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Export to CSV

As the contact data is yours, we provide methods for you to move data around, so you can publish your data in different medium, and use your data in various applications.

Almost all existing address book programs (e.g. MS Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, Yahoo Mail Contacts) support importing from CSV.

While you can use the built-in "Export to CSV" function to export selected data, you may also use XSLT to do the job, as Open Contacts may export data in XML format which may be transformed to XML, HTML and text. In some scenarios, using XSLT is more robust and more flexible.

If you need to export contacts to CSV in order to import into other information system, you may draft your own XSLT file or ask your local IT professional for assistant. From time to time, we would provide some examples like the one for exporting to MS Outlook and the other for exporting to Yahoo! Mail Address Book.

General steps of creating XSLT

  1. Study. Learn the scheme of CSV files accepted by your local information management system, and how the system imports CSV. It might require special schema, support custom mapping, or simply accept MS Outlook CSV.
  2. Draft XSLT. You may start from an existing example like the one for MS Outlook. If MS Outlook CSV can be used directly, you may skip this step.
  3. Test XSLT. Compare the CSV file generated with an existing workable CSV examples.


Generate CSV using Open Contacts

  1. Select contacts in the People List window, the Companies window, or the Search window.
  2. Run [Main menu -> Output -> Export contacts with XSLT].
  3. Select the XSLT file, and define a CSV file.

There are variety of ways of merging an XML file with an XSLT file. Please check your local resources and internet forums for further assistant.

Generate CSV using MS Visual Studio

  1. Export selected contacts to an XML file.
  2. In MS Visual Studio, open the XSLT file. In the Properties window, define input as the XML file, and output as a CSV file.
  3. Run [Main menu -> XML -> Show XSLT Output] to generate the CSV file.

Generate CSV using MSXSL

  1. Export selected contacts to an XML file
  2. In the Windows Command Prompt window, run command like "msxsl MyData.xml MyCSVSchema.xsl -o MyOutput.csv".


If MSXSL does not come with the installation of Windows, you may get the program from MSDN.