Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Check for consistent Address Book number formatting Apps
The ability of Address Book to automatically format phone numbers (Preferences>Phone) is nice, but here's a quick warning to those who share vCards with others, particularly if recipients don't use this feature (or use another program).

Address Book will automatically change any newly-entered phone number to your preferred format, both in its display of the number and the corresponding data. This is to be expected. But it will not convert the data of any already-present phone numbers to the format. By already-present, I mean any phone numbers that exist prior to turning this auto-format feature on. Sure, it'll always display the phone numbers in your preferred format, but the data (and corresponding vCard) will contain the format as it was originally entered.

I noticed this when sending my vCard to a colleague and asking him to please write my business contact information exactly as it appeared in it. He then proceeded to write phone and fax numbers in two formats, because in Panther I used parentheses around my area code, and in Tiger, I didn't.

So, if you're a neat freak and want to avoid embarrassing vCard exchanges or signatures, check your formats for existing contacts by disabling this auto-format feature. Manually fix any inconsistent entries to your preferred format (AppleScript, anyone?). Now turn the auto-format feature back on so all subsequent entries will be properly formatted.
    •    
  • Currently 2.00 / 5
  You rated: 3 / 5 (5 votes cast)
 
[14,145 views]  

Check for consistent Address Book number formatting | 7 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Check for consistent Address Book number formatting' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Check for consistent Address Book number formatting
Authored by: wangman25 on Jul 14, '05 10:53:37AM

I noticed this when my contacts were synchronized to my ipod.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Check for consistent Address Book number formatting
Authored by: JohnAlbin on Jul 14, '05 02:12:09PM

This also applies to vcards you receive.

The underlying data for the phone number stays in the original format it was when you received it, not in the format you specify in Address Book.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Check for consistent Address Book number formatting
Authored by: spatfield on Jul 15, '05 04:00:21AM
Check out Address Book Scrubber for formatting.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Check for consistent Address Book number formatting
Authored by: MagicMike on Jul 15, '05 05:21:21PM

Unfortunately not usable for Germans



[ Reply to This | # ]
Doesn't Luanch
Authored by: jscotta on Jul 18, '05 09:34:15PM

Unfortunately, Address Book Scrubber does not seem to launch for me running Tiger. But I am not complaining. It is free public domain software, after all. If I had time to try and fix it I would. But then, that also means that I would probably have had time to manually fix my address book phone number formatting!

---
Windows because I have to. OS X because I want to.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Check for consistent Address Book number formatting
Authored by: adman635 on Nov 30, '07 10:46:31PM

Thank you! This is exactly what I've been looking!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Check for consistent Address Book number formatting
Authored by: fud on Jul 15, '05 01:10:31PM

Thanks for posting this. I have been trying to figure out the inconsistensy in searching phone numbers in my addressbook, and now it makes sense. The search is on the raw format, not the automatic format [which is just visual].

Auto formating will make the raw phone numbers 8001234567 and 800.123.4567 look the same. But searching for "800.1" [or "8001"] finds one but not the other.

The same is true for "4567" but in this case the search fails because it's buried in "8001234567" but delimited in "800.123.4567", again even though Auto formating makes them look same. One of the limitations of Spotlight.



[ Reply to This | # ]