Managing Your Contacts Database

You can access the Contacts area of Outlook in a variety of ways:

  • Click the Contacts icon in the Outlook Bar (it looks like a manual business card filing system).

  • Click Contacts in the Folder list.

  • Choose View, Go To, Contacts from the menu.

Entering a new contact is a very simple procedure and will help acquaint you with how Outlook works. The information you enter here is usable in other areas of Outlook, as well as in other Office applications.

There are several ways to add a new contact to your database:

  • Press Ctrl+Shift+C to display a new Contact form from any other area of Outlook.

  • When you're in any folder other than Contacts, choose File, New, Contact.

  • When you're in the Contacts view, click the New icon on the Standard toolbar.

  • When you're in the Contacts view, press Ctrl+N.

  • Double-click on a blank area of the Contacts desktop.

  • Right-click the Contacts area and choose New Contact.

Once Outlook displays a new Contact form, you can enter all the information that you have about that person or business.


When you enter birthdays or anniversary dates in the appropriate fields, those dates will automatically be entered in the Calendar component of Outlook. They appear on your calendar as recurring events. If you want Outlook to remind you to buy a gift or send a greeting card, just double-click on the reminder in the calendar and drag it onto the Tasks icon. When the Task form appears, you can set an alarm for yourself. Click the Save and Close button. You can also double-click the appointment itself and set the reminder.

Name Notes

In the Full Name text box, enter the name as you normally would. If you enter Herbert L. Tyson in the Full Name text box, it's automatically stored in the File As text box as Tyson, Herbert L . when you press Tab to move to the next field.

In most cases, this filing method is fine. But what happens if you enter Dr. James E. Smith, Jr. in the Full Name text box? Outlook is smart enough to store it as Smith, James E . But what happened to the rest of the information?

Now for the really clever part. So far, you've entered text into the Full Name text box, but notice that Full Name is also a button. Click on this button to display the Check Full Name dialog box, as shown in Figure 16.2.

Figure 16.2. The Check Full Name dialog box allows you add a title and suffix if needed.


Before you begin entering the names of co-workers and friends into your Contacts database, work through the following exercise to enter data for the first of your contactsyourself. You'll create a new contact for yourself and learn the purposes of the most common fields. By becoming familiar with how everything works now, you can save time later. Follow the next few steps to learn how to add a new contact to Outlook.

  1. Start Outlook. Click the Contacts icon in the Outlook Bar. Click the New Contact button on the left edge of the Standard toolbar. A blank Contact form named Untitled - Contacts is displayed.

  2. Notice the blinking cursor (the insertion point) in the Full Name text box. Type in your name: first name, middle initial, last namewithout commas.

  3. Fill in the rest of the information on the General tab. As you move around on this tab, Outlook might prompt you to check information you've typed. Outlook does this whenever it detects any ambiguity in your data entry.

  4. When you've entered the data about yourself, click the Save and Close button on the toolbar to close the Contact form and return to the Address Card view. Your information is now entered in the Contact database (which actually is your Outlook .pst file).

There are five tabs on a typical Contact Entry form: General, Details, Activities, Certificates, and All Fields. Each of these tabs represents a form for the contact that is used to store specialized information.

Deleting a Contact

You can delete a contact in several different ways. The method you choose will probably depend on what you're doing at the moment. You can use any one of the following methods , all of which assume you're in the Address Card view (where you can see multiple entries at once):

  • Select the contact, right-click on it, and choose Delete from the drop-down menu.

  • Select the contact and choose Edit, Delete.

  • Select the contact and press Ctrl+D.

  • Select the contact and press the Delete key.

  • Drag and drop the contact onto the Deleted Items folder.

  • Select the contact and click the Delete button on the toolbar (it looks like an "X").


Know when your Deleted folder is going to be emptied. Your deleted contacts go to the Deleted folder until that folder is emptied. You can check by choosing Tools, Options and clicking the Other tab in the Options dialog box. If there's a check mark in the Empty the Deleted Items folder upon exiting box, the folder is emptied every time you exit Outlook.

Opening a Contact

You can also edit a contact entry in several ways. Again, the method you choose will probably depend on what you're doing. Here are a few ways of opening a contact:

  • In the Contacts window, double-click anywhere on the contact you want to edit.

  • Right-click on the contact you want to open and choose Open from the drop-down menu.

  • Select the contact and press Enter.

Modifying a Contact

Contact information can also be modified in Address Cards view. Click on the field you want to change and make the modification. Note that you cannot change the name of the contact in this way, but any other displayed fields can be changed. Many of the fields are not available from the Address Cards view, so you might need to use the Detailed Address Cards view to make changes. On the Advanced toolbar, drop down the list of views and choose Detailed Address Cards.

Sams Teach Yourself Office Productivity All in One
Sams Teach Yourself Office Productivity All in One (Sams Teach Yourself All in One)
ISBN: 0672325349
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 474
Authors: Greg Perry © 2008-2017.
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