Contacts

HowTo Standardize Contacts’ Full Name and File As format

Button Change Name FormatWhat does your Contacts folder and Address Book look like?
Do all names show up in the same format?
For instance: “First Last” or “Last, First”?

If you’ve been using Outlook for quite some time already or when you’ve imported your Contacts from multiple sources, chances are that things aren’t that consistent for you which could make it more difficult to find a contact.

There is no way in Outlook to quickly standardize the naming format of your existing contacts and updating them manually is very labor intensive.

With the VBA macros from this guide, you can quickly standardize the naming convention of all your Contacts to a format of your choice.

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HowTo Updating the Offline Address Book in Exchange and Outlook

Button - Download Address BookWhen you have Cached Exchange Mode enabled, Outlook by will by default cache the main Global Address List as well. This is called the Offline Address Book and is being generated on the Exchange server.

Due to various synching schedules, it can take up to 48 hours before you could actually see a change in Outlook after a modification has been made on the Exchange server or in Active Directory.

In this guide, the relevant timings are explained and instructions are given in how you can directly force an update and resync, which can be very handy when troubleshooting or when you work in an Exchange environment which sees a lot of user mailbox mutations.

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HowTo Display the member count of a Contact Group

In Outlook, there is no direct way to find out how many members have been added to a Contact Group (also known as Distribution Lists in Outlook 2007 and previous).

Apparently, the Outlook Team doesn’t like to count things as Outlook also can’t display the amount of selected items.

A workaround is to save the Contact Group as a txt-file and get the line count. A more sophisticated way is to use a VBA macro as demonstrated in this guide.

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HowTo Create a Contact Group from selected Contacts

When you create a new Contact Group (also known as a Distribution List), Outlook doesn’t offer you much flexibility when it comes to finding and selecting contacts via the “Add Members” dialog.

For instance, there is no way to quickly add several people belonging to the same company or Category to your Contact Group.

The VBA macro from this article allows you to select your members directly from your Contacts folder. This enables you to first sort or filter your Contacts folder by a specific field such by Company or Category and/or do a search query and thus select your contact group members more conveniently.

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HowTo Reviving the Contact Activities feature in Outlook 2013

In Outlook 2013, when you open the Contact form, you’ll find that the Activities tab has been removed from the Show group on the Ribbon. While much of its use has been replaced by other functionality such as Instant Search and the People Pane (Social Connector), on occasion, you might still have a need to find all Outlook items related to a specific contact and have that available directly from the contact itself.

As the Contact Activities view basically isn’t much more than an elaborate search, we can revive this feature via some VBA code. This guide contains the code and instructions on how to implement, use and extend such a programmatic search.

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HowTo Map It customizations and driving directions

Outlook holds a mapping function to locate your contacts on the map. By default this will use the Bing Maps service but you can tweak Outlook to also use Google Maps or another mapping service.

While the mapping function in Outlook is great to pinpoint your contacts, a common request is to also get driving directions to this contact. This guide will explain how you can customize the mapping feature to also act as a route planner. In addition, this guide will also list and discuss several add-ins which can add more advanced mapping features to Outlook.

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HowTo Update general info for multiple contacts

Find and Replace for Contacts buttonCreating contacts is easy and before you know it, you’ve got several dozen or even hundreds of them in your Contacts folder. It is very likely that some of them hold relations with one another like the same company or the same address.

When you store such info with your contacts, you probably don’t want to open every contact and add the same information to it. Or even worse; Do you want to change the address for every contact when the company relocates? I know I wouldn’t!

The following method describes an easy way to update general information for contacts that are sharing the same details in one or more Contact field.

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HowTo Export Contacts to Excel

Export to Excel buttonAlthough the Import and Export wizard allows you to export to an Excel spreadsheet, the Wizard doesn’t allow you to export all the fields and filtering the mapped fields is a cumbersome process as well.

The export to Excel option has been removed from Outlook 2013 mainly because it was still using the old xls-format instead of the new xlsx-format. You can still achieve the same by exporting to the csv-format but that can be even more cumbersome.

Fortunately there is another, more graphical (WYSIWYG), way to do this as well via the copy/paste method.

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