Grouping contacts


When people ask about creating and using contact "groups," they can be referring to a few different things, from distribution lists to contact folders. This article explains four ways to work with groups of contacts.

 Note   If you are using Outlook Express or Windows Mail, "contact groups" are mailing lists, similar to distribution lists in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007. Contact groups do not work the same in Outlook 2007. See "Send a message to a group of contacts" below for instructions on how to create a distribution list in Outlook.

What do you want to do?


Group individual contacts into folders

You can use contact folders to organize groups of related contacts. For example, you might create folders named "Personal" or "Offsite Offices." These contact folders will be available to you in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes buttons for the Mail, Calendar, and Tasks views and the folders within each view. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.) under Contact Folders, and in the Outlook Address Book.



Step 1: Create a new contact folder

  1. In Contacts, on the File menu, point to New, and then click Folder.
  2. In the Name box, type a name for the new folder.
  3. Verify that Contact Items appears in the Folder contains box, or choose it from the list.
  4. Under Select where to place the folder, click where you want to place the folder.
  5. Click OK.

Step 2: Add contacts to the new folder

  1. Click the contact, then on the Edit menu, do one of the following:
    • To move the contact (this removes the contact from its current folder)
      1. Click Cut to move the contact to the new folder in the Navigation Pane.
      2. Click the new folder, and then on the Edit menu, click Paste.
    • To copy the contact
  1. Click Copy to move the contact to the new folder in the Navigation Pane.
  2. Click the new folder, and then on the Edit menu, click Paste.

 Tip   You can also drag and drop contacts into the new folder. Dragging and dropping a contact moves the contact; to copy the contact, press SHIFT while dragging the contact to the folder.

Top of Page Top of Page

Add groups of contacts to the Outlook Address Book

The Outlook Address Book (Address Book: The collection of address books that you can use to store names, e-mail addresses, fax numbers, and distribution lists. The Address Book may contain a Global Address List, an Outlook Address Book, and a Personal Address Book.) is a collection of address books or address lists, created from your Outlook contact folders.

Your contact folders, by default, are automatically available to you in your Outlook Address Book as well. Each contact folder appears as an address book within the main Outlook Address Book. This enables you to sort through names and addresses more easily. Then, to see the new group of contacts in the Address Book, you must select it from the address list.

Contact folders are displayed in the Outlook Address Book

The contact folders displayed the Navigation Pane are available in the Outlook Address Book, with the same groups of contacts, as additional address books.


Step 1: Add a contact group to the address book

  1. On the Tools menu, click Account Settings.
  2. On the Address Books tab, click New.
  3. When you are prompted, click Additional Address Books, and then click Next.
  4. Click the address book that you want to add, and then click Next.

 Note   You must exit and restart Outlook to use the address book that you added.

Step 2: Display the contact group in the Address Book

When you open the Address Book for the first time, the default address book is displayed. (If you have a Microsoft Exchange account, the default address book is usually your Global Address List.) To change the contacts displayed in the Address Book, you must select their group from the Address Book list.

  • Address Books list In the Address Book, in the box under Address Book, click the contact group.

If you want, you can make this the default group of contacts displayed when you open the Address Book.

Top of Page Top of Page

Send a message to a group of contacts (create an e-mail distribution list)

A distribution list is a group of e-mail addresses that you create and add to your Outlook Address Book as a single e-mail address. When you send a message to a distribution list, it goes to every e-mail address in the list.

Do one of the following:

  • Create a distribution list by using names in your Address Book    
    1. On the File menu, point to New, and then click Distribution List.
    2. In the Name box, type a name.
    3. On the Distribution List tab, click Select Members.
    4. In the Address Book drop-down list, click the address book that contains the e-mail addresses you want in your distribution list.
    5. In the Search box, type a name that you want to include. In the list below, click the name, and then click Members. Do this for each person whom you want to add to the distribution list, and then click OK.

If you want to include a longer description of the distribution list, on the Distribution List tab, click Notes, and then add it .

The distribution list is saved in your Contacts folder by the name that you give it.

  • Create a distribution list by copying names from an e-mail message    
  1. In the e-mail message that you want to copy the names from, select the names in the To or Cc box (To, Cc, and Bcc boxes: A message is sent to the recipients in the To box. Recipients in the Cc (carbon copy) and Bcc (blind carbon copy) boxes also get the message; however, the names of the recipients in the Bcc box aren't visible to other recipients.).
  2. Right-click your selection, and then click Copy on the shortcut menu.
  3. Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, and under Create New Outlook Item, click Distribution list.
  4. On the Distribution List tab, in the Members group, click Select Members.
  5. At the bottom of the Select Members dialog box, in the Members box, right-click and then click Paste on the shortcut menu.

 Note   A member does not need to be in your Address Book in order to be added to the distribution list. The member's name and e-mail address will be included when you copy and paste from the original e-mail message.

  1. Click OK.
  2. In the Name box, type a name for the distribution list.
  3. On the Distribution List tab, in the Actions group, click Save & Close.

For more information about distribution lists, such as adding names or sending a message to part of a list, see Create and work with distribution lists.

Top of Page Top of Page

Create an Outlook contact group

Once you organize individual contacts into folders, you can organize your related contact folders into groups in the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes buttons for the Mail, Calendar, and Tasks views and the folders within each view. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.) to keep them visible and easily accessible.

 Tip   Keep your contact folders visible by keeping their group open or "expanded," or collapse the group to make more space. Click the arrows in the group header to expand and collapse the group.



Step 1: Create a new contact group

  1. In the Navigation Pane, right-click the My Contacts group header, and then click New Group.

If you have other groups, you can right-click any group header.

  1. In the new group header, type a name for the group.

 Tip   To move groups within the Navigation Pane, right-click the group header and click Move Up in List or Move Down in List.

Step 2: Add contact folders to the new group

  • In the Navigation Pane, right-click the contact folder, and then do one of the following:
    • To move the folder, click Move "folder name".
    • To copy the folder, click Copy "folder name".

 Tip   To move a folder, you can also drag and drop it into the new group.

Top of Page Top of Page

 
 
Applies to:
Outlook 2007