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Outlook Express Groups

Posted on 2014-03-06
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Last Modified: 2014-03-10
I know a pretty obscure topic, but still have a client on XP running OE.  Exported her Address Book and imported into Outlook however, it does maintain the Distribution Groups because Outlook has Distribution Lists.
Tried searching for a solution, short of rebuilding all her lists.  Read that you could import into Thunderbird first and then to Outlook.

Any thoughts?
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Question by:Webcc
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6 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Alexios
ID: 39909225
Hello
please can you describe in more detail the problem that you are facing ?
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Author Comment

by:Webcc
ID: 39912899
Objective:  Move away from Outlook Express to either Outlook 2010 or Windows Live Mail. Need to be able to import all Distribution Groups into Outlook or WLM.

Problem:    Many Distribution Groups in Outlook Express that are used for Email blasts.  They do not export properly into Outlook Address Book as they were in OE because Outlook does not support Distribution Groups it uses Lists.  Tried to export out of OE with "WAB" or "CSV" same issue.  So instead of keeping all the address in Groups it just imports as single addresses (contacts) into Outlook.

Hope this clarifies the situation.
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by:BillDL
BillDL earned 500 total points
ID: 39914231
Webcc

What you are experiencing is one of the annoying limitations of the Windows Address Book. It does not preserve the groups.  It's not a "bug", just a limitation.  The WAB storage format and wab.exe functionality are fairly primitive, and preserving contact groups when exporting was either an oversight or was simply never anticipated as a future issue.
There is no real workaround other than importing into MS Outlook, doing a lot of manual shuffling to reconstruct the groups, and then exporting to other formats in a format that should support contact groups.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249670
Bear in mind that the Windows Address Book has served as the contacts manager for Outlook Express practically unchanged since 1996, and OE being the "domestic" version of Outlook, the perceived needs were much simpler.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Alexios
ID: 39916960
Agree with BillDL

Check a non microsoft software that may help you accomplishing what you need
http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/config/converting-addresses-to-or-from-outlook/
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LVL 38

Accepted Solution

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BillDL earned 500 total points
ID: 39917155
Aaaah, yes, you just made me think about another possibility.  Nir Sofer has loads of free utility tools that mostly run as standalone EXE files that create their own config files in the same folder.

One tool I have used to grab information from a variety of Windows dialogs is SysExporter:
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/sysexp.html

The "Filter" menu allows you to select ONLY "ListView" type items, and this is what the contacts display as when you open the Windows Address Book.

With the WAB file open, and SysExporter filtered to ListView only, the only Address Book item that should show in the top pane will be the currently selected group in the open address book.  (Note: you would obviously have to make sure that the View menu in the address book had "Folder and Groups" ticked.

When a "folder" or "group" is selected in the left pane of the Windows Address Book, the bottom pane of SysExporter should be populated with details of all the contacts in that group split into data columns.

None of my contacts have extensive information, and most only contain Name, Email, Home Phone, Business Phone, and I don't know whether any additional fields would be shown in columns if additional data existed for the contacts.  You can rearrange the columns to suit (Items menu > Choose Columns).

Anyway, you can select all contacts that are shown and either copy and paste them as delimited text, or export them to a more standard text file.  When pasted as tab delimited text, it wouldn't take too much work to do an Edit > Replace and turn it into a standard CSV file that might work.

No guarantees though, as I haven't experimented beyond exporting to a file and converting to CSV.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 39917262
Thank you Webcc.  I hope you can find a suitable workaround.
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