Two ways to insert contact information into the body of an email

Susan Harkins shows you two quick and easy methods for sending contact information to others via email with Outlook.

Contact information includes a name, an email address, a business address, a home address, phone numbers, and more. It's common to share that information, and there are two easy ways to insert contact information into the body of an email. In Outlook 2003, you just choose Item from the Insert menu. The placement is similar in Outlook 2007 and 2010 and it's available from more than one tab - I'll show you the tab route and a mouse shortcut.

First, the tab route via the message window:

  1. Click the Insert tab or the Message tab.
  2. On the Insert tab, click Outlook Item in the Include group. If you're on the Message tab, choose Outlook Item from the Attach Item option in the Include group.
  3. In the Look In list, click Contacts.
  4. Select the appropriate contact in the Items list. (You can select multiple contacts.)
  5. To the right, choose Text Only from the Insert As options.
  6. Click OK and Outlook inserts the information in the body of the email.

There's also a mouse shortcut. In the Contacts folder, drag the contact to the Mail folder icon in the Navigation pane. But, instead of holding down the left mouse button, click and hold the right mouse button as you drag.  When you drop the item into the Mail icon, Outlook will display a list of possible actions. Choose Copy Here As Message With Text, and Outlook will insert the contact's information into a new email window. (If you use the left mouse button, Outlook will use the email address as the recipient in a new email window.)

The insert method is good for an existing email window. Use the drag and drop method if you haven't opened an email window yet.


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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