Files with the .AB2 extension are associated with an older program called Parsons Address Book. It is similar to the Windows .wab extension in that the file is intended to be opened and accessed only through the Parson's Address Book software. These files contain the standard information found in any address book application. If you double click on an .AB2 file and encounter an error opening it, either you do not have the Parson's Address Book software or one or more of the associated .dlls is missing.
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.AB2 files can be converted from old versions to new versions from within the Parson' software. This means version 4 .AB2 files can be converted to version 6 by utilizing the software's conversion tool. However, the backup function of newer versions is restricted. If you create a backup your .AB2 file, you can only restore it using the same Parson's version AND the same operating system version (Win 98 for example). There are numerous reports of problems converting old .AB2 files to newer versions due to missing ptsaabdb.dll and wbtrcall.dll files. Occasionally, when uninstalling software in Windows, the operating system may prompt the user that certain files are no longer needed. Apparently, many Parson's users have inadvertently chosen to delete these two files, making conversion of an old .AB2 impossible.
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More Info Regarding File Extension Ab2
Although Parson's Address Book is no longer produced or supported under that name, it is now known as Ultimate Mail Manager. It is part of Broderbund's Printshop Suite. An older version .AB2 address book can be used by Ultimate Mail Manager, but it requires some manipulation of the file using MS Access and Excel. The file must first be opened in Access, then exported in Excel format so the data can be worked with. All extra tabs and returns must be deleted along with some unnecessary fields at the end. This file must then be exported as a tab delimited file (.tab) which can be imported into Ultimate Mail Manager. Users who chose to attempt this should make a backup copy of the .AB2 before starting the process. If the address book data is perceived as corrupt by Ultimate Mail Manager it may cause the computer to lock up whenever the data is accessed. Trial and error will be needed to make this solution work. Details about this process can be found through an internet search.
If an .AB2 address book is successfully converted to a tab delimited file, it can be imported into any address book program that has tab delimited file support. Most major address book applications have this support including Microsoft Address Book, Thunderbird, Kmail, and Eudora. It must be noted that various address book applications display the .tab data in different ways. Even if the .tab importation was successful, the user will probably have some editing and clean up to do.
It is possible for the .AB2 file to be opened with a text editor, but depending on how much data is in the file and what version was used to create it, it may or may not be usable. If the data can be read by the text editor it simply needs to be cleaned up and exported as a tab delimited file. However, this process can be very labor intensive and often results in errors when importing into a new address book.
Because the .AB2 file format is a proprietary one there are currently no third party applications available that can open and convert these address books. The safest way to open one of these files to get a copy of either Parson's Address Book or Printshop with the Ultimate Address book application.