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Managing Contact Records in Microsoft Outlook 2013

Creating contact groups

If you frequently send messages to specific groups of people, such as members of a project team, club, or family, you can create a contact group that contains all the email addresses. Then you can send a message to all the group members by addressing it to the contact group.

Contact groups are like personal versions of distribution lists. A distribution list is available to everyone on your Exchange Server network; a contact group is available only from the local address book you store it in. You can, however, distribute a contact group to other people for their own use.

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The ribbon provides a separate tab of commands for managing contact groups.

You add a member to a contact group either by selecting an existing contact record from an address book or by entering contact information in the Add New Member dialog box. When you add a member by using the latter method, you have the option to simultaneously create a contact record for him or her.

When you send a message to a contact group, each member of the contact group receives a copy of the message. If you want to send a message to most, but not all, members of a contact group, you can expand the contact group in the address field to a full list of its members, and remove individual people for the specific message at the time you send it.

In this exercise, you’ll create a contact group and add new contacts to your address book. Then you’ll send a message to all but one member of the contact group.

  1. On the Home tab, in the New group, click the New Contact Group button to open the Contact Group window.

  2. In the Name box, enter SBS Project Team. Then on the Contact Group tab, in the Members group, click the Add Members button to display the locations from which you can add contacts to the contact group.

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    You can add members to a group from existing records or by entering email addresses.

  3. In the Add Members list, click From Outlook Contacts to open the Select Members dialog box, which displays the contents of your default Contacts address book.

  4. In the Address Book list, click SBS Contacts to display the contents of the SBS Contacts address book that you created and populated in previous exercises in this chapter.

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    You can search for contacts in the Select Members dialog box by name or by other criteria.

  5. In the Name list, click Steve Masters, and then in the lower-left corner of the dialog box, click the Members button to display Steve Masters (work) in the Members box. This is the display name stored in Steve’s contact record.

  6. In the Name list, double-click the first Sarah Jones entry to add Sarah Jones (work) to the Members box.

  7. In the Select Members: SBS Contacts dialog box, click OK to add the two contacts to the SBS Project Team contact group.

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    Contact group members added from an address book are listed by the Display As names saved in their contact records.

  8. In the Add Members list, click New E-mail Contact to open the Add New Member dialog box.

  9. In the Add New Member dialog box, enter Delphine Ribaute in the Display name box and delphine@wideworldimporters.com in the E-mail address box.

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    When the Add To Contacts check box is selected, the new contact group member will also be added to your default address book.

  10. In the Add New Member dialog box, click OK to add Delphine to the SBS Project Team contact group and to your default address book.

  11. Repeat steps 8 through 10 to add the following people to the contact group and to your Contacts address book:

    Display name

    Email address

    Sara Davis

    sara@wideworldimporters.com

    Max Stevens

    max@wideworldimporters.com

    Each new contact group member appears in the contact group in alphabetical order.

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    The folder in which the contact group is being created is shown in the lower-left corner of the dialog box.

  12. On the Contact Group tab, in the Actions group, click the Save & Close button to create the contact group in the SBS Contacts address book.

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    Contact group names are displayed in bold font so that you can easily differentiate them from individual contact records.

  13. In the contact list, click the SBS Project Team contact group. Then on the Home tab, in the Communicate group, click the Email button to open a message composition window. The message is addressed to the SBS Project Team contact group.

  14. In the To box, click the Expand button to the left of SBS Project Team. Outlook displays a warning that you can’t collapse the contact group after you expand it.

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    In a message header, the contact group name is bold and is preceded by an Expand button.

  15. In the Expand List message box, click OK to replace the contact group name with the individual names or display names of its members. You can remove any group member from the address box before sending the message.

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    When you expand the contact group, the names of the group members replace the contact group name.

  16. Close the message window without saving or sending the message. (The message recipient addresses are fictitious.)