is there an easy way to import a list of names, addresses, cell, etc that is NOT in tab delimited format into Outlook

I got a list of people and their details (address, phones, email, etc) that I want to import into outlook.  they are in the format:

city, state, zip
cell #
bus #
>>then 2 line feeds and it repeats

I typically search and repalce the line feeds and wind up getting

name, add1, city, state, zip,......

that is tedious.

is there an easier way to get it into outlook?
Who is Participating?

Improve company productivity with a Business Account.Sign Up

thigger_ukConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Off the top of my head, something to try:

1. Search and replace to turn the commas (from city, state, zip) into a different character that doesn't get used elsewhere
2. Do the search/replace you're already doing
3. Load into Excel
4. In Excel use a search/replace to turn the characters from 1. back into commas
5. Save out and import into Outlook

(Advantage of using Excel in step 4 is that you won't get Outlook confused that the commas denote new fields)
darron_chapmanConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This should be a 3 step process

1.  Search for two line feeds and replace with || or ~~ or some other combination of characters not used in the text document
2.  search for one line feed and replace with a ,
3. search for || or whatever character you chose in the first step and replace that with a line feed
Forgot to say: remember to use the 'Map Custom Fields' option in Outlook when you're importing your new CSV file to make sure the addresses map correctly.
Get your problem seen by more experts

Be seen. Boost your question’s priority for more expert views and faster solutions

Forgot to say: remember to use the 'Map Custom Fields' option in Outlook when you're importing your new CSV file to make sure the addresses map correctly.
babaganooshAuthor Commented:
that's basically exactly what I have been doing - search and replace to make the single column of data into a table - 1 record per person...  and yeah, some 'paragraphs' (vertical record) might not have a cell number, or email or ...  so you have to manually pad it then or when you conver to a table / comma delimited...

but no feature in excel that converts to a table (I AM familar with text to columns but that parses a line into columns, not a column into a table:

phone 1


convert to

For the example you've given  just above, convert the linefeeds to commas and then convert double commas (ie ',,') back to linefeeds - which will create a CSV file you can load into Excel.

For the records where data is missing, is there a blank line in its place? Or does it just skip straight to the next field? If it's the latter this will be very difficult.
babaganooshAuthor Commented:
guys!  I know that approach! : )

Is there an automated way / just like outlook imports from csv, can it import from a single column, using the double line space as a break of records.

seems like a common issue to get a list into a table in excel, access, etc.
Sorry - we thought your problem related to the commas in 'city, state, zip'

The only way you'll easily import data into outlook is to convert it to CSV first. Assuming your data is laid out correctly it shouldn't be hard to convert it to CSV using a search/replace or automatically using a script (in whichever language you choose). It needs to be converted as there is no standard file format which Outlook understands which uses a linefeed to separate fields and two linefeeds to separate records.

So - you can't do it directly, but it's not hard to do it via a script or even loading it yourself and search/replace.
I agree with thigger on this..
babaganooshAuthor Commented:
thanks guys... yeah, I've been doing this myself this way for years as the situation arrises.  keep thinking there has to be a better way!  

oh well.  something for the next version of office?
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.