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Creating a Contact Group in Outlook 2016 and Later


 

All of a sudden the question about how to create contact groups seems to be popping up on a number of other groups, and a comment on one of them mentioned (incorrectly) that you could not add an email address that was not already in Contacts or Address Book to a contact group, but you can.  So I am posting a revised version of my earlier instructions that includes that third option of adding an email address since I omitted it earlier.

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To Create A Contact Group in Outlook 2016
1. Hit CTRL+3 to switch over to Contacts.
2. ALT+H,CG (Home Ribbon, Create Group), opens the Contact Group dialog, and lands you in the Name edit box, where you enter the name you want.
3. For this step, regardless of the type of  item you're adding to the group, the shortcut sequence begins with ALT+H,M, which you follow with one of these characters to complete the shortcut:
A - If you wish to add an existing Address Book entry to the group
C - If you wish to add an existing Contact to the group
E - If you wish to add a random email address that's in neither of the above to the group (New email contact in the submenu).
If you have chosen to add an Address Book or Contact entry, jump straight to Step 4 now.  Otherwise, here are the details regarding entering a new email contact:
If you hit ALT+H,M,E you are presented with a dialog box containing the following, in order:
Display Name edit box
email address edit box
email type box, defaults to SMTP, almost never changed
Custom type button, affiliated with the email type edit box, almost never activated
Internet Format dropdown box, which defaults to, Let Outlook decide the best sending format, but which also has the options, Send plain text only, and, Send using Outlook rich text format
Checkbox, Add to contacts, which is checked by default
The typical OK and Cancel button pair at the bottom
Admittedly, you can't enter a long string of comma or semicolon separated "unknown" email addresses this way, but you can add each one by one and decide whether or not you want what you enter added to contacts or not as part of that process.
4. Hit down arrow to go into the Select Members, Contacts list.  Note that this will throw you past your first contact, which had focus but was not selected, so if you need the very first contact in your contacts list you're going to need to up arrow once so you can get focus on it again in order to select it.
5. On any contact you wish to include in the group, hit Enter.  This will be a multi-select by default, so each time you hit Enter you add another contact to the ones already selected.
6. Navigate to the OK button, and activate it.  Once you do this, you are back in the Create Group dialog, and all of the members you've selected are in a list that you can review easily for accuracy by hitting Tab to exit the edit box for name and land in the member list.  You can up/down arrow through it to make sure you have everyone you intended, and haven't included anyone you didn't.  If you land on someone you want to remove, just hit the Delete key and that member is removed.  If you need to add a member you missed, use key sequence you used in Step 3 in order to get to the list you wanted to use for selecting from.
7. Hit ALT+H,AV to save the list.

It's way easier to use contact groups once you've set them up, as when you start typing in the To: field they show up in the list as you type just like regular contacts do.
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Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041  

It’s hard waking up and realizing it’s not always black and white.

     ~ Kelley Boorn