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Exporting from ACT! to Excel

So you want to get data from your ACT! database into Excel. Here’s how to do it. Note: these instructions are for ACT! 2013; there are minor differences with earlier versions but the principles are the same.

The first thing to do is create a lookup of the records you want to export. You can do this in many ways, but here is how to export a group:

  1. Got to your Groups page
  2. Right click on the name of the group you want
  3. Select “Create Lookup” from the menu


There are two ways of proceeding from here.

Direct export to Excel

This will only work if you have a compatible version of Excel, which means any from Excel XP/2002 to Excel 2010. Note that Excel 2013 is not compatible with any version of ACT!. If you do not have a compatible version the export to Excel icon will be greyed out. (Update September 2013: Act! v16 is compatible with Office 2013. You can upgrade to the latest version of Act! here.)

In the List View of the contacts look for these icons immediately above the list.


The left-hand one is used to select the columns you want in the export. Once this is done, click on the right icon (this will be grey if you do not have a compatible version of Excel). Excel will them open with a sheet created using the data from ACT!. You can save this file wherever you want.

Export wizard

Select Export from the File menu. In the dialogue box that appears, select “Text Delimited” from the type of file dropdown.


Click on the Browse button and give a name and location to the file you want to create. Make sure that you have selected “Comma Separated Values” from the available file types.


Click the “Next” button and select “Contact Records” and “Current lookup”, then click on “Next”‘


Select “Comma” for the type of field separator. If you want field names to appear as column headings in Excel, tick the box.


Click “Next” and specify the fields you want to export. Note – fields are listed and exported in alphabetical order of field name. If you want the columns in a different order in Excel you will have to make the changes using that program.


You can save the map for future use if you plan on doing the same export in the future. Click the “Next” button, and then “Finish”


ACT! will then export the data. You can open the CSV file in Excel (any version) and do all the things you can do in Excel. It is recommended that you save it as an Excel file rather than continuing to work on the text file.

If you want help with this or training in any aspect of ACT!, please feel free to contact Gebesse through the links on our main web site.

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4 thoughts on “Exporting from ACT! to Excel

  • Brian Cardie says:

    I’ve just installed Office 365 (2013) and my Act 2010 no longer exports to Excel. I still have Office 2007 on my machine. Can I not export to that using the toolbar icon? The export-to-csv method is just cumbersome. Thanks

    • I assume that Office reports the latest version to any program that tries to interact with it. In that case ACT! is being told that there is no compatible version of Excel installed. There’s not much that can be done about that because ACT! 2010 is no longer supported by the vendor.

    • jcg says:

      I have the exact same issue and exact same versions of Office and ACT. Is it possible to tell ACT which version of Excel to use as a default? Thanks for any help

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