Conference organizers, business associates, friends, and many other sources may provide a list of potential customers via Excel, and what a time saver it would be if only we could directly import the list into ACT!... Well, you can! Let's walk through the Import process.
First, make sure all your Excel Column Names are consistent with your ACT! contact record Fields. Assuming your ACT! fields have not been customized to something different, the Excel column containing "Name" should be titled "Contact", or "First Name" and "Last Name". (If you have "Contact" with both the first and last names in one column, ACT! will apply them correctly, or if you have the first and last names in separate columns in Excel, ACT! will apply them correctly then too!) In the latest versions, you can import directly from Excel. In earlier versions you will need to Save the Excel spreadsheet file as a "CSV Comma Delimited" (Comma Separated Value) file. ("Save As" is done under the top, left file menu.)
Now from within ACT!, go to your contact screen and in the top, left, select "File", and "Import". This will open a Wizard, and you can select "Next". If you're importing from a CSV file, select "Text Delimited" as the type of file, and then browse for the file. Once you find your Excel or CSV spreadsheet and select it, the Wizard will ask what type of records you wish to import. We are working with Contact Records in this specific instance, so select Contact records and Next. The Wizard will ask how the fields are separated: Select "Comma" since we're using a Comma Separated Value file. It will also ask if you wish to import the first record. Since that's our title row, we don't want it as an ACT! record so take no action and it will not import by default. Now you can use a predefined map, or you can choose not to. Choose NOT to. Now you will see a "side-by-side comparison" of you column names and ACT!'s contact record fields. If your fields are named the same in your spread sheet as they are in ACT!, they will map correctly. (If there are slight variances, you can "tell" ACT! where you want certain data to end up.) Now you have certain options: Stop and look at them, select any specific choices, then Finish... and like magic, those records from the spreadsheet will be ACT! contact records: you are done!
Different versions of ACT! and different versions of Excel will offer slight variances in the procedure noted. If you have any trouble, call me.