Application of the Month: KAddressBook

Again after a short time of absence we finally finished a new version of the "Application of the Month" series.
This time we take look at the underadvertised addressbook application within KDE, KAddressBook which is currently maintained and developed by Tobias Koenig. We are proud that we can now also offer a French version of Application of the Month next to the usual languages we always offer: German,
Dutch and English. Do you like these series? Do you think we should write more about cool KDE applications? Please, contact us if you want to help! UPDATE: Our friends from KDE-Hispano have made a translation to Spanish.


First I have to state that the kaddressbook is a great application. Great work!!

I just take the opportunity to bring some focus to the current weaknesses of the LDAP support (which IMHO can be seen as critical since LDAP seems to be the only real standard for exchanging addresses).

See my bug-report at (got no response so far).

By ben at Thu, 2004/11/04 - 6:00am

I'd second this comment. The addressbook is a nice tool, but without robust and more tightly integrated LDAP support, it is useless to me.

By John Dell at Thu, 2004/11/04 - 6:00am

I've read from the documentation that we're supposedly able to write addresses/contacts to a LDAP server (but can we specifically configure which LDAP server we want to write to?). I'd tried exporting the contacts into a LDIF file, but many details were missing, like the JPEG photo & the IM addresses.

Have anyone thus far managed to use KAddressBook to write to a LDAP server of their own choice (such as OpenLDAP)?

By cwlee at Thu, 2005/05/05 - 5:00am

I was looking lately to the possibility to reuse the KAddressbook database to write a letter in KWord. It would be nice to be able to select a contact in Kaddressbook and press a button to fire KWord with a letter template and a nice wizard asking me which sender address do I want to use, if I need an envelop, etc. I thought it was already possible but could not manage to do it.

Another place where KAddressbook could be better integrated in the desktop is having the possibility to visualize all messages sent or received from a contact.

Finally, it would ne nice to have a mechanism to format the output of an address. Today, KAddressbook puts the zipcode after the city but in France it is the other way round. Maybe having a text configuration file with all the formatting for the different countries would make it easier to accomodate for all the little differences about addresses.

All in all, an addressbook is the center of a lot of people work today. It is great that we have found in Tobias an active maintainer and that KAddressbook has become so much more powerfull and more user friendly than the crude (but fast) list widget we had in KDE 2

Thanks Tobias for all the work done...

By Charles de Miramon at Thu, 2004/11/04 - 6:00am

I agree, this would be a very nice idea.

By Ali Akcaagac at Thu, 2004/11/04 - 6:00am

Hi Charles,

the mailmerge functionality is already implemented in current version of kword. Just start KWord, select Extra->Setup MailMerge->Open Available->AddressBook.

Now you have additional address specific place holders which you can use for mail merge.

The zip code position is on my TODO.

Thanks for the comments


By Tobias Koenig at Fri, 2004/11/05 - 6:00am

Is this only with head? In my kword (1.3.4 - suse9.1) there is no such thing.

Are there such clear pointers for ldap (on kolab2) to because thats another thing I like to test (but don't no how).

Thanks Tobias for the great work on KAddressbook.

By rogo at Fri, 2004/11/05 - 6:00am

Talking about zip codes.. I just looked at the locale files that comes with glibc, and they have all sorts of information like format of date, 24h vs. am/pm, curency symbol before or after amount, whatever decimal is "," or ".", etc.

Now technically speaking.. shouldn't address formats go there too, so kab can format them automatically according to the country they are located in (assumed that distroes install *all* locales)? As opposed to a checkbox that just hard-swithches the order, so it looks right when I snail-mail people in France, but wrong when sending to the US.

I know that to the end user it doesn't matter whatever it's the one or the other that does the job, but I think it's important with respect to the principle about not duplicating work in several similar projects (kab & gab (or what it's name is)).

Does people agree to this? Does someone have the ability/time to impliment this? Does someone have the guts to ask the GNU ppl if this is an idea they are willing to play along with?



By Macavity at Fri, 2004/11/05 - 6:00am

Since it's difficult to get stuff like this in glibc, we (KDE) provide such a list ourself.
For every country you can create an address template which is used for the output of a formatted


By Tobias König at Sat, 2004/11/06 - 6:00am

there are about 40 different choices of output sequencing, but no option to
the "standard" sequence of a (German) phone book: all entries with the same
name are ordered by christian name.
As I got a lot of "family" entries, it would be nice to have those entries
ordered by christian name.
Keep up the good work

By rzbkmr at Fri, 2004/11/05 - 6:00am

Please file a whishlist item on

By Tobias König at Sat, 2004/11/06 - 6:00am

I might be the only one who thinks this, but I think kaddressbook is quite ugly.

By Mike at Sun, 2004/11/07 - 6:00am

And for sure I'm not the only one who think this, but I think you are a troll.

By Davide Ferrari at Sun, 2004/11/07 - 6:00am

Ah, so opinions differing from the norm are not allowed? I don't give a monkey's what you think.

By Mike at Mon, 2004/11/08 - 6:00am

offering no specific detail for your complaint is not helpful.
Please watch your language.

By rzbkmr at Mon, 2004/11/08 - 6:00am

Except in Kontact, whenever I click Address Book, everything on the screen locks up. I have never happened to see anyone else claiming this problem, so have never read a reason nor a cure.

By albrtijo at Wed, 2004/11/17 - 6:00am

I've experienced this problem too, but I found that my eZTrust Antivirus/Internet Security was at fault, it was just going nuts and consuming large amounts of CPU time. Disabling the real-time scanner solved the problem instantly. If you're using eZTrust I recommend changing to another virus scanner application.

By darkwarden at Wed, 2005/10/19 - 5:00am