Converting Outlook Address Book to Mozilla Thunderbird

Today I took a try to convert my corporate Outlook Address Book and I'll document my way around here so that it can possibly help others which are facing the same problem.

I had to choose a manual way, because the tips in the Thunderbird FAQ couldn't help me.

My solution is not that advanced but at least a first step which works for me for now.

If you have any enhancements, comments or rants, please leave a comment below!

So lets get it on!

Our environment is a global Mailserver and Addressbook based on Exchange (version unknown) which we are accessing through a VPN tunnel.

What I wanted was to import our local peoples names and email addresses into the Mozilla Thunderbird Address book.

First I searched our local contacts using the department field in the contacts search and exported the result into my personal contact list.

Then I clicked through "File"->"Import and Export"->"Export to a file"->"Comma Separated Values (Windows)" and chose my "Contacts" folder as source. Finally I saved the data to a file which took quite long, say ~3 hours for ~200 contacts. Nevertheless.

Now the file contains the contacts in following (unusable) format: "First Name","Last Name","Business Phone","Mobile Phone","E-mail Address"

The E-mail Address is not a but in a format which looks like a LDAP identifier:


Since the first and last name are contained in the LDAP-string, I decided to let some Regular Expressions do the job for me to strip out the LDAP stuff and insert the part.

I was using the Regex Coach for this job but following regex should do the job on plain perl for the curious ones of you:


In Regex Coach I entered


into the Regular expression area,


into the Replacement string area (on the "Replace" tab on the bottom) and copied the contents into the Target string area.

On the bottom you see the Replacement result containing the almost correct content.

But since I'm not that experienced with regexes, it only corrected every second line. No problem, I copied the result into the Target string area and let the regex over it a second time. Voil?.

From the ~200 contacts about four were still wrong formatted, but easily spottable. I corrected them by hand and saved the file.

Then inside Mozilla Thunderbird I entered the Address Book and chose "Tools->Import->Address Books->Text File" and opened my corrected file.

On the next dialog I only let "First Name", "Last Name", "Work Phone" and "Primary Email" checked and shifted the fields on the left to match their counterpart on the right side of the match-table.

Pressed OK, and imported the contacts.


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Try Ximian Evolution. AFAIK version 2 supports Exchange Server.

I'm only permitted to connect to our global network using a preconfigured Windows computer.

So altough Ximian would be a reasonable solution for my Linux desktop, I can't use it.