Microsoft Outlook is probably the most common email program used in the business world.
A lot of those same people who use Outlook for business also have chosen Outlook as their personal email program. It’s included in all the current Microsoft Office suites except for Office Home and Student.
In Outlook, a distribution list is a single Contact which contains the email addresses of a number of people to whom you want to send the same email at the same time.
As you can see in the image below, each Contact in your Outlook Contacts folder has an icon that looks like a business card. We’ll come back to those in a bit.
In order to create a distribution list, the first step is to click on the Actions menu bar item, and then to select New Distribution List.
That will open a large window for an unnamed distribution list. Our first step is to click the Select Members icon on this menu.
Notice the letters and numbers in square boxes in the image below? I pressed and released the Alt key on my keyboard. Those are keyboard shortcuts that can be used to select those particular items — but the O is for the Format Text tab, not for Select Members.
Now, we see the Select Members dialog box. First we need to pick the contacts that we want to add to our distribution list. As usual in Windows, we can select multiple individual items by holding down the Control key. We can also select an adjacent range of items by clicking the first item, holding the Shift key, and clicking the last one.
Once you’ve selected the members you want to add to your distribution list, click the Members button.
Notice that all the selected items are highlighted now. Also, the box beside the Members button now has the names and email addresses that are to be part of the distribution list.
CLick OK to proceed.
That returns us to the Distribution List dialog box, including the members we just added.
We still need to name our new distribution list. I called it "family."
The next step is to click the Save & Close button.
Now, we’re back to the main Outlook Contacts page. Notice that the new family distribution list is listed within the Contacts. It’s icon is a different image than that of the icons for individual contacts.
At this point, you can use the family distribution list as if it was a contact — type it in the To field of an email, and Outlook will send the email to each individual distribution list member.