Contact Details
Phone and Skype
Map Services
Predefined Fields
Predefined Sections
Multiple databases
Mail Merge
Hidden Powers
Support OC

Open Contacts


Options Explained


Save Layout on exit -- If you want the program to remember the layout of sub-windows, leave this checked.

Remember category -- If checked, the program will remember the last category you select. Next time when you run the program, the program will list only contacts of the last selected category.

TAB stop at field names -- If unchecked, the tab key on an Edit Contact window will not stop at the field names. Some users rarely change field names but field values, they might prefer unchecking this option.

Always preview before printing -- When printing contact info using built-in print functions, you may preview before printing the content to a printer.

Enable multi-relationship to a contact -- Open Contacts can manage relationship info between contacts. If you want to maintain multiple relationships between contact A and contact B, you may leave this option checked.

Auto complete with some fields -- Many contacts might live in the same city or the same state. To minimize repeated typing, you might want to pick up historical values of some data fields like City and State. If this option is checked and the respective predefined data fields are marked with "Auto Complete", when you key-in data to a respective data field, the program will show you the closest matches in a drop-down list, so you can pick one.

Use ISO data format -- You might have ever run into a situation feeling confused when reading a date like this 04/05/07, were not sure about the date was written by an American or an European. Why not just consistently use an unambiguous ISO format yyyy-MM-dd? If you will exchange contact info with others, leaving this option checked will improve accuracy of maintaining date info. Nevertheless, if you really desire to use a date format, you may just uncheck this options, and set the date format in the regional settings of Windows, then Open Contacts will use that format anyway.

Birthday Field -- In the Search Birthday window, Open Contacts will use this field name by default to search for birthday info. If you  use non-English version of Open Contacts, you might need to translate this field name. In function "Export to Birthday Reminder", this field name is used to find out the birthdays of selected contacts. If you want to "export to anniversary reminder", you make hack the value of this field as "Anniversary".


Enable demo link -- For first-time users, Open Contacts provide a demo database of address book, with which you may get impressions of features the program provides. The Demo link is shown in the main window, and you may hide it if you think you don't need to learn through the demo database anymore.

Show surname and given name of people -- To make it easy to input name, Open Contacts provides a single edit box for inputting the full name of a contact, and the program can analyze the name into surname, given name and middle name. However, if you desire, you may show separated edit boxes for inputting surname, given name and middle name separately. Please refer to Edit Contact Details for more details.

Sort by surname when listing people -- By default, the program will sort people in the People List window by the first character of the full names. You may check this option in order to list people by the first character of the surnames.

Enable shortcuts to sections -- In the Edit Contact window, shortcuts as links to sections will appear if there are sections hidden below the bottom of the window. Though you may scroll down to view the lower sections, if you check this option, you may click any of the shortcut links to jump to any section.

Show Status Bar -- If checked, the main window will have a status bar at the bottom showing hints. If you are familiar with the operations of Open Contacts and want to save a bit space, you may remove the status bar by unchecking this option.

Enable tray icon -- If checked, when minimize the program, the program will present itself in the Windows tray rather than the task bar.

Tab Position of Edit Windows -- In a Edit Contact window, there are multiple tabs of panel presenting Details, Companies, Contacts and Associated. The tab position is on the top by default. You may redefine the tab orientation on the other direction.

Show counter in contact list -- In the Contact List windows, you may display the number of contacts listed.

Hide contacts tab in Company window -- Though it is optional to have the Contacts tab in the Edit Company window, it generally does not sound very nice to define a relationship from a company to people in an address book program oriented to people. If you really desire to define a relationship from a company to people, you may uncheck this option.

Quick search by contact name -- When checked, a small edit box will appear on the top of the People List window  and the Companies List window. When you key-in a person name, the program will mach people with 2 matching patterns: with one character, list all people with the same initial character; with multiple characters, list all people with the same substring in name. For example, with "And", Andy and Sandy may come out. With this option checked, it make sense to hide the Initials windows.

Compact UI -- If checked, in the main section of Edit Contact window, the labels will not be shown in order to save space for data.

Quick View Style Sheet -- Open Contacts uses XSL style sheet files to render contact info in the Quick View window. The style sheet files are located in the Templates directory under the user data directory. File "Default.xsl" is associated with the Normal mode, and File "DefaultAdvanced.xsl" is associated with the Advanced mode. With the advanced mode, navigating between contacts and triggering actions are presented by hyper links.

Show Quick View always -- If checked, the Quick View window will be shown at startup of the program.

Show Photo Viewer always -- If checked, the Photo Viewer will be shown at startup of the program.

Field drop down count -- The number defines how many visible items in the drop down list. If you don't want to scroll up and down the list, you may want a larger number.

New Contact

Please refer to Predefined Sections for more details.


HTML target of exporting -- When exporting selected contacts to HTML, with File, the exported HTML of contact info will be saved into a file; with the second option, the HTML will be save into a file then the default browser will be launched to show the content; with the third option, the HTML content will be displayed in Microsoft Internet Explorer directly, without saving the content to file.

Multiple contacts in one vCard file -- If checked, when exporting selected contacts to vCard, the vCard file will contain multiple vCard records.


Database location -- The database location is by default in the data directory under the user data directory. That is, for example, if your user data directory is "C:\Documents and Settings\Your Name\OCData\", the default location of the database is "C:\Documents and Settings\Your Name\OCData\Data\". If for some reasons you desired to have the other location, you may press the button to define.

Default Files directory -- While you can associate files to a contact, the default location of file names without absolute file paths is defined here. For example,  if your user data directory is "C:\Documents and Settings\Your Name\OCData\", the default location of the Default Files directory is "C:\Documents and Settings\Your Name\OCData\Files", and file name "SomeArticle.doc" represents a file in this directory; file name like "SubFolder\AnotherArticle.doc" indicate the file is stored in "....\Files\SubFolder\". You may change the location by defining an absolute path of a directory.

Database Alias Name -- Some users might prefer to have multiple address books. It is handy to give each address book an alias name to avoid confusion.

Run Scripts -- This button is for running SQL scripts distributed as patch. This function is rarely used, only for critical database upgrading.


Default Emailer -- Open Contacts support Email programs through MAPI, Outlook COM and Windows Shell. Generally you should use the first option except for Lotus Notes which required the forth option. If your Windows default Email program is MS Outlook, option 1 and 2 have the same effect. For more details, please refer to Email.

Phone Prefix for Telephony and Skype -- It might happen that you have some phone numbers recorded without country code or area code, as you may not record area code for phone numbers in your city. Likely many of these numbers share the same country code and area code as the result you relocate yourself to another city. Defining a phone prefix for these legacy numbers will be handy to dial from your new town to the old town.

Enable Action Plug-in -- Along with built-in functions associated with a predefined field, you as programmer may develop your own plugin functions to associate with the field. Thus you will have custom actions upon the predefined field.

Enable change log for synchronization -- Check this to make Open Contacts maintain a change log to support synchronization with other devices which have address book programs. SyncML Client for Open Contacts will be used to synchronize contact info with a SyncML server.

Clean up change log -- From time to time, you may want to clean up the change log to reduce the size of the database.

Summary Format -- The function "Export to Birthday Reminder" uses this string to compose the summary of each event. This field can not be empty, and the default value is "%s Birthday Celebration (Born in %s)". The first "%s" represents the name of a contact, and the second one represents the birth year. You may omit the second one. If you want to remind yourself about anniversary of each contact, you may hack the Birthday file as "Anniversary", and change the Summary Format.

Description Template -- The function "Export to Birthday Reminder" may use an XSLT file to compose the description of each event. This field can be empty if you don't want to compose the description. The field value should be a valid XSLT file located in WorkingDirectory\Templates". A sample XSLT file is "iCalendarDescription.xsl" in this directory. So if you want to use this file, the field value should be "iCalendarDescription.xsl". You need to have basic knowledge of XML and know how to use text editor to modify this XSLT file.

Map Services

Please refer to Map Services for more details.