[OS X TeX] Addressbook.app and Alpha [was Addressbook.app and TeXShop]

Joachim Kock jkock at start.no
Mon Nov 7 09:33:59 CET 2005

> Does somebody know a way to use the addresses of Addressbook.app  
> stored in ~/Library/Application\ Support/AddressBook/AddressBook.data  
> for letters written in TeXShop using scrlttr2 or letter class?
> Or is there a way to convert the AddressBook.data into a format  
> readable by TeX/TeXShop?

This is not precisely an answer to your question, but ---

Some time ago I wrote a fairly complete interface in Alpha to the
Addressbook (i.e. the underlying database, not the OSX application on top
of it provided by Apple).  It makes it quite easy to transfer data between
the Addressbook and the text document you are writing in Alpha, and it can
also be used to import and export plain tab-separated databases.  In fact
the interface also has some power features not found in Apple's own interface
to the database, like regexp searchs and search-within-results.  

(All this is possible because the database underlying Addressbook is in fact
a metakit database (see http://www.equi4.com/metakit.html), and there are
bindings for several programming languages, including of course Tcl, the
extension language of Alpha.)

The Alpha interface is in fact a general "Card Browser" which is also an
interface to your bibtex database, and to several bibliographical databases
on the internet, including MathSciNet and ArXiv, which makes it very 
convenient to query and manage bibdata from within your text document.

For more information, and to download the package, go to


By the way, there is also a primitive command line interface to the
Addressbook, which can be very useful: if you are away from your machine
and need some information in the Addressbook, you can ssh back home and
query the Addressbook from the command line.  The script is here:


but it is currently very primitive, and you need to hand-edit the line
telling where the CardBrowser files are.  If there is any interest in this
I will beef it up a little bit.


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