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Apr 12, 2002: Microsoft Rant #192,106

WARNING: narcissism ahead

Can I just say how much I hate Microsoft at this precise moment? It won't bother you, will it?

Unbelievable. I'm on the phone right now with MS Tech Support. Who have politely just explained to me that you can *not* import email from Outlook (or even Outlook Express) on a PC to Entourage or Outlook Express on a Mac. Apparently it's something to do with very complicated database format differences between the two platforms. Even though this apparently doesn't stop all other MS Office applications from being interoperable.

So I'm stuck with the prospect of exporting, one by one, my hundreds of mail folders in Outlook on my Dell up to my POP server and back down again to Entourage on the Mac. Yep. Just how I want to spend my next week.

And just for yucks, we're trying to figure out how to import simpler things (simpler than email?) from Outlook to Entourage, like contacts. This is apparently problematic too. Calendar events and to-do tasks? Those you can email one by one to yourself on the Mac and import them that way. Fun. Or wait for the Palm conduit to come out within a month or so.

Yes, this is the 192,106th blog rant about Microsoft. This is the 17,192nd blog rant about how silly it is that you can't export from one Microsoft application to a similar one, even in this day of cross-platform interoperatibility, even when the applications themselves are only a couple years removed in age.

So, I'm screwed. Maybe some of you Mac enthusiasts who convinced me to leave the dark side have experienced similar problems and can suggest a work around.


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Comment: Bernardo Carvalho (Apr 12, 2002)

I don't know about your e-mails, but for your contacts, notes and calendar you may try Yahoo! Intellisync. You would send it all up to Yahoo! on one machine and sync it back on the other. I am not sure there is a Intellisync version for the Mac. Check out http://calendar.yahoo.com.

Comment: Duncan Wilcox (Apr 12, 2002)

If you can set up or use someone's IMAP server you should be able to drag and drop the local folders to the remote folders and Outlook will do the export for you. You can then do the reverse on the Mac, or just leave the mail on the IMAP server.

Comment: Jim Roepcke (Apr 12, 2002)

Outlook is very scriptable, its entire object model is exposed. It has to be possible to write a VBA/VBScript script that iterates over your mail and exports it to a supported format.

It should also be possible to export your contacts to vCard or other formats using the same ideas.

Actually, I'd be very surprised if those scripts aren't already available online somehwere.

Comment: Lou (Apr 12, 2002)

Bernardo, thanks for the advice. I took a look at Intellisync. Good idea, but it looks like it won't export back to Entourage (it does handle Outlook though). Does this jive with what you know about Intellisync?

Comment: Lou (Apr 12, 2002)

Duncan, thank you too. Would the approach you're suggesting allow the preservation of folder/sub-folder relationships?

Comment: Michael (Apr 13, 2002)


for a solution on the contacts. It's a couple steps, but it should work for you. Btw, Rich Wiggins asked me to check out your blog --nicely done, Lou.

1) On the e-mail issue, be sure and check out the site at http://www.microsoft.com/mac/entouragex/default.asp?navindex=s4 and see if they come up with a solution.

2) Post to the newsgroups for some possible help on someone who's done this before you :>. You can use http://groups.google.com/ to find an appropriate group, and then post from Google Groups once you register there.

3) I had to move tons of e-mail from Pegasus (PMail folders) to Outlook 98, a year or so ago, and it was possible in several steps.

Find out what e-mail formats/folders Entourage can IMPORT. Then, EXPORT your e-mail from Outlook in that format. Outlook 98 can export to a file in 9 different formats; see File > Import and Export > Export to a file ..to see a list of your options here.

Then, IMPORT that format into Entourage. I tried a few e-mails once I had a system, and it worked.

Hope this helps a bit.

Best regards,
Michael aka DrWeb

Comment: Duncan Wilcox (Apr 14, 2002)

Lou, I did something like this:

- create a folder on the IMAP server (nesting folders is allowed)
- move to the local folder
- select all
- drag and drop to the IMAP folder
- repeat for each local folder

I had about 60 folder for 200MB of mail and it worked. It's a bit tedious but still doable if you don't have 2000 folders.

Hooking up to a previous topic, this was to take stuff off of my broken VAIO laptop :)


Comment: Hanan Cohen (Apr 15, 2002)

I used the idea posted by Duncan Wilcox and took it a notch further.

I wrote the product description of MoveMail, a non existant application.

Read all about it in:

Comment: Bill Kearney (Apr 15, 2002)

Use an Exchange server as a temporary holding point.

Connect your Macintosh to the Exchange server. Drag your folders to the Exchange server. Now connect a PC to the Exchange server. Drag the folders from the Exchange server to local PST files. The reverse works too.

Works great. Sort of overkill but it does work. You could setup and eval version of an Exchange server to do this.

Comment: andrew (Apr 16, 2002)

I'm sure this is possible, Lou.

Entourage can import from a tab or comma delimited file (you might have to juke the structure a bit. Surely Outlook can export tab delim'd, or can export *something* that Excel can convert into a tab-delim'd format, which you could then import.

This might help:

Getting from other stuff to Outlook: http://www.slipstick.com/config/e2mtips.htm

Outlook Export formats (not sure which version):

Comment: Lou (Apr 19, 2002)

Looks like Duncan's IMAP server approach is the winner (thanks Duncan!).

It's about 6am, and I've been moving mail from Dell to IMAP server to Mac for about 7 hours straight now. I'm close to being done; maybe another hour or so.

Yeah, I have a lot of mail (after archiving and deleting, I slimmed it down from about 800Mb to 400Mb). But I really doubt I'm the only one on the planet in this predicament. I hope someone takes Hanan's proposal seriously... woops, just nodded off there in mid-typing, better stop now...

Comment: Greg (Jun 2, 2002)

I have been struggling with the same issue. moving my contacts was easy as vcards can be read by entourage. Messages are a different story though, or are they?

Here's what I did. in outlook 2k on windows I dragged a message to a folder the message comes accross as message.eml I then copied the file to osx powerbook and double clicked. OSX didn't know what app to use so I told it to use entourage. and there it was the message opened in a message window in entourage along with two attachements that opened just fine. clicking on the move icon I sent it to my inbox!

Trouble is there doesn't seem to be a way to do a batch. With 1000 messages this is not the best solution. But I have to believe some one can write a script to do this. And if they do can you send it to me :-)

Comment: Ingvar tha Norwegian PC slayer (Jun 3, 2002)


Funny to find this thread, I yam actually trying to take it the other way Entourage -> Outlook XP. Tried:

* All sorts of tab, comma and delimited text.
* Vcards. I woulda be able to dig in one at a time, except It Is Not Valid For This Operation.
* Through Excel.

This all ends up with looking all fine in excel/word and getting all fuct up in the mapping process. I have used the table both with rows and columns, and all the time I get this dry itchy smell of conspiracy in mah nose.

It seems a bit strange that it doesn´t eat the tab del. text. Could be that I´m a jerky, though :]

This ring any bells with you, I sure woulda be grateful for the help.

Comment: austinw (Jun 11, 2002)

add me to the list of people thinking, "I can't frickin' beleive they've blocked us from moving from MS Windows Outlook to MS Entourage." Gee, sounds like that old MS story about doing things to stifle the competition all over again. And I was just about to dump my Dell laptop for a nice mac iBook. Not sure I can stand the pain of moving my frickin' email.


Comment: Sean (Jun 16, 2002)

I had to do this for someone who moved from Outlook 2K to Entourage X. I found a script online for importing from Outlook Express (OE) PC version to Outlook Express Mac version, so I imported everything from Outlook to OE PC, then converted to OE Mac (might have needed another script which changed the file to Mac format, also available on the web). Entourage will then import from OE Mac. This will work for those who don't have access to an IMAP server. I was a pain to figure out how to do the switch, but once I found the scripts and instructions, it did not take too long. BTW for anyone who needs to transfer contacts - I exported to a csv (comma separated values file) and imported that to Entourage, but ended up with a lot of messed of contacts and had to fix them manually. Vcard should be a better choice.


Comment: Mike Jollon (Jul 25, 2002)

I didn't understand all that Exchange server Imap stuff. But I just converted Outlook 2000 on a Win2K machine to Outlook Express 5.0 on my trusty Mac G3.

I first loaded Netscape 4.7 on the Windoze machine and imported the mailboxes into Netscape. I then copied all the mail files onto a CD and put these in the mail folder of a dummy Netscape account I set up for myself on the Mac. When I got Netscape on the Mac to see all the folders, I imported them into Outlook Express. All messages and attachments were intact. At times there was some confusion and need to clean-up folders and re-enter settings; but this basically worked for me.

Comment: iain (Sep 4, 2002)

grrr stupid Microsoft. I was hoping this would be sorted and easier by now - looks like I still need to do the whole using my PC still for old mail I need.

Comment: iain (Sep 12, 2002)

Oh I finally figured out a fairly straightforward way of doing it - using netscape to import the mail from outlook and then netscape on the mac to import from netscape on the pc and then entourage to import from netscape.

Comment: Steve (Oct 2, 2002)

I'm using an NT MS echange server entourage on my mac. I used a Sony clie to syncronize with my XP pro office PC and then synced with my powerbook. But I had to nuy something called "missing sync" to make the clie sync with the powerbook :( .. arrgghh...

But I finally got both my contacts and calendar over.

But now I want to use entourage with the calendar and contact functions on the exchange server ... guess what, any new events I add to the calendar or names I add to contacts on my mac don't sync with the exchange server ... I'll have to use my PC for those functions (since I need to share them with my staff) and do the three way sync between my pc, clie, and mac.

Can anybody help me?

Comment: dan (Dec 8, 2002)

Ok Ive just tried to do this..

Outlook 2002 XP\PC to MAc Entourage


Vcards didn't work, juat got a winmail.dat attachment. Scripts at http://www.applescriptcentral.com did work for contacts


Open outlook express and then import from outlook 2002. In outlook 2002 if you drag and drop its an .msg file. Once imported into outlook express however when you drag and drop its an .eml file. Access it via samba on osx (smb://ip.address.) and then open. It will ask which application, choose entourage and bingo... except receipt date is screwed. Attachments are ok.

Netscape 7.0 on pc !!! keeps the receipt date but cant drag and drop into netscape on mac.. so its looks like

PC Outlook 2002 > PC Netscape 7 > Entourage,

unfortunately you have to do this one by one...! oh no.. any one any ideas for a bacth program?

Comment: Zoltan Grossman (Jun 6, 2003)

In previous versions of Netscape,
you could save mail as a file,
and it would keep the subject name
and the date it was originally received.
That enabled users to back up their
mail files for safety, or for use on another

In 7.0, when we save mail
as a file, the default is instead
message.eml Not only
does this mean retyping the subject,
but also the original date is changed
to the date of the saving!! I previously
was able to arrange my saved mail files
by date, and now cannot!!!

Is there any way I can save mail
as files in 7.0 without the
just "message.eml?" I do not want to save
within Netscape folders alone.

Comment: Medievalist (Jul 23, 2003)

Very few IMAP servers support folders-within-folders. This is more a restriction of the software than the protocol, the IMAP protocol is without doubt the best format (as of 2003-07-22) for local mail delivery and access.
You will have to test your IMAP provider to find out if they support f-in-f. Or look up the information, or call you provider tech support (testing's probably the fastest way).
But if the server supports it, this is a pure drag-n-drop solution. And you can get away from the brain-dead POP protocol at the same time.

Comment: Outlook Express repair (Jul 1, 2005)

I must admit to being more impressed for it. I've even recommended it to all my friends.

Comment: Outlook Express repair (Jul 4, 2005)

I have been using it. Outlook Express more stable and secure than other programs.

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