Better First and Last Name parsing

The Problem

What's in a name?  - the ability to find your contact!

ACT's First and Last Name parsing procedure leaves something to be desired.

"If we were to do it all over again, we would have made ACT! with separate first and last name fields." - ACT! Technician

The function to divide the Contact field into First and Last names is complex.  There are so many variations in naming conventions, even within English.   This becomes more complicated with foreign language names.

You may Look Up a First name in ACT! but it does not find the first name. This is because it is not really looking in the Contact NAME field.  It is looking in the FNAME field, which is often not visible on the screen layout.  (You can make it appear with the Screen Layout feature.)

People may assume the record is deleted, and re-insert a name, leading to duplicates.

By pressing the F2 key in the Contact name field, you can edit the First and Last name field to help the program properly interpret the name.  But this is tedious to do for all your contacts.

The Solution

This program can be run periodically, automatically, and quickly to make sure all the First and Last names are properly interpreted.  It uses a more sophisticated algorith to determine the first and last names, including a comparison against a list of known first names.


Original ACT!   FLName(NAME,1) FLName(NAME,2)
Tom Tom Sawyer Tom Sawyer
Betty Ann  Jones Betty Anne Jones Betty Anne Jones
Joseph Smith, Jr. Howard Smith, Jr. Joseph Agster
Janice L. Brown Janice L. Brown Janice Brown
Edwin Carson, PhD Edwin PhD Edwin Carson
Dean Beetle, DDS Dean DDS Dean Beetle
Robert A. Browning Robert A. Browning Robert Browning

What if you addressed a letter to Dear DDS, that would not win you too many points with the dentist.

Note how ACT!'s FName and LName columns are not done correctly, and would lead to invalid lookups.
People may assume the record is deleted, and re-insert a name, leading to duplicates.
FLName's columns are done properly so that First and Last names can be looked up and found.

C I Corporation