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Lengerke Level 1 Level 1

I want to manage my contacts at 1 point and that is Contacts on my Mac. From there I want be able to export to Excel. My wife did not have a Mac (yet;-)

So, How can I convert to Excel?




MacBook Pro with Retina display, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
Reply by William Lloyd on Feb 10, 2013 7:51 AM Helpful

The vcard format is fairly standard; you should be able to import it into Outlook or some other address book on Windows.

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  • William Lloyd Level 7 Level 7

    The vcard format is fairly standard; you should be able to import it into Outlook or some other address book on Windows.

  • Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8

    You can export to tab-delimited using Automator. I used Get Specified (but didn't add any contacts), but you could use Get Selected so that you could just export the ones you select in Contacts.


    Not all options are available, but you can get most of it.


    Screen Shot 2013-02-10 at 11.30.09 AM.png

  • Lengerke Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you all for your reactions. After 30 years of cpm > Msdos > Windows I turned 2 months ago to the Mac, so Automator is for now a step to far for me.

    I found an app Adress Book Extractor, it can convert to CSV. I think I will try that.


  • Jonathan Pool Level 1 Level 1

    Cool. Thanks much. I had no idea that Contacts has methods that its UI conceals but other programs can access.

  • Eric Ullman Level 1 Level 1

    Barney-15E: Thanks! I had no idea I could do that with Automator.

  • spinnaker bag Level 1 Level 1

    I know it's a bit late but can I drag and drop my VCF cards into automator and then export those cards to a CSV file? If so what would be the steps to accomplish this?  Truly appreciate your help in any way.

  • Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8

    No, you can't. You can do what I showed above. Also add a new text edit document to the end and it will export to a new text edit document.

  • Bmachine Level 1 Level 1

    Hello Barney-15E


    Thank you for providing what seems to be a very useful answer.


    However I am not too familiar with Automator.  I opened it up and got to the same screen you showed above but after that, I am stuck.  Where do I input my vCard file?  (At least I assume I have to export a vCard file out of Contacts first, right?).  I kind of did that somehow (not too sure how...) where I end up with a window that says "Get specified Finder items". 


    Then I double clicked on "Get contact Information" which got me to the window shown above where I selected just Name and Home Email.


    Then I clicked Run.  But nothing much happened except for a message in the log saying "Workflow Completed".  But where is the new tab-deliniated file that (I assume) just got written? 


    Maybe I need a bit of a step by step...  Sorry if this seems a bit dense.  But it doesn't seem completely obvious to someone not familiar with Automator.


    Thank you for any help.



  • pfraterdeus Level 1 Level 1


    It's not immediately obvious here, to be sure.

    You have to have Address Book OPEN and have selected the contacts or groups you want to export.

    So, I have Address Book open, and I've selected the "Holiday" group, and then in the Contacts pane, Select All

    (Apparently just selecting the Group does not work, although one would think it should, if you were to change the option in the "Get Selected" tool)

    Once all your contacts are selected, you can run the workflow, as shown and get a text doc with all the data as a tab-separated (spreadsheet) or text formatted (data per line) file.

    So, it does not convert vcf FILES but converts the DATA for you.

    In other words, don't bother exporting the vcf files from Address Book!

    Hope this helps!

    & Thanks to Barney for the tip!

  • pfraterdeus Level 1 Level 1

    And of course, if you have vcf files from another source, just import them into Address Book first.

  • Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8

    I think pfraterdeus has mostly covered this, but

    First, you don't use a vcf file, but you get the information directly from Contacts.

    In the workflow I displayed, you need to Add the contacts you want to use. You could use a Get Selected Contacts Items action instead. In that case, select the Contacts you want to export and then run the workflow.


    Now, to get a file, drag in New TextEdit Document to the bottom of the workflow. The output will then go to a new document that opens and is ready for you to save.

  • Bmachine Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you pfraterdeus and Barney.


    I am slowly getting the hang of this.  So a step by step would be:


    - Open and select the name you want to work on

    - Open Automater, and select "Workflow"

    - Click on the Contacts app on the left and double clikc on Get Selected COntact Items.

    - This should open a first action on the right

    - Double click on Get contact information.  This should open a second action on the right.

    - Check the boxes that you want to export.  Check Labels if desired as well as Export format.

    - Click on the Text app on the far left and double click on New Text FIle.  Enter name for file.

    - Click on the RUN icon at top right to execute all three actions.

    - Open the txt file to verify.



  • Bmachine Level 1 Level 1

    Now I want to export a file with just First Name, Last name, and Email address.

    Everyting works but one thing I noticed is that some emails are under Home email, some are under Work email and some are under "Other".  Not sure how that happened.  Probably when adding email to Contacts from within or something.


    how can I make one "catch all" paramter that includes all three of these possible email fileds in the Get Contact Information action?  I can select Home email and Work email but not "Other".


    Thank you very much.



  • Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8

    I don't think you can. It is somewhat limited in what it can do. I believe there are some third-party apps that will export from Contacts, but I've never used any. Just remember that people have suggested such a thing.

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