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Upgrade from Apple Mail to Outlook 2011 for Mac

You may hesitate to upgrade to Outlook 2011 for Mac if you love Apple Mail. If you try Outlook, you can easily switch back to Apple Mail if you decide you prefer it. Upgrading to Outlook is quick and easy.

For non-Exchange accounts, you upgrade to Outlook in three stages. The first stage in the upgrade is to copy your e-mail messages, accounts, rules, and signatures from Apple Mail to Outlook:

  1. If Apple Mail is open, close it.

  2. In Outlook, choose File→Import from the menu bar.

  3. Select Information from Another Application and then click the right-arrow button at the lower-right corner of the dialog.

  4. Accept the default (all check boxes selected) and then click the right-arrow button.

  5. Click Finish.

Because Apple Mail is not integrated with iCal, the second stage imports Apple iCal calendar events and to-do entries. Outlook understands W3C standard calendar events in the .ics file format, as does Apple Mail, so you can import calendar events as follows:

  1. In Apple iCal, choose File→Export.

  2. Name your exported file, choose a location that you can easily remember, and then click the Export button.

  3. In Outlook, press Command-2 to display the Outlook Calendar.

  4. Drag the file you exported from iCal into the Outlook Calendar.

The final stage copies your Apple Address Book entries into Outlook. Take advantage of the fact that both Apple Address Book and Outlook use W3C standard vCard files for sharing contacts:

  1. In Apple Address Book, select all contacts that you want to bring to Outlook's Contact manager.

  2. Drag the selected contacts to the desktop.

  3. In Outlook, press Command-3 to display Outlook Contacts.

  4. Drag the vCard into the list of Outlook contacts.

    If you had groups in Apple Address book, the group members are given the same category and are not put into an Outlook group.

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