What's the difference between the regular and pro versions?

The major difference is the pro version will do 1,000 contacts at once vs. 10 for the regular. The pro version also has a number of features to make handling big lists easier:

  • A stamp tool to pick up address data and “stamp” other contacts with it
  • Export profiles to pick and choose what data goes where for spreadsheets and databases
  • A Command line editor so you don’t have to use the mouse when editing large groups of contacts
  • Limited table recognition where an entire table of contact listings can be recognized (YMMV)
  • Contact list search and selection

If you only need a few addresses, the regular version will be just fine. Remember that the regular version will do 10 at once but there's no reason you can't do 10 at once many times.

How do you edit the addresses?

See these brief videos, here.

FormalAddress completely failed to recognize this address. What’s wrong?

There are three common reasons:

1) The address is from a country that is not supported by FormalAddress.

2) The address, for example, is in Germany, doesn’t include the country in the address, and the FormalAddress default country is different. Just change the default country to the appropriate one or add the country to the source address in the scanning field. The latter option is best when you are recognizing several addresses from different countries at once. In FormalAddress 3.0, you can also force a country on a balky address. 

3) The address is buried in not-very-address-like text, has a non-standard format, or has additions that make sense to you but are not approved by your local post office. Delete all the text around the address so it looks, well, rather like an address.

When I send the address to the Apple Address Book it doesn’t seem to be added to the book.

It is in the Address Book, but it isn’t displayed immediately as you would expect. The best way to find it is to use the search field at the upper right of the Address Book window.

FormalAddress is adding new contacts to the wrong account in Contacts.

FormalAddress adds new contacts to the default account in Contacts. Go to the preferences in Contacts and set the Default Account in the General tab to the appropriate account. (This setting will not appear if you only have one account.)

I keep getting a Label too long error.

Clear the All Text Is One Contact checkbox. When checked, FormalAddress ignores separating lines and considers all the text to be the information for one contact.

Will FormalAddress only work with dragged- or pasted-in text?

No, you can also drag files onto it or open them from the File Menu. FormalAddress will handle .txt, .rtf, .doc, .docx, and .htm files.

Will FormalAddress handle PDF files?

Sorry, no. The PDF format is extremely complex—even big company converters have trouble with it. A work-around is to convert the PDF to Word or text format in Adobe Acrobat Pro, then process the resulting file in FormalAddress. Unfortunately, you will almost certainly have to clean-up the text file before opening it in FormalAddress.

What other software will accept contacts from FormalAddress?

FormalAddress produces "formal" addresses in VCF & tab- or comma-delimited formats. Microsoft Entourage, Outlook, and other contact managers will import VCF files directly. Tab and CSV files can be imported by any spreadsheet or database.

What does the All Text Is One Contact checkbox do?

If you check All Text Is One Contact, all the text in the scanning field will be considered one address (or cluster of related addresses). If it is unchecked, the next line after a blank line is considered the start of a new address.

I tried to paste addresses from an Excel spreadsheet into FormalAddress and the result is a mess. How can I fix that?

Well, why on earth would you do that? A spreadsheet is already a formal specification! There are utilities that will convert the tab-delimited or csv file you export from Excel into Vcard format or directly import it into the address book. But if you must. . . .

If you have FormalAddressPro, you can copy an Excel spreadsheet of addresses and paste it into FormalAddressPro. But, it may not work. It might work if you put titles at the head of each column that correspond to the field names in the Apple address book: Name, Company, Street, City, etc. The two exceptions are the name should all be in one column (instead of First, Middle, Last) headed, "Name", and if you have the entire street address in a column, you should make "Address" the column title (absolutely no guarantees this will work).

When I import .CSV or .TAB files into Excel the accented characters are lost. What to do?

FormalAddress exports text in UTF-8 encoding which supports most accented characters; unfortunately Excel 2011 (and earlier) will not import this correctly even though the import dialog allows you to specify UTF-8. This is a long-standing bug. Numbers and FileMaker Pro will import these files correctly but if you prefer using Excel there are three work-arounds:

1) Export the files as usual but then open the file in a text editor like BBEdit or the free TextWrangler (which handle encodings really well). Select all of the text, copy it, switch to Excel, click the cell where you want the new data to start and paste the text. The accented characters will be preserved.

2) If you don't need the header included, you can select the contacts in the FormalAddress listing and then choose Copy Selected Contacts from the Edit menu. Switch to Excel and paste in the text. Copy Selected Contacts will respect the currently active Export Profile.

3) Drag the selected contacts in the FormalAddress list directly to an Excel spreadsheet.

FormalAddress keeps thinking companies are persons. Is there any quick way to edit this?

Click on the gray arrows at the right to swap the contents of the company & person fields or you can drag the red bar over the person fields to the company field (or wherever they need to go). A quick glance at the FormalAddress Help in the Help menu will give you all sorts of shortcuts for editing.

Are there defaults for cities, zip codes and countries?

No. But FormalAddressPro has a stamp tool where you can pick up default fields from a "standard" address and stamp other addresses with them. The stamp fields persist across application quits and launches.

Is there a faster way to get text into FormalAddress?

Yes. Go to the Resources page and download the appropriate Automator Service Workflow

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