Ever needed to phone the doctor or the plumber? Squinted at tiny, bad handwriting on the back of an envelope while trying to address a gift? You need Address Book! This was written for Mac OS 10.2 Jaguar.
You need Address Book!
Do you have friends who move a lot? Family members who travel and have constantly changing contact information? Ever needed to phone the doctor or the plumber? Squinted at tiny, bad handwriting on the back of an envelope while trying to address a gift?
You need Address Book!
Once the contact information is in your Apple Address Book you can print, you can call, you can email, you can Chat! But wait, there’s more …
With the Apple Address Book you can carry all those addresses round in your Bluetooth-enabled cellphone. You can carry them in your Palm OS PDA. You can carry them in your iPod. Why, you can even look them up on the web (requires a password and Apple’s Backup software). If you use Safari you can quickly access web pages too. Or, if you’re a low-tech kind of person, you can print them out and pin them on the wall by the phone.
Check your Settings
Call up Address Book Preferences and check your settings. You can choose to sort and display by First name or Last name and you might like to set the Format to New Zealand.
Add a Name
The first step is to make sure you put yourself in the Address Book. This identifies you as the owner and is handy for when you use iChat or Mail.
Look in your Applications folder and open Address Book. It may be totally empty or a card for you might already exist. In my case there were no addresses at all, so I’ll add myself.
The Address Book is divided into 3 columns: Group, Name and Card. The first group is called
All and I’ll select that. The second column is empty so I’ll click the
+ sign at the bottom of that column. This allows me to add a new Name to the
This creates a new card and highlights the First Name field ready for me to start typing. Once I’ve typed my first name I can press the Tab key to move to the Last Name field. As I enter information I can press the Tab key to move on to the next field. If I overshoot I can press Shift-Tab to move backwards.
Hmmm. I seem to have a spot for my work phone number and for my mobile but what about my home number? And what about my work address?
Much of the power of Address book is hidden away at first. Look closely and you’ll see a small
+ next to some fields. If I click the
+ next to mobile phone number I can add a field for my home number.
I can see though that the word
home has some arrows beside it. If I click on the arrows I can choose many other types of “phone number” such as fax, pager or even Custom.
Add a Photo
Do you have a photo of yourself lying around? Add it to your Address Card.
Click on the rectangle which contains a silhouette of a person. Navigate around your hard drive until you find the photo and select it. Now you should see yourself in the photo area beside your name. If you selected the wrong photo don’t despair. Just double-click the photo and you can select another.
The final step is to make this “your” card. Go to the Card menu and choose “This is my card”. Your photo will now show a “me” icon at bottom left and the Name column shows a head and shoulders icon beside your name.
Import Existing Contacts
If you already have a list of contacts — eg on your PDA or in other software — search Versiontracker for utilities to help move them to your Address Book. There are dozens.
Update: 8 March 2004. In Panther’s Address Book 3.1.1 (v301) you can Import Vcards or LDIF from the File menu or you can Import Addresses or use Helper Scripts under the Script menu.
Add more Names
Now go ahead and click the
+ button at bottom of the name column and add another card. Just click the
+ for each new card you want to add and enter information for all your friends, family, services such as doctor, clients and customers.
I have three distinct groups of addresses: friends, clients and services. The friends group is for friends and family, obviously enough, while I keep contact information for all my clients and customers in the clients group. Services includes such useful information as the phone number for the plumber, doctor, vet, Apple User Group, Mac stores and so on. You may also have groups for clubs you belong to, overseas contacts or perhaps different sports and hobbies.
To add a specific address to a group drag one or more names at the same time from the Name column onto a Group in the Group column.
Now if I like, I can just focus my attention on my list of friends or perhaps glance at my list of Services to see who to call about that plumbing job.
With a lot of names in the Address Book finding one particular one could be a chore. It’s not however as Apple have supplied a fast and effective search. Beware though to select the correct Group before beginning a search. If you’re looking for the plumber called Ruth you won’t find her in your list of clients.
Start a search by clicking on a group in the Group column. I usually find it easiest to click on the
All group which keeps a list of every contact in the Address Book.
Now click in the search field and enter the information you’re looking for. This could be a person’s name, a street or suburb, a phone number — in fact anything you have stored in the Address Book. As you start to type the names are filtered to only those containing what you’ve typed. Probably long before you’ve typed the whole word or number you’ll be able to see the name you’re looking for.
To clear the search and find the next person click the small white
x on a grey background at the right hand end of the Search box.
Edit a Card
People move, addresses change. It’s easy to Edit the information on a card — just click the Edit button. If the Edit button is blue then you can go ahead and change the information. If it’s grey then the card is effectively “locked”.
I’d like to keep my friends’ birthdays listed in Address Book. Although there isn’t obviously any place to do this you don’t need to keep such things in the Notes field. Instead Edit the card and then go to the Card menu and choose Add Field. Birthday is right there, along with areas for Instant messaging via several different services.
That Phonetic name item is interesting too. I can’t imagine why, but sometimes people have trouble pronouncing my first name. The Phonetic name field is where you can store your own guide to pronunciation, and you can search on that field too!
Let the Fun Begin
Want to call a friend? Find them in the Address Book and click on the word Home (or Work etc) beside their phone number. Choose Large Type.
Need to see a map? Connect to the Internet, find the person in the Address Book, click on the label beside their address and choose Map of. Off you go to Mapquest where you can zoom in to see quite a bit of detail. Note that this will be of no use for some places — I was able to zoom in on Wakefield Street in Central Wellington, but not on the suburb of Karori.
Click on the Homepage label and you can visit the Homepage. If you have an URL in the Address Book you can also access it directly from Safari under the Address Book item on the Toolbar.
Click the label beside an email address and you can send an email with your normal email software.
Click the label beside an Instant Message address and you’ll start up an iChat (or similar) session. If you have your photo in your Address Book this will be displayed to your “chat” friends.
How about using iCal to set up a party. From within iCal you can “invite” anyone in your Address Book who has an email address. iCal will even arrange to email the invitations.
Even more Fun
There’s even more you can do with your Address Book. Look under the File menu for backing up. Check iSync for adding the names and addresses to your iPod, PDA or cellphone. Visit Versiontracker for software to help print out labels, access Address book from your menu bar, exchange data with other software.
Update: 8 March 2004. Address Book 3.1.1 (v301) available with Panther has many built-in options for printing, including Avery labels, contact lists and more.
And if there’s something Address Book doesn’t do, or could do better, be sure to send Feedback to Apple. They need to know what we want so that they can develop this great software even further.
Oh, and by the way! You can address me as firstname.lastname@example.org.
First published in Macguide magazine Issue #10 July / August 2003 and republished with permission. This article has been modified from the original.