Spreadsheets, Databases - Help Me. Please.
July 21, 2010 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Well, I created a spreadsheet in Google docs. A simple, no frills document where there are various columns - one s for email addresses. Those addresses I want to go into my Address book in either Gmail or Thunderbird. Downloaded the spreadsheet into Excel - in CSV format - tried to save it to text - it's obviously not working. Someone online directed me to the Google Scripts and to API. This is so not my forte' and it's for a non-profit and am getting lost in a sea of geekage. Is there a simple way to just export the column of email addresses, convert them into a database separated by columns, fit for my email program? Thanks in advance.
posted by watercarrier to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Separated by commas, not columns....
posted by watercarrier at 12:08 PM on July 21, 2010

Best answer: Here's Gmail's page on importing CSV files. Basically create columns like the ones described there in Excel or Google Docs, save it as CSV, and then import it from Gmail. CSV stands for comma-separated values, so if you have it in CSV format you already have a text file with values separated by commas.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:13 PM on July 21, 2010

Best answer: In your workflow, there is no reason to even open Excel. Save the CSV file from Google docs (don't open it). Go to your Gmail contacts and click on import and choose the file.
posted by wongcorgi at 12:56 PM on July 21, 2010

Best answer: So, basically, to expand on the very helpful instructions burnmp3s has linked there:

1. Go into your spreadsheet in Google Docs. Make sure that the spreadsheet is set up with email addresses running down the document in one column, and (if you want) other information about each person running down the document in other columns. At the top of each column, you should label it; for example, put "Email Address" at the top of the column containing email addresses. The simplest spreadsheet you could use for this would just have one column of just email addresses; if you want, you can add other columns for "Name," or for "First Name" and "Last Name." Your spreadsheet should look like this when you're done.

2. When you're done setting up the spreadsheet in Google Docs, save it as a CSV file on your computer by going right under the Google Docs logo and clicking File -> Download As... -> CSV (Current Sheet). Now you've got the CSV file.

3. Go into Gmail. Once you're logged in, on the left side of the main Inbox page, go underneath your Inbox / Saved Mail / Drafts area (and your Labels area) and click on "Contacts." Now, in the upper right corner, click on Import, and then click the Choose File button. Then, just click Import, and your spreadsheet of email addresses should be imported into Gmail.
posted by koeselitz at 12:59 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'm going to try what you've suggested - here's hoping for the best - Thank You! :)
posted by watercarrier at 1:17 PM on July 21, 2010

Response by poster: OK - it's not working. None of the emails are showing up. Just names. :/ Can someone memail me and help me figure out what happened?
posted by watercarrier at 1:37 PM on July 21, 2010

Well, just tell us here - that way we can all help, I figure. You're just getting names, you say? First of all, where are you looking? Describe what shows up in Gmail.
posted by koeselitz at 1:44 PM on July 21, 2010

Response by poster: I did everything as you suggested, imported the CSV into Gmail - opened a new group for the addresses and all that is showing up are the names - when I click on the names - all the info is there - individually - not as a group. When I click on ALL - to send one email to all - nothing shows up - i.e. there are no email addresses that Gmail can access.
posted by watercarrier at 1:51 PM on July 21, 2010

Hmm... so it sounds like the difficulty is that you're wanting this to import as a group, but it's importing as individual emails. You say "all the info is there" - does that mean when you click on the individual names, you get the individual emails for those names?

I'm going to poke around a little in gmail for a moment...
posted by koeselitz at 2:00 PM on July 21, 2010

I think I see what you mean - were you trying to "Also add these imported contacts to: [Name of Group]" as well when you were importing?
posted by koeselitz at 2:03 PM on July 21, 2010

Oh, wait a minute --

I was trying to figure out where you clicked on "All" - I didn't remember that button, where it was. Now I realize you must've been still in the "Contacts" area - where all of the names of contacts are listed in the middle, along with little checkboxes next to each one.

If you want to send an email to all of them, what you need to do is click "All" (or, optionally, go down the list and checkmark all the contacts you want) and then go to the right and click on the Groups menu and add them to a group. If you don't already have a group you want to add them to, you can just select Add to... New Group, and then name the new group and it will be created.

Say, for example, you wanted a group of all emails; then you just click All so that all the checkboxes are marked, pull down the Groups menu and select Add to... New Group, type "All," and then press Enter. You're done!

After creating the group, if you want to send an email to the whole group, all you do is click "Compose" to compose a new email and type the name of the group in the "To" field, selecting the group from the dropdown that appears. Then, all those email addresses will be automatically added.

We'll see if this helps...
posted by koeselitz at 2:12 PM on July 21, 2010

Response by poster: I've tried that koselitz - that's where the problem is - when I'm already in the group and have the entire list - all that's shown in the list are names - I click ALL - all are then checked - it says x contacts were chosen. Under that there is *email* - I click - nothing happens. I go to Compose and choose the group - nothing happens there either.

posted by watercarrier at 2:19 PM on July 21, 2010

Best answer: Oh, okay - sorry. Now I see what's happening.

It just isn't bringing in any of the emails. So it sounds like, even when you click on the individual contacts separately and see all the information for them there, it doesn't have the emails for them even though it has other info, right?

Hmm. It does seem to be a problem with the import step. What column are the emails in - the first column? Also, did you make sure the column is labeled "Email Address"? It might be that the email addresses in that column are getting formatted strangely by Excel or Google Docs, as well; you could open the CSV you downloaded with Notepad to see if the email addresses look right.
posted by koeselitz at 2:45 PM on July 21, 2010

Response by poster: Yes, you're correct with the analysis of the problem at hand - something went awry with a column or 10. What I ended up doing was creating a copy of the spreadsheet - deleting all the other columns but the email address one, saving that as CSV, importing that into Gmail and then creating the group. It worked.

I have no way of knowing what exactly the problem was/is as all appears to be ok from this side. Thank you very much for helping :)
posted by watercarrier at 2:42 AM on July 22, 2010

Oh - I'm glad it worked out! I was wondering about this yesterday.
posted by koeselitz at 5:52 PM on July 22, 2010 [2 favorites]

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