Easy Way To Save Multiple Emails In Outlook

January 1, 2003

Q. As much as I like Outlook, it does have some shortcomings. For me the most serious is the way it stores received e-mails: They all are saved in one file along with my calendar and contacts and sent e-mails. As a result, the file grows to elephantine proportions, and it’s getting very hard to port that file to my laptop from my desktop. I know I can archive it, but then it’s very difficult to actually see any individual e-mails. Any suggestions? A. Yes, that gigantic file is a pst file, and it can quickly grow to 100 megabytes and more especially when you store weeks and months of old e-mails there. I have two solutions—one won’t cost you anything and the other requires the purchase of a software application. The general idea is not to store old e-mails in the pst file, but copy them out and store them in any other folder. You can create a folder (subdirectory) called e-mails , and then store them by month or by subject. Now, for some neat ways to get the e-mails into the new folder from Outlook.

First the gratis option: As you probably know, it’s easy to save an Outlook e-mail message as text. Just open the message and click on File and Save A s. You then have the option to save it with a file name and a format—as HTML or plain text; if you want, you later can convert either version of text to a Word file, but that’s an extra step.

Now, what you probably didn’t know is that you can save a bunch of e-mails as a single file. So if you have a group of e-mails relating to one subject, you can store them in a single message. To do that, select the e-mails you want to gather together and, while holding down the Ctrl key, highlight them one at a time and then click on File, Save As .

This method provides a bonus. Compared with trying to search through Outlook’s native database, you’ll find it easy to index and search those more familiar text files.

If you’re willing to pay for a utility, called ArchivER, that does the above and much, much more, go to http://www.smtechnologies.com/prod13.htm and download a free evaluation copy. The program can migrate Outlook data into individual files and directories using a common file format rather than the Outlook archive folder.

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