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Importing from Excel problems

Posted on 2006-11-28
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Last Modified: 2010-04-08
Hi experts,

I've found some help by searching here but still can't get a proper import of names and address from an Excel file. Can you see what I'm doing wrong, please? I've got contact details in an Excel 2003 spreadsheet and different ones in Outlook 2003, and I want to combine them by importing the spreadsheet information into Outlook.

1. My own Excel contacts spreadsheet is arranged with each row representing a person. and the columns represent the fields such as first name, company, mobile phone number etc
2. To get the right format, I exported my existing Outlook contacts into a separate spreadsheet using default mapping. I then copied the column headers in that spreadsheet into a new worksheet in my contacts spreadsheet. I then copied the columns of data from the first worksheet into the appropriate columns on the new worksheet. Hopefully this put my data into the format that Outlook expects for an easy import. Not all of the cells have data in.
3. I then named all the columns containing data with the same name as Outlook had put into export columns in row 1, such as "FirstName". I did this by highlighting each entire column from row 2 to the last row in the data range (that rectangle containing data in any column), then clicking the cell name box on the top left and typing in the name and pressing Enter.
4. I then deleted the original worksheet, leaving just the single worksheet in the file, containing my data in the format exported by Outlook previously with all the data ranges named.
4. I then tried to import from my new spreadsheet into the Contacts folder. However when I got to the "Import a file" dialogue, I can see all my named fields with unticked boxes. If I tick the first box next to "Import "BusinessPhone" into folder: Contacts" I get "Map custom fields" dialogue coming up. This shows "From: MicrosoftExcel (new line) BusinessPhone", then it says "Value (newline) F1". I've got a list of fields in the "To:" side, and if I scroll down to show Business Phone and then drag "F1" into it and click OK I go back to the Import a File dialogue. Looks reasonable. I repeat this for all the fields in Import a file dialogue, which are all my named fields. Most times if said "F1" as above, but sometimes it said something that I recognised to be the contents of the cell in row 2 of that column. I don't know where it was getting "F1" from.
5. Then click Finish.
6. Lots of importing goes on, and I find I've now got literally thousands of address cards, mostly blank, some containing just the first name, others just the last name, and so on - a card for every single cell in the spreadsheets data area! It has failed to import the cells from each row into a single address card which is of course what I expected.

Under Contacts in Outlook, I've got an area on the top left that shows 6 rows, "Contact", "Contacts in personal folders", "Search results in personal folders", then the last 2 again, and finally "Search results". I'm puzzled by this too!

Thanks,

Stuart
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Question by:StuartOrd
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Irwin Santos earned 1000 total points
ID: 18026552
Save your Excel file as CSV and import it that way.
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by:StuartOrd
ID: 18026695
Brilliant, that worked fine! Why don't they just tell us to do it that way...........?

Any idea why I've got the bit mentioned at the end? Tell you what, I'll post another question

Many thanks

Stuart
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Expert Comment

by:Irwin Santos
ID: 18030125
I ran into that problem years ago, and found that CSV in it's raw form was easy to manipulate.

Thank you for the quick score! :-)
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