Bulk Edit Address Book Contacts 3

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Bulk Edit Address Book Contacts

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This tip comes inspired from my friend who likes to do everything the long winded way. I like quick short methods that get the job done. If you haven’t guessed by the title this is a really quick method for changing lots of Address Book contacts. Its slightly long winded but if a lot quicker than typing the results by hand. You can’t actually do this in Address Book, so we need to employ a second program, a text editor.

The first major step is to export the contacts you want to change. We are going edit directly the .vcf file which is used to store all of the address book data. Select all of the contacts you want to change, either the group of contacts or individually using the command key and click on each one. Then drag these contacts onto the desktop. Your Mac will work its magic and create one big .vcf file (which is actually all of your contacts as one file). This file in essence if a big text file which we can change.

The next step is to right click on the file and select “Open With” select your favourite text editor. TextEdit will do. Inside the file you will see lots of text that looks like a mess. The next step is to simply do a search and replace. Most items will be separated by a semi-colon ( ; ) so bare this in mind if you are changing multi line addresses. If you do a search and replace I recommend going through the items one at a time. Hitting change all could change things you don’t want to.

The final step is to save and drag the vcf file back into Address Book. It will ask if you want to review the differences, hit Import and it will override all of the files.

Simple to do, although it does involve using a second program. Still quicker than changing each one by hand.


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