    Address Book Problem (XP)

    Outlook XP refuses to recognize my Contacts folder as a source for e-mail addresses. When I try to address a message, there's no auto-fill-in, and when I click on "To:" to bring up the address book, there are no contacts, and nothing in the drop box where you can choose address books. When I right-click on the Contacts folder, choose "Properties," and go to the Outlook Address Book tab, the box "Display this folder as an address book" is not checked, and worse, it's greyed out--I can't choose to make the Contacts folder an address book. What's going on?

  2. #2
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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    Is the Contacts on an Exchange server or something? I'm on a domain with an Exchange server and this will happen if I log in and don't have permission to the Public Contacts folder. Check to see who the creator of the folder was or what the permissions are, that may be your problem.

  3. #3
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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    I'm not familiar with Outlook XP, but on Outlook 2000 you need to go into Tools > Services and add "Outlook Address Book" before you can use the contacts folder as an address book.

    StuartR

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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    >> Is the Contacts on an Exchange server or something? <<

    No, this is a standalone home computer, a fresh installation of Office XP.

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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    >> I'm not familiar with Outlook XP, but on Outlook 2000 you need to go into Tools > Services and add "Outlook Address Book" before you can use the contacts folder as an address book. <<

    There's not Tools>Services in XP, but your reply inspired me to try the Tools>E-Mail Accounts>View or Change Existing Directories or Address Books option. I opted to add a new Outlook address book, and then I was able to choose "Show this folder as an e-mail address book" in the properties panel of the Contacts folder. But, as a fortune cookie I once received stated, "Every solution creates new problems," and these are huge. When I type a name in the To: box of a new message, the name doesn't autocomplete, and when I tab out of the field, what I've typed disappears, leaving the field looking blank. But when I send that message, it gets through to the intended recipient, even though when I look in the "sent items" folder, the "To" field is blank! What the heck is going on?

  6. #6
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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    Well that's certainly one step forwards, plus an unknown number of steps back <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    I don't know Outlook XP well enough to offer any further advice, maybe someone else will chip in...

    Edited by StuartR to add some hopefully helpful suggestions...
    <UL><LI>Have you tried Tools > Check Names (or Control-K or the XP equivalent)?
    <LI>Have you tried clicking on the TO button to see what names are there?[/list]StuartR

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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    >> Have you tried Tools > Check Names (or Control-K or the XP equivalent)? <<

    When I type part of a name, then click check names, what I've typed disappears, and an up&down scroll bar appears in the right hand part of the messages "To:" header box. I can't see anything in the "To:" box, but it seems as if there's an e-mail address in there--If I put the cursor in the box and delete, it seems as I'm deleting something (the scroll bar disappears).

    >> Have you tried clicking on the TO button to see what names are there? <<

    When I do that, I can see all my names, but when I hightlight one of them and click the "To" button, all that appears in the "Message Recipients" box is a dot (as in, the period character). Apparently, there's a valid e-mail address there, because I can then send the message, but the e-mail address is invisible. It's most peculiar.

  8. #8
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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    More questions - I'm sure we'll get to the bottom of this eventually...
    <UL><LI>What happens if you type in a valid e-mail address that has not come from the contacts folder?
    <LI>What happens if you reply to a mail from one of your contacts?
    <LI>What happens if you reply to a mail from someone not in your contacts
    <LI>What happens if you create a completely new contact by right clicking on the e-mail address on an incoming mail and then use that contact to send a mail?[/list]StuartR

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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    I've got a few things for you to try. I'm running Outlook 2002 on a network, so my suggestions may not work for you. <img src=/S/sorry.gif border=0 alt=sorry width=15 height=15>

    Go to Tools-Address Book. From the Address Book, go to Tools-Options. Make sure your Contacts folder is listed.

    Also, open one of your contacts, and look for Display as: right below the e-mail address. Is the e-mail address filled in, or does it just have a dot there?

    Hope this helps at least a little!
    Becky

  10. #10
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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    What happens if you type in a valid e-mail address that has not come from the contacts folder?

    Everything works fine, and the address appears as one would expect in the "To" box and in the "Sent Items" list--though I do notice that the address appears in single quotes in the Sent Items list.

    What happens if you reply to a mail from one of your contacts?

    The message is delivered fine, the only peculiarity is again that the address, in the Sent Items listing, appears in quotes.

    What happens if you reply to a mail from someone not in your contacts

    Everything's fine (again, the address appears in quotes in the Sent Items listing).

    What happens if you create a completely new contact by right clicking on the e-mail address on an incoming mail and then use that contact to send a mail?

    Fascinating. This works! The address autocompletes, when I tab out of the box the address appears correctly (underlined, name followed by email address). Still the weird quotes around the name in the Sent Items list.

    I don't know what we're learning, but we seem to be getting somewhere. Thanks.

  11. #11
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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    >> Go to Tools-Address Book. From the Address Book, go to Tools-Options. Make sure your Contacts folder is listed. <<

    Yes, the Contacts folder appears there.

    Also, open one of your contacts, and look for Display as: right below the e-mail address. Is the e-mail address filled in, or does it just have a dot there?

    The "Display As" name is fine in all the contacts I checked--I don't think this could be the problem.

  12. #12
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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    <hr>I don't know what we're learning, but we seem to be getting somewhere. Thanks.<hr>

    What we have learned (I think) is that the software is all OK, but that your existing contacts have a problem.

    Can you take one contact with a problem and look at the email address to see if it looks odd. Can you then completely delete the email address, manually re-add it (DO NOT use copy and paste) and see if that contact now works correctly.

    StuartR

  13. #13
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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    >> Can you take one contact with a problem and look at the email address to see if it looks odd. Can you then completely delete the email address, manually re-add it (DO NOT use copy and paste) and see if that contact now works correctly. <<

    We're really getting somewhere now. When I do this, the contact works! Well, with a few provisos. I can start typing the contact name, then do a "Check Names", and have it function correctly; likewise, I can pick the name out of the list when I click on the "To:" button in the message editor. A huge advance. On the other hand, autocomplete doesn't work, and if I type, say, the first name of the contact, then tab to another box in the editor, it takes a long time--15 seconds or so--for the name to be looked up and converted to the correct e-mail address. But this is progress.

    However, I don't relish the idea of having to go through every one of my contacts and retype all the e-mail addresses. It's weird--in the Contacts detail form, and in the contacts list, the names that work look exactly like the names that don't. Is there any alternative to retyping everything?

    Thanks for all the help so far.

  14. #14
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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    <hr>it takes a long time--15 seconds or so--for the name to be looked up and converted to the correct e-mail address<hr>
    I think this is normal, if you need a faster check then you can always type Control-K.

    Unfortunately I don't know any way to avoid typing all the email addresses again, maybe someone familiar with the Outlook object model can offer a VBA solution?

    StuartR

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    Re: Address Book Problem (XP)

    For AutoComplete to be turned on, go to Tools-Options-Preferences tab. Click on Email Options...then Advanced Email Options. Make sure the box next to Suggest names while completing To, Cc, and Bcc fields is checked. If this isn't what you're looking for, then I believe Stuart is right...it does take awhile for the contact name to be recognized.

    Since you don't want to retype all of your contacts, you can try the following (it may not work perfectly, so be sure to make a backup copy of your pst):

    Go to File-Import and Export and select Export to a file. I would probably select Comma Separated Values.
    Delete your current contacts (this is why you saved a copy of your pst elsewhere)
    Go back to File-Import and Export and this time Import that file back in. It may just convert your email addresses properly.

    I hope this helps!
    Becky

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