This is a really dumb question, but unless I add a picture to a person's contact card, how am I supposed to know which person a message came from in a group thread when their initials are the same? My mom and my sister have the same initials and I don't have pictures of them in my contact cards. I have them each of them in a group chat in Messages.app on my iMac. Their nicknames are shown in the "To:" at the top and in the selected conversation in the panel on the left, but when they each send messages, the message bubbles all come from a gray circle with first & last initial. How am I supposed to know which one of them sent a message in the group chat?

Hovering only shows the time a message was sent. I've search the menus, the preferences, and google and nothing shows me how to differentiate the two without adding a photo to their contact cards. I've tried resizing, double-clicking the thread to open in a new window... Is there a way to show their full or even just their first name instead of their initials where the message bubbles are?


3 Answers 3


The easiest option would be to simply add their photo to their contact card. If you don't want to add their photo for some reason, you can add any other photo to represent them.


Open the Contacts.app in Applications.

Find Mom in your contacts ,

and click Edit.

Change the highlighted text to something like MOM.

enter image description here


You can change the name of the contacts. If this isn't possible, add a digit or symbol to the end of the name to one of the contacts.

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