Howto export Microsoft Outlook Contacts and import them into Evolution

I have only one mobile phone at the moment, which is my business BlackBerry.

BlackBerry is really great in synchronizing all your Microsoft Outlook data with your mobile. So although I'm using Linux privately, I always created all my contacts within Outlook, also my private ones.

But now I have tested the new great service Ubuntu One, a 5 GB online storage within the public Ubuntu Cloud for free. This allows you to synchronize your data between several Ubuntu clients, but also with other computers and even smart phones, as long as they have Internet access.

Additionally, there is a special contact synchronization service, so you need to have only one contact database and never have the problem of inconsitencies or loosing single contacts anymore. Sounds great, doesn't it? Well, for me it sounds at least really interesting, so I decided to give it a try.

But now I had the issue to move my contacts from Microsoft Windows running Outlook to Linux Ubuntu running Evolution. But you know, in modern times like these, this is as easy as it could be. Maybe this is the reason why I almost didn't find any howto for this, so I decided to write my own, even if it is really very easy. Nevertheless I hope it might be useful for someone.

Here's how it works:

Export Microsoft Outlook contacts to a Comma Separated Values (CSV) file

  • In Microsoft Outlook 2007 (should be very similar in other versions) click on "Contacts"
Contacts in Microsoft Outlook 2007

Contacts in Microsoft Outlook 2007

    • Then go to "File --> Import and Export ..."
      • Choose "Export to a file" and click "Next >"
Import and Export Wizard in Microsoft Outlook 2007

Import and Export Wizard in Microsoft Outlook 2007

  • Now choose "Comma Separated Values (Windows)" and click "Next >"
Export to a file dialog in Microsoft Outlook 2007

Export to a file dialog in Microsoft Outlook 2007

  • Then check that only "Contacts" is selected and click "Next >" again
    • Afterwards choose a path and file name, click "Next >" and "Finish" to export your contacts

Finally, transfer the CSV file to your Linux computer. There are several possibilities how to do that, e.g. use a USB stick, email it to yourself, share it via the network, etc. Do whatever suits you best.

Import the CSV file into Evolution

  • In Evolution 3.2.1 (and previous versions, but not before 2.0) go to "File --> Import ..."
    • Click "Continue"
    • Now choose "Import a single file" and click "Continue"
    • Click the filename field and browse for your CSV file
    • Choose “Outlook CSV or Tab (.csv, .tab)”
    • Pick a folder to import to

That's it!

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