By Bryan Keadle

I found it necessary to clean up my GroupWise Address books. I had several different books going, some with duplicates, and now that I'm syncing to my phone, I really needed to consolidate them into one book.

Trying to merge several entries from several books into one, and then clean them up is quite an undertaking, especially if you attempt to do so using the GroupWise Address Book interface. I really could make better work of it by exporting the books from GroupWise, then importing them into a spreadsheet (Excel). Now by using the spreadsheet functions to sort various ways, I can more easily find duplicates, merge records, and edit fields. The trick now is to be able to save out the spreadsheet, and import it back into the GroupWise Address Book.

However, Microsoft Excel's .CSV format is incompatible with the GroupWise .NAB format for importing the address book back in. So, to work around this issue, I created this utility, Tab2NAB.exe, which will convert a TAB-delimited GroupWise address book "spreadsheet" into a compatible GroupWise .NAB-formatted file.

So, here are the steps for using Excel to clean up your GroupWise address book:

  1. From your GroupWise address book, select your address book(s) you want to edit/consolidate, go to File/Export

  • Import the *.NAB file(s) into Excel

  • Edit the records as needed, but do not change to order of the columns. You may want to keep the header line, which looks like:


  • When finished, save the file as a Text (Tab delimited) (*.txt) file (MyAddresses.txt). *CLOSE* the file in Excel (it cannot be in use during the next step)

  • Run Tab2NAB.exe utility, and select your saved tab-delimited file (MyAddresses.txt). This will produce a new, correctly formmatted .NAB file (

  • From your GroupWise address book, either create a new book, or select all the entries in your target address book and delete them.

  • Go to File/Import, and select your .NAB file for import (

Voila! A nice, clean address book!


How To-Best Practice
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  • This is for those who've had difficulty using this tool. Before step 2, you may find it helpful to rename the exported *.NAB file(s) to *.CSV. Just change the filename extension. After that, import the exported file(s) into Excel. You may have to try doing this a couple of different ways, to get Excel to bring up the import dialog.

    Read step 4 carefully. When you're done in Excel, you must save the file as a tab delimited *.TXT file. Not a *.CSV file.

    When all is said and done, you'll have dealt with up to five different files, in this order:

    1. MyAddresses_exported.NAB
    2. MyAddresses_exported.CSV
    3. MyAddresses_working_and_cleanup.XLS
    4. MyAddresses_to_be_imported.TXT
    5. MyAddresses_to_be_imported.NAB

    TAB2NAB is run after making the *.TXT file and it will generate the *.NAB file.
  • I am finding that running tab2nab creates a .csv file, not a .nab file. I've spent about an hour and gone through the developer's and vanslyck's steps several times with a fine-tooth comb, but can't get a .nab file, only a .csv. Anyone?
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