You can import contacts in Windows Live Mail to automate the process, but you can do the same manually: either add contacts using an email that person sent you (save some typing!), or directly create new contacts in your contact list (useful when you get someone's business card). This tutorial also shows you how to make the best of "nicknames", a feature that lets you very quickly add email recipients when you compose messages.
The easiest way to add someone to your contacts? With a message they sent you: this spares you from typing their main information, which will be automatically extracted:
Right-click on a message from a person you want to add to your address book, and choose "Add sender to contacts". Windows Live Mail will open the "Add a Contact" dialog, pre-filled with the sender's information - first name, last name, and email address. Optionally add more details, and click "Add contact" when you are done.
Note: a grayed-out (disabled) "Add sender to contacts" command means that this sender is already in your address book! Go to your contact list and double-click on that person's name to change its information.
Go to your Contacts: hit Ctrl+3 or click on the address book icon (bottom left).
To create a brand new contact, click on the Contact button in the ribbon, or press the equivalent keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+N.
Windows Live Mail will open the "Add a contact" dialog, with the "Quick add" tab on the left selected by default: type at least one piece of information for that person (optionally supplying much more in the left tabs), and click on the "Add contact" button.
Tip: hitting Ctrl+N (
N for "New") works only when you are inside the address book, whereas pressing Ctrl+Shift+C works anywhere in Windows Live Mail!
First name, last name, personal email address, and nickname are all used as auto-complete suggestions when composing new messages. If you add all of them, Windows Live Mail uses the nickname first: take advantage of that by creating quick-to-type, alpha-numerical nicknames! Click on the Contact tab on the left to add a nickname. Let's add an email recipient with a nickname of "1": (hit the Tab key to keep adding recipients).
Caution: your email recipients will see the nicknames typed in the To and Cc fields, so don't use offensive nicknames! (Same applies to contact categories)
If you get the error message above, you probably entered a unique piece of information (like email address) that is already assigned to another contact. Windows Live Mail will prevent you from doing so to avoid duplicate address book entries: