Use Contacts instead of separate Auto-complete List
Idea shared by kevind - June 15, 2016 at 12:27 PM
Planned
When composing a new message, SM should work like other email programs and use Contacts for auto-complete instead of a completely separate list.
 
Having a separate auto-complete list introduces numerous problems. Since it builds the list from your Sent Items, there are hundreds of useless entries:
  • many are typos or 1-time recipents, never to be used again
  • many are outdated as people change email addresses over the years
  • many are duplicated -- if they are already in Contacts, it adds them again???
And the auto-complete list (if you can find it) is difficult to clean up:
  • it's buried under Settings->Advanced Settings. Users would expect to find it in Contacts.
  • don't try to sort by Email Address or Display Name in ascending order because it only works when it's in descending order. This is a bug.
  • you can select Contacts and GAL rows, but you can't delete them. Why even show them?
In summary, don't bother changing/fixing any of the above items. Just remove this separate Auto-Complete list and use Contacts instead. There is no need for a separate auto-complete list. If a user wants addresses to show up in auto-complete, they can add them to Contacts -- simple.
 
Note: I re-used some of the content from this old post to disable auto-complete.
 
Thanks,
Kevin

20 Replies

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6
I'm bringing this issue up again as we just got another call from a user who wanted to get rid of the old email addresses in the drop-down when composing a new message.
 
The bottom line is there's no need for a separate address book that's buried under Settings->Advanced Settings->Auto-complete. If a user wants addresses to show up in auto-complete, simply add them to Contacts.
 
Hoping this can be fixed in SM 16 as it's been Under Consideration for ~2 years:
 
Thanks!
0
Hello Kevin,
 
We appreciate your feedback on the autocomplete functionality within SmarterMail. With the current direction of SmarterMail, disabling the autocomplete functionality is not something we intend to do. In version 16, autocomplete will be even more important as it will be used to enter the recipient(s) of your message. However, rather than utilizing a separate section to manage those entries, email addresses can be permanently removed directly from the autocomplete dropdown. 
 
I understand this is not the response you may have been anticipating, and we're sorry for any inconvenience. Thank you again for your participation!

Andrea Rogers
Communications Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278

www.smartertools.com

6
Hi Andrea. Just to be clear, I don't want to disable the autocomplete functionality -- I think it's valuable just like you do. Instead, let's fix 2 issues:
 
  • It pulls in email addresses from your Sent Items that are totally useless (see above post). Users are so confused when they compose an email and they see addresses that their friends used 10 years ago.
  • The Autocomplete List is hard to find under Settings -> Advanced Settings. Users would never think to look there. Move it to a group under Contacts so users can manage it.
My suggestion is to just use Contacts (which the user keeps updated) for autocomplete. That solves both of these issues. Thanks!
0
Just to note, it is possible to remove those autocomplete entries from within the drop-down itself. So if you do see an email you don't recognize you can just hit the 'X' next to it and you won't have to worry about it again. I think this may help compensate for the ability to find autocomplete in settings.
Matt Petty
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
1
I agree, deleting from the drop-down is definitely an improvement.

But why force the user to maintain 2 lists? If a friend gets a new email address, you need to 1) update your contacts and 2) delete the old autocomplete entry.

Other email programs don't maintain a separate autocomplete list. In Gmail when you delete it in Contacts, it no longer shows up in autocomplete.
1
Hi Andrea, not asking you to disable the autocomplete functionality, just improve it (see below). So I'm wondering if you could you take the "Declined" off this thread so others can vote on it and contribute?
Thanks!
2
Another suggestion: Can you PLEASE enable the ability to export to CSV from the autocomplete list? I have hundreds of emails sitting in my autocomplete list and the only option is to delete them! Is there an easy way to export these emails?
2
We also have this on our wish list.
To ours customers is a must have functionality!
7
Politely request that this thread with 13 votes be changed from "Declined" to "Under Consideration" as it will fix several issues with functionality, like the ability to export to .CSV (see above). And it will make SmarterMail easier to use as it will work like most other email programs. Thanks!
2
The problem with moving it to only contacts is that it will not autofill any of the e-mails of your corporate e-mail, unless you secretly go and make all the e-mails of your co-workers as contacts as well. It might be better to suggest contact list and global address list instead of just contact list.
5
Hi Matthew Shepard!
The competitors (Kerio Connect, Mailenable, IceWarp, Eschange Online, ecc..) already work like you told, so this is what we want!
No one ask for "ONLY CONTACTS".
What we ask for is "ALSO CONTACTS".
1
That sounds good. Auto-complete could also use your global address list when composing a message. Then you don't need to duplicate co-workers in Contacts or a separate auto-complete list.
0
Just following up on this request. TIA.
3
Robert Emmett Replied
Employee Post
In a SM 17.x minor release we will use contacts and the GAL addresses for auto-complete entries in addition to the "auto-learned" entries.  In the auto-complete list, contacts and GAL entries would not have the 'X" to remove those entries.  I am changing this thread to Planned and will update accordingly.  Thank you Kevin, Matthew, and Gabriele especially for your comments and also to all of those who have upvoted this issue.
Robert Emmett
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
3
Robert, great! Thanks for changing this from Declined to Planned.
 
But instead of merging Contacts & GAL into the auto-complete list, why not do it the other way around?  Merge auto-completes into the Contact list like other email programs do.
 
Then all the features of Contacts, like export to CSV, sync with Outlook, ActiveSync for phone, etc. can be used. And the user doesn't have to maintain a separate 'auto-complete' list that only works in the web interface.
1
Robert Emmett Replied
Employee Post
Would you like to see the existing auto-complete list entries added to contacts and eliminating the auto-complete list entirely? Currently, the auto-complete is populated during indexing: when a new mail is received or sent the corresponding sending or recipient address is added to the auto-complete list. Would you want these to be automatically added to the contact list? Or rely on the individual to manually add the sender/recipients to the contacts?

Basically it's a two part question:
1. What to do with the existing auto-complete list?
2. Do we automatically add new recipients and / or senders to contact list?
Robert Emmett
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
5
Robert, thanks for requesting my input. Here are the answers:
 
1)  Get rid of the auto-complete list entirely.  I'm not aware of any other email system that has a completely separate list for just auto-complete. Why should SmarterMail?  Essentially, these are contacts, so put them in the Contacts where they belong.
 
See this 14-vote thread from 3 years ago for more ideas:
 
You would need a process for upgrading existing users. Just move the auto-complete list into Contacts, but make it a separate group so it's easy to find, manage, and delete. See this 24-vote thread for ideas on how to implement groups under Contacts (note, it's #3 on the list for all-time votes)
 
2) The current way the list is populated doesn't seem right. It should not scan Sent Items and pull in email addresses that were used 10 years ago and no longer valid.  Also, you mentioned auto-complete is populated during indexing: when a new mail is received?  Is that really how it works? I don't think users want auto-complete for all the newsletters and spam they get.
 
Do like most other email programs and add someone to Contacts when you 1) reply and 2) the person is not already in Contacts or GAL. Put them in a separate group ("Collected") like Thunderbird does.
 
Let me know if you want me to come out to Phoenix for a week and work with the design team, I'd be glad to do it (it's cold here in the north).  Maybe we could make some arrangement, like free upgrades for life or something.  :)
2
I would like to add my two cents to this topic. Regardless of what changes will be made in 17 our users are concerned with the current method of removing users from the auto-complete list in 16. Individually deleting user by user while composing a message is a little unintuitive considering the prior method was to provide a list that could much more easily be traversed and cleared.
 
Maybe providing the full list to remove users from is not the direction you want to take, but having the ability to purge these lists of old or unwanted accounts is absolutely necessary. 
 
This may not be an urgent addition, but from previous posts and from what kevind has shown this is a feature that a majority of the community wants changed or improved, and not just in 17.
1
For anyone following this thread, I saw this in today's v17 beta release notes:
ADDED: Account setting for "Use sent items in autocomplete (webmail only)".
Hopefully this allows you to turn off using Sent Items in autocomplete for all the reasons listed above!
0
1. I am unsure ion that...
Sometimes it's useful, but the users may think that as a "PHONEBOOK" ad sometimes they fully forget to use the real Contacts, so many users have a empty "Contacts" realying interely on Autocomplete List. This is frustrating because "Autocomplete List"v is not a real "Contacts" function and so customeras are learning a wrong way to use it.
Same as in MS Outlook.
Sometimes I  thik that "Autocomplete List" must be completely eliminated, but I am unsure on this...
2. Automatically add new recipients from SENDED MAIL or REPLY TO MAIL can be usefull, but this must be an option to activate/deactivate at USER level (and maybe ad DOMANI level for administrators).
It can be usefull to have an option to ask user "JOHN.DOE@DOMAIN.COM  is a new contact. Do you want to add him/her/it to CONTACTS?"
I instead avoid to have that for RECEIVED MAIL.

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