Sunday, February 1, 2004

Importing custom data into Outlook


By Diane Poremsky

This week a reader has a question about importing data into Outlook's forms:

I have bought a political database on MS Excel with more and different fields to those available in Outlook, into which I want to import it. I am not a technical wizard by any stretch of the imagination, but I would like to know if there is a publication or a simple development tool that would help me.
-- Lord Duncan McNair, West Sussex, UK

Thanks for writing, Duncan. As you've already discovered, you can't import custom fields into Outlook using the Import/Export Wizard. All is not lost, however.

You'll need to create a custom forms and can use VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code to handle the import/export chores for your custom form. It's usually easiest to do it in VBA in either Outlook or the target or source program, such as Excel or Access.

Fortunately, you don't need to be an expert programmer as its not difficult code to write and many samples are available on the Internet that you can adapt for your needs. If you'd like to try your hand at writing your own code, you'll find links to helpful sites at and if you run into trouble, you can always visit Sue Mosher's for help.

If you really aren't a code writing kind of guy, there are some tools available that may do just what you need. You'll find several to choose from at