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  • Toyworks11 Level 1 (10 points)

    You forgot to mention "Merge" after you re-tick contacts. Do we need to merge them? I am having a terrible time here and need some tutoring. I have done the above, but I still have duplicates. HELP!




    I just went to the Address Book menue on my iMac and looked for duplicates, merged them, and now they seem to have dissapeared. I hope they stay gone. I assume they will dissapear from my iPod and iPad also.....correct?

  • Dennis Burnham Level 1 (25 points)

    Apple does not consider Address Book to be worthy of feedback at  The program needs a big overhaul because so many other application depend on it so heavily.


    Here's a few items to chew on:


    1.  You cannot give feedback


    2.  If you are editing your contacts and you change the last name of a contact, the view jumps to whatever letter of the alphabet that person is now sorted in, making you wonder where you left off so that you can resume your editing.


    3.  You cannot view a contact and see what groups the contact is a member of.  Unless of course you use MS Outlook for Mac 2011, which nicely displays that information if you have Sync Service turned on.


    4.  The menu command regarding resolving duplicates is dangerous to use, becaude you cannot see a list of the contacts that Address Book proposes to merge.  Some of the records it considers eligible to be merged ought not to be merged.  A simple example:  supppose you have two different contacts who work at different companies and have different phone numbers and different email addresses, but they happen to both have the same first and last name.  I have three different contacts named Bob Thomas and I do NOT want them merged together.


    5.  Who is responsible for the iSync pop-up that appears from time to time:  Microsoft or Apple?  It displays discrepancies that need to be reviewed and corrected prior to a Sync session but it doesn't indicate which company is responsible for this pop-up software, which is also imperfect in the way it operates.  There should be a list view so that you need not click through each record individually.  The checkbox that performs the same operation on ALL eligible records is a nice idea, but how can you use it if you are not certain that you need to apply the same sync correction to the entire found set?  You still have to examine them individually and a list view is a faster way to make that decision.


    Someone should get hold of the engineers who create Address Book updates and introduce them to all the complaints about this program.  It makes great sense to have one place that is your authoritative source of contact information for all the places you want it sync'd like mobile devices, Google, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud, etc.  But it is long overdue to equip the program with tools that exist in 3rd part apps like Contact Cleaner, for example, which is imperfect but it works.

  • Julian Wright Level 7 (34,860 points)
    1.  You cannot give feedback


    As Address Book is an integral part of Mac OS X, you can give feedback here:


    5.  Who is responsible for the iSync pop-up that appears from time to time:  Microsoft or Apple?


    That pop-up comes from the Mac OS X system framework called "SyncServices" which many applications use to provide inter-app syncing. The dialog comes up when the framework detects an issue that it cannot resolve automatically.


    FYI, SyncServices is now deprecated in Mac OS X Lion. Apple will be removing it completely in a future version of OS X and applications should no longer use it. That's why iSync no longer exists in Lion, and iCloud uses the industry-standard CalDAV and CardDAV sync protocols.

  • Bruce1957 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks Russell; your recommedations andthose of others on here worked ... here's what I started with and how I got around it:


    I did have major problems between Mac ‘Address Book’ and ‘Contacts’ on my MacBook, iphone 3GS and ipad 1 for some time, syncing (originally) via iTunes & MobileMe across all three devices –‘duplicated’ contacts was an understatement; some contacts did not duplicate, some duplicated as many as 22 times, some of the ‘duplicate’ contacts were blank (first/last name only) within some - phone numbers, email and snail mail addresses were repeated as many as 8 times. It was inconsistent, with no logic; nor was there consistency across all three devices (as though some syncs were disrupted).  It did not appear to matter what device the contact entry was made - My Mac had about 2900 entries, my iphone about 3200 and my ipad about 3600.  My Contacts were a mess!!


    It’s been frustrating and a daunting task in determining exactly how to fix it.  Further complicated by contact cards noted as ‘info’ and ‘unified’ on both the iphone and ipad.


    If I deleted all but one of the many duplicates from any one device it sometimes deleted all of that one contact from the other devices.  I’ve lost some contacts in my trials.


    I recently upgraded from OSX 10.5, to Snow Leopard 10.6, to Lion 10.7 and introduced icloud - major concurrent steps.  My problems existed prior to the upgrades.


    I have not had any problems with the syncing of iCal and other apps.


    I no longer sync contacts via itunes – this was likely to be my original problem. 


    I’m currently running OSX 10.7.2 on my MacBook and iOS 5.0.1 on both mobile devices.


    After reading a number of helpful comments on this site, I followed each recommended steps - here are the steps I took:


    • disconnected the mobile devices’ ‘contacts’ from icloud
    • determined that my Mac Address Book was to be my ‘master’ (manually updated all contacts within Address Book, on my Mac; deleted blank contacts, duplicate entries and duplicated data – checked off one by one against both my iphone and ipad – having to re-enter many contacts that had not appeared within my Mac Address Book) – now a manageable 410+/- correct contacts
    • saved a backup of my now updated correct Mac Address Book – (File > Export > Address Book Archive), then saved this file as a .vcf file – (File > Export > Vcard).
    • ~ deleted all contacts from the mobile devices; an easy task from ipad– an application called ‘clean-up’ (@ $0.99) made it quick and simple for iphone
    • ~ deleted all contacts from Address Book – that’s scary as no there are no contacts (other than the backup) on any device, nor in icloud – all were blank
    • ~ (if I opened the Address Book backup file contacts would only appear for 10 seconds the disappear)
    • ~ disconnected and reconnected my Mac from icloud
    • ~ dragged the vcard file to Address Book
    • ~ reconnected all devices to icloud, ensuring the ‘contact’ box was ticked on both the iphone and ipad – all remained blank for about 30 minutes – then Address Book and contacts appeared correct on all devices and in icloud


    A final ‘look for duplicates’ & a merge of duplicates; then all done.


    After a few stressful steps, all is working – now adding/amending contacts to any device updates to all.


    I did lose ‘photos’ attached to a contact, as well as ‘notes’ and ‘URL’s’ … no great loss I can slowly rebuild these.




    Some points to note:

    Address Book

    has a red page tag – clicking on this will reveal ‘views’ – (‘all contacts’ / ‘all on My Mac’ / ‘all icloud’). Clicking on ’all contacts’ – contacts will appear twice – I prefer the ‘all icloud’ view.

    I now make all entries directly into icloud – then ensure I drag a copy to my ‘all on My Mac’ folder/view – to ensure I retain a local copy.

    My Iphone and ipad update automatically via icloud – there is consistency across all three devices.

    (the new look Mac Address Book no longer has the alpha page tabs – pity these were deleted, they were useful and easier to navigate ??)


    Contacts (viewed from iphone) – all contact cards have an ‘info’ header (there are no longer any ‘unified’ cards)


    Contacts (viewed from ipad)

    Again, the red page tag reveals ‘views’ (as Address Book)

    at the bottom right side of each contact card there a figure and the number 2 against it – clicking on this reveals ‘linked cards’ – one noted as ‘unified’ the other as ‘icloud’


    I hope this is helpful to others,


    Cheers - Bruce

  • Brenda Bell Level 1 (5 points)

    Worked perfectly. Thanks so much!

  • Dennis Burnham Level 1 (25 points)

    Not sure how you define "deprecated in Lion" but I can tell you that my OS is 10.7.2 and the Sync Services utility is constantly appearing, thoughtlessly offering to resolve conflicts between Outlook and Address Book and Google.  And then it goes ahead and creates duplicates indiscriminately.  Today, it added about 1,800 duplicate records to my Address Book which ordinarily has about 3,000 records.  It's totally random, of course, unwanted and impossible to turn off the blasted thing.


    For users who don't want to use iCloud, Sync Services is a necessary but god-awful implementation of synchronization.  It has a mind of its own and gives the useer no control over how and when it operates.

  • Dennis Burnham Level 1 (25 points)

    Beware Bruce -- I was as satisfied as you until Sync Services began destroying all the hard work I invested in making things consistent and accurate.  Keep backups!

  • Bruce1957 Level 1 (0 points)

    Dennis, you're situation is further complicated by Outlook/Google - my solution was purely Apple; stick with the same paridigm.

    Absolutely!! Backup!

  • kereth Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you MUCH! Worked perfectly!

  • eric d Level 1 (5 points)

    3.  You cannot view a contact and see what groups the contact is a member of.  Unless of course you use MS Outlook for Mac 2011, which nicely displays that information if you have Sync Service turned on.

    Hey Dennis —  I discovered a trick to show which groups a contact is in several operating systems ago... It seems to still work in Lion. Highlight the contact you're wondering about, then press the option key and the group names that it's a member of will highlight. It was easier in older OS's as you could see the groups all of the time, but now you have to make sure you've first clicked the red ribbon so you can see the group names, then find the contact, select it and press the option key. The groups now, instead of highlighting, turn blue.


    I remember when I first asked about that at a Genius bar and they couldn't figure it out...

  • Dennis Burnham Level 1 (25 points)

    You're right, I think.  I was at a local FileMaker meeting a week ago and mentioned this problem and someone said the same thing you suggested about holdingdown the option key to see the Groups change color to blue.


    That might be useful to me if I did not have a color-blindness problem.  Maybe bold or italics would be better.


    But the main complaint I still have - aside from the counter-intuitiveness and the fact that it is an undocument secret, is that if you have a number of groups longer than what fits in one view, you have to hold one finger on the option key while using your other hand to do the silly swiping gesture to make the list scroll so that you can see that someone is in the group called  "Alumni" and also in the group called "Zookeepers". 


    Or, to be more realistic about it, what if Newt Gingrich was in your contact list and you wanted to make him a member of a group called "Agitators" and another group called and another group called "Zombies"?  I guess if I had that problem, I could just delete him!


    In Office for Mac 2011, it's so simple:  you look at a contact and the "categories" (synonymous with groups) are simply presented there.  It's not as if Address Book is lacking the space to show this information in the new fancy user interface.  There are all kinds of ways they could list the group names using the colorful groups ribbon, for example, as an identifier, the same way they list phones, email addresses, children, spouses, etc.


    I guess that's another way it would favor Newt Gingrich's contact info.  I can list all his children and spouses, but not have an easy time knowing what groups he has been a lobbyist for.


    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

  • eric d Level 1 (5 points)

    Hey Dennis —


    I see what you're saying about long lists of groups, how that would be difficult, and all of the intricacies and pitfalls of categorizing Newt in a way that would not cause problems, not to mention that I guess that color change would be hard to see if you're colorblind. I guess there are elements of what Outlook does that might work better than Apple's programs. I switched from Entourage a few years ago and have never gone back, so I can't say. I know that Apple resists making programs feel bloated, but when it means leaving out a feature that you really want, that's disappointing! I hope they hear you and make some fixes!  Cheers...

  • Mike Hitt Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow!  Thanks Russell.  That was an amazing fix.  It worked perferctly.  The duplicates are gone and all of my devices are synching perfectly!

  • Barney-15E Level 8 (46,294 points)

    Dennis Burnham wrote:


    Not sure how you define "deprecated in Lion"

    Just like everyone else in Software Engineering. It means that the feature still exists but will be removed without warning when Apple gets around to removing it. It is a warning for developers to stop depending on the framework and use something else.

  • bartola Level 1 (10 points)

    This seems to have solved the issue for me. Thanks so much!!