Importing contacts and inventory

Importing Contacts and Inventory

Contacts can be imported from a several file formats.
If your contacts are stored in Excel, Filemaker or a tab or csv file, you can  to import directly from that file. Skip to Importing.

If you have contacts in your email client (Outlook, Thunderbird, apple Address Book etc) or in an online mail program (Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail etc), you will first have to export your contacts as a comma separated file.  Each of these has specific steps to export the contacts as a comma separated file (.csv)

To export contacts from Outlook or Outlook express there are plenty of resources online.

  • Click  File ->Export to a file, and then click Next.
  • Click Comma Separated Values  and then click Next.
  • In the folder list, click the Contacts folder, and then click Next.
  • Browse to the folder where you want to save the contacts as a .csv file.
  • Type a name for the exported file, and then click OK.
  • Click Next.
  • Click Finish.

For Yahoo Mail, go to Mail Options, then Contacts Options. Select Import/Export
choose export yahoo csv
This saves a file to your computer called yahoo_ab.csv

For Gmail, go to Contacts, then Export. Choose all or a particular group of contacts.
Select the radio button for ‘Outlook’s CSV format)
This saves a file to you computer called contacts.csv

The apple Address Book can only export a .vcf file and requires an extra step to convert to a readable csv file.
There are several programs that do that for you which are primarily aimed at importing to gmail.

Download and run an Address Book to CSV Exporter

Tip: Open the exported file in Excel and eliminate unnecessary columns.  Also make sure the first row has identifying names for the columns  below.
First, go to the Contacts or Mailing List view.
File->Import Records-> File
Near the bottom of the browse window, select the type of file to look for- there you can see the list of options.  Choose ‘Comma-Separated Text File (or excel, filemaker etc)” Browse to the file containing the contacts.

Now we are in the Import Field Mapping window.  This will sound more complicated than it is.

field mapping image

If you weren’t in the contacts or mailing list view, you can select the Target table from the dropdown list at the upper right.
Usually the file you are importing from has only field names in the first record. This helps with field mapping. At the bottom of the Import Field Mapping window, there is a checkbox for “Don’t import first record (contains field names)”.  Check this to omit the first record when you import. By default, ‘Add new records’ radio button should be selected.

Now you have to line up the Target field names to the exported field names. There is a little ‘up-down’ icon to the left of the target field name which lets you drag the field to line up with the appropriate imported field. The gray arrow between the field names indicates that the field will be imported.  If you click the gray arrow, it will turn to a dash which means it won’t be imported. Grayed out field names cannot be imported to.

Some field names are more obvious than others. eg First Name is First.
As different programs have different field names, you will have to make some decisions.
Also at Artwork Inventory Solutions, we believe in the power of simplicity, so there may be less target fields than there are in your exported fields (eg, no IRQ or middle name or birthday fields). If you have information in the exported fields that don’t have an obvious place to import to, choose a less used field (eg Ship Country).

Just below the white ‘field box’ on the left, there are buttons to browse through the importing file.  This lets you see how the information that you are importing matches up with the target fields.

After you’ve lined up the fields, click on Import.  The ‘Import Options’ window pops up. Check the “Perform auto-enter options while importing” and then click Import.
Now you have contacts! Browse away and make edits.
Importing inventory
If you have your inventory already entered into a database such as Excel, Access, or Filemaker, you can import that information similarly to importing contacts.  This will obviously save you from having to do the data entry all over again.

Batch importing images from a folder.
If you are starting from scratch, you can import pictures from a folder.  This will create a new inventory record for each picture. Please see ‘About Images” before proceeding.  Done that?! onwards.

Go to the Inventory view.
File->Import Records-> Folder.
Select whether to include subfolders
Select whether to Import only a reference.  De-selecting will physically add the file to your database.
Specify the folder that contains the images.
Click ‘Continue’

The Import Field Mapping window opens.  There will only be 4 fields to match up.
Image should match up to ‘image’
File Path should match up to ‘image info’ (make sure there is a gray arrow)
File Name could match up to the Title, or into notes
Image Thumbnail does not need to be imported. Click the gray arrow between the fields until it turns into a flat line.

After you’ve lined up the fields, click on Import.  The ‘Import Options’ window pops up. Check the “Perform auto-enter options while importing” and then click Import.
Now you have inventory! Browse away and make edits. You can copy and paste text from other sources, eg website, word doc etc.