Previous 1 2 3 Next 90 Replies Latest reply: Dec 14, 2015 7:07 PM by Sonoma Swish
jwsound Level 1 Level 1

My old Address Book (prior to Mountain Lion's change to Contacts) had hundreds of phone numbers wirth the preference that they would NOT be auto formatted --- I entered the numbers just as I wanted them to appear. Now, after updating to Mountain Lion, all my phone numbers ar formatted the SAME (U.S. convention with use of parenthesis) which is not what I want. Anyone know of a workaround (or will Apple correct this with an update?).

  • Denico Level 3 Level 3

    Check under Contacts / preferences that the correct adress format is selected under the General tab.



  • jwsound Level 1 Level 1

    The choices in Address Format are just a list of countries --- with U.S. format selected, ALL phone numbers are formatted the same way (555) 555-5555 regardless of how one tries to enter it. The old Address Book had the opton to apply NO formatting to phone numbers --- they would display as entered. So, if I wanted to enter a phone number in a format using only dashes, or periods, or spaces between number groups, I could do that. Now, I am not able to do it that way.

  • Andreas Amann Level 5 Level 5

    Mountain Lion now seems to format all phone numbers automatically (as does iOS). In ML this is done by the "PhoneNumbers.framework" which stores all the formatting rules for all countries in a single (binary) file (/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/PhoneNumbers.framework/Versions/A/Resources/ Default.phoneformat).


    You could try to remove/rename that file to see what happens (though code signing might not like you changing that file) or even to change the file itself to have the formats be according to your liking (though the format of that file is somewhat messy…).





  • jwsound Level 1 Level 1

    There should be a choice, as there used to be, for NO formatting --- display the phone number as it is entered.

  • Andreas Amann Level 5 Level 5

    I agree and suggest that you let Apple know about this




  • drupalero Level 1 Level 1

    Same here. It seems that "Automatic formatting of phone numbers" is a feature in OS X Mountain Lion's Contacts application. Address Book has a panel called "Phone" in "Address Book > Preferences… > Phone" that was removed from Contacts —wonder why— after restructuring the application.


    In my case, I use Address Book to save not only contacts, but all my user/pass (with more security info) in custom fields, and all my info have been modified after updating to os x. If any filed (Phone fields) had special characters (e.g. an email with "@" and "." or a password including "? ! $ % & ñ " or etc…)  all these were automatically modified without asking for my permission, even a "space" is not accepted.


    In my Contacts (Address Book) I have almost 2000 cards! that must be checked manully, OMG. I do have a backup with Time Machine, but in Lion 10.7.4.


    Apple Support (phone) suggested me to send a feedback like Andreas —thanks— says, which I already did and waiting for a response.

  • Prof. Dr. Axel Buchner Level 1 Level 1

    If you have an iCloud account, you could try this:


    (1) Go to, sign in.


    (2) Open Contacs.


    (3) At the bottom left corner, click on the littel cog wheel.


    (4) Choose “Settings”


    (5) Here you should be able to deselect the automatic formatting option. Your original formatting (including special characters) should be back (albeit only in iCloud, not on your Mac).


    Hope this helps. I think we should send feedback to Apple that we want the manual formatting option back (which in its next incarnation should synch to iCloud and via iCloud to our other devices for greater consistency).

  • drupalero Level 1 Level 1

    @Prof. Dr. Axel Buchner,thank you so much for the tip! Works for me, you saved me a great deal.

  • Ditchdiver Level 1 Level 1

    Dr. Buchner's tip does not solve the problem for me. Phone formats appear as I want them in the Cloud, but not on my computers running OS10.8.


    Apple needs to solve this problem. The format I select for the Cloud needs to be transmitted to the computers linked to it.


    Strangely, my iPhone shows the correct formats.

  • Starbreeze Level 1 Level 1

    iOS is far smarter when it comes to formatting telephone numbers. It appears to look at the country code in the numbers and format each number accordingly (and usually correct). I'd be a happy bunny if ML Contacts could do the same.

  • Ditchdiver Level 1 Level 1

    The iOS system does not meet my needs because I use a number of phone companies and need different international dialling codes for each of them. Therefore I don't want any automated system for allocating dialling codes or for formatting phone numbers.  Apple, please leave me in charge of my phone data and stop interfering.

  • D. Hoffmann Level 1 Level 1

    I live in Northern Virginia, where we have two area codes, 703 and 571 as an overlay to 703. The D.C. metropolitan area uses 202 (D.C. proper), 301 with 240 as an overlay for D.C.'s Maryland suburbs and 410 for Baltimore. In the entire metropolitan area one has to use all ten digits to dial a number, even if it is in the same area code as the originating phone. Thus the notion of an area code for distinguishing between local and long distance calls is fast becoming obsolete, which finds its expression in most people showing their numbers using the dashed notation (xxx-xxx-xxxx), not the one with the area code in parentheses [(xxx) xxx-xxxx]. Without trying to offend people in less densely populated areas, a seven-digit phone number seems quaint to me now.


    Apple's software engineers probably all live in the greater San Francisco are, where there aren't any area code overlays, which would potentially explain why they didn't think to allow xxx-xxx-xxxx as an alternative format. There are in the L.A. area, however.


    When I did the Google search that led me to stumble upon this discussion, I was hoping to find a defaults write mechanism for changing the preferred format, but I haven't.

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7

    D. Hoffmann wrote:


    Apple's software engineers probably all live in the greater San Francisco are, where there aren't any area code overlays, which would potentially explain why they didn't think to allow xxx-xxx-xxxx as an alternative format.

    I think the explanation is that they all have cell phones. Apple expects everyone to be in the habit of prefixing all phone numbers with "+<country code>". If you do that, your cell phone will be smart enough to figure out how many digits it needs to dial. Land lines can't do that. Here in Ontario, things are pretty antiquated, If I dial a 905 number, it may or may not be local. I can't tell until I try. If I don't add the 1, I'll be chastised for attempting to make a long distance call without the 1 and get hung up on. If I just add the one and don't need it, I'll be chastised for that too and hung up on.


    So, if you create a phone number in Contacts with "+1", you get a US-style number useable anywhere in the world from a cell phone. If you prefix with a "+33", you get a French-style number useable from anywhere on a cell phone. Apple doesn't do hybrids because that assumes you are dialing the number by hand and no one does that anymore.

  • Starbreeze Level 1 Level 1

    And I thought that France was special, who used to have a separate country code for the Paris metro area.

Previous 1 2 3 Next