Import / Export of Address Books

Several files formats are available for exporting and importing address books from one e-mail software program to the other. In this example LDIF is used.

In 2006, I created two address books and put all 120 Florida State Representatives in one and all 40 Florida State Senators in another.

I recently had cause to provide these two address books to two friends who use Microsoft's Outlook Express for e-mail.

The export method shown is using Mozilla's Thunderbird. Version 1.5

The following windows will show how to Export an Address Book from Thunderbird and Import into Outlook Express.

Although, this example is an Export from Thunderbird to a Import to Outlook Express the procedure or principle is basically the same which ever way your going or which ever mail program your using.

With Thunderbird loaded, click on TOOLS and ADDRESS BOOK as shown below.
Note:...   For better viewing here, All windows have been minimized and resized.

Clicking on TOOLS and ADDRESS BOOK opens the window shown below.

As shown Above,
Highlight the Address Book to be exported and click on TOOLS and EXPORT.
As shown above, Select the file format (LDIF) and name the file being exported anything you choose. In this case we named it "State Representatives" same as it is in Thunderbird. Note:.. As shown, I keep exported copies of all my address books in the Profile folder. You may export to any folder but, remember the location.

Three easy steps is all there is too exporting the address book from Thunderbird into a file which can now be copied or e-mailed for others or yourself to use else where.

It should be noted here:...   if very many addresses are being imported and all pertain to one group such as the 120 Florida State Representatives, then a new Identity should be created in Outlook Express because Outlook Express imports the addresses into the current Identity's address book.

By creating a new User Identity and creating a new and different folder for the Representatives as a sub-folder to the "Shared Contacts" folder the Representatives will be available to all Users.

The window shown below is Outlook Express.
With Outlook Express loaded, click on TOOLS and ADDRESS BOOK as shown above.
At the Address Book window, Right Click, on SHARED CONTACTS and select NEW and NEW FOLDER as shown above.
At the above screen, we named the Folder "Florida Representatives" because it will hold the imported e-mail addresses, i.e. the LDIF file.  -  Click, OK

Proceed to Next Window
For the import function click on, FILE - IMPORT - OTHER ADDRESS BOOK as shown above and the next window will open.
At the above screen select the LDIF file format and click on, Import
From the above screen the User must navigate to the folder where the LDIF file is located, select it and click on OPEN
The above windows will reflect the import and completion. When the small completion windows appears, Click on OK
This brings us to the part where we have to do some stupid crap due to the clowns at Microsoft.

I have found no way to import the new LDIF file directly into the Florida Representatives folder. It always imports into the main folder of the current User Identity. This means if you are importing a lot of addressees into a lot of addresses it could become a mess.

In this case with 120 State Representatives addresses it is highly desirable to keep them separate from the normal run of the mill addresses.

It is for this reason, we previously pointed this out and suggested another identity be created with sub-folders to the "Shared Contacts". Having a separate new identity keeps the main address book empty and keeps one from worrying about messing up the current address book.

The new or different User Identity can be ignored or deleted once the addresses are located in the sub-folders of the "Shared Contacts"

As indicated by the screen above the new addresses were imported into the current identities regular folder and there is no way to move the address files except as explained in the next window.

Highlight all the address files and RIGHT click on the Current Identity Folder and LEFT click on COPY.
As shown by the window above, RIGHT click on the recently created "Florida Representatives Folder and LEFT click on Paste.
Another of Microsoft's weird things, Frankly, the above window is not understood at all but, it will be necessary to now click on the OK button 120 times to copy each of the 120 addresses into the folder.
As indicated by the above window the State Representative addresses are now copied into the State Representatives folder.
Next as shown above, highlight the current Identity folder and all the address files again and RIGHT click in the highlighted area, then LEFT click on DELETE to delete and remove the files from the Identity folder so, it is ready for the next import.
Of course we always get one of these little windows so click on YES and proceed.
At this point in this example we start to repeat but, to aide the User and provide continuity, we will proceed for a few screens. As was stated in the first window for the creating the Representatives folder, At the Address Book window, Right Click, on SHARED CONTACTS and select NEW and NEW FOLDER as shown above.
At the above screen, we named the Folder "Florida Senate" because it will hold the senators imported e-mail addresses, i.e. the LDIF file.  -  Click, OK
With the Florida Senate folder created, The User is now ready to click on, FILE, IMPORT, OTHER ADDRESS BOOK.. and then proceed same as instructed for importing the Representatives address files.

The following screens show how to import LDIF address books into Thunderbird and you may decide for your self which program is the more User Friendly. i.e. Outlook Express or Thunderbird.

With Thunderbird loaded, as indicated above, click on TOOLS and ADDRESS Book.
At the Address Book Screen indicated above, click on TOOLS and IMPORT.
At the next screen shown above, verify the Address Books is selected and click, on NEXT.
At the next screen shown above, select the LDIF format and click, on NEXT.
As shown by the screen above, Navigate to the folder and select the file to be imported which in this case is the "Florida Representatives" LDIF file.
The progress of the Import is indicated by a screen as shown above.
With the import completed the screen shown above will appear and you may click on FINISH.
Take note, as indicated above, the LDIF address book came in as a new folder with the same name as the imported file. No fuss, no bother of going to the trouble of creating folders yourself and copying and deleting files to accomplish the task.

That is one of the many reasons this User prefers the Mozilla Firefox Browser and it's Thunderbird program over Internet Explore and Outlook Express.

However, since I like the suite arrangement, I use Mozilla's program Seamonkey which is basically Firefox and Thunderbird combined into one program.

What is written here is an effort only to explain the basics of Export / Import of address books.

However, if you have a question ask The Head Dunce by Clicking:...  HERE

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