Standard Display Name for Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 for staff has a user profile directory containing information such as Display Name, Office Telephone Number, and Email Address of the staff. While this is a useful feature, finding the person that you want can be difficult. Most people search a person by the person’s name. However, without a standardized naming convention, a person is hard to find because there are many different ways of representing a name, such as surname first, last name first, name with salutation, etc.

The need and the benefits of standardizing the practice is agreed through IT Coordinator Group (ITCG) and further endorsed on 17 Aug 2016 IT Governance Committee meeting. The naming convention in Microsoft 365 is now standardized with the following format:

Display name = <Preferred Name> + <Initial*> + <Last Name> <,Salutation*> (<Dept Code>).

*  Optional

Examples: Peter Chan (ITSC), Peter TM Chan (ITSC), Alan Lee, Prof (PHY)


1. Mr Peter TM Chan in ITSC , without salutation

  • Can be presented as ‘Peter Chan (ITSC)’ , ‘Peter TM Chan (ITSC)’
  • Initial and salutation are optional and are only used for disambiguation.
  • If there are more than one ‘Peter Chan’ in the same department, ‘Peter TM Chan (ITSC)’ will then be used, to disambiguate the duplicate names.

2. Prof Alan TS Lee in PHY, with salutation

  • Salutation such as Prof/Dr/Mr/Mrs/Ms is optional
  • Can be presented as ‘Alan Lee, Prof (PHY)’  , ‘Alan TS Lee, Prof (PHY)’

Last, if there are more than one department codes, then the most commonly known one will be used.