How to export, clean up, and import addresses into Listbaby

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How to export, clean up, and import contact lists into Listbaby

If you want to import a large number of addresses into Listbaby and your data file is clean, you can follow these simple steps.

However, many times the programs that contain the addresses you want will not have the data in the format Listbaby needs. This article explains what you need to do clean up, format, and import the data into Listbaby. At first, this may look like a rather intimidating and complex process. It actually is not, although you will need to have access to Excel or some other spreadsheet application and some basic knowledge how to use it.

Part I: Exporting from another program

These steps will vary since each program has different ways of exporting contact lists.

  1. Launch your other program (e.g. Outlook, Entourage, whatever program contains the names you wish to import)
  2. Export a text file of your contacts. If you have a choice, we recommend a tab-delimited text file. A comma-separated text (aka "CSV") file will do as well. If you do not know how to do this, you will need to search that program's help files, documentation or do a Google search for instructions.
  3. Note the name of the exported file and where it was saved

Part II: Opening your data file

The data file must have the information in the correct order for it to be imported properly. These steps assume you have access to MS Excel or some other spreadsheet.

  1. Launch MS Excel (or another spreadsheet program)
  2. Open the text file you exported in Part I above. If you are lucky, it will open cleanly with each data field displayed in a separate column. You may be prompted to indicate that this is a text file with Tab or Comma delimiters. If it doesn't look right, close the file and reopen trying different settings.

Part III: Correcting the field order Once the file is opened in the spreadsheet and all the data is nicely displayed in columns, you must now rearrange the columns in the correct order:

  1. email
  2. name
  3. street address
  4. city
  5. state
  6. zip
  7. country
  8. phone
  9. url
  10. keywords
  11. notes

Not every field is required. The only field you must have is is the email address.

Drag and drop, or copy, cut, and insert columns until they are in the correct order above. Delete altogether any unneeded fields or fields you don't wish to import into Listbaby.

Part IV: Combining First name and last name fields Most contact databases separate the first and last names, but Listbaby requires one field which requires the two fields to be combined. There are several methods to do this. Here is one:

  1. Copy the firstname and lastname fields in the spreadsheet
  2. Paste the contents into a text editor (e.g. Textedit or Notepad). You should now see a list showing first names and last names separated by tabs
  3. Highlight and copy the space between the first name and the last name (this is the tab)
  4. Replace the tabs with spaces:
  • In Mac TextEdit:
    • Choose Edit-Find-Find or press Command-F
    • Paste the copied tab from step 2 above into the Find window
    • Click in the Replace window and press the space bar once
    • Click the Replace All button
  • In Windows Notepad:
    • Choose Edit-Replace or press CTRL-H
    • In the Find What window, paste the copied tab from step 2 above (it may appear as a box character; that is okay)
    • In the Replace With window, press the space bar once
    • Click the Replace All button

You should now have a list of first and last names in your text editor separated with a space

Part V: Paste and verify combined names back into the spreadsheet

  1. Insert a new, empty column in your spreadsheet next to the existing firstname and lastname fields
  2. Select and copy the entire contents of the text editor you worked in in the previous instructions
  3. Paste the copied text into the empty column you created a couple steps previously
  4. Scroll through your spreadsheet to verify that the new combined first/last name field matches up with the existing data
  5. Once verified, you may delete the first name and last name columns, leaving the new combined first/last name column intact

Part VI: Verify and save the spreadsheet

  1. Look at your spreadsheet and verify that the fields you want are in the correct order for Listbaby (refer to Part III above). Be sure to include empty fields for any you wish to skip (e.g. if you do not want/need to include the country, but do want to include phone #, you will need to leave an empty column where the country would go)
  2. Once the spreadsheet looks good, save the file as a tab-delimited text file (e.g. Select Save As, and choose a different file type). If you cannot find tab-delimited text, try a Comma Separated Variable (aka CSV) file type.
  3. Note the name of the file and the location

Part VII: Importing the file into Listbaby

Congratulations! You are down to the final stretch!

  1. Log into the Hostbaby2 Wizard
  2. Click the Listbaby icon
  3. Click Your List
  4. Click add many people
  5. Click Browse and locate the file you finished in the previous part
  6. Click Upload. Listbaby will display a preview of the data you are uploading. Review it to make sure the data looks clean and the correct fields are lining up. If so, proceed. If not, go back to the spreadsheet and make the changes required.
  7. If the data looks clean (or mostly clean), click click here to import it

When completed, Listbaby will display the imported addresses. Any bad records will be displayed in red to allow you to go and manually create those records.