How do I import contacts in to an Address Book within TextOnline?

You can import contacts automatically in to your Address Book from a pre-prepared Comma Separated Variable (CSV) file. The CSV file is generally produced from a spreadsheet or database application where you keep your contact data.

Please note that a successful status message after the import process has completed confirms that at least one contact was added to your list of contacts. Any contacts that could not be formatted correctly or already exist in the address book are rejected, and not added to your address book’s contact list.

Please view your contact list to check whether all of your expected contacts have been imported. 

It is critical to the success of the import function that the CSV file is structured correctly. The file must contain either 3 or 4 columns. The first three columns (first-name, last-name and phone-number) are mandatory, and the fourth column (the address book group to import the contacts directly in to) is optional.

The format of the four columns is as follows:

  1. First-name: this is the first name of the contact. If you do not have this information for the contact you are importing, then please just ensure that the column contains a single character, for example, the letter “A”.
  2. Last-name: this is the last name of the contact. If you do not have this information for the contact you are importing, then please just ensure that the column contains a single character, for example, the letter “B”.
  3. Mobile phone-number: this is the mobile phone number of the contact. The number can be formatted in the following ways:
    • Full international format: 447836123456 (compulsory format for internationally registered phones)
    • Local format: 07836123456
    • Shortened Local format: 7836123456
  4. Group to import in to. You can optionally specify the address book group that the contact should be directly imported in to. Enter the name of the group in column 4, should you wish to use this function. The contact will then be added to the group, as well as appearing in the main address book.

This latter format is relevant when you are creating your CSV file from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. When you enter or have a field with a leading zero, such as a phone number in the 07836123456 format, Microsoft Excel will often automatically drop the leading zero. Our import facility will assume that a number beginning with the numeral “7” is a Local mobile phone number, without you having to enter a zero before it

When creating a CSV file from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet there are two further considerations:

  1. Saving the CSV file: to save your file as a CSV file, select the SAVE AS option from the FILE menu within Microsoft Excel, selecting CSV as the ‘save as type’ on the ‘save as’ screen.
  2. Ensuring you only have three or four columns: for the CSV import to be successful, the CSV file must only have the three or four columns mentioned above. Sometimes Microsoft Excel can add additional columns, albeit appearing to be empty, to a CSV file. To check that this is not the case with your CSV file, check the contents of the file, as follows:
  • Save the CSV file to your desktop
  • Open the file using the Notepad application by right-clicking the file and selecting the OPEN WITH NOTEPAD option
  • Check to ensure that on your first line of data you have a first name followed by a comma, a last name followed by a comma and a mobile phone number
  • Ensure that there are no commas at the end of a row after the mobile phone number.

If you require further help, please contact our Customer Service team on 08451 221 302.

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