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Distribution List Management

Do you use distribution lists in MS Outlook?

I know I do. I love that I can group together message recipients under one name which allows me to quickly address any message by choosing the list name instead of all those individual addresses.

But, what about the times when you need to send a message to only some of the people on the list?

Do you have to create separate lists?

Let’s hope not because it could definitely become a challenge to name them in a meaningful way, especially when the lists contain many of the same people.

And, since we all know that I’d never suggest you should go back to adding each address individually, I have an alternative that truly is a pretty efficient method of dealing with just this situation.

Obviously we need a message open and addressed to one of our distribution lists.


See the little plus sign next to the list name? It indicates that it’s a list and can be expanded so that you can see its contents.

So… click the plus sign.

Outlook will warn you that you’re about to expand the distribution list and this cannot be undone (at least in this message). Click Ok.

The name of your distribution list will be replaced by a list of the individual addresses.

At this point just highlight and delete any addresses of people you don’t want to receive this particular message.

There you have it… a very efficient way to send a message to some – but not all – of a distribution list.

~ April