Address Book import/export business

Reader Rafael Sands is chafing under the restrictions of files created by Address Book. He writes:

I’ve transferred my data from one Mac to another, but I ran into a problem with Address Book. All my contacts are .abcdp files and won’t import into Address Book. How can I either import them, or convert them to .csv files that can be imported in Address Book? It’s weird because they have the address book icon with the person and the @ sign.

I recently had a similar problem with a neighbor’s Mac. Like you he transferred his contacts from one Mac to another (using Migration Assistant, in his case) and his contacts were missing in action. He attempted to import a file that ended with this .abcdp extension and attained similar results—meaning bupkis.

I suggested that he return to the drawing board in the form of the old Mac and do one of the following:

Launch Address Book, select all the contacts in it, and drag the highlighted contacts to the Desktop to create a vCard file. Copy this file to the new Mac, drag it into Address Book, and the contacts will appear as they should. Note that your groups won’t be maintained, however.

To get contacts as well as groups you’ve created, try this:

If you’re moving from Tiger to Leopard, in the Tiger version of Address Book choose File -> Back Up Address Book. This created an Address Book archive file. Copy this file to your new Mac running Leopard and in that version of Address Book choose File -> Import -> Address Book Archive. Navigate to the archive you created on the old Mac and click Open. You’ll be warned that any contacts you currently have will be replaced with the contacts from the archive. As you’ve got nothing in Address Book anyway, go ahead.

The Leopard version of Address Book doesn’t have this Back Up command. Instead, to export your contacts to an Address Book archive choose File -> Export -> Address Book archive.

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