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Contacts (Mac OS)

Contacts 9.0 under Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite
Developer(s) Apple Inc.
Stable release 9.0 / October 16, 2014; 5 years ago (2014-10-16)[1]
Operating system OS X
Size 20.9 MB
Type Software Address Book
License Proprietary

Contacts, called Address Book before OS X Mountain Lion, is a computerized address book included with Apple Inc.'s OS X. It includes various syncing capabilities and integrates with other OS X applications and features.


  • Exports and imports cards in vCard 3.0 format.[2]
  • Imports cards from LDIF, tab-delimited, and comma-separated files
  • C and Objective-C API to interface with other applications.
  • Prints labels and envelopes, mailing lists, pocket address books
  • Can configure page setup and paper size before printing
  • One-click automatic look up for duplicate entries
  • Change of address notification
  • Contact groups
  • Smart groups based on Spotlight
  • Look up addresses on Apple Maps
  • Auto-merge when importing vCards
  • Customize fields and categories
  • Automatic formatting of phone numbers
  • Synchronizes with Microsoft Exchange Server
  • Synchronizes with Yahoo! Address Book[3]
  • Synchronizes with Google Contact Sync
  • Speech recognition searching
  • Capability to query an LDAP database containing person information
  • Plugin interface allowing third-party developers to add functionality to the program

Integration with OS X

  • Integration with Mail, iCal, iChat, Fax, Safari, iPhone
  • iSync compatibility to sync contacts to phones, PDAs, iPods, and other Macs
  • Contacts are indexed by Spotlight
  • Address Book stores previous recipient addresses used by Mail
  • URLs in Address Book cards appear in Safari's Address Book bookmarks
  • Buddies in iChat can be associated with Address Book cards
  • Birthdays saved in Address Book appear in iCal if enabled
  • Address Book Dashboard Widget
  • AppleScript support for querying, adding, modifying, and removing people and groups

User interface

Address Book has two viewing modes: View Card and Column and View Card Only. The user can switch between modes with a control in the upper-left portion of the window under the close box.

In releases prior to Lion, in View Card and Column, the Address Book window is divided into three panes. The first pane has the title Group. This pane lists All, Directories, and each user-made group. Users can add new groups by pulling the File menu down to New Group, or typing Command-Shift-N.

When selecting All or a user-made group, the second column has the title Name. It lists the names of the people with cards in that group, or all the names if the selected group is All, in alphabetical order by first or last name, depending on user preference.

The third pane has the card corresponding to the selected name. The card can include information, some of which the user can classify into customizable categories like Home and Work. Many of the fields can have duplicate entries, for example, if the person the card describes has several email addresses. The user can edit the fields by pressing the edit button below the bottom-left of the third pane. Default fields include:

Address Book can search LDAP (network) directories. Users customize these in the LDAP tab of the preferences. Users search these by selecting Directories in the first pane, selecting a directory or All in the second pane, and typing their search in the search box above the top-left of the third pane. Results appear in the third pane.


Your computer must be connected to a network on which the directories reside. If you’ve changed locations or lost your network connection, Address Book can’t look up contacts in directories on the network. If your computer is set up to access directory services on your network, Address Book automatically searches the directory services for addresses.

You can also set up Address Book to search Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) servers for addresses. LDAP is an Internet protocol used for looking up contact information on servers.

Information from network directories appears only when you’re searching. To search a network directory, select Directories in the Group column and a directory in the Directory column, and then type text in the search field. To add someone from the network directory to your personal address book, drag the card from the directory to All in the Group column.

For instructions about setting up your computer to access directory services on your network, open Directory Utility and choose Help > Directory Utility Help.


  1. ^ "OS X 10.10 Yosemite release date". Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "Address Book 6.x: Export and import vCards". Apple Inc. July 12, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ "How can I sync my Yahoo! contacts to the Mac address book?". Retrieved September 2, 2009. [dead link]