Customised To, CC, BCC and Have-replies-sent-to columns in message lists.

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I have posted a question similar to this at Outlook Code dot com and elsewhere on and off over the last nine months or so and have found generally that the question is not understood. So, this is another go!

On my copy of Outlook 2007 I have been using a .cfg file in ...\Office12\FORMS\1033 for well over a year. It was created by Neostorm. I was given it by Microsoft. By installing the code contained in the file in the correct manner - quite a simple process using Outlook's GUI - you end up with an additional field for message lists. The field is entitled "From email address" and, when you choose to insert it in a message list, it shows, as the name implies, the sender's email address.

By message list I mean the list of messages you are presented with on screen when you click, say, Inbox. Sometimes the list is referred to as a form. It contains fields or columns the contents of which describe the emails in the list. You can tell at a glance which email is from whom, when it was sent/received, etc. etc.

The standard sender's field, as supplied with the Outlook 2007 programme, is headed by default 'From' and will usually display not the sender's email address but the sender's Display Name. The new field shows only and invariably an email address. For myself, and I think some other Outlook fans, such a field is more practical than the standard version. However, most people will probably prefer the standard sender's field and its more human or friendlier contents ('Jane' as against 'sales.42d.exp[at]dizzyheightseu[dot]com', for example).

My question is this: as Neostorm have created code which will produce this new sender's field, and the code is not lengthy, can anyone skilled in these matters create the equivalent code for new To, CC, BCC and Have-replies-sent-to fields, the new fields also showing only an email address, but in this instance the recipient's, and never any Display Name? Judging from my many searches, there is no shortage of demand for such a facility.

Any comments on this will be read with great interest!

Shown under is the full existing code from Neostorm.


William Lambton,



;**********The CFG file**********




DisplayName=Sender Email Address



Comment=This forms allows the Senders E-mail address to be viewed as a







Owner=Neostorm Systems




















DisplayName=From E-mail Address















;**********END CFG
AS an FYI we have this form and some others at -

Which folder do you want to view these fields in? It's a definite No for the sent folder. I'll check on it for the Inbox (won't get BCC for sure).

I have the instructions for creating a CFG somewhere - i thought on the site, but they aren't linked on that page. I'll find them and post them online - its not hard but not all address fields are exposed with a mapi property that holds only the email address. Have replies sent to probably does but I'm not sure to and cc do- they don't in the sent folder.
Many thanks, Slipstick! I have looked often at that page, noting to my annoyance that I could have got the Sender's Address form free there, instead of paying Microsoft Support ~€80 to find it!!

Ideally the new To, CC, BCC and Have-replies-sent-to fields would be viewable in any folder. Are restrictions on the view in the Sent Items folder the reason why such fields are not available?

However, if restrictions apply in the active Sent Items folder, they won't in any off-line personal folder. I move all of my stuff off-line pretty well immediately after sending or receipt, and so need the new fields most in home-made personal folders where, presumably, if the Sender's Address form works, the equivalent for To, CC, BCC and Have-replies-sent-to fields will also?


NB: The Sender's Address form works with both IMAP (Google Mail) and Hotmail/MS Exchange, and I started using it with the latter. However, the main current use for the other fields would be with IMAP emails (but, as stated, mainly in off-line folders).
Any joys here??! It should be fairly clear what sort of VB script I am looking for. I have one installed which works (from Neostorm). If any volunteer would like to write the equivalent script for, say, a new 'To' field (in which only the email address is displayed), please let me know and we will agree terms!

If the script cannot be used in an active 'Sent' folder, so be it. I need the script off-line, for sorting purposes.
Most appreciated! I would need them primarily for IMAP, but will try also with my Hotmail/Exchange... in both cases, though, the real benefits will be in off-line folders, where I do virtually all my email work (like, I think, a lot of others). Thanks for input. Very helpful! William.
Dmitry Streblechenko of tells me firmly that recipient addresses cannot be extracted prior to a message being opened, which is very distressing news. I quote:

"Outlook only shows properties available on the message itself (such as PR_SUBJECT or PR_DISPLAY_TO). These properties are retrieved from the folder contents table (IMAPIFolder::GetContentsTable). Recipients are stored in the message recipient table, which can only be opened (IMessage::GetRecipeintTable) after opening the message itself (IMsgStore::OpenEntry)."

Also (in answer to my response):

"These properties [sender's details] can be viewed in a MAPI table (similar to a DB recordset). But recipients and attachments are separate objects and cannot be flattened

to fit in a single row representing a message."

Very depressing! Is Outlook 2010 the same?? Is he right (I have a very strong suspicion he is, which explains why queries dry up so quickly)?

I enjoy my Outlook 2007 and will not hold this (for me) astonishing failure against it (I equate it to a car with a speedometer but no rev counter

indicating that it also has an engine) but must I think look for a programme which shows actual addresses, if required, in all places where they might be, especially message lists.

The Display Name is chummy and makes the internet maybe more friendly, or less offputting. But, in a list, it is a very unreliable indicator of exactly whence an email has been received or whither it has been sent. It is 'Pine Grove House' to '16, The Parade, Blitherinton, Massachusetts'. Dull as Blitherington may be, Pine Grove House depends on it, not the other way round!

William Lambton,

Thanks, Diane! Meanwhile, Dmitry Streblechenko has by email double-confirmed his conclusions to me. I am hoping he might post something here (I have sent the URL). My answer to him was thus (extract):

"There must be a policy in Microsoft to put emphasis on Display Names, for some reason. Details on a new email are first viewed in a message list. From the list, the user decides which email to work with. The user may even decide, just from the list info, which email to delete WITHOUT reading it. Display names are not reliable indicators, however. So, what's MS's reasoning here, I wonder? Or, is this just an old, built-in feature of Outlook which would require rebuilding the programme from scratch to correct, together with maybe Exchange server software and even other softwares such as in operating systems, ie a massive root and branch remake? I can think of no other explanation!"

Is this true? I am a common-or-garden, non-tech end-user, and can vouch that KNOWING a fact such as this increases, not decreases, customer loyalty - one forgives!

A good example of the trouble caused by display-name-only viewing in lists, received here last night (GMT):

Name under 'From' in list: Sue Gardner

Actual email address: jenkins[at]

Display in opened message: jenkins[at] on behalf of Sue Gardner [donate[at]].

[This is a robotic answer; so, I am not breaching privacy here.]

What I, the end-user, need out of all that in my message list is "jenkins[at]". I can extrapolate from that point, by opening the message or using Message Options. I do not need "Sue Gardner". Who is Sue Gardner?!

This example is complicated by the reply-to address in effect being "donate[@]", the mail sent from "jenkins[at]" but appearing as if it was from Sue Gardner from Wiki's donations' department, to which any automatically addressed reply would be sent. None the less, the example is valid. The email came from "jenkins[at]". This is the email's primary ID as first viewed by the end-user, and I am pleased I have Neostorm's 'From email address' column, in which this is plainly seen.

Comments welcome!
"This is the email's primary ID as first viewed by the end-user, and I am pleased I have Neostorm's 'From email address' column, in which this is plainly seen" (just above) should read please:

This is the email's primary ID as it ought first to be viewed by the end-user, and I am pleased I have Neostorm's 'From email address' column, in which this is plainly seen.
You are far from a typical user. Most don't care - they just want it to work easily. They don't want to remember "Sue is or is it" - they want to type Sue and have it reach her.

Outlook, in its early days, was primarily an exchange client [1] and the underlying address was long and ugly. Also, most casual users (like my sisters) don't care about the address - its some mumbo-jumbo code that is meaningless to them.[2]

[1] More than 60% of outlook users have an exchange account to this day. Exchange addresses are still long and ugly.

[2] Granted most addresses these days are friendly, back when outlook was first introduced, they were not (think compuserv). On the other hand, there are people like sue who create really dumb aliases or who, by virtue of having a common name, use aliases like Sue6181968.
Thank you, Diane! Most illuminating. The thing about threads such as these is that neither of us is in fact talking to Microsoft. You are a (distinguished) MVP; you run Slipstick - but, you are your own business. And I am just a very humble Joe Soap who, in the autumn (fall, to you) of 2008, had a revelation: I learned what copying and pasting were!!

The reason you, independently, cite (as it were) on behalf of Microsoft is quite good, on the assumption that that is their reason, not necessarily your own, the customer though possibly misjudged by them. You personally may think differently?

There is in fact no excuse for abolishing the email address, which is effectively what has happened (in the context of lists)! The should be a choice, not an imposition.

I have been researching this for a year or more, on and off, and am very gratified at long last to have got 'the lowdown' from good people such as yourself and Dmitry, about the reason why. But, I am not the only one baffled. I will eventually assemble all of my many bookmarks on this subject and, if you were to view them (I am not suggesting you do - though you are in a few!), you would see that I am very far from being the only person who wants to see raw email addresses, as an option, in their message lists and who works far better using these than the often meaningless and not infrequently deliberately misleading friendly names. We don't mind "PCHTH.MSSE.WW.00.EN.SUT.CHI.TS.1FL.PBA.00.WB[at]" one little bit!! The domain's there. That's what often we seek. Or the department within the domain (viz., what appears before the @). Not: 'Fred'. Who is 'Fred'? Could be anyone.

Anyhow, you have very kindly given me the history, a history which substantially predates the time of my first trespass into the detail in our digital world (late 2008, as stated). But, I do use email a great deal. And it is upon us ordinary, non-tech folk that the entire Microsoft structure depends. So, what actually works for Joe Soap, including that pocket of Joe Soaps who like street numbers more than plaques, is what Microsoft Corporation should try to do. Maybe they will provide the tweak one day, should they learn how many customers they would not lose, if they did?

Thanks again, though, to you and Dmitry Streblechenko. I'll be 'hanging on in there', with my raw addresses on one side (senders, with thanks to Neo) and my Display Names jungle (recipients) on the other, for the while (as intimated elsewhere). Simply not knowing was the worst of it.


I know its a common question - and maybe in the next version MS will change something so the address is exposed in sent items. (DL's now expand to expose the members because of user requests.)

Apparently it is just a matter of changing how PR_DISPLAY_TO/CC/BCC properties are calculated by the store provider.


PS Wish I could do it myself!
As there is little further to be done, I am marking this thread 'solved', though it is not solved! The solution will be the day when the addresses upon which Outlook depends will be made visible to the naked eye, when the user needs to see them. Thanks very much to Dmitry Streblechenko, especially (though his contributions were made in another mailbox - but the salient points are summarised here), and to Diane Poremsky for taking the trouble to visit. To anyone calling here who wants a simple précis of the upshot, it is this:

1. To view the sender's email address as a separate column, use Neostorm, here: Download the .cfg file from that address and, for Outlook 2007, follow these instructions:

a. Stick the file in ...\Office12\Forms\1033

b. Use Tools > Options > Other > Advanced Options > Custom Forms > Manage Forms > Install to select the file and instal it

c. Add the new column by whatever route you choose to add/remove columns to/from a message-list view, remembering to click 'Forms...' (at the bottom of the 'Select available fields from:' list) in the Show Fields box; complete the exercise from that point.

E&OE, btw. Google will produce more detailed step-by-steps, if the above is not completely clear. This is a popular subject!

2. To view the recipient's or recipients's address or addresses in any recipient-field in a message list, use a paintbrush! As Outlook (2007 and 2010) is currently configured for Windows, the bare address will only be shown here where Outlook cannot grab a Display Name instead. Unlike with the sender's properties, those for a recipient cough up invariably a Display Name, where one exists, when poked; without a re-write, the programme cannot do otherwise.

Postscript! I can only reiterate what a flipping nuisance this obedience to the mastery of the Display Name is. I am in the process of filing into numerous subfolders ~3,500 emails in one folder (the total was originally ~8,000). At this stage, the average size of a filable group is about eight emails. At the beginning, large chunks from prolific senders (to me) were filed fairly quickly. But, at this point, detail matters. So, to take a living example (just encountered), emails FROM "infoteam[at]" must be married up with the meaningless "Euro Mail", representing "Euro_Mail[at]" (their reply-to address, I think), on the TO side. The two proper addresses contain the vital word "acer" and thus indicate the destination folder. "Euro Mail" could be anything or anyone. Each "Euro Mail" item under To in the list should in fact be opened and checked prior to filing. The use of the compound "acer-euro" as the search criterion is not a guarantee that each "Euro Mail" item under To is in fact to Acer, as Search will not read email addresses under To; it has latched only onto "Euro" in the Display Name and "Acer" in the body (which is not proof the email was sent to Acer). Granted I know from memory (my own) that "Euro Mail" is Acer's little Display-Name idiosyncrasy and, at this stage, no one else's. But, I am on a Windows computer. It should not be employing my memory. It should know what to find; and it would, if it was there to BE found!! I hope this example gives a good practical indication of the problem.
I am pleased to see that this issue now appears to have been addressed. All of a sudden, a number of threads have become available, including one on Slipstick from (no less!) Diane Poremsky. Here are the ones I've found: (Michael Bauer)

I am not a technician, have never once before used the VBA editor in Outlook (2007), but will be seeing what I can get to work, if anything, and will return here in due course with the results.

Anyhow, quite a breakthrough, that this thorny nuisance has been acknowledged. From a mere user, thanks to all concerned!

William, Galway, Ireland.
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