Sorting out-of-sorts Address Book contacts

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Reader Michael Hull is out of sorts over Address Book sorting. He writes:

Since upgrading to OSX 10.6.3 the addresses in Address Book refuse to sort. I tried changing Last name, First Name etc in preferences but nothing works. Is there anything else I can do?

This is another one of those “if all else fails, nuke the preference files” situations. This follows such true-and-tried methods as changing preferences within the application, restarting the Mac, and cursing.

In this very particular case you should follow this path: youruserfolder/Library/Preferences and enter AddressBook in the Search field (search by File Name in the Preferences folder). This will turn up both the and files. After quitting Address Book, drag these files to the Desktop and launch Address Book. New preference files will be created and your contacts should now be sorted by Address Book’s default settings: Show First Name Before Last Name, Sorted by First Name.

If everything is as hunky dory as I suggest it should be, trash the old preference files that you dragged to the Desktop.

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