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Synchronising your data

With computers at home, at work, at school, and on the road, how do you get all of your data in sync? That's the question vexing many folks these days.

If you have an important contact entered into your Outlook calendar at work but find yourself needing it at home, what can you do? The same goes for files, e-mail messages, and more. Read on for some tips on getting your data where you need it, when you need it.

Question : I have a large number of contacts entered into Microsoft Outlook at work. How do I export these so that I can see these same contacts in my Outlook address book at home?

Answer : Exporting your Outlook contacts is not as easy as it should be, but once you know the proper procedure, you can share your contacts with ease.

First, open the instance of Outlook that has the contacts you'd like to have available on your other computer. Open the File menu, and click Import and Export. The Import and Export wizard opens. Select 'Export to a file' from the list of available options, and click Next. From the next panel, select 'Comma separated values (Windows),' and click Next.

At this point you'll see a list of folders that exist in Outlook. Navigate to the Contacts folder, and select it. Click Next. Now you can choose a location on your hard drive to which you wish to save the contacts database. Remember this location. Once you've selected the location, click Next.

A final panel will provide a summary of the folders that are to be exported. You should see your Contacts folder listed there. Click Finish, and the export process will begin.

Now open Windows Explorer, and navigate to the folder containing the exported Outlook contacts. The file should be named 'contacts. CSV.' You can either e-mail that file to yourself or copy it to a removable storage device to take to your other computer. Once the file has been copied to the other computer, open Outlook on the destination machine. Open the File menu, and select Import and Export.

When the Import and Export wizard opens, select 'Import from another program or file' from the list of available options, and click Next. From the next panel, select 'Comma separated values (Windows),' and click Next.

Now navigate to the folder containing the 'contacts.CSV' file that you exported, select the file, and click Next. On the next panel, select your Contacts folder as the destination, and click Next. The final panel shows you a summary of the action to be performed. Click Finish, and your contacts from work will be imported. When the process is done, you can click Contacts in Outlook and see all of your contacts there.


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