Microsoft Outlook has some built-in import and export functions. Most are limited though to converting a mail store from an earlier version of Microsoft Outlook, or exporting data to fairly generic formats like tab- or comma-separated files.
I've looked at a number of third-party mail-format conversion tools for Microsoft Outlook, and one of the most complete and impressive is
ABC Amber Outlook Converter is mainly designed for Microsoft Outlook users who want to convert data from another email product to Microsoft Outlook, or take their existing Microsoft Outlook mail store (PST file) and export messages from it to a flat-file format.
The tool can perform conversions from just about any commonly supported email system format -- including the industry-standard Unix EML format to Outlook Express, Eudora, Pegasus, Thunderbird and Lotus Notes.
It will also export to Microsoft Word, RTF, Microsoft Access database formats, CSV-formatted files, XML, Microsoft Excel, PDF, and dozens of others. You do not need to have either the source or destination program installed to perform the conversion.
When you open the ABC Amber Outlook Converter program, all you need to do is select a PST file, choose the messages or Microsoft Outlook items in question to export, and then select an export format. If you have Microsoft Outlook installed, it will open the default PST file used for email delivery.
Note that if you open a folder with a large number of messages in it, the program can take some time to enumerate them, but it will provide you with ongoing feedback.
Some of the tool's export options are esoteric. For instance, if you have the Microsoft text-to-speech engine installed, you can even export a mail message as an audio file.
A free 30-day trial version is available that lets you work with 10 messages; a single desktop license for the program is U.S. $20 (an unlimited site license is U.S. $60).
About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter.
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This was first published in February 2007