PDA Data Conversion
Information for PDA and smartphone users wishing to convert their data to another format.
Moving from one type of PDA to another can be a painful experience... Just how do you convert your contacts from an ancient Psion database format over to a new Windows Mobile's Contacts? Or how do you get your Palm Calendar entries onto a Nokia N95 mobile phone?
On this page, we try to help with some common file conversion tricks.
If the format you are looking for is not listed, or you have an addition
to this list, please ask in our PDA forum and we'll try to help.
Synchronising via your PC
easiest way of getting the majority of your data (especially your contacts, agenda
and to-do lists) converted from one PDA format to another, assumes you have access
to a PC running Microsoft Outlook:
Windows Mobile / Pocket
For an alternative, take a look at Oxygen II for Symbian Phones
The following tables provide information on exchanging data of all types between different varieties of handheld device.
|vCal - Psion Agenda||vCal - This small EPOC program converts vCalendar files to/from Psion EPOC Agenda files. The program is useful for anyone who wants to move calendar information between different PC or PDA programs.|
|Palm OS DateBook||
If you're looking to convert Datebook entries from your Palm or Visor into another format such as Pocket PC, then going via MS Outlook is probably the best route. Supplied with your Palm is a program called Pocket Mirror, from Chapura which lets you synchronise to Outlook. Psion or Pocket PC can then be synchronised with Outlook. Some other options:
|Psion Agenda to text||AgnDump is a simple application for EPOC32 machines that creates an ASCII text file from an Agenda file. This can be imported into a number of different applications as required.|
|Psion EPOC Agenda to PC|
If you're looking to get your Psion diary onto your PC, there are two common options:
The most common solution is to use PsiWin to synchronise with Outlook. To do this, connect your Psion to the PC using PsiWin, go to the synchronise, and add a task. For step-by-step help with this, see the Psion Guide on synchronisation here.
|To / from Nokia Smartphone||
The Nokia PC connectivity software supplied with Nokia smartphones (including the 6680 and 6600) allows import of contacts and Calendar information from a Nokia mobile phone (via cable or infrared), from a Nokia 9110 smartphone, or from a Palm OS organiser (via Hotsync)
Smart vCal may also be worth a look. This application for Series 60 phones including the Nokia 7650 , Nokia 3650 and Nokia 6600, helps you to import and export Calendar and To Do information in vCal format.
|Outlook Express to vCard||WAB2vCard - This utility converts the Outlook Express Windows Address Book (WAB) to either a single .vcf file (for bulk importing into Contacts) or a compact .csv file (for Data). Whereas the default .csv export leaves out multiple e-mail addresses and contains too many fields for Data, this version compacts several fields into one (Address rather than Street, Town) and exports all e-mail addresses rather than just the default address.|
|Palm OS Address Book import/export||Palm
Desktop, the free software supplied with Palm OS devices, allows
import of contact information in comma-delimited, tab-delimited,
or vCard (.vcf format). It can also export your Address Book as
a delimited text file.
You may like to look at AIMEX from linkesoft.com - This shareware program can convert contact entries to CSV format.
|Palm OS Address Book to Outlook||If you're looking to convert Address Book entries from your Palm or Visor into another format such as Pocket PC, then going via MS Outlook is probably the best route. Supplied with your Palm is a program called Pocket Mirror, from Chapura which lets you synchronise to Outlook. Psion or Pocket PC can then be synchronised with Outlook.|
|Nokia Smartphone import and export||
|EPOC Contacts to another PDA||Best bet is to synchronise your Contacts database with a desktop PC running a PIM solution such as MS Outlook (or Lotus Notes if supported), then synchronise your new PDA to the PC.|
|EPOC DATA to EPOC Contacts||DataContact - Convert EPOC Data to 5mx/Revo Contacts. Ideal when upgrading from Series 5 to 5mx or Revo.|
|EPOC Contacts to plain text||C2F is a small freeware application that runs on the Psion, reads your Contacts database and writes user-selected fields to a standard comma or tab-delimited ASCII file that other computers can process.|
|Psion EPOC to PC||
If you're looking to get your contacts onto your PC, there are two common options:
The most common solution is to use PsiWin to synchronise with Outlook. To do this, connect your Psion to the PC using PsiWin, go to the synchronise icon, and add a task. For step-by-step help with this, see the Psion Guide on synchronisation here.
|Psion DBF to PC||The freeware PC application 3Base can be used to convert Psion DBF databases to other formats - Available from 3-Lib A-List.|
|Symbian OS phones||Try Contacts Manager for Series 60 - This lets you transfer all or some of your contacts from your Series 60 device to other handsets, as well as save all contacts in formats that other PDAs and computers can read|
|Nokia CDB to PC||
If you have a backup of a Nokia Series 60 or Nokia Series 80 Contacts file (contacts.cdb) that you're trying to read on a PC, sadly this isn't easy. The CDB file is Symbian's own Contacts file format, and there's no direct way to convert this to a form that can be read by a PC address book such as Outlook
|Import into Outlook||Microsoft Outlook
supports import of Contacts from a range of formats, including:
Act, Comma Delimited (CSV) text files, Tab Delimited text files,
dBase, ECCO, Lotus Organiser, Access, Excel, FoxPro & Schedule
Plus - You can access this from the File > Import and Export
menu option, selecting 'Import from another program or file'.
If, when you select this option, you can't see the format you need, it could be that you didn't install the converters when you installed Outlook - From Add/remove programs, select Outlook, press 'change', and 'Importers and Exporters'.
Converting Word files
|EPOC Word on a Psion||If you're looking to read and convert Word files on a Psion itself, and not via a computer running PsiWin, consider nConvert from Neuon. Available for Series 5 family, Series 7 and Revo family|
|EPOC Word to text / HTML (Linux)||PsiConvert - is a Linux/Unix based EPOC file converter. It will convert EPOC Word files into either HTML or plain text. It will also convert Psion Sketch and MBM files to just about any graphics format you desire.|
|Exporting Psion Data files||
Psion handheld computers used the EPOC operating system. If you want to get your DATA files converted to another format, you have two options:
Also, take a look at our Psion Conversion article
|Psion EPOC Data to Pocket PC||Pocket PC's
don't have a built-in database application like the Psion, so the
two options are to get a shareware Pocket PC database application
(see below), or to convert your database into a spreadsheet that
can be read by Pocket Excel. Here's how to do this:
From the Psion Data application menu, select "More | Export as text file...", name the file using the extension .TXT (e.g. mydata.txt), and export the data (you may with to change the Export format using Options, as the default is comma-delimited with Double-quote as the qualifier). You now have a delimited text file. Copy this file to your PC.
From Microsoft Excel, create a blank spreadsheet, and from the Tools menu, select "Get External data | Import text file". Select your text file, make sure you have the right delimiter (e.g. comma not tab), then import the text. All of your data should be viewable. Save the file in Excel format (e.g. mydata.xls), then copy this new file over to the Pocket PC. You should be able to read the data with Pocket Excel.
|Pocket PC databases||
is no built-in Pocket PC database application, but there are several
shareware ones available - see www.handango.com.
If you're looking for an application that's compatible with .CDB files, take a look at Data On The Run, which can read Pocket Access files, great for use with Access and ActiveSync on the PC.
For a more powerful application, take a look at Pocket Database from Pocket Innovations - this caters for import of delimited files, for those without access to Microsoft Access.
|PC to PDA||Microsoft Access seems
to be the most common PC database application. Standard database
files are in the .mdb format, but Access supports a number of export
formats, including the ability to export as XLS (spreadsheet) format,
as well as to other database formats such as dBase (dbf), Lotus
1-2-3 and Paradox. It also supports export as rich or plain text.
If your PDA has a built-in spreadsheet application, you may find that this is adequate for your requirements. PsiWin for Psion devices can convert directly from Access to its own database format, and we've covered Pocket PC databases above.
If you're looking for a true database application for your PDA, take a look at the applications available from www.handango.com.
Converting Psion EPOC Sheet files
|Excel to/from Sheet||Conversion
via a PC can be done with PsiWin. |
Note that EPOC ER5 only supports single worksheets within a Sheet file. When an Excel workbook that contains multiple sheets is converted to EPOC, all of the Excel sheets are copied into a single EPOC Sheet file. If you want each Excel worksheet to appear as its own Sheet file, you will need to make each worksheet a workbook (.xls file) which you can do from Excel's "Edit | Move or copy sheet".
If you're looking to read and convert Excel spreadsheets on a Psion itself, consider nConvert from Neuon. This handles Microsoft Excel 4.1, 95, 97 and 2000 to Symbian Sheet.
|Excel to Psion DATA|| Thanks
to David Blaikie for submitting this solution for converting Excel to Psion DATA:
|Symbian Sheet to Excel||The Nokia 9210 Sheet application has the ability to export sheet files in Microsoft Excel format. This can be done from the File menu. If only other Symbian OS applications supported export in this way...|
Converting Text Files
|EPOC text to MAC text||EPOC to Mac Text Convert v2.0 - EPOC to Mac Text Convert, a simple Macintosh drag and drop application, pulls text out of EPOC Word and OPL files. It also converts the carriage return and line-feeds both ways for plain text files.|
Word docs into Microsoft Reader (.lit) files by downloading the free "Read
in Microsoft Reader add-in" application from www.microsoft.com/reader.
This creates an extra item on MS Word's toolbar to convert an open Word document
to the format used in the Reader. Note that you'll need to have Microsoft's desktop
version of Reader installed on the PC before document conversion will work.|
Microsoft Reader (on both PC and Pocket PC) requires activation, which is used when viewing documents protected by copyright. Activation isn't required for viewing documents you create yourself. There are links to over 1500 free books from the Microsoft Reader site.
|EPOC MBM to Windows BMP||
bmconv.exe is a small DOS application that converts EPOC's MBM (Multi bitmap format) to/from PC BMP format (available from here or here). You need to run this in a DOS session. From the Windows Start button, select 'Run', then enter CMD. This takes you to a DOS box. Move to the directory containing BMCONV and enter the path and filename of the source and target. Here are two examples:
|Psion Series 3 .PIC to Windows BMP||Psion's PsiWin v1.0 and v1.1 have built-in converters. No other stand-alone converters are known to us.|
|Psion Series 3 .PIC to EPOC 5 MBM||5Pic, from Richard Wakelin, is an EPOC application that allows PIC files to be viewed on an ER5 machine, and saves as an EPOC MBM file if required. You can find this free application on Tucows|
|Psion to PC Sound|
|EPOC to Linux||PLP Tools Project - Project to connect Psions to Linux|
Need help with a format not listed? Ask a question or discuss file conversion in our PDA forum
Other useful links:
- Moving your data - Data conversion article originally published in Palmtop User
- PDAs and the Apple Mac - Help using a PDA with a Macintosh
- Repligo - Great software for document viewing and conversion on Pocket PC, Palm OS and Symbian smartphones