[PalmABA] CSV to ABA converter for Palm / Treo

  To download addresses into Palm PDAs and Treo mobile phones, you can import them into the Palm Desktop application and then sync your desktop with the mobile device. The format used by the Palm Desktop import is called .aba, which stands for "Address Book Archive". A specification for this format can be found on this web-site.

The input format for this utility is "comma delimited", baptized by Microsoft Excel "comma separated value" (.csv). A .csv file to be used with PalmABA has the following requirments:

  • Each field is separated by a comma. Fields can be enclosed in double-quotes, which is neccessary in case the field contains a comma.
  • Leading and trailing spaces are removed.
  • By default a record consists of 20 fields, which are: name, first, title, company, phone1, phone2, phone3, phone4, phone5, address, city, state, zip, country, note, private, custom1, custom2, custom3 and custom4.
  • As an alternative you can use only a subset of these 20 fields. In which case the first record needs to be a header record that labels the content of a column (see example below). When using a header, PalmABA must be run with the -h parameter.
  • When importing into Palm Desktop, you can specify a "Category" for your addresses. This is especially useful for bulk deletes. The category must first be created in the Palm Desktop GUI. When running a "-c " parameter with matching name must be specified.
  • The five contact fields (in the header phone1 to phone5) are by default "work", "home", "zip", "other" and "email" and in this order. Palm Desktop has a feature to use customize the labels.
  • At the end of the record there are four custom fields.

Here are two examples of valid input files, the first with all fields:
      Smith,John,Mr.,"Steel Mfg, Inc",(906)914-1356,328-4518,,,smithj@steelmfg.com,53 Main
            Street, Acana,IL,18190,USA,,,,,,
      Smith,Susan,,"Acana High School",,328-4518,,+1(906)254-2621,susan@acanahigh.edu,
            53 Main Street,Acana,IL,18190,USA

the second example uses only a subset and therefore needs a header:
      John,Smith,53 Main Street,Acana,+1(906)914-1356,328-4518,smithj@steelmfg.com
      Susan,Smith,53 Main Street,Acana,,328-4518,susan@acanahigh.edu

For this PalmABA utility, there is source as well as binary files available. Depending on your platform, download the Linux or the Windows PalmABA package. The source for both platforms is identical.

[Download page]

  Willem van Schaik, Calgary, July 2006     http://www.schaik.com/wwwillem.html