The Magic of CTRL-K

We often get grumbles about how Outlook seems to make a poor fist of finding names in the Global Address List (GAL) when using the Address Book feature of Exchange. Unless you click the Advanced Find link from within the Address Book, the pattern matching for names is from left to right, based on the Display Name of the Active Directory Account. Also note the More Columns option. This allows the search to take place across all Active Directory fields.

Address Book GAL Search:

Advanced Find based on Last Name:

Results based on Advance Find:

To speed up this process you can use the handy keyboard shortcut of CTRL + K. It is a shortcut for the Check Names icon that can be found on the Outlook toolbar. You can type a variety of search terms based on the user’s personal information recorded in their Active Directory Account

For example, you can type: First Name, Last Name, Display Name, Email Address, Department amongst many other fields.


The name resolution really comes into it’s own when combining search terms. You can type a first name + a department and the system will try to marry those two terms and provide a best guess. In the example below, I asked Outlook to search for “John” and “ISS”. Outlook provided me with results that contain those two terms in any of the available fields.

It is important to note that you still have to verify that the results are correct and not to take for granted that the recipient that you have selected is accurate. As we have so many staff and students, there are quite a few people with the same name. If you use the scroll bar in the results window, you can see which department that the persons returned belong to.

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