With the Wizard
You may need to export Microsoft Outlook contacts for backup, to upload the exported contacts to some social networking site or to send the contacts to someone. This article explains how to export Microsoft Outlook contacts for backup or how to move address book in Outlook to Windows 7, Vista and XP. The process of exporting contacts is very easy in all versions of MS Outlook. All you have to do is to open the Import Export Wizard. The following explains the process in a step-by-step manner.
1) Open the Import Export Wizard using File menu in Outlook 2003 or Office 2007. In Outlook 2010, select File -> Options -> Advanced. You can see Export Items in the right pane.
2) Select Export to a File and click Next.
3) In the window that appears, select the type of file you wish to be created. Comma separated values (DOS) will create a text file with .txt extension. Comma separated Values (Windows) will create an Excel spreadsheet that is compatible with all versions of MS Excel. This format would be best if you wish to upload the file to social networking sites. If you wish to use the exported contacts with MS Access 2003 and below versions, select MS Access 97-2003. If you wish to the exported contacts with MS Excel 2003 or below versions, select MS Excel 97-2003. Tab Separated Values (DOS) will again create a text file with .txt extension. Tab Separated Values (Windows) will again create an MS Excel sheet compatible with MS Excel 2010 and below versions. If you wish to create a backup, the best option would be Outlook Data File (.pst). Once you select the type of export file to create, click on Next.
4) In the Select Folder window, click to select Contacts under Outlook. If Contacts is not visible, click on the triangle against Outlook to expand it. After selecting Contacts, click on Include Subfolders. Click Next.
5) Now use the Browse button to select the folder where you will place the exported contacts. If you intend to create a backup folder, it is always better to select a partition other than the system partition so that in case you need to format the system partition or reinstall Windows, your data is safe. Select Do Not Export Duplicate Items to make sure Outlook does not export duplicate entries. Click Finish.
This was an easy method to export Microsoft Outlook contacts.
Note: You can also send one or more contacts as attachments in MS Outlook. All you have to do is to select Outlook Items, click on Contacts, and select the contacts to send as attachments - while composing the e-mail. However, this method of using e-mail to send contacts will save contacts to the recipients' Outlook instead of exporting it as a different file.
Screenshots by Author, courtesy of MS Outlook 2010