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I'm trying to import several thousand contacts into Outlook 2011 for Mac. Everything is working well except the Notes field as I cannot figure out how to get new lines / carriage returns into it.

There is no documentation for the exact format that Outlook supports. After searching the web and experimenting I have tried:

  • Creating a single contact in Outlook with Notes containing several lines of text. I then export the contact to a csv, deleting the contact in Outlook, then re-import. All lines in Notes merge together :-/
  • Following tips I found such as containing new lines around quotes. e.g. http://creativyst.com/Doc/Articles/CSV/CSV01.htm (search for line-break)
  • Switching the CSV format from DOS to Unix, experimenting using manually injected ctrl-characters such as ^M etc.

I would include an example export/import but unfortunately the the new breaks included do not work well in a SU code block.

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1 Answer 1

Figured out a way to make it work. On import the notes field accepts HTML, so create the note field like so:

This is on one line<br>this is on another<br>

And voila.

How did I get here? Was about to implement a "walk through each contact in applescript" and browsed the dictionary for Outlook. The contact field notes has two entries, one that is plain text and one that is html. The import feature does not say which is used but the html input is being processed.

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