This month we’ll be looking at managing and merging duplicate contacts in Act!. When working with the database, especially in large companies, you’re sure to come across duplicate contacts. Sometimes you may want a duplicate, like when a contact moves to a new company, and you’d like to keep the business history, but sometimes you don’t want duplicates. They can pile up, leading to clutter and confusion.

Duplicates can occur in a number of ways. While it can be a user error, it can also be a scanning or importing error. For example, if you scan a stack of business cards to import to Act!, you may input duplicate contacts, either because there are duplicates in the pile or they already exist in your database. Either way, there are Act! tools to manage or merge these duplicates.

To start, head to the tools tab at the top left. In the drop down, you’ll see two options: scan for duplicates, and copy/move contact data.

If you scan, a pop-up window will appear, allowing you to lookup duplicates based on up to 3 categories.

Click okay, and you will be given the option to start combining the duplicates. Click no, and you will be given a list view with your duplicates. Click yes, and you will be sent to the Copy/Move Contact Data Wizard.

Click next, and from this window, you can choose where you are getting your contact data from. Then, select any two contacts you’d like to merge data with.

Click next, and you can choose to copy Contact 1 onto Contact 2, or vice versa. Next again, and here you get to choose which field to copy over. Select any row you’d like to merge, and click copy to push the info over.

Next, you can choose which additional items you’d like to copy over. Finally, you can choose whether or not to delete the contact record you just copied from. Click next, then finish.