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The Import/Export Option in Ms Outlook

By

Steve Link

Have you ever needed to import an Outlook contact list from Excel format? Have you had a need to send someone your contact list to be used in another email program?

In either of these cases you would use the Import / Export wizard in Microsoft Outlook. In this article we will go through the procedures to export to Access and import from a comma delimited file.

First, let's say you have a request from a partner to export your contact list to Access format to use in a database program he is putting together. Open Outlook and click on the File menu. Follow these steps to perform the export.

  • Click on the "Import and Export" menu option
  • Click on "Export to a file" and click on the Next button
  • Select Access as the destination file type
  • Select the folder to export from
  • In this case we will use Personal Folders and Contacts within that. Click Next.
  • Type in the name of the file to export to. Click Next.
  • In the next screen you can choose to map custom fields if necessary. We will omit that step here. Click Finish.

The second scenario we will set up is something that many advertising managers may encounter from time to time. Suppose your boss has purchased a mailing list and given you the task of utilizing it to send out advertising. You look at it and the file is a plain, comma-delimited file. There is an easy solution for that problem. Import the names and addresses into Outlook. Open Outlook and click on the File menu. Follow these steps to perform the import.

  • Click on the "Import and Export" menu option
  • Click Import from another program or file and then Next
  • Click Comma separated values (windows) and Next
  • In this screen you can browse to select the file to import and choose how to handle duplicates. Click Next
  • Select the location to import them into and click Next
  • In this screen you will have an option to map custom fields or change destination. Click Finish.

Now for an explanation of the MAP CUSTOM FIELDS option mentioned above. You may have a database or something similar where the field names don't perfectly match up. This is where this option would come in handy. Maybe the address field is called ADDR in the source while it is called ADDRESS in your Outlook installation. This option would make sure the fields match up even though the names are different.