Converting Windows Address Book files to read on Linux Mint Cinnamon
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Ok, tried Wine & I feel like I'm close, but as of yet, "no cigar"! The initial problem I have is that I can't convert the Windows Address Book to a .csv or vcard file b/c the address book is on my windows laptop as a shortcut desktop icon, that I downloaded from a saved version of it on a thumbdrive. I know I need to export that list into the actual file for "Contacts" in Windows 8, but every time I try to, it doesn't recognize the files in the shorcuts folder (the folder that I saved from the thumb drive initially). There is no "export" option in the address book shorcut folder, but there is in the actual file folder in Windows 8, but since I have always used that shortcut (that was DL'ed from a thumb drive), the actual "Contacts" folder in Windows 8 is empty (there IS an export & import option in the contact folder in Windows 8, but when I try to import the list from the shortcut that I have all the contacts in, it doesn't recognize the file. The contacts in the shortcut are .contact file extensions, so I figured I could configure Wine to open the contact files (the contact folder is saved to the Linux laptop desktop, again, by saving it to a thumbdrive from the Windows 8 laptop that I use it on, & saving it to the desktop of the Linux laptop)by choosing Windows 8 in the drop down menu when I tried to configure it, but it tells me "there is no Windows program configured to open this file type". I feel like I'm close to maybe opening a readable version with Wine, but just am not configuring it correctly. I can read the contact names when I open the list that's saved to the Linux desktop, but since the extension is .contact, when I open any of the contacts, I get gibberish. And since I can't get the address book imported to the contacts folder in Windows 8, I can't convert the contacts to any other extension like .csv, .ldif, vcard, etc. Can anyone help with the Wine configuration by giving me a step by step breakdown so I can open the .contact files in the address book in any Wine supported format? Someone also mentioned gnome contacts, but I think I would have the same problem there, since I can't convert the address book files in Windows 8, to be able to export them in another format, then import them into Linux............any suggestions would be MUCH appreciated! I have spent several frustrating hours already trying to get a readable version of the 3368 contacts in the shortcut for the Windows address book, on the Linux laptop. THANKS!!
Thanks everyone for the suggestions & I will try the LibreOffice Base route. I surely don't blame Linux..........or any other OS, for that matter. I was just commenting that file extensions used by Windows make it hard to work around in other operating systems.
Actually Linux does quite often use file extensions, especially in the GUI. It's just that it doesn't really need them. Graphical file managers can have preferred applications for opening files with particular extensions, but most programs prefer to discover file types by using "magic numbers", byte strings that always occur at the beginning of certain types of files. There's a library for doing that.
This is actually a better way of doing it. I remember that in one place where I worked, there were people who thought that they could convert Windows graphics files from one format to another just by changing the file extension. That is what happens when a characteristic which is really arbitrary and under user control is given an absolute significance.
Is the shortcut the folder on the thumb drive or the actual .contact file? You might need to select the actual .contact file on the thumb drive to import into contacts.
The actual Windows Address Book application is wab.exe. If you still have a version of XP running then you could copy it and hopefully run it under wine.
When you click on a file i.e. *doc,*.txt, *xls etc it is the associated application that runs and actually opens the file. wine is just an API to run windows applications it is not a windows emulator. You still need an application that can read the contact file
Thanks for the info.......... After I couldn't import the contacts from the shortcut icon on my desktop, I did put the thumb drive back in & tried to import all the contacts from that folder on the thumb drive, to the contacts file in Windows 8, but the same thing happened (I think b/c the file that is saved on the thumb drive is also a shortcut file. ) I got the message that it wasn't recognizing the files. I do have XP on an older desktop. I think the problem lies here; I initially (about 13 years ago), used the address book in XP to start keeping all my contacts in. When that laptop was getting worn out & I bought a new one, it had Windows Vista on it, so I saved the address book to a thumb drive (I may have only saved the desktop shortcut, but it's been a long time, so can't remember for sure). I then put the address book as a desktop shortcut on the Windows Vista laptop, & continued to use it for 3 or 4 years, able to edit, add new, etc. When that laptop was getting worn out, my husband bought me a Windows 8 laptop to replace Vista in 2014, so I again, saved the shortcut to the address book to a thumb drive, & put it on the Windows 8 desktop & am still using it there. However, since it's a "shortcut", there isn't an import or export option & all edits, new contacts, etc. have only gone into that desktop shortcut, not into the actual address book contacts in Windows 8. When I open the address book file itself on the current Windows 8 laptop, it's empty, so I attempted to export all the files from the shortcut to the actual file folder in Windows 8,but they won't import into the laptop address book file. If I click on "show extension", they read as .contact in Windows 8. I can't remember what file extension the contacts had years ago when I first started, but I think in XP they were .wab extensions & in Vista, they were something else; I can't quite remember. All I know is I can't get the contacts from that shorcut to import into the Windows 8 address book file, no matter if I do it straight from the shortcut icon on the desktop or from the file saved on the thumb drive. I tried it both ways & it won't go either way. And I can't get Linux to read the files in the shortcut if I can't convert them to something it can read. When I saved the shortcut to the desktop in Linux, I can read the list just fine, but if I double click any given contact in the list, I get only jibberish, not the tabs that store address, phone numbers, etc. Since I've used this for about 14 years for my job, there are over 3300 contacts, so it's nearly impossible to start over! Are you saying to try exporting the file on the thumb drive back to a Windows XP computer & then try the conversion? Please advise with step by step instructions, b/c I'm at a loss at this point!! & THANK YOU for all your help!
Also, it's important to note that I would be attempting to export the items in the "shortcut" from the thumb drive as that is what is saved on it, & the way I have done it on the past 3 Windows laptops mentioned..............thanks!
I was thinking that you could copy the wab.exe file from XP to linux and that would work under wine. However, I am not sure if the .wab and .contact file have the same format so I have to rethink this a bit.
When you drag and drop a file from windows file explorer to the desktop by default it copies the file and does not create a shortcut. A desktop shortcut by default has an arrow in the bottom left of the icon assuming you have not made any changes. Sorry, I was confused by your use of desktop shortcut.
It would be interesting to know what application is opening the file on linux. It might be on the title bar or you might look at its about box in the help pull down menu if it exists.
How to import a contact file into Windows. You just have to select Windows address book file instead of vcard as shown in the example.
Thanks...........that link for the howtogeek is exctly what I have already been doing, but each time I choose the contacts shortcut from the desktop when I attempt to import those into the Windows 8 contacts file, I get the message, "No items match your search", even though the file is right there, showing on the desktop. I think it really must be b/c I saved the shortcut instead of adding the contacts directly to the address book in Vista (after I initially saved the shortcut for the address book that was originally created in XP), then did the same thing when I moved on to Windows 8. I just saved the shortcut to the thumb drive each time, not the address book file. Therefore, it won't recognize the entries in the shortcut. It is odd though, how I can see the complete list in Linux, but not the tabs where the address, phone #, etc. are stored. I think I'm about to give up on it! Sure hate for it to whip me, but unless I can open & export it in XP somehow, I don't think I'm gonnna be able to use it in Linux, b/c I can't convert the list into a different extension that Linux can read. I'm sure open to any other suggestions you may have though.........thank you so much!
Did you look to see what application is used when you click on the file using linux?
Just to verify when you tried to import did you select Windows address book file type, then browse to the desktop and did you actually select the .contact file? Did the file name actually display in the filename box?
I didn't check to see what file type Linus is using b/c I tried to configure it to Windows 8 file extension in Wine, which didn't work. When I just open a file on the desktop contacts folder I saved, I didn't notice what file type it was, but I will when I try it again, & post that here. On the import question, I did as you stated, but every time I choose a contact, I get that same message about not finding the file; I think it's b/c I saved the shortcut & didn't save to the address book in Windows 8.....................have tried it several different ways repeatedly & always get the same message..................
Thanks......there's no arrow nor an Import/Export option on that fie, so I think we're right......no way to read it in Linux. Thanks for all your help & if you think of anything else I might try, please share........thanks again & have a good holiday!