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loadedmind, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 359
Experience:  Several years experience as consultant, corporate I.T. & sysadmin.
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I want to create a distribution list in my address book. I

Customer Question

I want to create a distribution list in my address book. I have all the names and email addresses on a excel spreadsheet. How can I import into this address book without having to import one at a time? Thank you Sally
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  loadedmind replied 7 years ago.
Hi Sally,

Because of the formatting issues that plague Address Book's Import feature, the easiest way I've found to resolve this dilemma is to obtain a program that will allow you to properly convert the exported Excel spreadsheet (free, by the way).

Converting the Excel Spreadsheet:
In Excel, you will need to use the + cursor to select only the values that are of interest (stuff you want to keep) and, after highlighted, choose File -> Save As -> Comma Separated Values. Make sure you save it to a location that's easily accessible because we'll need to come back to this file later.

Get SeaMonkey:
The program that we'll need is called SeaMonkey (from the folks that created Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird, etc) and you can download it by copy/pasting the following URL into your browser.

Saving SeaMonkey & Installation:
Since we only need the application temporarily, specify the Desktop as the destination for the download. The file is 22MB and on a broadband connection, i.e. high-speed cable or DSL, it shouldn't take you too long. After it has downloaded, double-click the SeaMonkey DMG file to open the contents. The resulting disk image should now be on your Desktop. Double-click this Disk Image. The window that appears should have a SeaMonkey icon with an arrow pointing right, then the Applications folder (shortcut). Simply drag the icon onto the Applications folder to install it. The expanded result should be approximately 65MB. Again, we'll only need it for a short while.

Opening SeaMonkey and CSV conversion:
From your Applications folder, open SeaMonkey. From the top, choose Window -> Addressbook. You'll get a window that pops open requesting you to setup an account. Click Cancel, then click Exit. While this window is in the foreground, choose Tools from the top, then Import. It will ask you which type of file you wish to import. Choose Text file and click Next. It will now prompt you to locate the csv file you created before when you exported your Excel contacts. Choose this file and click Open.

In the next window, it will allow you to check/uncheck fields from your CSV file. Notice that the "Record data to import" column shows what you typed and the "Address Book Fields" column shows what it will replace. Please be careful here and try to match these up exactly or you'll end up with a mess. You'll want to uncheck items under the first column unless the data under the right column matches it. From left to right, one to one, you need to use your "Move Up"/"Move Down" buttons on the right to get them matched up properly. If everything looks good, click Ok, then Finish.

Whew! Ok, now that we've finished this step, ensure Address Book is in the foreground and attention is foced on this window. Click Tools at the top and choose Export. The Export Address Book window appears. Give it a name (to the right of Save As) and leave Desktop and LDIF as the Location/filetype (Where:/Save As: respectively), then click Save.

Now, for the moment of truth. Open Address Book. Choose File -> Import -> LDIF. Find the location (from the previous step) where you saved the LDIF file and choose Open. Done!

Now you can close SeaMonkey (Cmd+Q), open Applications, drag SeaMonkey to your Trash and empty it. Or, you may decide to hang on to it for a while should you need to further tweak your Import/Export process.

Please let me know if this was helpful and whether I can be of further assistance.

loadedmind and 5 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hello John,
That was great. All done. The only thing was that in the sea monkey address book they have a display name tick box and a first name and last name tick box. As My list had only Mr J Smith for example I chose display name not first and last names. Unfortunately the mac address book only does first and last names so none of the names came across. It's OK for now though as I only need the email addresses. Cheers Sally
Expert:  loadedmind replied 7 years ago.
Hi Sally,

Sorry to hear the fields wouldn't carry over properly. Thanks for the Accept and please let me know if there's anything else I can help you with.