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Display Name use by TB

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  • 1 has this problem
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  • Last reply by Matt

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I am belatedly starting to realise I may have misunderstood the use TB makes of the Display Name entry in a contact's details in the address book. Either that or I have something misconfigured; or I've run into a bug. So I'd be grateful for clarification of how the display names are supposed to work.

I thought - without much actual thought - that any 'display name' given to a contact in the address book was only used in my TB display: in place of email address or the real name part of an email address in the message list, and in the to or from entries in the message display or compose windows. I did not think they were used in actual emails so people at the other end would see them too.

But I've just added a new email address, alongside the 5 I already had, and was testing things by sending some emails from one of my addresses on one ISP to another of my addresses on a different ISP. So I can easily see which of my accounts one of my own emails is to or from I had given each of my own addresses in the address book 'display names' like 'My Gmail', 'My Outlook', 'My TalkTalk' etc, each named for its ISP - and I assumed only I would see that. When I sent an email from my outlook account to my Gmail account and saw the To said My Gmail and the from said My Outlook in TB's message list and message display of the received email I thought it was just using the display names from the address book in the display to me.

But then I looked at the actual raw email. The real From used my actual name as entered in the account config, not the My Outlook display name, as expected; but the real To WAS 'My Gmail <**********@gmail.com>' rather than it using my actual name as in the contact details in the address book.

So, it appears that if a display name is configured in a contact in the address book and TB is set to use the display names, it doesn't just use them in its own message list, message view and message compose display, it ALSO uses them in the To of emails one writes. So e.g. if one gives a contact an unflattering display name to easily spot emails from particular person, any emails TO them will show THEM it! (Not that I've done that ... but I could have, the way I thought this worked.)

Is this correct and how it is supposed to work - that emails TO someone in the address book will actually use the Display Name you've given them in the address book in the email To header, not their name as in the actual name fields of their contact details in the address book? Or is this a bug?

(Sorry anyone who read this straight after my first posting of it - first time I've tried to write one on my phone, and accidentally hit send before I'd finished.)

I am belatedly starting to realise I may have misunderstood the use TB makes of the Display Name entry in a contact's details in the address book. Either that or I have something misconfigured; or I've run into a bug. So I'd be grateful for clarification of how the display names are supposed to work. I thought - without much actual thought - that any 'display name' given to a contact in the address book was only used in my TB display: in place of email address or the real name part of an email address in the message list, and in the to or from entries in the message display or compose windows. I did not think they were used in actual emails so people at the other end would see them too. But I've just added a new email address, alongside the 5 I already had, and was testing things by sending some emails from one of my addresses on one ISP to another of my addresses on a different ISP. So I can easily see which of my accounts one of my own emails is to or from I had given each of my own addresses in the address book 'display names' like 'My Gmail', 'My Outlook', 'My TalkTalk' etc, each named for its ISP - and I assumed only I would see that. When I sent an email from my outlook account to my Gmail account and saw the To said My Gmail and the from said My Outlook in TB's message list and message display of the received email I thought it was just using the display names from the address book in the display to me. But then I looked at the actual raw email. The real From used my actual name as entered in the account config, not the My Outlook display name, as expected; but the real To WAS 'My Gmail <**********@gmail.com>' rather than it using my actual name as in the contact details in the address book. So, it appears that if a display name is configured in a contact in the address book and TB is set to use the display names, it doesn't just use them in its own message list, message view and message compose display, it ALSO uses them in the To of emails one writes. So e.g. if one gives a contact an unflattering display name to easily spot emails from particular person, any emails TO them will show THEM it! (Not that I've done that ... but I could have, the way I thought this worked.) Is this correct and how it is supposed to work - that emails TO someone in the address book will actually use the Display Name you've given them in the address book in the email To header, not their name as in the actual name fields of their contact details in the address book? Or is this a bug? (Sorry anyone who read this straight after my first posting of it - first time I've tried to write one on my phone, and accidentally hit send before I'd finished.)

Modified by DavidBE

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AN email address in the header of an email has a display name and and email address component. What you enter in the address book is what goes on the email when it leaves Thunderbird.

For from addresses this is set from the account settings, not the address book. The exception being that some providers like outlook replace anything inserted by Thunderbird in a from address and replace it with what is stored on their server. Nothing we can do about that, these multi national mail providers are a law unto themselves. Hence the Outlook/Hotmail alias feature does not work with a mail client.

The use of display names in the message list is yet another feature. It is in no way related to the sending or receiving of email, it is simply an option to display the name from your address book rather than the display name in the email header. Personally I turn the feature off. the pretty display names in my opinion outweigh the down side of email on mailing lists loosing their individual identity because the list address is in the address book.