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Last name of user appears as salutation (Title) in outlook contacts

Posted by Milind Naphade on 28/03/2009

We have a user who reported that when she saves a contact of her own name in outlook 2003 or in outlook 2007 and her mailbox is on Exchange Server 2003, her last name is automatically prefixed to her contact and is displayed something like “LastName FirstName LastName”. That was really weird because she was the only user reporting this problem and even other could reproduce the issue with her contact item easily.

Basically, what was happening is her last name was being automatically added to her display name and was being shown as her Title in contact though the Title field was never modified or had anything there. As an example, user name was Geek Pan and it appeared as Pan Geek Pan. Take a look at screen shot below;


When this contact is opened the details also look incorrect,


And the Details tab shows:


However, the name of the user in GAL appears as Pan, Geek


This is troublesome when you are sending your own contact to someone and name on your contact details appears incorrectly.


If you are wondering why this happens then the answer is simple but not very much known to Exchange Administrators. Probably outlook support guys may know this already. Places of interest to troubleshoot this problem are Active Directory Users and Computers and ADSIEDIT.MSC. But they do not show up anything related to the Title field in any one of the attributes on user account. So why would this happen?

Outlook is trying to help you here. Pan is a salutation in some language, unlike San in Japanese, Meneer in Dutch, and so on (I do not understand and know all salutations in all languages spoken all over the world 😛 ). As soon as outlook detects these likely salutation words; it adds these words into the Title field automatically and replaces the conventional English salutations like Mr., Mrs., Miss automatically.

Technically, this seems to be a bug in outlook but has been fixed with Outlook 2007. Yet, Outlook 2007 has to be working with Exchange Server 2007 for that. If OL 2007 is configured for a mailbox hosted on Exchange 2003 the same problem occurs.

For those who still use OL 2003 / OL 2007 with Exchange Server 2003 there is no way around than simply removing the Title field manually.

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