Create an Outlook 2010 Contact List from a list of email addresses

I need to prepare several large distribution lists from lists of email addresses.  Each address is in it's own cell in an Excel 2010 worksheet. Also, I added a semi-colon to the end of each address because that's what needs to separate the addresses.  I need to get this list into a distribution group (aka Contact List) in Outlook.  The list of names can be copied into the group list if I could get them into a string like ";;; etc. etc.".

Does anyone know how I can get this column of data into a string like this?
A sample file with a list of names is attached to play with.

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Small change to the excel file, and you can import direct into Outlook.

See attached file Version 1 (I have removed the semi-colons, added a header row, and named the range).

This can be imported into Outlook as a distribution group, and then into a list:

OL - File - Import & Export

Go through the import wizard, and map the named range (emails) to the email address field.

One in as contacts, create a new distribution list, and select members, then select the whole lot, and put them into a list that you can email all at once.



Edit:  Forgot to attach file!

Just in case, these are the detailed steps (I am using Outlook 2007 here, but I would expect OL 2010 to be similar):

NB:  Believe it or not, in OL 2007, it seems you cannot import an Excel 2007 / 2010 (xlsx) file, so I saved using Excel 97-2003 format (xls).  Not sure if that has changed in OL 2010 or not.

I suggest you create a new 'contacts' folder to do this under.  To do that:

Select your existing contacts folder
File - New - Folder
Call it whatever you like (I use Temp_Import_20131008 (today's date) for this, but its up to you - I suggest it is something very obvious and unique so its easy to find down below).

Select the contacts folder you created above
File - Import & Export
Import from another program or file
Microsoft Excel
File to import = [Path to your excel file]
Choose whether to allow duplicates - probably not in most cases
Select the destination folder - I choose the one created above
Map custom fields
Find 'Email - Email Address' from the list on the right, then drag and drop the 'Emails' range from the left onto that 'Email Address' field on the right to map it.  OL often gets this right itself, but I never trust it, and always do it myself explicitly.
Make sure that the 'Import' action is ticked, then click Finish

You will now have contacts in the folder you created above, for each email address.

To get them all into a single distribution list, do the following:

Select your contacts folder, or wherever you want the list to live:
File - New - Distribution List
Give it a name - whatever you like, but again I suggest something very clear and unique
Click on 'Select Members'
Under the 'address book' (select the new contact folder that you created above - make sure its the right one!)
The top items in the list will already be highlighted, so scroll down to the bottom of the list, hold down shift, and left-click the last item to select all of them.
Click on 'members' at the bottom of the window, and they will all be added in there
Click OK
Click 'Save and close'

You will now have a distribution list in whatever contacts folder you chose above, named whatever you called it, that you can email to all in one go.

I would also note that I suggest you email TO yourself, and BCC the list, else you will disclose the list members to all the other members.



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thutchinsonAuthor Commented:
The question is:  How do I add multiple contact email addresses to a distribution list without selecting them one at a time?

Hi Alan,  thanks for your help.

Sorry that you went through all this but it's not what I need.  I know all about importing and exporting contacts. Instead, I am trying to figure out how to add multiple contacts to a distribution list without having to add them one at a time. I need to create distribution lists from contacts already existing in my .pst file.  

 I created a view to filter out the contacts that I want to add to a distribution list.  Then, I want to add all of them to the distribution list without selecting them from the list one at a time.  

The worksheet I posted was an attempt at a workaround if needed.  I was thinking that someone knowing VBA could create a string out of the addresses in the cell and I could copy the string into the contact group.
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Isn't that precisely what I set out above?

It takes the email addresses from excel, and puts them in a distribution list for you.

What am I missing?


thutchinsonAuthor Commented:
Hi Alan,

I'll read this more carefully when I get back to the office tomorrow.  Your method probably works fine.   I'll let you know tomorrow.  Thanks.
thutchinsonAuthor Commented:
What we really need to be able to do is to create a view and select a swath of contacts from the view and add them to a distribution list.  Unfortunately, Outlook does not support this.  Instead, I exported the contact list into Excel, filtered out the contacts that I didn't want in the group and imported the group members into their own contact folder.  I could then create a group and add all the members from the new contact folder to the group.

Note that you don't have to isolate the email address field into the contact folder to make this work.
If you post what you actually want to achieve, someone might be able to solve that for you too - doesn't *sound* too hard (but you never know!)
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