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Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv...

Counsellor
Posts: 41

Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

Hi all,

I thought I’d share my “findings” on how to import a list of contacts from a text file into your mobile using Nokia PC Suite.

Exporting the current contacts to a text file is the best way to understand Nokia’s format. You can do it easily with PC Suite.
You’ll notice that the file is separated by commas, and that all fields (even the blank ones) are enclosed by "". This is probably the trickiest part: since I know of no way to enclose blank fields in "", I came up with another solution: it might not be elegant but it works!

1) Prepare your list of contacts in a spreadsheet (e.g. Excel or an open-source equivalent) in the Nokia format (e.g. with columns in the same order as you see in the file exported by PC Suite from your mobile)

2) Create another tab in the spreadsheet

3) Enter this formula in cell A1 of the new tab:
="|" & MyTab!A1 & "|"
where MyTab is the tab with the contacts data.

4) Drag the formula all the way down. This ensures all cells are now enclosed by pipes, even the blank ones. In other words, 1234 becomes |1234| . You’re free to replace the pipe with any character you like, as long as of course this character never occurs in Mytab

5) Export the newly created tab into a csv file

6) Open the csv file with a text editor (notepad, notepad++, etc)

7) Replace every occurrence of | with "

You now have a file compliant with Nokia format, and ready to be imported into your mobile using Nokia PC Suite.

I tried to input the quotation symbols " directly into Mytab, but wasn’t successful, because that’s the character Excel uses to identify and enclose strings.

If anyone knows about a more straightforward, less cumbersome process, I’d be glad to hear it!

As an alternative, you could import your text file into Outlook and sync it with your Nokia. However, I don’t like Outlook, I think following my process is faster than mapping every field to the Outlook fields, and, when I tried using Outlook, I had plenty of problems because Nokia doesn’t bother documenting which outlook fields are synced and which are not, so some of your precious data may simply not be synced at all.

Also, I’d like to complain to Nokia for requiring such a cumbersome format, and most of all for not documenting this anywhere! Come on guys, it wouldn’t have cost you much to add a couple of comments on the help document of PC Suite…

Hope this helps! Bye!
New Member
Posts: 2

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

Hi cdl_1,

as a first-time Nokia user facing the same issue of importing back to my new 3600slide the contacts exported from my previous Ericsson T39m, I felt very much relieved when I read your post.

I duly followed your instructions and managed to create a Nokia PC Suite compliant *.csv file with all fileds separated by commas and each value enclosed in ""... and yet it didn't work: PC Suite keeps on telling me to check the file format.

Any new idea on this bloody contacts import function?

I have to say I'm quite disappointed by the available documentation, as the exact data format for successful importing is specified nowhere, and the on-line help on Nokia website is totally useless!

Thanks in advance from Italy.
New Member
Posts: 2

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

Last-minute update - successes and new failures.

To understand the exact data format to import Contacts in my brand new 3600slide's empty directory, I created a dummy contact and exported it, and I was finally able to understand the problem and fix it.

However, when I tried to import the fixed *.csv file... the Nokia PC Suite's Communcation Centre crashed at 4% of the import process, and consistently kept on crashing at that value!

Having read in another post that "strange" characters may disturb the input (which, allow me to say it loud, is simply RIDICULOUS!), I duly cleaned up the text file... but no way, Communication Centre invariably kept on crashing at 4% of the import process.

Would someone be surprise to hear that I'm getting fed up of this stupid issue?
Why am I forced to waste so much time and energies for such a basic, stupid-simple need like getting my contacts transported from a mobile to another?
Mobile Guru
cricfancy
Posts: 2,267

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

Hi diabolus,

Which Operating system you are using? Xp or Vista? Have you tried drag n drop .csv file into Nokia communication centre where you see the attached phone? How many contacts do you have on your .csv file?
New Member
Posts: 1

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

I found a solution that worked for me. The file that Excel generates uses the semicolon ";" between parameters. Instead, Nokia PC Suite uses the colon "," between parameters.

I replaced all ";" by "," and finally worked!!!

Merry Christmas!!!
Contributor
Posts: 3

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

I also have this problem. I have tried to import .csv files and .vcf (2.1 and 3.0 format) with no luck. I have inspected the .csv file to remove unusual characters. The .vcf file looks fine when viewed with notepad. The communications applications keeps crashing. I am using windos xp. any advice pleae? I am amazed that I have so far spent 1.5 days trying to get 500 contacts imported into my new E71. Surely a basic task like this oughht to be simple? This sort of issue is enough to make me want to return the phone and go use another brand with software that supports obvious functions.
Contributor
Posts: 3

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

I have researched this further and found that contacts can sort of be imprted if they are each in a single vcf file. But the pc suite software is very buggy. It will not read the TEL fields correctly. Does nokia have any plans to fix this? I hope so, or we will go back to Treo phones which do all this stuff.
Registered Member
Posts: 1

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

Having experimented at length and eventually managed it I would make a few of observations 1) You don't need to have all the column headings, only the ones you need, 2) Every entry should have " (quote) round it, and blank entries should be "". 3) Suitable format can be created in Notepad or any text editor BUT when completed save as a CSV NOT a text file. The format is TOTALLY unforgiving!

This was done in notepad ...
"First name","Last name","Company","General mobile","General phone"
"Bilbo","Baggins","","07777010203","02012349876"

and saved as a csv and worked.

I have now imported a 100 or so on the same principle, but I did use Excel to set up the table. The trick of putting pipes (|) in - instead of ( " ) worked, but the substitution can easily be done in a text editor. I also used "EditPadPro" (free download) to replace tab characters with commas.

The secret seems to be do the hard work in Excel, save as a text file, and then use a text editor to do the replacements and save the result as a CSV!

Why oh why should it be so difficult? !!
Contributor
Posts: 3

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

I called nokia support to ask about this and they admitted that communications centre 2.0 was buggy and undocumented and they advised me not to use it. They told em that the only reliable way to get contacts into the e71 was to sync with outlook.

For me that was a pain as I do not use windows or outlook, so I had to go get a copy. But it did finally work.

Note that you ought to do your edits before importing into outlook, which cannot do "find and replace". For example, some of my ~1500 phone numbers stored are stored with the + for international numbers and some without, and the e71, unlike my previous phone, cannot make calls to those numbers without the +.
New Member
Posts: 1

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

My PC sync was working (maybe not perfectly but adequately) until today.  I too have been trying to import into the Communication Centre via the File>Import feature with very little luck.  I even tried creating a Bilbo textfile (see above) and it was rejected.

 

However a gilmer of hope...

  1. I loaded a single contact on the phone and then exported it as a text file (*.txt).
  2. I opened the file with Notepad and change the details and saved it as something else.
  3. I then imported the new text file and it worked - the details carried over to the phone.
  4. From there I tried increasing the number of entries etc - basically increasing the variables and all seems good...

Apparently a text file format that the Communications Centre will accept (today at least) requires the following common field:value mapping:

 

First name: Jim
Last name: Smith
Job title: Operations Manager
Company: ANZ
Notes: Notes about Jim
General mobile: 040404040404
General email: jim.smith@anz.net
General fax: 031000000
General P.O.Box: Box 30
General extension: 30595
General street: 100 Queen Street
General postal/ZIP code: 300
General city: Melbourne
General state/province: VIC
General country/region: Australia
Home phone: 0394949494
Home email: jim.smith@hotmail.com
Home street: 10 Rock Place
Home postal/ZIP code 3001
Home city: Hawker
Home state/province: WA
Home country/region: Australia
Business phone: 0392730392
Business extension: 30392
Business street: Level 100
100 King Street
Business postal/ZIP code: 3000
Business city: Melbourne
Business state/province: VIC
Business country/region: Australia

 

Further, the deliminator is a tab following the ":" and the commencement of the actual data value e.g., the first entry above is actually First name: <tab>Jim

 

The break between contacts (e.g., Jim and a second contact call Don) is apparently a paragraph.

 

Presently I'm working on a mail merge which I will save as a single .txt file using an Outlook generated CSV file.  It seems to be working consistently except for the interpretation of name strings... it appears to get mixed up with First, Middle and Combined names.

Registered Member
Posts: 1

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

I´d Like to thank everybody specially cdl_1 for the help around this issue.

 

 

A really tricky way to contour the communication centre stiffness, but it works really well.

 

My tip: the titles of each category (First name, Middle name, Business mobile, etc), ARE case sensitive.

So if you´re importing and the names doesn´t come up, that´s because in the title you may have mistyped it, like First Name (with the 2 capitals).

 

First name and First Name aren´t the same.

 

Thanks again, saved me a lot of work.

Flávio from Brazil.

Contributor
Posts: 5

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

[ Edited ]

Other way without using Outlook...

Have a look at this:

/discussions/board/message?board.id=pcsuite&message.id=34375&jump=true (Post 8)

Maybe it helps

Re

ErOtto

Message Edited by erotto on 08-Apr-2009 10:55 AM
Registered Member
Posts: 1

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

 my oh my indeed - this should not be this hard!

 

I found the best way was to first export a single contact from Pc suite, open that file with the text editor, and then copy and paste the correctly formatted records into the text editor, making sure that the headings don't change and that all emplty fields in a record is represented as "", then save it before importing it back into PC Suite.  The only acceptable format is CSV, nothing else seems to work.

Registered Member
Posts: 1

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

Thanx Guys. Putting all your ideas together and an hour later this is what I found.
* Basic comma delimitted format is required. "field1","filed2", "filed3" etc etc.

* first line in file must have field names, with correct case - use export from PC Suite to see correct.

* don't need all fields. I used "Last name" and " General mobile".

* can use Excel CSV format to generate file, with Notepad doing the find & replace trick somebody mentioned before.

* used drag & drop from Windows Explorer into Contacts of Nokia Suite, not import.

New Member
Posts: 2

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

[ Edited ]

takeha wrote:
... days trying to get 500 contacts imported into my new E71. Surely a basic task like this oughht to be simple? This sort of issue is enough to make me want to return the phone and go use another brand with software that supports obvious functions.

 

Exactly my experience, exactly my reaction!

Nokia, shame  on you! What happened with Nokia the last 10 years, that brougt the quality down below zero?

 

I really loved my 6210 and 6310i, but it could not hold>500 contacts.

I am very sorry I did buy the E71, I wish I had chosen a Palm !

 

Eveline

Message Edited by denkster on 02-May-2009 09:47 PM
New Member
Posts: 3

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

Hi all Having stood on the shoulders of the giants above, this piece of excel work may be useful in Excel (I only used first name

(Cell A,) last name (cell B), phone (Cell C) and email (Cell C) headings, but use as many/few as you want

 In cell E1, type "First name","Last name","General phone","General email"

in cell E2 type =CONCATENATE("""",A3,""",""",B3,""",""",C3,""",""",D3,"""",)

This will join the cells together, put "" marks and commas as necessary.

Select whole of column E and then open notepad and paste and then save as ????.csv This will import straight away into nokia comms manager.

I spent 2 days trying different things and this worked first time on new E51 with 117 contacts

Have fun

Neil

Registered Member
Posts: 1

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

OK - so here's some further info that hopefully is useful.  Have been trying to get 198 contacts from a spreadsheet into Nokia 6233 all afternoon.  Then followed the |/" find and replace trick found here but still didn't work.

 

Then cut the csv file into 2 halves, each with less than 100 contacts and it worked.  A bit fiiddly but got there in the end.

 

Feels like Nokia actually don't want you to get your contacts into your phone - not sure why as when you do you tend to make more calls and they get more revenue!

Registered Member
Posts: 2

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

Hey thanks a lot Niel.

 

I did a lot of experiments in file formats but could not succeed. The way suggested by you really worked.

This is best for people who use Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 which does not come with an Outlook or outlook express.

I think Nokia Communications works perfectly on common sense rather than the complicated file formats of MS Office.

 

A suggestion to everybody:

In the method suggested by neil_b, just make double sure that the column headings correspond to those used by the language set up made in your phone to make the method work properly.

Registered Member
Posts: 1

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

[ Edited ]

Hi Everybody,

 

I also use Excel sheet to generate an import list with proper format. I use only one sheet and Excel function CONCATENATE. For PC Suite English US it looks like below:

 

Row 1 contains headers:

- in C1 write First name

- in D1 write Last name

- in E1 write General mobile

- in F1 write General phone

- in G1 write General e-mail

 

Rows below row 1 contain data.

 

Additionally in row 1st:

A1 contain quotation marks "

B1 contain semicolon ;

 

Now I use simple Excel function in cell H1 to merge everything into one column:

 

=CONCATENATE($A$1;C1;$A$1;$B$1;$A$1;D1;$A$1;$B$1;$A$1;E1;$A$1;$B$1;$A$1;F1;$A$1;$B$1;$A$1;G1;$A$1)  

 

Please copy the function down in column H, then mark column H and copy everything to empty txt file. Save this txt file and change the extension to csv. Use PC Suite to import it. Works fine on my computer.

 

Brgds

Mariusz

 

 

Message Edited by marionek77 on 23-Jun-2009 11:56 AM
New Member
Posts: 5

Re: Nokia PC Suite – how to import contacts from a csv text file into your mobile

I am totally disapointed with this CSV export/import feature in Nokia Communication Center. I tried every technique described by users in different threads in Nokia Discussions Forums and I am unable to successfully import a CSV file in my Nokia Phone...

 

I use the french version 7.1.30.9 of the Nokia PC Suite software. This software is unable to import back in what it exported to CSV... I checked the columns names, I tried saving the CSV file to Unicode, I tried to Drag&Drop the file on the phone or use the Import menu option, nothing will work. Everytime I get the message that I need to check the file format...

 

Is there something special with the french version of the software that I need to do to make it work properly?

 

It's depressing. I feel I'm going to switch to Apple iPhone and get myself a Macintosh...

 

Thanks in advance for any help.