Clean up your Apple Address Book by merging cards


Clean up your Apple Address Book by merging cards
Quick Mac Tip, 18 December 2010

Over the past few years my Apple Address Book has turned into a mess, with duplicate cards, people I don’t need in there, and other disasters.

It’s easy to delete a card: select it and press the Delete key.

Merge selected Address Book cards.

Merge selected Address Book cards.

But there’s another problem: 2 or more cards for the same person, each with slightly different information. One card may include a phone number, another an address.

Merge cards

Rather than enduring the nightmare of comparing cards, or copying and pasting information between them, there’s an easy way to handle things.

  1. Select 2 or more cards.
  2. Visit the Card menu and choose Merge Selected Cards.
The merged card contains all the information, even duplicating the work address.

The merged card contains all the information, even duplicating the work address.

Address Book combines the information from all selected cards into one card. In my experiment, the merged card ended up with 2 identical ‘work’ addresses, but that’s still a lot easier to deal with than multiple cards.

At some later time I might edit the card to deal with duplicated addresses.

What’s your favourite Address Book tip? Tell us in the Comments. Could you write a guest MacTip? If so, contact me.

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3 Comments

  1. Henry Scott said:

    None of the merge tips addresses my problem. All of the 4,000 + cards in my address book have been duplicated (now I have 8,000+ cards!) And Merge doesn’t work — when I click on it, the process begins and reports I have no duplicate cards. When I choose two identical cards (which I will not do 4,000+ times), I get a message saying they cards can’t be merged because they are from different sources! What a mess!

    • Miraz Jordan said:

      I also have duplicate addresses and some that return no matter how many times I delete them. It’s a pain, isn’t it!

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