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Copying address lists from Excel into Apple's Mail

Reader Benjamin Peacock confronts an issue regarding the intersection of Excel and Mail. He writes:

I have an Excel spreadsheet that contains a list of email addresses. Before Mavericks, I could create an email message that used all these addresses simply by copying the cells and pasting them into a message’s To field. With Mavericks’ Mail the necessary comma is missing between each address when I paste them in. Without the commas I can’t send the message because I’m told the addresses aren’t formatted correctly. Is there a way to fix this?

There is, and it’s all done within Excel. For the sake of our example, let’s say that all your addresses are in Column A, beginning with the A1 cell. Within this very article copy this bit of text—=A1&","—click in the B1 cell, and choose Edit > Paste Special. In the Paste Special window that appears leave Unicode Text selected and click OK. The address in A1 will now appear in B1, but be followed by a comma—bubba@example.com,—for example.

excel and mail

Double-click in the bottom-right corner to format the addresses in Column A.

Now move your cursor to the bottom right corner of the selected B1 cell until you see a black plus (+) cursor. Double-click on that corner with the cursor showing and all the addresses in Column A will now appear in Column B using the comma-added format. All you have to do now is copy the addresses from Column B into a Mail message.

Before we leave, allow me to offer you one more bit of advice. I wouldn’t add all those addresses to the message’s To field. When you do this, everyone who receives the message will see each email address you sent it to. Some people don’t wish to share their addresses with others and so you should respect their privacy. You can do this in Mail by choosing View > Bcc Address Field (Command-Option-B) and pasting those addresses into this field. There’s no need to enter anything into the To field but if you feel better putting something there, insert your own email address. Those people receiving the message won’t see the addresses of others you’ve sent it to.

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