Software & Apps MS Office Changing Sort Order of the Outlook Select Names Dialog Organize the select names dialog box however you like by Heinz Tschabitscher Writer A former freelance contributor who has reviewed hundreds of email programs and services since 1997. our editorial process Heinz Tschabitscher Updated on June 01, 2019 Caspar Benson / Getty Images MS Office Outlook Word Excel Powerpoint Tweet Share Email When you create a new email message in Outlook and select the To field or select the To button, a list of contacts displays. This list is sorted alphabetically by the first name and then by the last name. If you'd rather sort the list by the last name followed by the first name, change it. Information in this article applies to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; and Outlook for Microsoft 365. Change the Sort Order of the 'Select Names' Dialog in Outlook To change how contacts are sorted in Outlook's Select Names dialog box: Go to the File tab and select Info. Select Account Settings > Account Settings. Go to the Address Books tab, choose Outlook Address Book, then select Change. In the Outlook Address Books section, select the address book that you want to change the contact display format. In the Show names by section, select File As (Smith, John). Select Close. In the Account Settings dialog box, select Close. Exit and restart Outlook. Create a new email message and select the To field. The contacts are sorted in the order you selected. Sort Your Contacts List To change how contacts are sorted in your Contacts List: Select the People icon in the lower left corner of the Outlook window to open your Contacts list. Go to the Home tab and, in the Current View group, select List. Select the column header for the column you want to sort. Sorting your contacts list makes it much more helpful to find individual contacts. Format Individual Contact Names In the Contacts list, if individual names aren't formatted the way you like, modify the formatting. To format individual contacts: In the Contacts list, double-click the contact you want to format. On the Contact page, select the File as drop-down arrow and choose how the contact name should be displayed. Select Save & Close. The contact is formatted the way you've selected in the File As field.