Mac OS X 10.1, 10.2: How to import addresses into Address Book

This article provides a general description of how to import addresses into Address Book from a third-party application. This document applies to Mac OS X 10.1 through 10.2.8 and third-party applications that can export addresses.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.


If you're importing addresses from a previous version of Mac OS X Address Book instead of a third-party application, see "Mac OS X: Importing Addresses from Previous Address Book" instead.

With these steps you can import from any third-party application that is capable of exporting addresses or contacts to a generic tab-delimited format. There are two steps to the process:

  • Store ("export") your existing addresses (contacts) from the third-party application.
  • Add ("import") the addresses from the newly-created file into the Mac OS X Address Book.


Store (export) existing addresses

Use the third-party address application to export them using a suitable format in a newly-created file. The most common format is tab-delimited: each piece ("field") of an address is separated by a tab character, and each complete address ("record") ends with a return character. Some applications refer to this format as "tab separated" or "tabs and returns".

These are general suggestions about how to do this. For detailed assistance with exporting a tab-delimited address (or contact) file from your application, you should check the documentation or that came with it, its help system, or contact the software publisher for assistance.


Add (import) the addresses into Address Book

  1. Open the Address Book application.
  2. Choose Import from the File menu.
  3. Navigate to the file that you exported from your previous application and select it from the list of files. Tip: if you cannot select the file, the Open button will not pulsate. This may indicate that the file is not in a format that Address Book can read.
  4. Click Open.

Your addresses (contacts) are now available for use in Address Book and all Mac OS X applications that work with Address Book.

Learn more

If you use Microsoft Outlook Express, see "Mac OS X 10.0: How to Import Email Addresses From Outlook Express" and "Mac OS X 10.2 Address Book: How to Import Contacts from Entourage".

For information about importing from Microsoft Outlook Express, Eudora, Claris Emailer, Netscape, or Palm Desktop, see "Mac OS X 10.2: About Import Addresses and Other Mail Scripts".

Published Date:Tue Jun 19 15:40:36 GMT 2012