Contacts: Changing the Country Format for Each Card

If you know people from many different places around the world, the Contact app’s default country setting may be frustrating. After all, it’s tough to force an address from, say, France into fields meant for the United States. And if you’re printing out mailing labels, you want addresses from everywhere to be properly formatted with each section in the correct order, right? It’s no good to look like a doofus when you’re sending out your Christmas cards.

Fortunately, there’s a way to set a different address format for each contact instead of having to use one default country forever. To do this, select a contact card, and choose Edit to make changes to it. Then click on the contact’s address header field (usually labeled “home” or “work”):

When you do, you’ll get a pop-up menu from which you can change that header, but down at the bottom is the option we’re looking for. It’s labeled Change Address Format.

Hovering on that will give you a massive list of countries. Pick the appropriate one, and the fields in the address will change to match that country’s format.

If the contact in question is a world traveler himself, you can even use different country formats for each of his addresses on the same card.

And of course, if you want all of your cards to default to a different address format, you can switch that in Contacts > Preferences > General.

Finally, note that this isn’t something that’s new to 10.8—we’ve had this ability since approximately the dawn of time. However, I find that not many folks know you can do this, even so!