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Can I change a sender's display name in Gmail?
December 14, 2009 10:06 AM   Subscribe

I would like Gmail to display a sender's name as I have entered it in my contacts, not as the sender has specified it. Is this possible?

I have a contact who uses a made-up name on his email account -- so let's say email from him shows up in my inbox as being from "Bill Watson" even though his actual name is "Warren Smith." This has become sort of maddening for a number of reasons (I am always momentarily confused about who this mail is from; I think using the alias is sort of crazy; I have a close friend named Bill; etc.).

When I get an email from this person, I would like it to display in my Gmail inbox as being from Warren Smith (the name associated with this email address in my Gmail contacts). Is there a way to do this?
posted by Siobhan to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Worst case scenario, you could use Greasemonkey I suppose. But I believe that you can't change how it displays. Google is simply displaying the text string that was entered in the "From:" field, and that's it. It's not going to do a lookup to your contacts database to switch the text.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:18 AM on December 14, 2009


You could set up a filter to flag emails him and tag them as "Warren Smith." It won't change what you see in the from line, but the tag should help you ID who is really sending the email.
posted by COD at 10:52 AM on December 14, 2009


I don't think you can. This isn't a feature 95% of gmail users would ever want so I don't think they would spend any time implementing it.
posted by chairface at 11:15 AM on December 14, 2009


I think you can. I'm a work where gmail is non grata, so I can't check my answer, but if I remember correctly:
Hover your mouse over the person's name to get the little pop-up bubble with their info. In the pop-up bubble, click their name. You can change it.
posted by ctmf at 11:26 AM on December 14, 2009


Hover your mouse over the person's name to get the little pop-up bubble with their info. In the pop-up bubble, click their name. You can change it.

That appears to change it in Google Contacts, not in the display for gmail.
posted by zamboni at 12:00 PM on December 14, 2009


Yes, Zamboni is right -- when I mouse over Bill Watson's name in the sender field, it shows me his email address and correct name as I've already entered it in my contacts.

I'm marking COD's as best answer, since I do think it will help me make the connection between the name and the sender a little more quickly. But I am definitely open to hearing other ideas! Thanks all.
posted by Siobhan at 8:26 PM on December 14, 2009


"This isn't a feature 95% of gmail users would ever want..."

I find this surprising. I have a friend who shows up as "T K" when he emails me, but his name is "James M", and I usually know him as "Cooper." He doesn't email me often, so every time I get an email from "T K" I need to spend a minute remembering who he is. And I can't find emails he's sent me by searching for "from:james" or "from:cooper".

So, yeah. I'd like to see a solution to this, too.
posted by CrayDrygu at 8:36 PM on December 14, 2009


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