Creating Distribution Groups in Outlook 2010

March 20, 2011, By Christian Cawley

There is much more to sending an email in Outlook than typing in an email address, a subject and a message before clicking Send. You might email many people at once, carbon copy in anyone who should be aware the message has been sent, blank carbon copy in anyone who should be aware of the message but should remain anonymous, and great a distribution group so that you can avoid typing in the same names each time you send a message.

All of these are extremely easy to do, and require nothing more than your standard copy of Microsoft Outlook and a few moments.

Creating distribution groups in Outlook 2010

Multiple Recipients and Distribution Groups

In order to send an email to multiple recipients, the standard method is to separate each email address (or contact name from your address book) with a semi-colon.

This allows you to send a message to several people at the same time, although it can be quite a chore typing in several email addresses or even clicking To: to open your address book and selecting them from that list.

One way of saving time when writing emails to a large group of people is to first create a distribution list. This enables you to add all of your regular contacts into a single list which you can then use as your addressee. In effect you will be typing in one name but it will send the message to however many recipients are in the group.

In the Outlook Home tab, go to New Items > More Items > Contact Group and in the Name field give the group a name. Once you have done this, use the Add Members button – this drop down menu will allow you to add from Outlook Contacts, Address Book or add a New E-mail Contact.

If you choose the last item then you simply need to enter the details for the new contact. The other two options require you to select a contacts list/address book and then select recipients, perhaps holding CTRL as you left-click to select several. With these selected, use the Members -> button to add them to the list and click OK to confirm.

Carbon Copy with Cc and Bcc

Using either individual email contacts or even groups, you can specify who sees which other recipients to your email messages using Cc and Bcc.

Cc means “carbon copy” while Bcc stands for “blank carbon copy” and each of these is used to include other recipients to your message on a “need to know” basis.

Setting this up is simple, and can be done by clicking the To: or Cc: buttons in a new email message. With the name selection window open, select a contact and then click the Cc -> or Bcc -> button to add it to the email. If you only have an email address for the recipient, simply type this directly into the Cc or Bcc field.

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