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Article ID: 164532 - Last Review: January 19, 2007 - Revision: 1.1

This article was previously published under Q164532

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This article describes how you can mimic a distribution list with your Outlook 97 Contacts.


You can create distribution lists from your Personal Address Book however, you can mimic the behavior of a distribution list without using a Personal Address Book. Using the sort by category feature of Outlook, you can create a new e-mail message addressed to a group of your contacts.

Note: These procedures assume that each contact contains a valid e-mail address.

First, assign each contact you want in your list to a common category. For example, you might assign all of your business contacts to the Business category. Second, group your contacts by category. Third, drag the category title to your Inbox. This creates a new e-mail message addressed to all of the contacts in your chosen category.

The steps below will use Business as an example category:

Assign Contacts to a Common Category

Follow these steps to assign contacts to the Business category:
  1. On the Outlook Bar, click Contacts.
  2. Right-click a contact and from the context-sensitive menu, click Categories.
  3. In the Available categories list, click Business to select it, and click OK.
  4. Repeat these steps for each contact that you want in the Business distribution list.

Group Your Contacts by Category

Follow these steps to group your contacts by category:
  1. On the Outlook Standard Toolbar, click to select one of the table views (Phone List, By Category, By Company, or By Location).
  2. On the View menu, click Group By.
  3. In the Group items by list, click to select Categories and click OK.

Create a New E-mail Message

Now that all of your contacts in the Business category are grouped together, you can drag the title (Categories: Business) from the table view to your Inbox. This will create a new e-mail message addressed to all of your business contacts.


For more information about assigning categories, type category in the Office Assistant, click Search, and then click "Assign items to a category." For more information about grouping items, type grouping in the Office Assistant, click Search, and then click "About groups."

For information about creating a personal distribution list using the Personal Address Book service, type Create a personal distribution list in the Office Assistant, click Search, and then click " Create a personal distribution list"

  • Microsoft Outlook 97 Standard Edition
kbhowto kbusage KB164532
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This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
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