New to Google+ and looking for more contacts? A feature launched yesterday lets you hunt for potential prospects by uploading your address book from Microsoft Outlook and other desktop e-mail clients.
As described in a Google+ post by Google technical staff member Paul Lindner, the feature works with several e-mail and address book programs beyond Outlook, including Outlook Express, Mozilla's Thunderbird, and Apple's Address Book. But it apparently also supports any e-mail address book or contact list that can be exported to a VCard/VCF or CSV (comma separated values) format.
I tested the feature using Microsoft Outlook 2010, though because of the Ribbon interface, I wasn't able to follow Lindner's instructions exactly. Outlook 2010 and 2007 users can export their contact list using the following steps:
- In Outlook, click the File tab and select Options.
- In the Outlook options window, click Advanced.
- In the Export section, click the Export button.
- In the Import and Export Wizard, choose the option: Export to a File and click Next.
- In the Export to a File window, choose the option: Comma Separated Values (Windows) and click Next.
- In the next window, scroll to the top of the tree and select Contacts and then click Next.
- In the next window, choose a name and location for the CSV file.
- In the next window, click Finish to export your contacts.
Your next step is to import your contacts into Google+. To do that:
- Open your Google+ account and click the link to Upload Address Book.
- Browse to and select your CSV file.
You should now see all your contacts appear among the list of potential candidates to invite or add to your Google+ circles. You can identify your imported contacts because they'll display a small green box in the upper right corner.