Change How Contacts Sorts and Displays Names on Mac
The Contacts app for Mac defaults to sorting names by last name, and to showing the first name before the last name when browsing through the address book list of contacts.
With some minor adjustments, you can change how the Contacts app displays and sorts the address book contact names in Mac OS. You can also choose to change how names display, without changing how names sort, which may be the more useful settings choice for some.
Change Contacts Display and Sorting Order in Mac OS
- Open the “Contacts” app on the Mac and pull down the Contacts menu and choose Preferences
- Under the ‘General’ tab look for the following options:
- Show First Name – Before last name, Following last name
- Sort by: Last Name, First Name
The effect for changing how names are shown basically switches the first name and the last name when seen in the Contacts list. Here is what this look like in real time with an animated GIF displaying the change:
In browsing through Contacts app, or after searching for a contact, the choices may look like the following:
Many users find showing the last name first is easier to navigate, since it resembles a traditional directory or phone book, and it can be particularly helpful for some societies and cultures where names are often the same or similar.
You can make similar changes to how Contacts show up and sort in the iOS Contacts app as well, so if you’d like to have names show by last name first or sort by first name or last name, you can make the same sort of adjustments on iPhone and iPad.