How do I customize Populi usernames?

The standard username generated by Populi follows this format:

  • First initial, last name, and last two digits of the current year. For example, you give Serena Telliver a user account on January 22, 2020; her username would be stelliver20. When adding a new user account, you also have the option of editing that person's username in the Make This Person a User dialog.

If you'd like to customize the standard username format, you have two options:

  • Contact Populi customer support requesting help with customizing your username format. See the "do it yourself" section below to learn about your options.
  • Do it yourself!

How to do it yourself

An Account Administrator can set up the custom username format in Account > Account Settings > Security.

In any examples provided below, we'll be basing them on you giving Serena Telliver a user account on January 22, 2020.

  1. Go to Account > Account Settings > Security.
  2. Find the Account username template setting.
  3. Using the bracketed fields and any additional text you'd like to include, enter the template information.
  4. Bracketed fields auto-fill with information to create the username. Your options are:
  • {FIRST_NAME} inserts the user's entire first name. You can also add a number at the end of the field to include the first few letters of the name. For example, {FIRST_NAME:3} would include the letters ser in Serena's username.
  • {LAST_NAME} inserts the user's entire last name. You can also add a number at the end of the field to include the first few letters of the name. For example, {LAST_NAME:5} would include the letters telli in Serena's username.
  • {FIRST_INITIAL} and {LAST_INITIAL} give you only the first letter of the person's first or last name.
  • {PREFERRED_NAME} and {PREFERRED_INITIAL} gives you the preferred first name (or the first initial of the preferred name). You can also use variables like {PREFERRED_NAME:4} to shorten it in the username. If the user doesn't have a preferred name, this variable will insert the first name instead.
  • Any special characters will be stripped from the username. So, a last name like O'Shaughnessy-Black will be rendered oshaughnessyblack.
  • {YEAR} gives you the current year in 2 digits (2020 = 20).
  • {MONTH} gives you the current month in 2 digits (January = 01).
  • {DAY} adds the current calendar day in 2 digits (January 22 = 22).
  • {RANDOM} inserts a random number. If you want a random 5-digit number, enter {RANDOM:5}, if a random 7-digit, then {RANDOM:7}, etc. The maximum length is 10.
  • {POPULI_ID} includes the person's unique ID number from your Populi database. These are seven or more characters long and are not intuitive to remember, so use this field sparingly.
  • Any text or numerals that aren't inside {brackets} will just pass straight through and will be included in all usernames. Since usernames can only have letters or numbers, any special characters or spaces will be excluded.
  • When you're done, scroll back to the top of the page and click Save Settings.
  • To test the username template, add a user account to a test person and have a look at the username Populi generates for her. (You don't need to complete that process—just check the username Populi proposes for the person.) Return here to adjust and tweak the template as necessary.
  • To return to the default, delete the entire template.

    Now that you've set up this new username template, all new usernames will follow it until someone returns here and adjusts it.

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