How to Use Mac Automator to Export Contacts to Excel

Automator is an out-of-the box application that comes bundled with OS X. It first appeared in OSX 10.4 and has remained a very popular tool. With Automator, you can take any repetitive task and create a “workflow” script with simple drag and drop steps.

Let’s run through an example using Automator to export contacts to Excel.

1. Select Automator from the Applications menu.
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You are presented with a screen to choose what you want to automate.

2. Choose Service and select Choose.
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3. Select Service receives No Input in Any Application.
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4. Next, select Actions | Contacts | Find Contact Items and drag to the workflow.
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Figure D.

5. Next, select Options and choose Show this action when the workflow runs check box.

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6. Now you are ready to drag Get Contact Information to the workflow.
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7. Next, change Export Format to Spreadsheet Tabs.
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NOTE: You can choose the contact information you want to appear in the Excel Contacts fields list. Or, you can just accept the default values.

8. Choose Utilities and drag the Copy to Clipboard to the workflow.
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9. Next, select Documents and drag Create New Excel Workbook to the workflow.
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10. At this point, we are almost done. Select Documents | Paste Clipboard Contents into Excel Workbooks and drag into the workflow.
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11. Select File | Save from the menu bar. Enter a name of the service you just coded / created.

Ready, Set, Action

12. Test your workflow by clicking the Run button.
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For example, choose Facebook.com and the automation will automatically place all users in your address book with an email address that contains Facebook.com in an Excel spreadsheet.

Note: Do not forget that you can specify the fields you would like to import into Excel by specifying the Get Contact Information fields.
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13. Once you click Continue, all people in your address book that fit this criteria appear in Excel.

Because you saved this as a service, you can create a shortcut to run this automation whenever you need it. Select System Preference from the Apple Dock. Next select Keyboard and select Services.
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14. Select Add Shortcut on the far right and pick your shortcut. I chose Shift + Command+ 7. From within any application, choose your shortcut and it will run your automation.

As you can see, Automator is very powerful and you can automate many types of tasks with zero programming knowledge. As you work through this tutorial, continue exploring all the other options Automator has to offer.
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