Extract address from a distribution list to the contacts folder

Posted on 2006-11-22
Last Modified: 2008-03-10
I have imported a (.pst) file that contains one distribution list of contacts into outlook 2003. I would like to extract all the entries and put them in the contacts folder individually, as opposed to just putting in the one entry for the distribution list. Is there a way to get the contacts out of the distribution list and into the contacts folder?
Question by:freedom22
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 17996076
Greetings, freedom22 !

Save the DL as a text file. Open it in Notepad to remove the few lines at the top that are not names and addresses. Import into Oultook as a tab-delimited text file.

Best wishes!

Author Comment

ID: 17996256
Thanks for your quick reply. I was able to save the DL as a text file. It has two columns: the first one has the person's name and the second column has the email address.

However, when I try to import it as a tab delimited file, i can browse to it, but then the "next" button is greyed out when i try to proceed with the import, so I can't import it.

Any ideas?

LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 17996513

Change the text file extension to .csv and see if you can import the data as tab deliminated or comma separated value.

If no joy, copy the distribution list to an Excel spreadsheet. Save it as a CSV file. Then import the comma separated value file into Outlook contacts list.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 17996857
Why the hard way?

Simply send an email to youself with distribution list as an attachment. (INSERT - ITEM)
(This option will not be availible if you are using Word as your editior - turn it off)

Then, open the email, double click the attachment, and select FILE - COPY TO FOLDER.

Author Comment

ID: 17997495
this is to war1 and meintsi.

I tried both of your techniques but I couldn't get either to work.
war1: I tried changing the text file extension to csv and I still couldn't get past that point in the dialog box that I mentioned earlier. The "next" button is greyed out. I also tried opening the file as an excel worksheet and saving it as an xls file. Still I could not get past the critical point.

When I send the email to myself, I double click the attachment and I get the list of names/email addresses. However, when I try to copy them to another folder, e.g., my Contacts folder, it just copies in the DL, and not the individual names.

LVL 97

Accepted Solution

war1 earned 500 total points
ID: 17998260
>> I also tried opening the file as an excel worksheet and saving it as an xls file. Still I could not >> get past the critical point.

Save the file as a CSV file. Then choose to import the contacts from comma, separated value file. Go to File > Import and Export > Import from another program or file. Select "Comma Separated Values (Windows)" and hit Next. You may need to install this feature if not installed.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 17998271
Forgot the last step.

Yes. The Dl should be added to your contacts.
Now double-click each name and a 'Properties' dialog box will appear where you can select "Add to contacts"

This probally can be done programmatically if the list is really large.

Author Comment

ID: 17998467
More responses: (Still not solved)

war1: I have saved the file as a CSV and went through the import steps. I select "Comma Separated Values (Windows)" and hit Next. but then when i get to the "Import this file" dialog box, the "Next" button is still greyed out. (Is there a feature that I have to install that I am missing?)

meintsi: When I double click each name, the "Add to Contacts" box does NOT appear. It DOES appear if I click the button to "Add a new contact" but not for the existing entries in the list.


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