Importing individual contacts from a text file to Microsoft Outlook

Please note contacts are displayed individually not as a Distribution Group.


You need to set up your data in a Text file first. You can use Word but the document will have to be converted into a text (.txt) file when saved.

In the example we will use a table in Word and then convert it.

  • Open Word
  • Create a table of 5 columns and at the number of rows you need
  • In the first row, insert the headings. Use the headings in the example Diagram as they will match the headings in Outlook.

Text Table

  • Insert data in correct fields
  • When you have finished, put you cursor inside the Table
  • From the Table Tools - Layout ribbon, in the Data group, choose Convert to Text
  • In the dialog box, choose Tabs and then OK
    This will create tabbed fields which you need for importing
  • Use Save As
  • In Save as Type choose Plain Text (*.txt)
  • Give the file a name and location and click Save
  • Choose Windows default and click OK
  • Close the document.

Importing Contacts from a text (.txt) file:

  • Open Outlook and open the Contacts folder
  • From the File menu, choose Import and Export and the Import a File wizard opens
  • Select Import from another program or file, and then click Next
  • In the Select file type to import from box, click Tab separated values (Windows), and then click Next
  • Click Browse and locate and select the file you want to import
  • Click OK, and then click Next
  • Select the Contacts folder and click Next
  • When the dialog box opens, it is shown as Import “Names.txt” into folder: Contacts
  • Click Finish.