Renaming Column Heading in Contacts view

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Outlook version
Outlook 2011 for Mac
Email Account
Just started using Outlook for Mac 2011, as a client list (Contacts) connected with an appointment book (Calendar view.) Looks like it'll work fine for this.

In Contacts View, there's all the basic column headings for things like Name, Primary email, Company, Work Phone, etc. Then you can add more columns by right-clicking any column header and getting a long drop-down list of pre-named column headers...including Custom 1, Custom 2, Custom 3, etc. That's good, because I need to add specific columns for "Make" "Model" & "Year Built," etc., that don't match any of the pre-named column labels.

However, once they're in place, I need to be able to name each column header what I want. No use creating 4 or 5 new columns for special info, only to have the column headers still named Custom 1, Custom 2, Custom 3, etc. How do I rename the column headers Custom 1, Custom 2, Custom 3 to be named "Make" "Model" & "Year Built," etc.? I'm assuming, since Microsoft is allowing you to add "custom" columns, they also allow you to give those columns whatever "custom" name you require :rolleyes:...I just can't find where to rename them. Thanks


Outlook version
Outlook 2011 for Mac
Email Account
According to my Outlook Mac experts, no, you can't change the field names.
Wow, Diane. So let me get this straight. Microsoft, in their infinite non-ergonomic wisdom, has taken the trouble to add Custom 1, Custom 2 and so on, all the way up to Custom 8, in their drop-down of field/column-header choices, presumably so you can have...wait for it...custom columns!;)

But then, in their infinite moronic oversight, they don't give you a way to name those columns anything but Custom 1, Custom 2, etc.?

Sorta defeats the whole purpose of having "custom" columns, doesn't it?

20 computer-savvy friends of mine said they tried using Outlook years ago...but quickly gave up on it due to absurd non-sequiturs just like this. Now I see why. For a company filled with "smart" programmers, that just makes no sense. Thanks for checking anyway, Diane.

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
The mac version is different - this is basically v2 for it - and it takes 3 versions to get it done even close to right. :) It's really a basic client at this point.


Outlook version
Outlook 2011 for Mac
Email Account
The mac version is different - this is basically v2 for it - and it takes 3 versions to get it done even close to right. :) It's really a basic client at this point. that beggars a couple questions:

- Does Microsoft still plan to support & offer future versions for Outlook for Mac and other Office for Mac programs? (I heard somewhere they were ceasing to upgrade any Office programs for the Mac

- And since you said, "The mac version is different," does that mean, on the Windows version, you CAN choose your own custom field names?

Forum Admin

Senior Member
AFAIK, Mac Office is going full speed ahead. They are working on making it parity with windows, they are maybe 75% there on Word, Excel, PowerPoint, but only about halfway with Outlook (and the mac side has several features I'd like in windows outlook). IMHO anyway. Others might disagree and say i'm too low, and they might be right. :)

Yes, in Windows you can create custom fields (as many was you want) and name them anything you want. This was always a feature in Outlook. The mac is behind in the programming features - mac word and excel finally have VBA support, which the windows version has had for years.


Outlook version
Outlook 2011 for Mac
Email Account
Diane& Admin, I want to thank you both for replying so clearly & completely.:)

Don't know if you've ever heard of a Customer Management software called Chaos. It did everything I need (including user-nameable fields & column heads,) but it was only for Windows, and it cost about $80.

I checked it out using Parallels on my Mac, and was ready to buy, when I happened to open Outlook from my Office for Mac 2011 collection...and saw that it looked & worked almost exactly like Chaos (eerie, I think Chaos simply cloned Outlook to make their CRM)...and I already owned it! So it was free and I'd be able to run it as a Mac dekstop app instead of running Windows 7 through Parallels AND it was also syncable to my iPad through iTunes! Got excited.

The non-nameable fields put a big damper on all that, but I'm gonna try it anyway. I'll just name my profession-specific fields Custom 1, Custom 2, etc. and then find a spot to put a little Legend showing what each stands for, and hope that Microsoft-in-the-head does indeed make it more like the Windows version very soon.

By the way, there's a narrow column field on the far right side of my Outlook that just has a grey dot as it's header. What's that for, and how to I remove that dot & column if I want to?
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