A Better Idea


An article in the June column suggested a fast way to create an e-mail distribution list in Outlook from a column of addresses in a spreadsheet. Bryan Caston, an Exchange engineer with AT&T who reads the technology section of his CPA wife’s copy of the JofA, suggests a way to accomplish the task without transposing the Excel list or inserting semicolons between the e-mail addresses

Copy a column of e-mail addresses from your spreadsheet and paste it into Outlook’s To, Cc or Bcc. Although Outlook will automatically format the addresses after a short delay, you can speed the process by changing a default: Go to Tools, Options, Preferences, E-mail Options, Advanced E-mail Options and be sure a check is next to Allow comma as address separator and Automatic name checking (see screenshot below).


You also can trigger the action immediately by pressing Ctrl+K, or, in some copies of Outlook before 2007, there is a Check Names function under the Tools menu (see screenshot at left).



And in Vista you can find a Check Names icon in the Message ribbon.



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What RPA is and how it works

Robotic process automation is like an Excel macro that can work on multiple applications, says Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA. RPA can complete routine, repetitive tasks such as data entry, freeing up employee time from lower-level chores.