How do I import a CSV or Excel file of contacts into Highrise?

This tutorial will walk you through adding contacts from a CSV or Excel file. You can also add contacts from a vCard file, your ACT9 database or Outlook.

If you have custom fields in your CSV or Excel file, you will need to create those custom fields in Highrise before you perform the import. Read more about custom fields.

Make sure your file is saved with UTF-8 encoding. This will help Highrise render non-Latin characters.

Step 1: Uploading your file
Go to Highrise and click the Contacts link.

Next, click the “Import” link in the sidebar.

Choose the appropriate file type. If you have a CSV file, click the “Upload a CSV file” link. And if you have an Excel file, click the “Upload an Excel file” link. The Excel file must be saved in .xls format.

Next you’re going to attach your file from your computer. You will also choose what you want to do with your duplicates and select your permissions.

If you’re updating existing contacts, please follow this guide.

After adding your file, selecting your duplicate and permissions options, you’re ready to click the “Upload and import” button.

Step 2: Match your data with fields in Highrise
Now it’s time to match up your data with the right fields within Highrise.

On the next screen, you’re alerted of how many contacts you’ve imported. Highrise predicts the best field matches for your data (i.e. how that data will appear within Highrise). You can make changes by selecting the proper fields from the pulldown menus.

Note: Highrise can accept multiple entries for one field. So someone can have three work phone numbers. If this is what you’d like, just go ahead and select the same field multiple times.

If no match is found
If Highrise can’t find a match, the dropdown will say “NO MATCH, SELECT…” with a faint yellow background. Choose the field that is most appropriate.

Or you can choose to ignore a field completely. Just choose “Do not import this field” from the dropdown.

Preview a few contacts
You’re going to want to check a few different contacts in order to ensure that fields are matching up properly.

After you’ve matched up the fields for one contact, click “Previous” or “Next” links to toggle through your other contacts to make sure all the fields are still matched up with the correct data.

How to ignore the first row of your file
If the first row of your file is made up of column headers instead of actual data, you’re going to want to ignore that row for your import.

How can you tell if this is the case? You’ll see fields that should have actual data showing up with column headers like “first name” and “last name” (instead of an actual first and last name like “Dwight” and “Schrute”).

If this is the case, you can choose to ignore that first row during importing by selecting the checkbox that says “Ignore the first row when importing.”

Complete your Import
Now that you’re sure your data is matching up properly, you can go ahead and click the “Import these contacts” button.

Step 3: Confirmation screen
Then you’ll see a confirmation screen and your contacts will show up in Highrise!

Tip for Excel users: If your zip codes start with a zero, Excel might drop them from your file. Make sure your cells are formatted as text, not numbers to preserve the complete zip code. Here’s a walkthrough.

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