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Move AOL addresses to Address Book Apps
I spent a lot of time trying to find a way to get AOL addresses into Address Book. I have finally found a solution. Over on kdub's blog, he writes:
This weekend I had to move over my Mom's AOL address book to OS X's address book. AOL has its address book stored in binary form inside the application setting files so it wasn't an easy thing to do. Luckly AOL recently released a beta of AOL Communicator for OS X. Communicator is a basically AOL lite which allows you to use AOL features (like email and IM) in a small application that is actually based around Mozilla's XUL.

Anyway, Communicator can export the AOL address book into LDIF format. I thought this would be perfect, since OS X's Address Book can import that format. It turns out that for some reason, OS X's Address Book refused to import the LDIF file that Communicator exported. So I downloaded Mozilla and used its address book app to import the AOL LDIF file. This worked perfectly, especially since Mozilla can export addresses to CSV format. I took the CSV file and then imported that into Entourage, which I know could export vCards, the only other format OS X's Address Book reconizes.

I simply dragged all the address book entries out of Entourage and into OS X's address book and they imported perfectly. Quite a few steps to go through but I was impressed I actually got it to work with out resorting to some manual copy and paste.
This is very helpful. Since OS 9, there hasn't been a way to import AOL addresses into other applications, at least no easy way. This seems like a great workaround, though it involves a few steps.
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Move AOL addresses to Address Book
Authored by: Fofer on Feb 05, '04 01:05:05PM

AOL actually *used* to have a great little utility called: "Address Book Extractor" that was intended for use with Claris Emailer.

Still available on Apple's site:

"This utility quickly exports all the addresses from the AOL 3.0 address book to a (text) file that can be imported by Claris Emailer 2.0. This utility is only necessary with the 3.0 version of AOL software; access to previous AOL address books is built into Claris Emailer 2.0."

It also worked with AOL 4 and 5, and the resulting text file was importable into any other address book program, email client, or database. With the move to OS X the addressbook datafile format changed, so this nifty little (and largely unknown) program stopped working.


Would it *kill* AOL to have just included a simple "export addresses" function?

Oh yes, scratch that, yes, it would.


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Move AOL addresses to Address Book
Authored by: zadig on Feb 05, '04 01:19:55PM

The truly frustrating thing about this is that the AOL client for OS X (just like the OS 9 clients before it) has about 90% complete AppleScript support for the Address book.

For example, each screen name has its own address book. Using AppleScript, you can create an Address Book entry, but you can't specify which user's address book gets the entry, so it can end up anywhere.

Reading address book entries was also *mostly* there, but never quite worked. It seems to be a little bit more broken in the latest OS X clients.

They've also gotten their Communicator client to about 90% before stopping development, at least for now. So it's complete, but slow and buggy. That's AOL's trouble, they never finish anything. Where's their pride in their work?

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Permanent Link
Authored by: kwiersma on Feb 05, '04 05:21:36PM

Since this hint links to my weblog I figured I should provide you guys with a permanent link to the entry with the instructions! :)

I didn't think so many people would find this so helpful. I guess I should have submitted it has a hint!


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(short) aol rant
Authored by: stridey on Feb 09, '04 11:30:18AM

The *real* question is, would it kill AOL to USE OSX's Address book? Seriously.


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Move AOL addresses to Address Book
Authored by: Plazman on Mar 09, '04 06:25:36PM

Thanks Kurt for posting this tip. I'm trying to do it now, but things are breaking down when I try to import the CSV file into Entourage. There are numerous "unmapped fields" that get all mangled. I wind up with hundreds of blank contacts. Did you manually adjust the mapping when you did this step? It says, "To add or change a field mapping, drag the field to a new position in the Mapped fields box," but I haven't had any luck doing this.

SO CLOSE...and yet SO FAR. :-(


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Move AOL addresses to Address Book
Authored by: ptwithy on Apr 04, '04 11:53:00PM

This hint

shows how to move in fewer steps. Just use Mozilla (Thunderbird) email to import and export the .ldif, it rewrites it in a format that address book understands, leaving Entourage out of the loop.

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Move AOL addresses to Address Book
Authored by: whiteshaft on Sep 16, '04 12:19:49AM

That's right. Import into Mozilla and export back out, Address Book reads just fine (10.2.8).

Keep in mind though that my wife's AOL address book didn't have a lot of phone numbers or other info, mostly just email addresses. She said that she had some phone numbers and secondary email information that didn't translate, but from what I can see the problem was with the original export from AOL Communicator.

You are ready to learn...the New Way.

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Move AOL addresses to Address Book
Authored by: iGnome on Apr 11, '04 02:22:22PM

Though this is now GM, there's still an area availible for AOL Beta Testers, so I asked the beta staff about this issue.

They said that the LDIF Export feature was made for synchronizing between copies of AOL Communicator, which (for a reason I can't figure out) means it won't work with Address Book.

Has anyone been able to figure out a way that doesn't involve Entourage?

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Move AOL addresses to Address Book
Authored by: cubeman on Jul 28, '04 07:24:59PM

By reading the hints here, I came up with this work around.
1. Launch AOL Communicator. Import AOL addresses from regular AOL.
2. Export into LDIF.
3. Launch Mozilla, Import LDIF file.
4. Export to CSV format.
5. Launch Entourage, Import CSV file.(In the mapping window, you have to drag the little button from the right to the left, but not too far to set up the right mapping.
6. Export list as text file.
7. Import into Palm
8. Export as a vCard
9. Import in Mac Address Book
10. Yaaaa!!!

"Experience is something you gain shortly after you need it"

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From 'anonymous'...
Authored by: robg on Aug 18, '04 09:45:07AM
This was sent in as a hint submission, but it's really a reply to this comment, so here it is:
I began to follow the instructions of CUBEMAN on 7/28 to do this. However it occurred to me that the Mac address book might like an LDIF file created by Mozilla better than that created by AOL Communicator. So... after CUBEMAN's step #3, importing the Communicator LDIF file into Mozilla, I simply exported the LDIF file from Mozilla. Then I imported it into the Mac address book and it worked perfectly well.

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Move AOL addresses to Address Book
Authored by: Nemmex on Sep 05, '04 12:17:50PM

search google for whatever file format from/to you want to go... I found this page for converting CSF to VCF (VCARD)

Before that I was able to use
1. AOL Communicator to export --> LDIF
2. MOZILLA import LDIF --> CSV
3. Above link used to convert CSV to VCF

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Move AOL addresses to Address Book
Authored by: ryosode on Sep 23, '04 03:47:48PM

Actually, here's what worked for me.

Initially, I tried CSV file export from Mozilla. This caused an issue for me. I had some Japanese characters in my contacts and basically those Japanese characters turned into garbage characters when CSV file was imported into Entourage.

So instead of exporting a CSV file from Mozilla, I exported LDIF from Mozilla and tried importing the newly created LDIF into Address Book. Guess what? It worked!!

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Move AOL addresses to Address Book
Authored by: fishrivers on Dec 08, '04 03:55:49AM

Actually I was able to do this whole thing much easier. However, I wouldn't have thought of it without stumbling into this forum. Here's how I did it. Worked very well.

Here it is in a nutshell... below are the specifics.
Copy & Paste address from AOL Address Book into Excel
Save as CSV
Import into Entourage
Export as vCards
Import into Mac Address Book

More Detailed description:
Open AOL.
Open Address book
Select all the names in the list (click top item then shift click on bottom item in list).
Copy all and then past directly into excel spread sheet.
Clean up columns (name top row for field types
i.e. Last Name First Name Email Address 1
Make sure there are no commas or
strange characters and your columns look right
Save as CSV
Import into Entourage
Export your vCards (under Contact menu)
Import your new cards into Mac Address Book.

Worked great for me.

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Move AOL addresses to Address Book
Authored by: steverea on Dec 09, '04 10:19:41AM

Even easier way:

Open AOL's Address Book, select all, copy
Open any text editor, paste the text.
Change the comma between last name and first name to a tab
Save the text file
Use the Address Book Importer script from:

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Move AOL addresses to Address Book
Authored by: apta on Jul 23, '05 06:23:04PM
At last we can stop using workarounds for extracting AOL addresses, mail, and favorites. AOL has made available a converter for OS X.

About AOL Service Assistant
Helps you set up the following Apple applications to work with the AOL service:

- Mail: The AOL Service Assistant makes it easy to configure Mac OS X Mail to send and receive AOL mail. If you've used the existing AOL service for Mac OS X, you can also import your incoming and outgoing messages from your Personal Filing Cabinet into Mail.
- iChat: You can now easily set up iChat to work with your Screen Name.
- Address Book: Using the AOL Service Assistant, you can now easily import your AOL Address Book contacts into your Mac OS X Address Book without bringing in duplicate entries.
- Safari: AOL Service Assistant helps you import your AOL Favorite Places into a folder in the Safari Bookmarks Bar.

You can download AOL Service Assistant at AOL's Mac downloads or at Apple's OS X downloads.

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