In 4.3.x and 4.4.x, it was possible to see the name and email of the donor when entering a contribution: http://screencast.com/t/vH0CG33LDPU

In 4.6.x, only the name is now displayed: http://screencast.com/t/65HG1fBZ7ZH

For some of our clients, this is extremely problematic because they either need to see whether a particular donor has an email address in the system (so they can exclude them from the email receipt) or because they have multiple contacts with similar names in Civi and use the email address to distinguish among them. My developer colleague tells me this change was made in core. My question is, is there a straightforward way to change what is displayed in the contact name field or will it be necessary to resort to code changes?

Thanks, Lesley

  • Hmm, we had something similar about entering target contacts on an activity recently. (We're on 4.4.20.) We wanted to show the email to disambiguate contacts with the same name. I had a solution, but I'm not sure if it goes for 4.6 or the type of select box you're looking at.
    – DaveFF
    Dec 3, 2015 at 9:37

3 Answers 3


From UI perspective, it is not currently possible to include an email in the select box. Some code changes need to be done.

I was just skimming the code of Common.js file where this functionality seems to be handled.

I guess the formatSelection function is the one which returns to what is seen after the selection of the contacts from the dropdown. You can make a change here to include the email to be concatenated to the name. Something like:

var email = (row.extra.email !== '' ? ' - ' + row.extra.email + ' ' : '');

and then add this to the label.

Well, modification in this file may not be recommended as changes done here are too core and may affect some other functionality elsewhere. This file is called in almost all the pages of CiviCRM and hence this change would affect all the dropdown present in it.


I was looking at the demo and noticed matching contacts show with their emails, is that not sufficient?

enter image description here

  • It is not, no, they would very much like to be able to see it in the form itself after they've selected the contact in question. Nov 23, 2015 at 21:16

It looks like that particilair feature on contribution batch entry paged disappeared. And it looks like there is no option for changing the display of the selected contact in a contact reference field. You are not the only one who finds this a pity.

I do think it would be really wonderful if we could configure the contact reference a bit more. We could enable/disable the e-mail field for looking up but it would be also wonderful if we could show it.

What you could do then is to develop this feature yourself or find and fund a developer to do so.

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