Make It Fit, Back Up Outlook 2003 Contacts, and Extra Shorts
Mel Babb © 2007

This month I’ve covered some information for more experienced computer users.

Pour a gallon of milk into a quart container

You probably know that you can change the size of a font to fit more on a page. But anything smaller than 8 points is too hard to read for many people, especially the popular fonts Times New Roman and Arial. Figure 1 Size of Font Compared to Different Font. For older eyes anything under 10 points and light is hard to read. A better way to cram more onto a page is to change the font, not the size of the font. This is because each font takes up a different amount of space horizontally and vertically. Also, different fonts show up darker than others, which can make some easier to read than others. So if you use a narrower font, it takes up less space. See Figure 2 Different Fonts Compared. To see this for yourself, type your first and last name in a document and select it. Click Format, Font. The currently selected font will display in the preview area of the dialog box. Watch how the preview changes as you arrow down the list of fonts. Your name will be wider or narrower, lighter or darker using different fonts.

Make a backup of Contacts in Outlook
Several times I’ve heard about folks that have “lost” their address book or contacts list when their computer “crashed” or they moved to another computer. If you use a computer-based email program like Outlook or Outlook Express or Thunderbird, you need to export your contacts or address book in order to “make a backup of them”.
This article will deal with Outlook. In Outlook, Open Contacts. Click “File, Import/Export”. Click Export to a File, Next. Choose “Personal Folder File (.pst)”. This is the format Outlook uses. Check subfolders if you want all the contact folders, “(if you made any subfolders) Next. Click Browse and pick where you want the file to be stored (like My Documents). Name the file something like “Contacts 2007-02-14”, OK. Click Finish. At the next screen, type the name of the file into the name box again. In this example, “Contacts 2007-02-14”. The contacts are exported.

Now for the big question: how do you know the file is any good? Well, one way is to try it out in Outlook in a test account. (If you don’t use Outlook, Open Outlook then close it before doing the rest of these steps). Then set up an email profile and import the contacts folder into the personal folders. Sounds simple, but it takes a bit of doing so follow these steps carefully.

1. Click Start, Control Panel. In Control Panel, double-click User Accounts, and then click Mail icon. (If Control Panel shows all the icons in a list double-click Mail icon.)
2. Click Show Profiles.
3. Dot “Prompt for a profile to be used”. Click Add and type a name for the profile, like Test Contacts.
4. A box appears with “Add a new email account” dotted. You will set up a dummy account so you can continue.
5. Click Next. Dot Pop3, Next.
6. Type any letter, like m, in the top 4 boxes and in user name. Do this so the Next command becomes dark so you can click it. Click Next.
7. At the Email Address warning box, click No. (Remember this is just a test account).
8. Click Finish. Click OK.


9. Close the Control panel.

By the way, the steps above can be used to set up a profile so another person can receive their email in Outlook separate from your email. If you set up a real profile, you will need to put in the real email information on the setup screen. To switch between email boxes, close Outlook and open it again. A box will pop up where you select which profile to open.

Since you’ve created an account with “wrong” settings you will get a “receiving reported error…”. Ignore it by clicking Cancel All. Or Click File, Work Offline until you are done testing. Remember to go back in and turn off the Work Offline when you are done.

1. Close and open Outlook. Choose your test profile from the prompting box.
2. When Outlook opens, in the left pane click Contacts.
3. Click File, Import or Export. Next.
4. Choose “Personal Folder File (.pst)
5. Next. Click Browse and go to the folder with the exported file in it, for instance, My Documents/Contacts 2007-02-14. Next.
6. Check to see that all your contacts are there.

After you are satisfied that the backup is good, delete the test account. Click Start, Control Panel. In Control Panel, double-click User Accounts, and then click Mail icon. (If Control Panel shows all the icons in a list double-click Mail icon.). Click Show Profiles. Select the one to delete. Click Remove, Yes. If only one profile remains, Dot “Always use this profile” so you won’t have to make a choice every time Outlook opens.

For those who may want to export from a different program into Outlook, you will export the address book or contacts as a comma-separated-value (csv) or tab-delimited file, which may be referred to as either an rtf (windows) or txt (dos) file. When you export to these file formats, you have to export each contact folder and sub folder separately. Since two different programs are involved, you have to indicate the comparable field location in Outlook for each field in the exported file. So the import procedure into Outlook has a few more steps for these types of files where you “map” the fields from the exported contact fields (from say Hotmail or MSN) to Outlook fields. The import dialog boxes give instructions on how to map by dragging. When you import the main contact folder, import it into Personal Folders. When you import the subfolders, import them into Contacts so they will indent under contacts.

Just a couple of more observations--

A blue file name in a folder dialog box like My Documents or My Computer means a compressed file.

To close open programs all at once
Ctrl+Click on each program on the taskbar to select them as a group.
Right Click on any one of them, Click Close Group.
All the selected programs will close.
Of course, you can close each one separately, if you want.

Set menus to show all commands in each menu list in Microsoft Office
In any Microsoft program, Right click anywhere in the toolbar area.
Click Customize. Choose Options tab. Check “Always show full menus”
All the menu items will show instead of just a short list in all the Microsoft programs.

Till next time. Happy Computing.
Mel Babb © 2007

Mel Babb, a long time member of HAL-PC, is currently an instructor and on the Volunteer Help committee at HAL-PC. She runs her own company, PC Tutoring Services. See her website She comes to your office or home and creates notes for you on what you want to learn. Contact her at 713-981-5641 or email at © 2007