FormalAddress 4 FAQ

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. 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.

The country recognition is wrong even though it's included in the address. Why?

FormalAddress limits the area where it will look for a country to avoid the surprising number of false positives that occur. You can use the Force menu to force a country on the address.

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

Click on the gray arrows at the right of the name to swap the contents of the company and 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 the stamp tool makes it easy to 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. FormalAddress 4 is registered as a system service, so you can assign a keyboard shortcut to it in System Preferences and move selected text directly to FormalAddress without having to do the copy–switch–paste-waltz and thereby save yet more clicks.

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

It is in Contacts but it isn’t displayed immediately as you would expect. The best way to find it is to use the search field at the top of the contacts list.

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.)

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, .htm, .csv and .tsv 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 and 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 Salesforce, Daylite, any spreadsheet or database, and many other CRMs.

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 two work-arounds:

  1. You can select the contacts in the FormalAddress listing and then choose Copy Selected Contacts from the Edit menu (hold down the Option key to include the headers). Switch to Excel and paste in the text. Copy Selected Contacts will respect the currently active Export Profile.
  2. Drag the selected contacts in the FormalAddress list directly to the Excel spreadsheet (the drag contents will be defined by the currently active Export Profile). Hold down the Option key to include the headers.

Some of this is pretty fancy, are you using AI to do recognitions?

Aside from the preposterously primitive use of fuzzy logic in some areas, the only intelligence (if you can call it that) used in FormalAddress is DAI: Demented Author Intelligence.

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