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I'm looking to solve two related problems:

  • Some people send email with display names that make no sense to me (e.g., a friend John Smith might send "The S-Man" as his display name). I want to configure my client to display all messages coming from his email address as coming from John Smith.
  • Many people use multiple email addresses, sometimes with different display names, but I want to view all email from them as coming from the same person. So if John Smith uses johnsmith@somewhere.com and john.smith@nowhere.net and jsmith@whoknows.biz, etc., I want all mail from him to show as coming from John Smith.

I've used Eudora, Thunderbird, and Outlook, but I've never found a way to address this issue. Now I'm thinking of moving to Gmail, but it doesn't seem to have a way to do this, either. Is there any client accessible from Windows (native app or web app--I'm open to both) that supports this functionality?

  • Maybe this is a workaround, but I address this problem in thunderbird by using the "Expression Search / Google Mail UI 0.8.8" add-on. I can search for messages from pat. It will show me all the messages from pat, regardless of whether Pat emailed me from her phone, which knows her as Pat M, or from her computer, which knows her as Pat Mirabel. Also, I like to create filters in gmail (which become folders in thunderbird) which hold on to all correspondence to and from Pat. – aparente001 Jun 17 '17 at 14:07
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Have you tried Thunderbird's option "Show only display name for people in my address book" (in Thunderbird 52's Preferences, section Display, tab Advanced, at the bottom)? That sounds like it might do what you want.

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