Address Book questions from resident Idiot


WOW Framer
Jul 24, 2001
Buffalo, New York, USA/Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada
Believe me, if I knew where else to go to ask my dumb questions, I surely would! But I know that someone out there can help me with my latest little computer problem.

I do not have the fancy POS systems that a lot of you have, I don't even have a computer at my shop. (yet) I have however been trying to assemble an easily managed mailing list of my Frequent Framer customer base.

Last year, when I installed CorelCentral WordPerfect on my computer I spent weeks typing names and addresses and phone numbers and info into the CorelCentral 10 Address Book. Then I attempted to PRINT a SIMPLE list of those names, etc to take to the shop.

After weeks of fiddling, I was able to arrange the info into a table format which was (get this!) alphabetized by FIRST names!

Ok, I could live with that, and nothing I tried would allow me to alphabetize by LAST names. Oh, I tried!

So, now I have always hated WordPerfect so I finally got Microsoft Word (which I had on my old computer and really liked). And I figgered that I could transfer the address book from WP to W.

So far I have tried copying and pasting, importing and exporting, and

My question is this: Is there anyway on God's Green Earth that I can put those names and addresses into Word without retyping them all

I have a three-day weekend (well, now its down to two days) and this was one of my tasks for the free time! Or should I just bite the bullet and start typing again? I really want to REMOVE the Corel stuff from my system.

Thanks for letting me be such a pest! ;)
Well, while we're waiting for Mike and all the computer experts to come home from the fireworks displays, I'll throw out my cent and a half. (Not even worth 2 cents!)

I can't even give any advice on what you're asking. I'm getting ready to add a POS shortly, but up until now, I've done everything on Access. What I will say is, no matter what it takes, it will be worth it in the long run. Having those customers in a list of any kind where you can contact them, is priceless.

Having something simple, or easy to use, makes you keep worth up it better, but no matter what - just do it.

Back to waiting on the experts...


Converting this should be a fairly easy thing. I'm not sure you'd want to convert it to WORD though, because that's a word processor and not a database. Did you also install EXCEL or ACCESS? These might be more suitable for what you want to do, and can be taught to work in unison with WORD when doing a mail merge printing.

If the programs are unable to import the file directly (you might have to go to FILE OPEN, then change the FILE TYPE box at the bottom to ALL to see them), you can go back into the old Corel Address Book program and see if it has a FILE -> SAVE AS or a FILE -> EXPORT feature. This feature should be able to export the data in a variety of formats, and one of them is likely to be compatible with the MS product of your choice.

I hope this is helpful
It's not that bad, really

As a worst case scenario, email it to me and i'll convert it to anything you would like.

Trying gamely as per your suggestions, Mike. Found I do have both Excell and ACCESS. No luck so far. But I shall continue to endeavor to achieve my goal. Thanks for the ideas.

Hey Betty, Were you ever a cheerleader in High School? Because you are MY cheerleader! Thanks for the encouragement!

Did your address book allow you to enter first name and last name in separate fields. If so, when you import the list into Excel or Access you can easily sort on any column? If not, after you import you can parse the names to separate first and last names. If your entries include some double first names or middle initials, you can make separate tables for each type of name and after parsing put them back together. Sounds complicated, but, if you can get your list into text or other importable format, those MS programs will make the next steps easy.

There is a program for about $39.00 that will allow you to "grab" a name and address along with the phone number and export it into any other document such as a database program like "Act"or Excel.
It's Address Graber" at
It will automatically serperate the first and last anmes and address into th correct feild.
I use it to scan grab names and address from web sites and label.Then I import them automatically to my address database.
They have a demo available I think for 15 days.
You might want to give it a try.

Hopes this helps

David, Welcome to the Grumble and thanks for answering my next question in advance! I will give it a test run.

Pat - When I originally entered the names they were by first name, last name and display name all in seperate boxes. Pleaseexplain the word "parse." I finally managed to get a short list of names into Exell but I can't seem to amend or delete a single thing to straighten them out.

Mike - THANKS!!!
Originally posted by Framar:

Hey Betty, Were you ever a cheerleader in High School?

(Let's see if I can do this correctly...)

"WLMSS" - While laughing myself silly!


When you export a data list, all info for each address is usually on one line. This info is separated by spaces, a character, or with fixed starting points - ergo - delimited in some way. Parsing is the way the importing program interprets which part of the data goes into which column. Excel for example, lets you look at the line of data and tell it how to "parse" before it imports into the worksheet.

Betty - Glad I made ya laugh! I figgered anyone who did macrame couldn't have been a cheerleader, but our paths do change as we mature!

Pat - I give up. I'm starting over.

David - I looked at the Address Grabber - way too much for what I need! I also looked at a lot of other address book shareware and freeware - all of it is way over the top for my humble needs. One program includes pictures and one includes height, weight, hair color and Global Positioning coordinates! LOL! (this stuff was all from

Thanks again everyone and Happy Fourth of July (it is rainy and humid here)

PS, Mike - I replied to your email just after noon and it came back to me.
Oh my goodness...I'm so glad you posted that information about address grabber. That will save me several hours a week! Thank you thank you thank you!
See, that's why I ask these stupid questions all the time! The Humble Grumble has given some joy to joyfulartist.

As Martha would say, "It is a good thing."
The sun is out now. I may wait until later to shoot myself.

I'm going to the drugstore and I am going to buy a nice spiral notebook and a new pen and I'm going to make an address book the way I have always done it. I give up.
Mar, if you're gonna have to rewrite them anyway, put them into Access, and then just use it in it's simpliest form.

Sometimes with what all a program WILL do, and what I'm ACTUALLY using it for, I feel like I'm driving a Rolls Royce to the bus stop, but hey, it gets the job done! And it gets the job done that I need doing. Who cares if it will paint the house for you too, if you don't need your house painted!

(Hollar at me if you want me to tell you how I use it.)

No Way! don't give up. It's fairly easy if you know what buttons to press.
Try this:
Go to the Corel program in the "Save As" dialog box and then go to the "type" drop down box and view all the different extensions that are available (ie: .dbf or .txt). There should be quite a few to choose from. Then go to the program you want to move them to (I like Excel), and go to the "Open" dialog box and then the file types drop down menu. See if there is a common extension between the two programs. If there is, go back to Corel and save the file with that extension. Besure to put the file somewhere you can find it easily (perhaps My Documents).
Good luck, and don't worry... everyone pulls their hair out the first time (I think).
Well, that didn't work. The Corel address book doesn't have a Save As dialog box. I tried to send it to Access, where there actually is a mechanism for making a business or personal address book, but the little paper clip creep told me that "The relationships you created with your new table are no longer valid." Whaddaya mean NO LONGER VALID??? I just did it!

I have taken to yelling really loudly (at that dratted paper clip) and I scared the cats. I feel I am getting closer, however and I will soldier on.

I am doing this experimenting on my cousin address book, am taking no chances to lose my customer one! So far I have imported and exported it all over my file cabinet.

Betty, it REALLY annoys me to have all this "computing power" and no idea how to utilize it. I have at least 4 photo editing programs, and about six places where I can set up address books. I just want to be able to print a #!@*+ list!
OK, one half hour later I have actually managed to import 13 names into Excell. Unfortunately the display name ended up in column B and all the rest of the info is in column A. I have managed to cut and paste my way to a heading row and two rows of 2 names and addresses, but no way am I gonna do this with my shop addresses!

It would be easier to type them in anew!

Luckily a thunderstorm is rolling in so I'd better unplug everything and try again tomorrow (er, later today! LOL!)

What would I do without you guys! (that means gals too!)
I have found many times that I waste far more time trying to make something work, than I would if I actually did it another way to start with. I know this, and yet I still do it. (Oh it'll be different this time, I've only got to make thisssssss worrrrkkkk..... and then I've wasted another day.

Get out Access, or Excel, and just start in. You'll be glad you did.


Now, remember to tell me to do that next time I start a "fixing" project...
Assuming that your word processor “database” is in the form,


you are are already in a database/spreadsheet format.

So that you don’t louse up your existing document, SAVE AS in a straight "<u>TEXT </u>" format. Don’t use any of the other formats your word processor tries to coerce you into using!

OPEN this new text file in any spreadsheet e.g. AppleWorks (if you’re lucky enough to have a Mac) or Excel, or any database program e.g. AppleWorks or FileMakerPro and this TEXT file will open in that application.

From there, just move the Name fields around to your liking.
Oh Betty, you are so right on! Like the hours I waste trying to "fix" a mat when I could recut it in a few minutes!

Bill, I have found no "Save AS" function on this address book, and I even just tried to open it in the Corel parent WordPerfect (HAH!) program and got a message that it was an "unsupported format". Arrrgh!

I just got a new idea though, before I remove the entire Corel kit and kaboodle. Could I burn this data onto a disc and then open it in one of my Mircosoft programs?

And what exactly are the pros and cons of Access vs. Excell? Access seems to contain a program for address books, and Excell seems to be mostly for money info.

Just think, I could have retyped at least half of my list by now and my stomach would not be in knots!
Just ta keep y'all posted - the CD thing (with MUCH trial and error!) actually WORKED!!! Only my 13 cousins have MULTIPLIED and now there are almost 40 names in the list!

Progrees, albeit slowly, is being made.

I have a silly question. Does your address list allow you to display all addresses at the same time? If so, highlight the whole list and right click the highlighted list. there should be a menu box that allows you to select copy. Then open Windows Notepad and select Edit Paste. Then save as address.txt. If you get that far, email the file to me and I will format it for you in Excel. That would be a way to beat the system and capture what is on the screen.

Pat :D

Betty is one of the wonders
….I know only one other person who has mastered Access who did not need it for there job…..Betty give yourself a pat on the back….I did ECDL training on Access and I still have no idea how to work it…

Access is principally for data bases ……an example would be an address book or a stock control system….Excel is a spreadsheet used for the likes of financial data…cashflows…budgets etc.…..but for most poor mortals Excel is much easer than Access to use for address books and will do a very good job…. unless you are planning some very complex manipulation of your address book put it in Excel……

A last word…..we can take in Europe what is called ECDL (European Computing Driving Licence)…….it is primarily based on Microsoft Software….the ones who have mastered the Access part of it find getting jobs in the computer IT sector easy….and my instructor for ECDL assured me that the big bucks will be for those with a good ability with Access…
"Mastered" ain't the word for it, Dermot. More like, learned a "recipe" for getting it to do what I need done. I didn't say it was done right, just that it worked!

On the other hand (like so many other things) perhaps I'm the one who has been mastered!


I finally managed to put my entire shop mailing list onto a CD and then, by hook or by crook, my 'lil paper clip buddy and I managed to open it AND edit it in Excell!!

Will wonders never cease!

I thank you all for your input, kind offers and INSPIRATION!!!

It really is a Wonderful World and I really hope we don't blow ourselves up.
Just one more tiny little question, folks (better to ask dumb questions than to make dumb mistakes, right?):

If I remove the Corel WordPerfect word processing program from my computer to free up space and make me happy, will WP documents that I have saved (just a few letters) be readable?

Just checking....
Before you dump WordPerfect, I'd try and open the WP docs you've saved in Word and make sure that everything comes in OK. I'd say it's probably going to load just fine, but better safe than sorry..

Worse case you might have to resave the WP docs in an older or all together different file format (File->Save As, then drop down the "Save as type" box). The version of Word I'm running, Word XP, will load WordPerfect 5.x and 6.x, but I don't know if it will load files saved in WP 10.
Intresting thread. I too am getting ready to input my first database onto computer. I don't have Excel or Access and won't be cutting a $300 check for them anytime soon. NOW what? Are there any other options?
There's definately alternatives out there..

Try Open Office - a free open-source project.

One step up from that is Sun's Star Office - basically a commercial version of Open Office. They charge like $80 or something for it.

Both are trying very hard to be compatible with MS Office.
Steve - Thanks for the suggestion. I tried opening a WP doc in Word and it said I needed to install and "Import Convertor" but then for some reason it couldn't do this either.

For the few letters I have, I'll just print them and put them into my big metal filing cabinet! LOL! If I need to print them, I can always scan them in again (and how would they end up then, as Kodak jpgs?).

Curiouser and curiouser.
Originally posted by Framar:
(and how would they end up then, as Kodak jpgs?).

Oh, now it gets deeper and deeper! You need an OCR program. "Optical Character... uh... Recognizer? Oh well, something like that. I have 2 versions of it, (one came with my first printer, and we bought the second one for who knows why) and then we have another thingie that came with my HP G55. It's called a "Readiris" I haven't had time to play with this one...

If I were you, and I needed the letter again, I'd just write it again!

Yeah Betty, I did a search for the dozen or so docs that would have been listed as ".wpd." The Search turned up 35!!! OK, so I forgot about a couple of signs I had made for the shop, but most of what was found was in duplicate!

So, in my best low tech fashion, I printed a copy and then I deleted one and the duplicate would go away.

No wonder computers need so much space if they keep everything in duplicate?

I must have this "recognizer" type program, gosh my printer and my scanner each came with loads of software. What name could I locate it under in Programs? Half of what I have Is a complete mystery to me.

Hey, thanks to y'all I AM getting better!
Yea thanks for asking these question and being the dumbski. I have been following along and started getting my data base ready for mailing. It took about 2 hours go get it all working. I think I'm ready. I was here silently rooting for you.....I mean US.
Yes Jay, that's why I ask these kind of questions. I ALWAYS ask dumb questions, especially when I am in a group of very confused folks who are trying to save face by pretending they can follow whatever proceedings are going on.

I believe that is one of the reasons the Powers That Be put me here. (on the G and on the Earth - LOL!)

Although I'm not too fond of the term "dumski." After all, I did eventually solve my problem my own way after all. I just needed moral support.
I was poking fun at myself and really did follow along for the first time. Didn't mean to insult you...I mean us!
Well now, I have another teensy question more or less on this same subject:

Now that I have expunged all of my Word Perfect docs and changed all my Corel pix to jpgs, how on earth do I uninstall Word Perfect?

I have tried a half dozen times - each time the Corel Uninstall Wizard pops up and each time the "component progress" bar gets to 90% and the "uninstall progress" bar gets to 75% and the hard drive makes a creaking noise, the top bar disappears, the phrase "rolling back action" appears and finally a new box pops up which tells me that there has been a "MSI failure -Msi Install Product 1603."

When I click OK (the only thing to click) it sez "Whew! (not really, I added that) Uninstall cancelled successfully!"

I have uninstalled many programs in the past and I have never run into this before. Is there a way I can play a trick on the "add/remove" thingie?

Any suggestions?
Hmm.. is something of Corel still loaded? Have you tried doing a fresh reboot and then uninstalling?

1603 is a pretty generic failure code - I'd think you'd have to track down the log file (if it created one for the uninstall) to get any more detail.

I forgot - are you running XP? You could try giving the three finger salute (Ctrl-Alt-Del), click "Task Manager" and check the Applications or Processes to see if anything suspiciously looks like a Corel product.

Worse case you can just go in Program Files from Explorer and just nuke the Corel folder.
Steve - I have "removed" at least part of the program because, while the icon was still on my desktop, I tried to open the program and the opening title card popped up briefly and then disappeared and no Word Perfect program opened.

The uninstall still "stalls" but maybe if I keep doing it, more will get uninstalled. Hmmmmm...

Thanks for your help.
LOL! Maybe I spoke too soon. I did a search of the C: drive and found 4 Corel files, three of which I was able to delete, and the biggest (natch!) that it said I "cannot delete connector.exe. Access is denied. Make sure disc is not full or write-protected & that the file is not currently in use."

I checked the properties of this nearly 200MG file, and under attributes there were three boxes, "read only, hidden & archive." Read only was checked when this window opened. I unchecked it and tried again but got the above message, again.

So what means "disc is full" and "write-protected?"

I give up for tonight! And yes, I have XP. sigh
Maybe this info will be of help to someone some day.

After many days of unsuccessfully trying to uninstall Word Perfect, I managed to get rid of enough of it to screw things up entirely! Every time I turned on my computer it began a fruitless search for Word Perfect. LOL!

A bright idea finally dawned on me: I REINSTALLED the entire program from the disc......and then I successfully completed the UNINSTALL!!!

Go figure!
Mar, Oh, you can un-install it alright. I once got tired of all the AOL, Compuserve icons and programs on an old computer I had. I couldn't readily uninstall 'em either.

Then I paid for all my sins...I called the most computer-savvy guy I knew. He explained that when you buy a computer with built-in stuff, Microsoft has a tendency to tie the 0's and 1's together in such a way as to prevent you from EVER uninstalling the offending program. Then he laid it on me...

Both of us, having gotten started with DOS, were somewhat conversant with it. So...he said if I really, really wanted to get rid of the offending stuff, I could get the computer back to DOS, then do the del tree command, adding the offending program right after 'tree'. To make a long story short, I wouldn't suggest it. I DID manage to not delete all the columns and tall tales I'd done for the local paper.

'del tree' can nuke your 'puter. But it's nice to know that you, too, can become a nuclear 'power'.

Most people don't even remember the days when all you got was DOS as an operating system. I used it long enough to be in a perpetual state of confusion when trying to use the more modern operating systems. Shoot, I thought Windows 3.1 was a gift from an alien culture! And I miss the 800 page book of DOS commands...
Charles, when I consulted my guru about this problem he started going on about this DOS stuff, but when I suggested my reinstall-uninstall idea he thought I should try that before he lead me to the DOS tree. Whatever.

I'm glad the disc thing worked. WHEW!!! I'm a stayin' away from that DOS tree!!!
My husband "grew up" with DOS, and to this day hates PCs and they are running MS Servers now. :rolleyes:

Then our younger son created a t-shirt:
RUN DOS RUN (hahahahahaha) :D

We once tried to uninstall an HP printer to reinstall it, but created such a nightmare that we had to call in a "guru" ourselves. Seems it shared some dlls (or some such something) with my QuickBooks! Whew, glad I had backed up, but man, what a mess! That's why it terrifies me to install or uninstall anything!

As long as we're getting nostalgic, can I please see a show of hands from all the CP/M users from the early 80s?

I paid about $1800 for my first Kaypro - $2500 for the second 'cause it came with a 10-megabyte (yes, MEGABYTE) hard drive. In 1983, Kaypro was shipping 10,000 units/month, making them the fifth largest manufacturer of desktop computers.

They never really did well with the transition to DOS.

The customer database I maintain on my XP-based computer now has been imported from the original CP/M database, through several intermediate operating systems, so anything is possible.

When I wanted to sort the database (which probably had 2,000 records then) on the Kaypro, I would start it when I went to bed and hope it would be done when I got up in the morning.
'Member the Radio Shack TRS-80? Known by owners as the "Trash 80".
I still have some price lists (in an "archive" paper file) I did on a Kaypro.

OK, now who remembers tape drives? No, not for "backup", as in a standard audio cassette to save your programs on...
Ohmygawd, David! How old ARE you??

My first business computers were hand-held Radio Shack computers (about the size of a Palm Pilot) that could be programmed in Basic. We did our pricing on them and, since we had a lot of people working here then, we had five of them.

The programming could be saved to cassette tape, which was fortunate, or I would have had to program all five of them. And, you guessed it, the pricing formulas in my current POS are derived from those old Basic formulas.

I think my Timex-Sinclair computer (which I literally bought from a drug store) also used tape for media storage, but I'm not certain. I used to send out invoices and statements printed on the little rolls of thermal paper from that Timex. If people didn't pay them quickly-enough, they self-destructed (the invoices, not the people.)

To go back earlier than that, I have to talk about Fortran V and punch cards.

When the very first business computer store opened up in Appleton, I paid them a visit. I told them what I wanted to do and they said, "Sure, we can set you up with a system that'll do that for around $27,000."

About six months later, the Kaypros hit the shelves.

The freaky thing is, we're talking about 20 years ago - not 50. Look how far we've come.

I can't begin to imagine what guys my dad's age must think about technology. He was born in 1907 and checks his email and his stocks several times each day.