Importing Your Data Into Outlook

If you have been using a previous version of Outlook (or Outlook Express) then importing your data should be fairly painless as Outlook is very good at detecting the necessary files, and importing them. However, don’t despair if your data is in another format as Outlook contains some very good tools for converting and importing your data.

At the time of writing Outlook can import data directly from the following programs:

  • ACT! 3.x, 4.x, 2000 Contact Manager
  • Comma Separated Values (DOS)
  • Comma Separated Values (Windows)
  • Lotus Organiser 4.x
  • Lotus Organiser 5.x
  • Microsoft Access 97-2003
  • Microsoft Excel 97-2003
  • Outlook Express 4.x, 5.x, 6.x or Windows Mail
  • Personal Address Book
  • Personal Folder File (.pst)
  • Tab Separated Values (DOS)
  • Tab Separated Values (Windows)

If your program is not listed you should still be able to copy your data across providing you can export it as comma delimmited (.csv) file from your original source – you will need to consult the documentation for your program to check this.


Importing from another program

Click the File menu command and select Import ard Export, this will show the dialog below.

Select the option Import from another program or file and click the Next button. In the next dialog you will see a list of all the file types that the Import Wizard recognises.

For our demonstration we have selected to import a Comma Separated Values file. Once selected click Next.

In the next screen you will need to use the Browse button to select your data file for importing. You can also select how you wish to handle any duplicated items. Make the appropriate choices for your situation and click Next.

Now you will be prompted to select a destination for the imported data, take care to ensure that you select the correct type of folder, it’s no good importing a contacts file into a tasks folder!

Once the Wizard has found the file to import it will make some suggestions about how to handle the file similar to the screen below, although yours will almost certainly be different.

Pressing the finish button will now start the conversion during which you will see a number of screens informing you of progress.