README file for OL2TXT

Written and Developed by: Peter Torpey



The OL2TXT program is designed to save a user's Contacts, Appointments, and Mail messages from Microsoft Outlook to text files which can be read in any text editor and/or easily transferred to a portable reading device such as the Victor Reader Stream, Bookport, etc.


This program is distributed as shareware.  If, after using the program for a bit, you find it useful and want to keep using it, please consider making a donation to my PayPal account by clicking on the button below:





The program can be run either from the shortcut to OL2TXT which is placed on the user's Startup menu during installation or from the folder in which it was installed.  On some platforms, the Outlook program must be open prior to running OL2TXT.


To run the program, follow these steps:


1.  When the program is run, a dialog box appears in which the user is prompted for a folder in which to save the Outlook data.  After selecting the desired location for saving the data, the user should press the Enter key or hit the OK button to move to the next dialog box.


2.  Next, the user is prompted to specify time periods of interest for Mail-Notes from the user's Inbox and Appointment items from the user's Calendar.  Only items within these time periods will be saved.


The "Save Prior Weeks of Mail" field specifies the number of weeks prior to the current time during which mail items will be saved.


The "Save Future Weeks of appointments" field specifies the number of weeks from the current time during which Appointment items will be saved.


The values in both fields can be modified by either using the up/down arrow keys to select an integer or by directly editing the values in these fields.  The maximum value for either field is 52.


3.  The “Separator” field is the character (or set of characters) to be used as the field separator between various items in each file which is produced by the program.  When reading the file with a text editor or with a portable reading device, the user can search for occurrences of the separator to locate the start of the next item within the file.  For example, when reading the data with the Bookport, setting the separator to “_@_” without the quotes (the default separator), means that the user can move back and forth between successive appointments, contacts, or mail messages by using the section movement keystrokes C+F to move forward by one item at a time or A+D to move backward by one item at a time.  Choose the appropriate separator for your device or a unique text string (up to 10 characters) for which you can search when using a text editor.


4.  After selecting OK or pressing the Enter key on any item, the program proceeds to log onto the user's Outlook account and save the appropriate items in the desired location as ordinary text files.


5.  Note: in order to save the Contact and Mail-Note items, the user must allow access to these items.  Outlook will automatically produce a pop-up window asking the user for permission to access the Outlook data.  The user should allow access by clicking the "Yes" button and specifying a period of time for which access to the Outlook data is allowed.


6.  When the OL2TXT program is finished, 3 data files are produced in the location specified by the user.  These are:

  -  contacts.txt

  -  appointments.txt

  -  mail.txt


7.  The 3 output data files can then either be read with a text editor or sent to a portable reading device (see the manufacturer’s documentation on how to transfer these files to the portable reading device if necessary).


8.  Note:  All user selections are automatically saved before the program terminates.  Thus, there is no need to re-enter user selections each time the program is run unless you desire to make a change.


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