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Finding a Contact in the Outlook Contacts Module

The whole reason for entering names in a Contact list in Outlook is so you can find those names again. Otherwise, what's the point of all that rigmarole? Finding names in the Outlook Contacts module is child's play. You can find a name most easily by looking in the Address Cards view under the last name.

To find a contact by last name, follow these steps:

1. Click the Contacts button in the Navigation Pane.

Your list of contacts appears.

2. Choose the Address Cards view from the list in the Navigation Pane.

The Address Cards view appears.

The Address Cards view has a set of lettered tabs along the right edge. You can click a tab to go to that lettered section, but you can use an easier way: Simply type the first letter of the name that you're looking for. For example, if you're looking for Magnolia Thunderblossom (and you've had Outlook make her File As name "Thunderblossom, Magnolia"), then type the letter T. You see all the names that start with T.

Of course, you may need to base a search for a contact name on something like the company the contact works for. Or you may want to find all the people on your list who live in a certain state. Or people who put you in a certain state of mind (now, that's a useful tidbit to include in their Contact records). In such a case, the Find Items tool is your portal to your contact.

To use the Find Items tool to search for a contact, follow these steps:

1. Click the Find button on the Toolbar (or press Alt+I).

The Find window appears.

2. Type the text that you want to find.

If you're looking for your friend George Washington's phone number, type "Washington."

3. Press Enter.

If your search is successful, a list of contacts that match the text you entered appears below the Find window.

4. Double-click the name of the contact in the list at the bottom of the screen to see the Contact record.

If you get no contacts that match your search, check to see whether you correctly spelled the search text that you enter in Step 2.

It's hard to be as stupidly literal as computers — close doesn't count with them. If you see Grge Wshngtn, you know to look for George Washington. Not a computer; George would have to have his vowels removed before a computer would see those two names the same way.

On the other hand, if you have only a scrap of the name that you're looking for, Outlook can find that scrap, wherever it is. A search for Geo would turn up George Washington, as well as any other Georges in your Contact list, including Phyllis George and George of the Jungle (provided they're all such close, personal friends of yours that you have them in your Contact list).

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