Let's say one wants Android to display their father not as "FirstName LastName", but simply as "Dad". This seems to be a pretty essential feature; and, as I have heard, it is implemented even in an old systems such as Windows Mobile.

However, while Google Contacts offer the "File As" field (which does what I'm looking for), Android does not seem to respect this field: http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=5724 , http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=8578

The issues are pretty old; did anything changed since then? I cannot find any options to use the "File As" field on my Xperia P with Android 2.3.7 installed.

Are there any alternatives to the default Google "Contacts" application that make use of this field?

  • It's 2023 and still appears to be an issue. contacts.google.com in browser seems to respect "file as" but "Contacts" on my Android Phone does not. Further, if I do an "@ mention" of someone in Gmail, even in browser, it fills it in with their full name, not "file as". I like to have record of their full names in my contacts, but refer to them by their preferred name (even if it's a nickname) so it's awkward, for instance, when a colleague goes by their initials and it spells out their full name when I "@ mention" them.
    – Trashman
    Jun 12 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


As of 2019, Google contacts respect the "file as" option. If you have contacts named as "FirstName LastName" and use "fileasname", the display name will be "fileasname". Also, you can search even by "FirstName" or "Lastname" or any of the entries made in google contacts. (Yeah even notes are searchable).

  • 3
    This does not appear to be respected on Android itself however. Google contacts on desktop/Gmail appears to override the name details with the contents of "file as" but the Google contacts app on Android (in my case Samsung Galaxy S10e) doesn't use it, likewise the Samsung variant behaves the same. Dec 25, 2019 at 9:24

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