A couple of people have exactly the same name in CiviCRM: John Smith. When assigning an activity you select a person by starting to type its name. However in case that people have exactly the same name, Civi shows both names. How can i distinguish between the two? Showing an emailaddress behind the name, or showing a nickname would be very helpful but I don't see any way to configure this field.

Any ideas of tips?

We're working in CiviCRM 4.4.8

3 Answers 3


You could upgrade your CiviCRM version (4.4) to the latest version (4.6+), which will display contact emails along with their names in the autocomplete, making it easier to distinguish between similar contacts.

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  • Thanks, good to know for another customer, but for this one upgrading is not an option right now. Commented May 6, 2015 at 8:41
  • 1
    Well at least you have an answer for them now. If they want new features, they gotta upgrade. Can't get one without the other.
    – Coleman
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 18:36

One way of resolving this might be for all the contact auto-complete widgets to reuse the same format as quick search (in the top menu bar). The setting is user configurable here:

http://d45.demo.civicrm.org/civicrm/admin/setting/search?reset=1 (search for Autocomplete Contact Search)

This probably is a good change to be made in core

  • Good idea. Does this mean that somebody has to programme this in core? How does that work (I am not a programmer :) ) Commented May 6, 2015 at 8:40

I have been looking into this and for technicall people the assignee field in activities shows the sort_name of a contact. This sort_name could be build with some tokens but they are a bit limitted.

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