Importing Entourage Contacts into Mozilla Thunderbird

Quick tip for Entourage users who want to try out: To import your Entourage contacts into Thunderbird, do the following:

1. In Entourage, export your contacts to a text file by choosing File > Export Contacts.
2. Open your file in Excel or another spreadsheet program and insert a new field called Display Name. You will need this field for best results in Thunderbird.
3. In Excel, make a formula to concatenate the First Name and Last Name fields. For me, this formula looked like this: =concatenate(A2+” “+A3). The single empty space in quotes ensures that the first name and last name will display correctly in Thunderbird.
4. Save your work in Excel and close your document.
2. In Thunderbird, choose Tools > Import
3. On the resulting dialog, select the Address Books button and click Next.
4. Select the Text file (LDIF, .tab, .csv, .txt) and click Next
5. Navigate to your exported text file in the Open dialog box that appears, select it and click Open.
6. In the next dialog, you need to match up the fields from your Entourage export fields to your Thunderbird import fields. This dialog leaves a lot to be desired, but it will work if you are patient. I was not – only mapped the First Name, Last Name, Display Name, and Email fields. Click OK, then Finish, and you’re done.

Mozilla Thunderbird 0.1

My new favorite project under the Mozilla umbrella is Thunderbird. Thunderbird takes what is good about Mozilla’s email capabilities and making it work as a standalone application.

I always wished that Netscape, and later Mozilla, were a separate suite of applications. I am always changing my default browser and email clients, but with Netscape and Mozilla the email client and browser always had to be tied together and would ignore my system preferences for default clients. I always hated the bloated and slow process it created, and the fact that if one crashed, the entire suite crashed. It makes so much sense to have a separate browser and a separate email client.

The neat parts about Thunderbird (and Mozilla’s email client in general) is that it has a lot of the features that are missing from other applications. Specifically for Mac users, this is the only good client I know of that can support S/MIME, or the signing and encrypting of email messages using X.509-based certificates. It also promises to have full-featured support for HTML email web standards that are incomplete or lacking in other clients. It allows full access to the HTML composition of an email, allowing you full control over the source code and there are tools for adding tables, images, and other elements missing from other clients. It has excellent support for two-byte language character sets such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc. Best of all, it has Bayesian spam filtering so you can train it to understand what is junk email and what is not, and it filters the bad stuff out so you can have some weapons against the massive deluge of spam email that comes in to your inbox every day.

Mozilla Thunderbird has reached it’s first milestone build at 0.1. There is a lot of work to do. For one thing, the installation tops out at 33 MB right now, so there is a lot of paring down of the code to get it to a more manageable size. There’s a lot of user interface bugs and plenty of workflow issues. The icon needs work. The themes need lots and lots of work. Not all the features are implemented yet. But it’s going to get there. And there needs to be some way to synchronize all your contacts with the Apple Address Book or Entourage.

If you’d like to check it out and participate, go download Thunderbird and play with it. Submit bugs and enhancement requests to Bugzilla as you find ’em. Getting involved will only make it better and better.


Bush is so fixated on the oil-soaked nations of Iraq, Syria, and Iran, while at the same time he ignores more urgent crises with North Korea and Liberia. For goodness sake – North Korea has nukes pointed at us and is ready to launch, and Liberians are slaughtering each other in the streets. But when I read the news today, I see that “Bush is running out of patience with Syria and Iran” (huh?), while another article mentions that Bush is trying to turn attention away from the North Korea issue, won’t commit assistance to Liberia, and is still trying to cover up his missteps in Iraq. WTF? How much more crap can we tolerate from this bozo? Will he not stop until he has control over every oil field in the Middle East?