• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint

Contacts

3.11. What Are Contacts?

The Address Book is a collection of address books of different types and formats. One of these types is called the Outlook Address Book. Only one Outlook Address Book is defined for each Outlook profile, and it contains all of your Contacts folders. Each of these Contacts folders is then a repository for storing information about the contacts (people and businesses) with whom you associate. Here is a list of some of the information elements that you can store about an individual as an Outlook contact:

  • Name

  • Job title

  • Company

  • Multiple e-mail addresses

  • Web page address

  • Instant message address

  • Multiple phone/fax numbers (up to 19)

  • Multiple addresses

  • Picture

  • Nickname

  • Spouse's name

  • Birthday

  • Title

  • Anniversary

  • Suffix

  • Profession

  • Digital certificates

As you can see from this list, which is actually only partially complete, you can store quite a large amount of information about an individual. Contacts are used throughout Outlook, such as when you want to compose an e-mail, assign a task, or arrange an appointment.

3.12. How Do I View My Contacts?

The quickest way to view your contacts is to click the Contacts button in the Outlook Navigation Pane. You can also get to the Contacts view by clicking the Go menu and then selecting Contacts. (The quick keyboard method is to click Ctrl 3.)

By default, Outlook displays a list of your Contacts folders at the top of the Navigation Pane on the left side of the screen under the heading My Contacts. Below the list of folders that appears under My Contacts, Outlook displays the Current View options, which enable you to quickly select from the seven predefined views for your contacts (see FAQ 3.13). To the right of the Navigation Pane, Outlook displays the list of contacts, based upon the view you have selected.

You also will see two link options on the Navigation Pane: Share My Contacts and Customize Current View. If you are using a Microsoft Exchange Server e-mail account, you will have an extra link option, Open Shared Contacts (see FAQs 3.33 and 3.34 for details on how to share contacts).

3.13. What Are the Different Views I Can Have of My Contacts?

Outlook provides seven predefined views of your contacts. Two of these views are specific to contacts and allow you to view your contacts in a similar manner to that of a Rolodex where a column to the right of the contact listing enables you to click a letter and quickly jump to the listing of contacts whose name start with that letter.

  • Address Cards— This view displays each contact as a card. The contact's display name is the title of the card, and details about the contact, such as address and e-mail addresses, are displayed on the card itself.

  • Detailed Address Cards— This view is similar to the Address Cards view, but it displays more of the contact's stored details on the address cards.

Both the Address Cards and Detailed Address Cards views are vertically split into multiple columns. The width of which can be modified by dragging the vertical line that separates two columns to the left or the right.

Aside from the Address Cards and Detailed Address Cards views, Outlook defines the following views:

  • Phone List— This view displays the contacts in list form, with details such as name, company, and phone and fax numbers.

  • By Category— This view displays the contacts grouped by the categories to which the contacts have been assigned.

  • By Company— Outlook enables you to associate a contact with a company; this view displays the contacts grouped by company.

  • By Location— In this view, the contacts are grouped based on the country or region that has been set for their address.

  • By Follow-Up Flag— This view groups the contacts into two groups: those that have been assigned a follow-up flag and those that have not.

To select one of these views, click it in the Current View section on the Navigation Pane (see Figure 3-6). Alternatively, follow these steps to select your view or display the Current View options:

1.
From the View menu, select Arrange By.

2.
Under the Arrange By submenu, select the Current View menu item. From there, you can select the view you want.

3.
To display the Current View options in the Navigation Pane, click Show Views In Navigation Pane under the Arrange By submenu.

Figure 3-6. You can quickly and easily select one of the predefined views from the Current View options in the Navigation Pane.


You can customize all the predefined views by clicking the Customize Current View link on the Navigation Pane or by selecting Arrange By from the View menu, going to Custom View, and then clicking Customize Current View on the submenu that appears. This enables you to specify things such as what fields should be visible in the view and any sorting or filtering criteria you want to specify.

3.14. How Do I Create a New Contact?

If you want to simply add a new contact, you can do so in a number of ways, depending upon which part of Outlook you are currently using:

  • If you are already viewing your contacts (covered in FAQ 3.12), you can quickly create a new contact by clicking the New button on the Outlook toolbar or by pressing Ctrl N. This displays the Contact form (see Figure 3-7).

    Figure 3-7. When you create a new contact you are presented with this dialog box.

  • Regardless of where you are in Outlook, you can create a new contact by going to the File menu and then selecting New. From the submenu that appears, select Contact to invoke the Contact form (see Figure 3-7).

When the Contact form appears, you can enter the details that you desire and save the new contact by selecting Save (or Save and Close) from the File menu.

If you receive an e-mail and you want to add the sender of the e-mail as a contact, follow the instructions in FAQ 3.15.

3.15. How Do I Create a Contact from an E-mail?

When you receive an e-mail from someone you want to add to your contacts, you certainly don't want to have to manually enter the information in the Contact form. Outlook enables you to perform this task with a couple mouse clicks:

1.
Open the e-mail from the person for whom you want to create a contact entry.

2.
Right-click the name or e-mail address that appears in the From or Cc fields.

3.
From the context menu that appears, click the Add to Outlook Contacts menu option. This displays the Contact form similar to the one shown in Figure 3-7; several of the fields will be filled in using the details from the e-mail.

4.
Save the new contact by clicking the Save and Close button on the dialog box's toolbar.

3.16. How Do I Delete a Contact?

Sometimes you want to delete a contact from the Outlook Address Book. You can do so as follows:

1.
Ensure that you are viewing your contacts (covered in FAQ 3.12).

2.
Highlight the contact that you want to delete. If you want to delete multiple contacts, hold down the Ctrl key while selecting the contacts that you want to delete.

3.
When you have highlighted the contact(s) that are to be removed, simply click the Delete button on your keyboard.

3.17. How Can I Recover a Deleted Contact?

When you delete a contact, Outlook does not prompt you to confirm the deletion. As a result, it is very easy to lose your contact information for someone due simply because you selected the wrong person before clicking the Delete key. Fortunately, it's as easy to undelete a contact as it was inadvertently delete it.

As with most Windows applications, Outlook supports an undo feature that enables you to undo the previous operation. Therefore, if you want to recover a contact that you just deleted, simply select the Edit menu and then select Undo Delete. (You can also perform an undo by pressing Ctrl Z.)

3.18. How Do I Add an E-mail Address to a Contact?

The majority of people in this day and age have more than one e-mail address, and it often makes sense to have a record of more than one of these addresses. To add e-mail addresses to an existing contact, just follow these simple steps:

1.
Open the contact to which you want to add the new e-mail address.

2.
Click the General tab.

3.
Click the drop-down arrow that appears to the left of the E-mail field and select one of the e-mail options that appears.

4.
Enter the e-mail address into the E-mail field.

Outlook automatically generates a Display as value for you by simply using the Display as value from the first e-mail address and adding the new e-mail address in parentheses. For example, let's say that Brian Delahunty is in the Contacts folder and his Display as value for his email address is his name. If you add the e-mail address briandela@outlookhacks.com to Brian's contact record, the automatically generated Display as value for this new e-mail address will be Brian Delahunty (briandela@outlookhacks.com). (To understand what the Display as value is used for, refer to FAQ 3.19.)

5.
Click the Save and Close button on the dialog box's toolbar.

3.19. What Is the Contact's Display As Value Used For?

When creating (or updating) a contact, you can specify several values related to how the contact's information is displayed in different contexts. For example, the File as value is displayed when you view your Contacts folder. No matter how many e-mail addresses you have for a contact, that contact is listed only once in the Contacts folder, and the value there is the File as value.

However, sometimes Outlook displays a listing for each e-mail address for a contact. In this situation, you obviously need a value that is unique to that contact/e-mail address combination so that you can select the correct e-mail address. One example is the Select Names dialog box.

When you are composing an e-mail, you can click any of the addressee fields (To, Cc, or Bcc) to view the Select Names dialog box, from which you can select the recipients of the e-mail. If you have multiple e-mail addresses for a given contact, there will be an entry in the Select Names dialog box list for each e-mail address for that contact. The Display as value is displayed so that you can select the correct e-mail address for the intended recipient of the e-mail. As a result, we suggest using meaningful names for the Display as value, such as Brian Delahunty (work) and Brian Delahunty (home).

3.20. Can I Add Physical Addresses to a Contact?

Outlook enables you to add three different types of addresses for each contact:

  • Business address

  • Home address

  • Other

Here's how you can add the different addresses to a contact:

1.
Open the desired contact.

2.
On the General tab, locate the area called Addresses. In this area, you'll see a button labeled Business, Home, or Other. The data to the right of the button reflects the address for the address type stated on the button.

3.
To enter the address for the stated address type, you can type the information into the text box provided or click the button; the Check Address dialog box (Figure 3-8) opens, providing text boxes for the common address values—street, city, state/province, and so on.

Figure 3-8. The Check Address dialog box enables you to enter the address details for a contact.


4.
To specify which address type you're entering, simply click the down arrow next to the address type button and select the desired address type from the menu that appears.

5.
You can designate which address is the mailing address by checking the option labeled This is the mailing address after you select the appropriate address type.

6.
To save your work, select Save from the File menu, or click the Save and Close button if you're finished working with the contact.

3.21. How Do I Add Phone and Fax Numbers to a Contact?

As with normal paper-based address books, Outlook also enables you to save phone and fax numbers for each of your contacts. We live in an age in which so many people have multiple phones (land lines, mobile phones, faxes, and so on), and Outlook provides you with the capability to enter up to 19 different phone numbers per contact. If your friend or business associate has more than 19 phone numbers, that person is probably too busy talking on the phone to answer your call anyway!

Here's how you can add phone or fax numbers:

1.
Open the desired contact.

2.
On the General tab, locate the area called Phone numbers.

3.
By default, you will see four buttons, labeled Business, Home, Business Fax, and Mobile. To enter a different phone number type—such as a second business number, an assistant's number, or a callback number—simply click the drop-down arrow to the left of the text box where you'd like the number to be displayed.

4.
From the menu that appears, select the phone number type. The button text changes to match the selected type.

5.
To enter the phone number, simply enter the phone number in the text box adjacent to the appropriate button. In addition, you can click the button with the phone number to display the Check Phone Number dialog box (see Figure 3-9), which contains text boxes that represent the different components of the phone number.

Figure 3-9. The Check Phone Number dialog box enables you to enter phone or fax number details.


6.
To save your work, select Save from the File menu, or click the Save and Close button if you're finished working with the contact.

3.22. Can I Have Outlook Dial the Phone?

You can call your contacts from the Outlook application if you've defined a valid phone number for your contact and if your computer has a modem that is connected to an analog telephone line. This capability enables you to quickly and easily call someone in your Contacts folder without having to manually search for and then dial the person's number.

Here's how to call one of your contacts from Outlook:

1.
From the Contact List (see FAQ 3.12), highlight the contact you want to call.

2.
Right-click the contact and select the Call Contact option from the context menu to display the New Call dialog box (see Figure 3-10).

Figure 3-10. Dialing a contact from within Outlook.


3.
From here, you can select which phone number you'd like to use or even type in a different number.

4.
If you want to create a new journal entry to track the amount of time you spend on the call, check the Create new Journal Entry when starting new call option. Refer to Chapter 7, “Journals,” for more information on this feature.

5.
To have Outlook dial the number via your modem, click the Start Call button.

3.23. What Information Is Displayed on the Activities Tab?

Outlook provides you with the capability to associate certain items and events with each contact to better track your dealings with your business associates and colleagues. For example, you can assign a task to a contact or associate a particular journal entry with a contact. (Refer to Chapter 7, “Journals” and Chapter 8, “Tasks,” for more information on these topics.) In addition, if you schedule an appointment or meeting with a particular contact, that event will automatically be associated to the contact and listed on the Activities tab of that contact. E-mails to and from a contact are also automatically associated with a contact and can be viewed via the Activities tab.

To display the activities associated with a particular contact, follow these steps:

1.
Open the desired contact.

2.
Click the Activities tab.

3.
By default, Outlook lists all activities associated with the current contact. To filter which activities are displayed, click the arrow next Show drop-down list and select the desired activity type.

3.24. When I View a Contact, I See a Tab Called Certificates—What Is It Used For?

The Certificates tab is used to store digital certificates for the contact. Outlook enables you to send encrypted e-mails using digital certificates that you have obtained from a Certificate Authority (refer to Chapter 15, “Privacy, Data Security, and Virus Protection”).

When you receive an encrypted e-mail from one of your contacts, you need to decrypt it. If you save the contact's digital certificate key on the Certificates tab, Outlook will use that in decrypting the message. In addition, Outlook uses the contact's saved digital certificate key when attempting to encrypt and send a message to the contact.

3.25. Can I Attach Notes and Files to a Contact?

In some situations, you might want to attach a file to a contact or just store some additional notes about the contact. For example, let's say that you're possibly going to do business with someone for whom you've created an estimate. Wouldn't it be great to attach that estimate to the contact? That way, when he or she contacts you, you can very quickly open the estimate without having to search for it on your hard drive. Likewise, if you have questions for one of your contacts, you could place those questions in a file and add that file to the contact so that you're always ready for the contact when he or she calls you.

1.
Open the contact to which you want to add a note or attach a file.

2.
To add a note, type the desired text into the large text box located below the IM Address field.

3.
You can attach a file to a contact in a number of different ways. One way is to select the Insert menu and then select the File option. This displays a dialog box that enables you to browse for the file you want to attach to the contact. When you have located and selected the file, click Insert to attach the file to the contact.

4.
Another way of attaching a file to a contact is to drag a file from Windows Explorer and drop it onto the notes text box.

NOTE

When you attach a file to a contact, a copy of that file is made; Outlook does not link to the existing file. That means that any changes made after you attach the file will not be seen when you open the file that was attached to the client.


3.26. How Can I Add, Change, or Remove a Picture from a Contact?

In a world of e-mail and instant messaging, it's easy to forget that a real person is sitting on the other end of your Internet conversation. As a result, it's sometimes helpful to see a picture of the person you're communicating with, whether they are business associates or friends.

Adding a picture to a contact:

1.
Open the desired contact.

2.
From the Actions menu, select the Add Picture option to display the Add Contact Picture dialog box, where you can browse for and select the picture you want to associate with the contact.

Modifying a contact's picture:

1.
Open the desired contact.

2.
From the Actions menu, select Change Picture.

3.
When the Change Contact Picture dialog box appears, browse to the desired picture file and select it.

Removing a contact's picture:

1.
Open the desired contact.

2.
From the Actions menu, select the Remove Picture option.

Figure 3-11. A picture associated with a contact appears in the center of the contact's details.


3.27. Can I Create Additional Contacts Folders?

Although Outlook provides a default folder for your contacts, some users prefer to create multiple Contacts folders to organize the information for their business associates, friends, and family. We recommend using categories instead of folders to organize your contacts, but separating your contacts into distinct folders provides two benefits:

First, you can more easily back up just the contacts you want when they're in different folders because the Outlook backup system is folder based. (See Chapter 16, “Data Archival, Backup, and Restore,” for more information on this topic.) Second, data sharing between Outlook installations is done via folders. Therefore, if you want to share only a select subgroup of your contacts, the easiest method is to create a folder for the contacts you want to share and then, using Microsoft Exchange Server, share that particular folder. (Refer to FAQ 3.33 for instructions on sharing a Contacts folder.)

To add an additional Contacts folder, follow these steps:

1.
From the File menu, select New and then Folder. (Alternatively, you can click the arrow to the right of the New button on the Outlook toolbar.)

2.
When the Create New Folder dialog box appears, type in the desired name of your new Contacts folder. For example, you might name your folders something like Work Contacts or Family Contacts.

3.
Ensure that the Folder Contains combo box is set to Contact Items.

4.
Select the desired parent folder. As with most tasks, Outlook is context sensitive, in that the currently selected folder (usually the Contacts folder if you're in the Contacts view) is selected as the parent folder by default. However, you are free to change the parent folder to suit your needs. Note that no matter what folder represents the parent folder, all Contacts folders will be listed in the My Contacts section of the Navigation pane when you are viewing your contacts.

NOTE

If you need to rename or remove the Contacts folder, simply right-click the folder in the Navigation Pane and select the desired menu option.


Figure 3-12. Adding a new Contacts folder.


3.28. Can I Assign Tasks to a Contact?

Besides e-mail, Outlook is designed around the concept that people work with contacts and tasks. Therefore, Outlook makes it very easy to assign a task to a specific contact to better track what person is responsible for specific jobs.

1.
Highlight the contact to which you want to assign a task.

2.
From the Actions menu, select New Task for Contact.

3.
When the New Task dialog box appears click, fill in the task information (see Chapter 8, “Tasks,” for more detail on this).

4.
Click the Assign Task button. This causes several changes to the New Task dialog box: A text box with a button labeled To appears above the Subject text box. The To value automatically is set to the contact's name. Two options appear, as discussed in the next two steps.

5.
Check or uncheck the option labeled Keep an updated copy of the task on my task list. Checking this option enables you to more easily keep track of the progress for the task.

6.
Check or uncheck the option labeled Send me a status report when the task is completed. Checking this option causes Outlook to send you an e-mail when the contact marks the task as completed.

7.
Click the Send button to send an e-mail notification to the contact that a new task has been assigned to him or her.

NOTE

When you click the Send button, you might get a message stating, “Since you are no longer the owner of this task, the task reminder has been turned off.” If you get this message, it typically means that you set a due date before assigning the task. When you did that, Outlook created the reminder for you (because you had not yet assigned the task to the contact). When you clicked the Send button, Outlook then realized that you had a reminder for a task that won't be yours if the assignment is allowed to continue. Simply click the OK button to ignore this warning message and to assign the task to the contact.


3.29. How Do I Quickly Invite a Contact to a Meeting Request or Appointment?

Chapter 5, “Calendar, Appointments, and Meetings” covers the reverse process of creating a meeting request or appointment and then inviting desired attendees. However, sometimes it's more convenient—such as when you're reading an e-mail or looking at a list of contacts—to be able to select the contact(s) and then submit a request for attending the meeting/appointment.

While reading an e-mail:

When reading an e-mail, you might decide to create a meeting request with the person who sent the e-mail (or a person on the copy list). To do that, follow these steps:

1.
Right-click the person's name on the E-mail dialog box.

2.
From the context menu that is displayed, select the Schedule a Meeting menu option.

3.
You will see a dialog box for creating and scheduling a new meeting, in which you and the contact you selected are listed on the left side under the title All Attendees. To add more contacts to the meeting request, click the Add Others button below the All Attendees list and select the desired contacts.

4.
The right side of the dialog box displays a calendar control indicating the date and time of the meeting. A vertical bar illustrates the length of the meeting; the green side (left) represents the starting time and the red side (right) represents the meeting's stopping point. You can use your mouse to modify this time, or you can use the drop-down controls below the calendar to specify the starting and ending dates/times for the meeting.

5.
When you're done, click the Send button to have Outlook e-mail the meeting request to the contact.

From the Contacts view:

1.
Select the desired contact(s). (For more than one contact, hold the Ctrl key while selecting contacts with your mouse.)

2.
From the Actions menu, select either the New Meeting Request to Contact or New Appointment with Contact option.

3.
When the dialog box for either the new meeting or the appointment appears, fill in the necessary information, such as the subject, starting time and date, ending time and date, and location of the event. (Chapter 5 goes into more detail on each of these fields.)

4.
If you're creating a meeting request, click the Send button. If you're creating an appointment, click the Save and Close button.

3.30. Is It Possible to Get Directions to a Contact's Address?

Outlook has a little-known capability to communicate with the Microsoft mapping service (hosted on the MSN Web site) and actually lets you get directions to your contact's main address. To see a map of a given contact, follow these steps:

1.
Open the desired contact.

2.
Select the desired address.

3.
From the Actions menu, select Display Map of Address. Outlook connects to the Microsoft mapping service and passes it the currently displayed address information for the contact. This results in your browser automatically opening and displaying the results of the search.

4.
Many times, you will get a message on the browser that states something like, “Your search has returned a close match. If this is what you want, select it; otherwise, click Back and revise your entry.” As you can tell from the message, it's meant for people who've used their browser to specify the search criteria. If you do get this message and you're happy with the address that's displayed, simply click the Get Map button on the Web page to display a map of the contact's address. If you're not happy with the address, close the browser (or tab if you're using a tabbed browser such as FireFox) and reattempt the search from Outlook by returning to Step 2 in these instructions.

What's really nice about this service is that when you are presented with the map, you can click links that will display items such as directions to and from the address, a city guide where the address is located, and even the weather for that area.

3.31. How Do I Back Up My Contacts?

For details on how to back up your contacts, as well as other Outlook items, refer to Chapter 16, “Data Archival, Backup, and Restore.”

3.32. What Is a vCard and How Can I Use It?

Because there are many different types of e-mail clients (such as Outlook and Outlook Express) and address book software, a standardized means of sharing contact information is necessary. This was defined in what is known as the vCard standard. Put simply, vCard is an Internet file format used for sharing virtual business cards between different e-mail client and address-book software application. Outlook supports the vCard standard.

Here's how to create a vCard from a contact:

1.
Open the contact for which you want to create a vCard.

2.
From the File menu, select Export to vCard file.

3.
Outlook displays the VCARD File dialog box, where you can specify the location and name of the vCard file that will be created. When finished, click the Save button.

4.
After you've created the vCard, you can e-mail it to other people. From the Actions menu, select Forward as vCard.

The e-mail form appears, where you can specify the recipient of the contact's vCard. (The vCard will be sent as an attachment to the e-mail, which can be opened by any software supporting the vCard standard.)

3.33. How Do I Share My Contacts?

NOTE

To share contacts with others, you must be using the Microsoft Exchange Server, covered in Chapter 13, “Microsoft Exchange Server.”


As mentioned in FAQ 3.27, many Outlook users choose to organize their contacts into different folders. One of the benefits of doing so is the capability to share specific contacts while keeping others private.

To share a given Contacts folder, perform the following steps:

1.
From the Go menu, select Contacts to view the Contacts view.

2.
In the Navigation Pane, you should see a section labeled My Contacts that contains your different Contacts folders. Right-click the folder you want to share to view its context menu.

3.
From the menu, click the Sharing option. This displays the Properties dialog box for that folder.

4.
At the top of the dialog box, you will see a list of users for whom you can specify permissions to your selected folder. If the desired user(s) are in that list, select them. Use the Default user option to specify permissions for people whom you have not explicitly set permissions for. We recommend that you explicitly set permissions for only the people who should have access to the folder and leave the Default permissions set to “none, to better protect the confidentiality of your contact information (especially in a business environment).

5.
If the desired user(s) are not in the list, click the Add button to select them from the Add Users dialog box. If the users do not appear on the Add Users dialog box, don't forget to select the proper address book from the Show names from the drop-down list. Typically, you'll want to select the Global Address List from that drop-down list.

6.
After you've selected the user(s) who should have access to the folder and have returned to the Properties dialog box, you can specify the exact permissions those users should have in terms of whether they can create items (contacts) and subfolders, just read items, and so on.

7.
When you're finished defining the permissions for the folder, click the OK button to save your changes and to let Microsoft Exchange Server know that the folder is now sharable.

8.
See FAQ 3.34 to learn what the users to whom you've given permissions need to do to view the folder's contacts.

3.34. How Can I View Someone Else's Shared Contacts?

NOTE

To view Contacts folders shared by others, you must be using a Microsoft Exchange Server account.


To view contacts that have been defined as shared by others, perform the following steps:

1.
In the Contacts view of the Navigation Pane, click the Open Shared Contacts link. (This link is just below the Current View option buttons.)

2.
The Open Shared Contacts dialog box appears, with a single field for entering the name of the folder that you want to access. The dialog box also contains a button labeled Name that enables you to search for the desired folder. Clicking this button produces the Select Name dialog box.

3.
If necessary, change the Show names from the combo box to display Public Folders and then select the desired folder.

4.
After you click the OK button, the selected shared folder will appear in your Navigation Pane under Other Contacts.

Figure 3-13. Contacts folders that others have shared are displayed in the Other Contacts section.


  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint