Contact Groups

Creating and Using Outlook 2010 Contact Groups

Do you frequently send mail to the same group of people? Are you tired of poking through your Contacts to select everyone you need to send to? Then you probably ought to learn about Outlook 2010 Contact Groups.

Contact Groups, as the name implies, are a way to group together a bunch of Contacts so you can more easily send them messages. This is very much like an email distribution list or mailing list, but with a few differences.

As the figure below shows, a Contact Group looks very much like a regular Contact, but can be identified by the word Group which appears under the name of the group.

Creating Contact Groups

Creating a Contact Group is a pretty straightforward process. Here’s how it is done:

  1. Switch Outlook 2010 to Contacts view.
  2. In the “Home” tab of the Ribbon, click New Contact Group. This opens the “Contact Group” dialog box.
  3. On the “Contact Group” tab of the dialog box’s Ribbon, click Add Members, which is located in the “Members” group.
  4. In the menu that appears, click the method you want to use to add members to the Contact Group. For this example, click From Outlook Contacts. This opens the “Select Members Contacts” dialog box.
  5. contact groups

    Note: In the interest of privacy, I erased all but two of the Contacts in this figure. Abraham Adamson, the Contact that is selected, is an individual. Adamson Clan, is a Contact Group. You can tell the difference by the way Adamson Clan is bolded, and its icon shows two people instead of one.

  6. Select the Contacts you want to add to the group, using the SHIFT and CTRL keys to select multiple Contacts at once, then click Members to add those Contacts to the group.
  7. Click OK to return to the “Contacts Group” dialog box.
  8. Enter a name for the Contact Group in the “Name” field, then click Save & Close. This brings you back to the Contacts view, withthe new group appearing at its appropriate location in the view.

Using Contact Groups

When you want to send a message, you can use a Contact Group just like you would a regular Contact. However, there is one thing to be aware of. When you enter a Contact Group into a message’s address field (“To,” “From,” etc.), Outlook doesn’t show just the name of the Contact Group.

Instead, it enters the information for each of the Contacts that is part of the group. So if you enter the name of a Contact Group containing 6 members in the “To” field, Outlook wil display all six members there.

This means that every recipient of the message will see the contact information for every other recipient. If this isn’t what you want, you should enter the Contact Group name into the “BCC” field, which hides the information from the recipients.

From here you can:

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