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:
- Ensure that a user was able to import with the same Office Version. Not too much to ask I think.
- 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.
- 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.