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How to deal with duplicated contacts

Some address book programs like MS Outlook allow multiple contacts with the same name. While reflecting the reality that many people have the same name like "John Smith", this is inconvenient for you to look up info of the right person, as you will have to view details to distinguish this "John Smith" from the other "John Smith" people. It may be more efficient to give each "John Smith" a unique identifier. For example "John Smith1" and "John Smith2" etc.

Open Contacts provides up to 4 fields to store a person's Name (full name), Surname, Given Name and Middle Name. By default, only field Name is visible, though Surname, Given Name and Middle Names will be fill in automatically at the background. Open Contacts will identify a person through all these 4 fields, that is, Open Contacts does accept contacts with the same name, as long as they have different Surname, Given Name and Middle Name.

So if you insist on having individual contacts with duplicated name, Open Contacts somehow supports such desire as well.

As Open Contacts employs the concept of separating individuals and organizations, it is natively supported that the name of an individual and the name of an organization could be the same. For example, you know someone called Dick Smith, and there exist an electronic shop called Dick Smith which is your service supplier.

When Open Contacts imports data, it may prompt for duplication, and you will have 4 options:

  1. Update
  2. Change name and add
  3. Skip and continue
  4. Stop

When updating, field Title and existing fields of existing sections will be updated with the imported contact, and new fields and new sections may be added. However, name fields and notes fields will be ignored. Notes fields are considered as your private territories. For example, you have a few notes fields for contact "John Smith", and later John Smith send you an XML file with his updated info, you will just want to update common fields of the record of your address book and the XML file, and you are not going to let the XML file update your descriptions about John Smith.