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I've found Address Book's 2-panel layout in Lion extremely obnoxious because I must change modes to change groups, never remember what group I'm viewing, etc. Is there any way to restore the old 3-panel layout? If not, recommend any open source alternatives with sane layouts?

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iCal version was entirely accidental, seemingly duplicated previous questions on known tweaks. I recall self deletion failed too. – Jeff Burdges Jan 17 '12 at 15:21

I don't have my SL disk handy, so I cant vouch for this, but maybe try copying the Address from SL (or a backup) over to Lion?

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Yes, I considered that, might try it if nothing better comes along. – Jeff Burdges Jan 17 '12 at 1:27
To me it seems the easiest method; I know you can't (unfortunately) fix the Lion version. And as for a true alternative, it might not fit your needs but how about just using Google Calendar? – segiddins Jan 17 '12 at 1:33
Oops, must not have seen the Address Book... don't know why i mentioned iCal at all... Anyways, same principle applies. – segiddins Jan 17 '12 at 2:49
This is unlikely to work. Address depends on AddressBook.framework, which in turn depends on many other system components. They are not guaranteed nor designed to be interchangeable with different OS versions than the one where they originally appeared. You're welcome to try it, but I am doubtful that this will work. – bneely Jan 17 '12 at 3:11

Take a look at "Addresses" an alternative address book application:

It is not open source, but is is just $3.99

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