If you are in a business that attends a lot of trade shows or you simply have kept all of your Contacts in Excel in the past. There is a quick and efficient way to import all contacts from Excel into Outlook so that you don’t have to manually re-type all of them. Maybe you have a Virtual Assistant that is helping your life get more organized so you can be more efficient! Why not hand these notes over to your VA?

Importing Contacts from Excel into Outlook. These instructions are written for Excel 2003 so be aware they may not work exactly as instructed in other versions. (I haven’t had to do this since I upgraded to Excel 2007)

My instructions may tell you things you already know but I don’t want to assume. If you need help feel free to contact me. Okay, first things first…..may sure you have a header row in your Excel Sheet. (A header row is a row that has labels for each column indicating what is in that column – e.g. First Name, Last Name, Address, Phone Number, Email, Website, etc)

Next: if the full contact name is in one cell you have to tell Excel to break the name into separate cells….insert three new columns to the right of the full name column. (I say three columns because if a name has a middle initial or Jr./Sr. it will affect this process)

Then highlight the entire “full name” column (just click the column heading)

Next go to Data (top toolbar), Text to Columns – it will bring up the Wizard.

  • Under: Original data type – select “delimited” (you will see a preview of your column contents at the bottom of the wizard screen) – NEXT
  • Then it will bring up: “delimiters” – tab will be auto-selected but you want “space” so click the box next to SPACE (again you will see preview of data & now you will see that the first name is separated from the last name) – NEXT
  • Then it will come up with how do you want it formatted, in this case since it was names I said “TEXT”
  • Finish

The wizard may ask you if you want to replace the destination cells….but you’ve already inserted your three new columns so tell it yes! I had to do one modification because one person did have a middle initial and I didn’t want that…..so I just put the last name into the correct field and then deleted out the unnecessary “middle” initial column!

If you can rename the header row using “fields” recognized by Outlook that’s good but you will get a chance later on to tell Outlook what field goes with what field.

Next in your Excel sheet: you have to highlight the entire range of data you want to import into Outlook. With the entire range of data highlighted go to: (Whatever name you chose make sure it’s only ONE word)

  • Insert (in your top toolbar)
  • Name
  • Define
  • Save the Excel file & exit

Go to the import process in Outlook… (In Outlook – File–>Import/Export–>Import from another program or file–>Excel

The last thing you want to do as you do the import is when you get to the screen that says “define mapped fields” (will be in upper right hand corner of wizard) make sure that you follow the instructions on that

Voila……….it should work successfully. Again, if you need any help, feel free to contact me.