Last night I created an Excel spreadsheet that captured all of the basic information for my family, addresses and such.  I figured I would import it into Outlook.  I am currently running Outlook 2007.  What a pain that turned out to be.

  • There is no support for importing Excel 2007 spreadsheets.  Guess that was just an oversight from the Outlook Team.
  • After saving down to Excel 2003, no big deal, the import asked me to specify a specific range in the spreadsheet to import the contacts from.  I do know how to do this, however, once I created the range and resaved the spreadsheet in 2003 format, I kept getting errors
  • I ended up converting to a CSV format.  So during the import process, I could have just went through the wizard steps and imported the contacts giving me not a very good experience because my field names did not match those in Outlook.  Fortunately, I did mapped the fields and completed the import.

 

The bottom line in this for me was that the customer experience was not too good.  Here are a number of things that I would have improved upon:

  1. Ensure that a user was able to import with the same Office Version.  Not too much to ask I think.
  2. Give more explicit instructions on what was needed to successfully import an Excel file up front in step one of the wizard.  I would have canceled, created the named range, and voila, complete.  Even better, have Outlook inspect the Excel file and help determine the range.
  3. When mapping the fields, it was not intuitive to drag the column names of the the import file to the Outlook field names, unless I missed some instructions.

 

My rant for the day.

 

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