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Creating an Email distribution list from works database

Posted on 2014-09-06
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Last Modified: 2014-09-11
We have a Works 2000 database, containing records from around 1500 clients, and I'd like to send an Email to them.  One field in the database contains all the Email addresses.  My Email client is Outlook 2007.  It is not necessary to personalize the message, such as with a unique salutation.  I'd appreciate some guidance on how to accomplish this.
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Question by:ddantes
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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 40308708
Hello David

It is a very long time since I used any version of Microsoft Works and I don't have immediate access to it at the moment.  You are no doubt aware that the applications in the Works Suite are simplified versions of the full Microsoft Office suite, and a lot of the enhanced functionality has been stripped from them.

The *.WDB files are single binary files that are in the same internal format as pre-2007 Microsoft Office files, and this makes it difficult or impossible to parse them using something like a Windows batch file and pick out any data fields reliably.

I assume, from what you have said in the question, you have MS Works still installed on a functional computer.

Do you have any versions of Microsoft Office running on other computers with MS Access and Excel installed?

What "export" or "Save As" options do you have under the "File" menu of the Works Database application?

I am wondering whether it might be easier to try and export the database to an Excel spreadsheet format or even a comma-separated values (*.CSV) file that would be easier to create an Address Book entry from.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 40308720
Hi Bill:  Thank you for taking an interest.  I attached a screen shot of the "Save As" options for this file.
Save As dialog
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BillDL earned 2000 total points
ID: 40308737
Try saving as a CSV file and then try to import that directly into Outlook 2007.  I found the following page that describes (starting at Step 2) how this would be done in Outlook 2013.  I would hope that the functionality will have been the same of very similar in the 2007 version.  Take note of the option to create duplicates, which is the safer option.
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/create-a-contact-group-from-a-list-of-contacts-in-excel-HA103145839.aspx
The only issue that you may encounter is the "mapping" of the separate fields in the CSV file.  You only have one field for each contact, and the only details for each is an email address.  Without having names for the contacts it could be problematic.

I found another PDF file that shows how to create a new distribution list from an Excel (XLS) file.  You would just choose Comma Separated File (CSV) when it comes to choosing the type of file.  It looks like a slightly older version of Outlook, but has a lot of useful screenshots to demonstrate the process.
http://www1.hollins.edu/Docs/CompTech/On-line_Documentation/Outlook/Creating%20a%20Distribution%20List.pdf

A YouTube video that shows the Outlook 2007 dialogs:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjCLZZY2HfA
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 40308926
Thank you for all your research, Bill.  I'll look into these methods and post again, but it may take a day or two...
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Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 40309329
No rush David.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 40311384
I have only tried the first method so far.  I saved my Works database as a comma separated Windows file, and then tried to import it into a new contacts folder in Outlook.  A two-column window opened, prompting me to drag data from the CSV file into the new contacts folder, mapping it to a field.  But I would have needed to do that for each of 1500 records in the CSV file, manually.   I'll try the other methods ASAP.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 40315571
Life has gotten in the way of my trying out the other methods, so I'll award points and close the question.  When it becomes possible, I'll pursue the remaining suggestions.  Thanks Bill!
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:BillDL
ID: 40317754
Thank you David.  I hope that one of the methods works for you.
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