Hard to add new Contact after failed search for existing contact

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Mail' started by Mickey Segal, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. Mickey Segal

    Mickey Segal Guest

    A typical scenario for adding a new Contact is the following:
    1. Clicking the Windows Contacts icon (with target "%ProgramFiles%\Windows
    Mail\wab.exe") to open Contacts
    2. Typing the name into the Search box and finding it absent
    3. Wanting a "New Contact" button to click to create a new contact.

    However, after searching there is no "New Contact" button, even though there
    was such a button when you had opened up Windows Contacts originally. A
    workaround is to click the Windows Contacts icon again to open a new Windows
    Contacts instance, but it would be better if there were a New Contact button
    after a search in Windows Contacts.

    This was more convenient in Windows XP.
    Mickey Segal, Mar 31, 2007
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  2. If you're talking about the 'Search Results...' window, just use the
    Backspace key to return to the Contacts window.
    Keith Miller MVP, Mar 31, 2007
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  3. Mickey Segal

    Mickey Segal Guest

    It would be good if searching within Contacts remembered that you were
    searching Contacts and offered to make a new contact.
    Mickey Segal, Mar 31, 2007
  4. I have imported my contacts from my Palm Tungsten E and am not sure how to
    import them from Palm to Microsoft Mail. Any suggestions on how to do that?

    Pamela Melton, Mar 31, 2007
  5. And if your searching for files created before July 4, 2006 and none are
    found, should it offer to create some? ;-)
    Keith Miller MVP, Mar 31, 2007
  6. If the Palm software has an option to export contacts in .csv (comma
    seperated values) use that (I'm not familiar with Palm software). Then
    import the .csv file into Contacts.
    Keith Miller MVP, Mar 31, 2007
  7. Mickey Segal

    Mickey Segal Guest

    That is the problem with using a general search program, not search within a
    contacts application, which would respond more helpfully.
    Mickey Segal, Mar 31, 2007
  8. There's always the 'Find' button in the 'Select Recipients' dialog.
    Keith Miller MVP, Mar 31, 2007
  9. Mickey Segal

    Mickey Segal Guest

    There are many cases in which one wants to use Contacts when not using
    email, for example looking for an address or telephone number. It is too
    bad that some functionality has been stripped out so as to use a new
    searching paradigm for contacts, particularly since it works much worse on
    simple tasks such as alphabetizing.
    Mickey Segal, Mar 31, 2007
  10. Well, the apps bundled with an OS have always been basic. Notepad is not a
    state-of-the-art word processor, Paint would be a lot more fun if it were
    capable of 3D modeling & rendering, etc. If you want more functionality,
    you buy a program specific to your needs.

    That being said, have you opened a Contact in notepad? Contacts are XML
    files, so you're not enslaved by a proprietary database. You can write an
    app to handle Contacts in whatever way you desire -- you just have to want
    it bad enough.
    Keith Miller MVP, Apr 1, 2007
  11. Mickey Segal

    Mickey Segal Guest

    What is surprising is that Contacts has lost functionality and usability
    since its XP equivalent.
    Mickey Segal, Apr 1, 2007
  12. What's surprising is your sense of entitlement.
    Keith Miller MVP, Apr 1, 2007
  13. Mickey Segal

    Mickey Segal Guest

    I don't think the Microsoft intends the "Wow" in their advertizing campaign
    for Windows to be "Wow, look what they left out".

    It is surprising to find a Microsoft MVP encouraging people to expect a
    lower level of functionality in Vista, rather than saying "This is a
    problem, let me speak to folks at Microsoft to see if this can get fixed".
    Mickey Segal, Apr 1, 2007
  14. Lets review:

    Your original question regarded adding a new contact after failed search. You thought you had to close the Search window & open Contacts again. I explained the use of the Backspace key. So:

    Under XP: Under Vista:
    Open Address Book Open Contacts
    Click 'Find People' Click in Search box
    Type 'Noone' Type 'Noone'
    Press <Enter> or click 'Find' "Not Found" -> click in window
    "Not Found..." -> Click 'OK' Press Backspace
    Close Find People Click 'New Contact'
    Click 'New' Add Info...
    Click 'New Contact'
    Add Info...

    I don't think you're upset because now it takes two fewer steps -- that wouldn't make sense.

    There is no lost functionality for this scenario -- so that can't be your complaint.

    It's just slightly different.

    I think the folks at MS are already aware that there are slight differences between XP & Vista.
    Keith Miller MVP, Apr 2, 2007
  15. Mickey Segal

    Mickey Segal Guest

    Just as I did not see the fastest (but non-intuitive) approach in Vista, you
    did not see the fastest (but very intuitive) approach in XP.

    In XP, it was simple to alphabetize by last name, so the best search method
    was to scroll to the last name. If that wasn't found, one made a new
    contact. This is easier than the approach you outline, which fixates on
    using Vista's text search paradigm in XP.

    Unfortunately the alphabetization of contacts is ridiculously slow in Vista,
    to the point of being unusable, so one needs to use search instead.
    Unfortunately the search metaphor is so generic that users will not see a
    "New contact" button after a search, and some purists find it distasteful to
    add one.

    Such functionality in XP was much better. The problems in Vista are easy to
    fix, but that would require people to do what is obvious to the user, add a
    "New Contact" button to the toolbar on the search results page. An
    alternate solution would be to set the default (and therefore instant)
    alphabetization in Windows Contacts to the choice made by the user, as one
    could in XP.

    These are obvious flaws. An MVP can be of most help to Microsoft by helping
    figure out what needs to be fixed, rather than criticizing users for their
    preference for more user-friendly software design.

    I don't think you're upset because now it takes two fewer steps -- that
    wouldn't make sense.

    There is no lost functionality for this scenario -- so that can't be your
    Mickey Segal, Apr 2, 2007
  16. LOL. You've just redefined searching as scrolling down the list looking for
    what you want, that capability is still available in Vista ;-). Then you
    accuse me of 'fixating' on using Search when that's what YOU asked about!
    I'm guessing you work for Fox News :)
    I searched & saw your other post about 'Last Name' -- the view & sort you
    select for your Contacts folder should be remembered. Are you still having
    this problem?
    I've never met a purist, do you know any?
    What is obvious to one user is not to another.
    Ahh...the default behavior of naming the Contact file in the FirstLast
    format & not giving the user the option of selecting LastFirst as the
    default. THAT is a valid issue that has been relayed to MS. In the
    meantime, if you want your Contact files renamed in LastFirst format, I've
    written a script for that. Right-click on the link and select 'Save Target
    As...' (no web page there, just individual files). Then extract the vbs
    file from the .zip file & run the script.

    http://mysite.verizon.net/res18hr7/Last, First.zip

    If your Contacts have data in the FirstName & LastName fields, that will be
    used in contructing the name. If only a FullName exists, a 'best guess' is
    made at parsing. Unmodified Contacts will remain in their original folder.
    Modified Contacts will be placed in a subfolder. Backups of the originals
    will be placed in another. It is left up to the User to select which to
    retain & which to delete.
    Thanks for the tip.
    Keith Miller MVP, Apr 2, 2007
  17. Mickey Segal

    Mickey Segal Guest

    "I'm" not having that problem. Windows Contacts is still having that
    problem. It doesn't fail to "remember" the sorting method - it displays the
    contacts in its preferred sorting method, which depends on the order used in
    each address added to your Contacts, and then takes about a minute to
    display the user's preferred sorting order.

    I just gave up and used the Search strategy, and that's how I discovered the
    non-intuitive generic use of search, without an offer to create a new entry
    if no entry is found. Conceptualizing everything as a generic search is
    simply not going to come across as intuitive to a huge number of people, and
    the problem can easily be fixed within the context of the Search model,
    except for those who feel it would be a capitulation.
    That is a worthwhile service, but unless you monitor all new Contacts the
    system will have exceptions. It would be better for Microsoft to just fix
    the problem, or if we are to be shunted into the Search model, make that
    more intuitive. I'll now know to hit the back arrow, but if it wasn't
    intuitive to me I can guaranteee that many people will never figure it out.

    Some of the new Microsoft products have been terrific, particularly Office
    2007 and the Tablet PC features of Vista. Others have been real steps
    backward, particularly the lack of ability to customize the default toolbars
    in Internet Explorer and the various problems of Windows Mail, of which the
    Contacts problem are one of the minor annoyances (the worst I've seen are
    the broken pasting of hyperlinks and the need to scroll up to get the newest
    newsgroup messages if more than a few arrive). It would be interesting to
    know which projects still had input from the founding generation of
    Mickey Segal, Apr 2, 2007
  18. URL update:


    Good Luck,

    Microsoft MVP [Windows XP Shell/User]

    Keith Miller MVP, Apr 8, 2007
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