Address Book can import contacts from other Address Book files, as well as from comma-separated values (.csv) files and a few other formats. It can also write (export) your contact data in Address Book (.wab) or .csv formats, or as a Microsoft Exchange Personal Address Book.
Importing Address Book Data
To import data from another Address Book (.wab) file, choose File, Import, Address Book in Outlook Express or File, Import, Address Book (WAB) in Address Book. Address Book imports all records in the selected file. If an imported name has the same name as a record in the current file, Address Book tries to merge the data without creating a duplicate record. But if conflicts exist between imported data and existing data—say, for example, that an existing record has one business phone number and an imported record of the same name has another—Address Book does not import the conflicting record. Folder assignments in the imported data are ignored, but group assignments are preserved.
Importing Data from Other Programs
To import information from another contact manager, choose File, Import, Other Address Book in either Outlook Express or Address Book. Choose a file format from the list and then click Import.
If you specify a .csv file for import, Address Book will ask you to map the import file’s fields (columns) to Address Book fields. If the .csv file doesn’t include field headings (not an unlikely circumstance), you will have to use data in the first record of the .csv file as your guide for creating this mapping. Blank fields in the first record can make this difficult. To get around this problem, either make sure the first record is completely filled out before exporting to .csv from the source program (your other contact manager), or import the .csv file into a spreadsheet program and add field headings there. Then resave the file in .csv format and import it into Address Book.
If the .csv file that you’re importing includes records whose names match records already in your address book, the import routine will ask whether you want to replace the existing record. If you answer no, the program will not import that entry.
Exporting the Address Book to a .wab File
To export your address book as an address book (.wab) file, choose File, Export, Address Book (WAB) in Address Book. Note that when you write Address Book data to an existing .wab file, the exported data replaces the existing data. It is not merged with the existing file. Thus, exporting to a .wab file is a good way to back up your contact list but not a method of merging your data with someone else’s!
Exporting the Address Book to a .csv File
To export your address book as a .csv file, open Address Book and choose File, Export, Other Address Book. In the dialog box that appears, select Text File (Comma Separated Values), and then click Export. A wizard will prompt you for a file name, and a check-box list of Address Book fields will appear. Select the fields you want to export and then click Finish.