Contact management in Outlook Online

Occasional Visitor

Hi all--


First time posting here--apologies for the long post.  I'm stuck trying to solve what should be a simple Outlook-related problem and suspect I'm missing something obvious.  I'd really appreciate any help figuring out what it is.


Originally, I wanted to export a list (or CSV, or whatever) of all the senders and recipients of emails in my Inbox.  After failing to find a way to do this, I settled for trying to export the GAL (Global Address List) from Outlook Online by first adding it to my contacts and then exporting that.  The detailed list of reasons why I want to do this are below (they're a bit convoluted and not especially relevant).  The executive summary is that (a) I'm trying to import email addresses into a different mail client so that I can search for recipients when composing email, (b) my Contacts folder in Outlook is empty, and (c) I don't care whether I end up exporting a list of "my" contacts or simply a dump of all email addresses in my organization.  In fact, the latter would in some ways be preferable.


However, when I navigate to the Global Address List in Outlook Online, I can't find any way to even *select* multiple contacts, much less add them to my contacts in bulk (for subsequent export).


So, finally, here's my question:


How can I export the GAL (Global Address List) from Outlook Online as a CSV?  Alternatively, how can I add all the senders and recipients of emails in my Inbox to my contacts at once (so that I can subsequently export the list)?


Reasons for question:


I'm a member of an organization that uses Office 365 for various things, email included.  As a result, I've been using the online version of Outlook to send and receive email related to the organization for about a year now.  (In particular, I have a substantial volume of email hosted online, so "manual" solutions to the following problem are extremely unappealing.)


My desktop OS is Fedora Linux, which means that a local Outlook client is not an option for me.  However, I'm pretty tired of logging into a webapp every time I want to check or send email, so I'm trying to setup Thunderbird as my email client instead.  Everything's working great except for one thing: When I compose an email, I'd like autocomplete to suggest an appropriate recipient email address after (ideally) a few characters, as it does in Outlook.  Unfortunately, the "autocomplete" feature in Thunderbird only seems to search contacts (as opposed to an institutional Global Address List, as in Outlook), so the most straightforward way to accomplish this seems to be to import a list of all contacts from the online Outlook app.


This is where it gets interesting.  During my year of using Outlook online, I relied completely on the aforementioned "autocomplete + GAL" feature of Outlook to locate email addresses for me, and as a result never felt the need to add contacts. 


My next thought was to add all senders and recipients of emails in my Inbox to my contacts and then export the contacts to a CSV (which could then be imported into Thunderbird in the usual way).  (In fact, there's a Thunderbird extension which does exactly that, but unfortunately it's not supported by my version.)  However, as simple as this task seems to be, I can't for the life of me find how to do it in Outlook.


At some point I stopped worrying about "my" contacts and settled for exporting the GAL from Outlook online.  However, even this appears to be weirdly difficult (either that, or I just lack the necessary sense of Office-zen).



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