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How do I Copy my Address Book to a Different Email Program?

This is one of the most frequent questions I hear. Well, I never have that problem because I never use any email program's address book in the first place. I keep all my contacts in a spreadsheet. (More on this in a moment.)

In any case, some email services have "File>Export" and "File>Import" options for moving addresses, but there is very little consistency among the various services on how they do this.

An easier method is to open your email program, begin a new outgoing message, and then click each of your contact's address data into the To: box. Then click anywhere this box and do Ctrl+A to select all the addresses, followed by Ctrl+X to cut them from the box.

Now you can do Ctrl+V to paste all the names onto a word processing page or into a spreadsheet (as I do), from whence you can copy and paste them into a new email program's Address Book.

Better Yet, Don't Use any Email Program's Address Book!

Just have all your email addresses in a spreadsheet on your computer, and then copy and paste them as needed into an outgoing message's To: box or BCC: (blind carbon copy) box.

This would also mean that the next time you decide to change email services (or add contacts to the one you have) you'll never again have the hassle of exporting/importing a contact list. Furthermore, adding and/or removing addresses from such a master list is infinitely easier than doing so within any email program's Address Book.

This is particularly true if you send out a newsletter to a large number of recipients.

Creating an Address Book
(Contact List)
Using a Spreadsheet

Begin by typing headings into the top row, such as First Name, Last Name, and so on.

Use File>Save As to name the worksheet and you will be ready to fill in the various data below the headers.

At some point you will want to sort (alphabetize) the information, probably by Last Name.

Click the alpha character above Last Name to highlight the column. Then click on Data>Sort. Youíll be asked if you want to expand the selection to keep the other columns synchronized. Click Yes, and then choose "My Data Range Has a Header Row."

By the way, you don't need to use a spreadsheet.

Any kind of a text document will work, such as Notepad, Wordpad, or Microsoft Word or the FREE Google Docs (my personal favorite).

I like beginning with Excel because I have thousands of contacts, and a spreadsheet makes arranging the data into different groups or categories much easier.

The sorted database can then be used as a source for printing envelopes or mailing labels. However, the actual printing would be formatted in Microsoft Word. More information on this can be found here.

Removing Duplicate Entries

In a large database itís not uncommon to accidentally enter a duplicate entries. Well, Excel lets you weed out duplicate entries by clicking Data>Filter, and choosing Advanced Filter. Finally, click on Unique Records Only. This will remove the duplicated rows.

WARNING: Before doing any of the above, you should create a backup of all your Address Book data and save it on an exterior storage place, such as Google Docs just in case something goes wrong and important information might be lost.

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