SmartyList: Command-Line Interface

If you have address lists larger than 50,000 records, and you have some experience with the command line, this interface might become your new best friend. It processes lists of any size, standardizing and validating addresses and providing lots of relevant data. And it does so with astonishing speed. (If you're not yet familiar with the command line, you can standardize and validate address lists larger than 50,000 records by splitting them up and submitting them to our SmartyList Web Interface.)


  1. Download
  2. Installation
  3. Preparing Your Input File
  4. Using the Interface
  5. The Output File
  6. The Log File
  7. Command-Line Parameters
  8. Updates


You can download (free) the SmartyList Command-Line Interface for the following platforms:

You're welcome!


After downloading one of the above packages, extract the contents of the archive to your desktop. You'll see a SmartyList folder containing the following files:

  • smartylist  This is the application. Instead of double-clicking it, you will access it from the command line.
  • sample-input.csv  This is a simple address list for your reference.
  • sample-output.csv  This is the output produced by processing the sample-input.csv file above.
  • change-log.txt  A log of recent changes made by the software developers.
  • DO-NOT-README.txt  Actually, please read it.

Power users: Feel free to copy or move smartylist to wherever is convenient. On a Linux machine you might put it in /usr/local/bin or somewhere else that is already in your $PATH.

Preparing Your Input File

Save your input file as a CSV or tab-delimited text file, within the SmartyList folder on your desktop. Arrange your data fields according to one of the patterns shown below. (You can also see an example in the sample input file included with the download.) The first row MUST consist of field names, spelled exactly as you see here.

street, city, state, zipcode
street, city, state
street, zipcode
address (entire address in a single field)

Optionally, you can include fields that contain non-address data (like ID number or business name). All your input data will be returned untouched as part of the output. (If you do include non-address data, be sure to give those data fields non-address names.)

One final consideration: Make sure your list doesn't include blank lines (except at the end). By "blank lines" we mean lines that have no delimiters (commas or tabs) and no data except a carriage return character (and/or line feed character). Blank lines can cause line numbers to output incorrectly, which makes pasting back into a spreadsheet a bit tricky. If you insist on having blank lines, make sure each record has an 'ID' field containing a unique value.

Using the Interface

Open your favorite command-line application, and use the "change directory" command to navigate to the directory where your SmartyList files reside. This is what that might look like:

Windows:cd /Users/[username]/Desktop/smartylist_windows_latest
Mac:cd ~/Desktop/smartylist_osx_latest

Three specific command-line parameters are required in order to process a list: -auth-id, -auth-token, and -input. (To find your -auth-id and -auth-token, open the API Keys tab of your account and look under the heading of Secret Keys.) The -input parameter tells SmartyList where your input file is. If you placed your input file inside of the SmartyList folder, the complete command to process it might look like this:

Windows:smartylist -auth-id="123" -auth-token="Abc" -input="your_file"
Mac:./smartylist -auth-id="123" -auth-token="Abc" -input="your_file"

We suggest you try a short list first, to make sure everything is working as expected. When you run the command, the terminal will first display your current SmartyList configuration settings, so you can verify that they are as desired. It will also list your input field names, and below those, the matching data type for each. Make sure these are correct.

Finally, the prompt will ask if everything appears to be in order. If everything looks right, type "y" then hit "enter." During processing, the terminal will display a progress bar. (Although, if your list is small, the job will be done almost instantly.)

The Output File

By default, the output file will be placed next to the input file, and it will be named like the input file, except with "-output" appended. (If you wish, you can specify a different output directory using the -output command-line parameter.)

After opening the output file, you will see all of your original data fields on the left, followed by an empty field, followed by our output data fields on the right, with field names in brackets. If you need help understanding the many SmartyList output fields, please see Address Output Fields.

The Log File

Every time you process a list with the SmartyList Command-Line Interface, it will produce a log file and place it next to the corresponding input file. The name of the log file will follow this pattern:


The file will contain all the information displayed by the terminal before processing, as well as a precise play-by-play of the tool's various actions. In the unlikely event that your list fails to process, check the log file for the gory details of what happened. If you contact Support with questions, they may ask to see this file in order to aid in the debugging process.

Command-Line Parameters

Here we list all the command-line parameters that can be used with our SmartyList Command-Line Interface. As explained above, the first three parameters listed below are all that are required to process a list. The others are optional; you can employ them to customize the tool's functionality. To use them, simply list them when you run smartylist at the command prompt, following this model:

smartylist -[parameter] -[another-parameter]
The auth-id value (or name of environment variable) to use for API requests.
The auth-token value (or name of environment variable) to use for API requests.
The path to the input file which has addresses you want to validate.
If provided, this is where SmartyList will place the output file containing the results of processing your input file. If not provided, SmartyList will place the output alongside the input.
If desired, you can tell SmartyList where to put the diagnostic log file. If this parameter is not provided, SmartyList will place the log file alongside the input file.
The base URL to use for API requests if you are pointing to an onsite API installation. If you are using our regular cloud service, this parameter is not necessary.
The URL of your proxy, if one has been configured for your network. In most cases this flag is not necessary.
Tells SmartyList to squelch all diagnostic output and process the list without a confirmation prompt if possible. (No value needed.)
When you provide this parameter, SmartyList simply prints the version of the application to stdout and exits. (No value needed.)

Updates (Pay attention, this is important!)

Try this command at the command prompt:

smartylist -version

(Mac/Linux users may need to insert ./ in front of the word smartylist.)

If the number listed below doesn't match what you see, you might be missing out on recent improvements and should probably download and install the latest version.


The version number you see is the semantic version number of your copy of the application. Each of the three dot-delimited numbers is significant: major.minor.patch

The first of the three numbers in the version output is the "major" version number. If we need to release a new major version, any copies of the old version will be automatically disabled, requiring you to download and install the latest version before processing any additional lists. (Read that last sentance again...slowly...just to make sure it sinks in.) This is not something we will do often and certainly not ever without extensive consideration.

The second of the three numbers in the version output is the "minor" version number. Incrementing this number means we have released new functionality that is still backwards-compatible. It would behoove you to download and install the latest version. Until you do, a message will be sent to stderr and a non-zero exit status will be returned by the application as a signal that something is amiss. The application will continue to process your lists.

This third number refers to patches and bug fixes--corrections to existing behavior. If this number doesn't match, it would be a good idea (probably worth a promotion!) for you to download and install the latest version so you have the most current and correct software. In this situation, a message will be sent to stdout as a signal that something is amiss. The application will continue to process your lists.

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