Setting Up and Using an Address Book

Mac OS X includes the Address Book application, in which you can store all your contact information. The most obvious use for this information is within Mail, but other applications can access the Address Book as well. This is useful because it enables you to use a single contact database for other applications that use information about your contacts, such as iChat.


For Mac OS X version 10.3, the Address Book provides its services to a wider range of applications and offers more functionality itself. You can store as much information as you want, and you can customize each entry in the Address Book as much as you like. You can also print Address Book information in more ways under version 10.3 than you could under previous versions.


If you enter a Web site address for a contact, you can access that Web site from within Safari's Address Book tab. You'll learn more about this in Chapter 13, "Surfing the Web."

Address Book is based on virtual cards, or vcards. A vcard is an electronic information card that you can drag and drop between applications to transfer the information contained on that card. You can also share vcards with other users to exchange information. For example, you can drag someone else's vcard onto your Address Book to quickly add that person's information to your list of contacts.


Address Book is not the only application that can work with vcards. Many other applications can use vcards. For example, Microsoft Entourage can read vcards, so you can provide your vcard to someone who uses that application and that person can easily add your contact information to her contact database. Microsoft Outlook, the dominant email, calendar, and contact information application on Windows computers, also uses vcards.

Using the Address Book

When you open the Address Book, you will see that its window consists of three columns. The first two columns are Group and Name. The Group column shows the groups you have created, and the Name column lists each card in your Address Book. The third column is the Card column, which shows the card that is selected in the Name column (see Figure 12.1). Before you add any contact information, your Address Book includes a card for you and one for Apple. You can build your Address Book over time so that it includes all your contacts.

Figure 12.1. The Address Book is a powerful tool you can use to manage all your contact information.



The contact information entered for you is whatever you provided when you registered your copy of Mac OS X.


If you use a Bluetooth-equipped Mac, a third button is shown to the right of the View Card button. This button enables you to pair your Address Book with a Bluetooth-capable cell phone. This lets you keep contact information on your phone synchronized with that stored in your Address Book.

In the upper-left corner of each card is an image well that you can use to place an image for your contact, such as a photo of the person for whom you created the card or the logo for a company (such as the apple for Apple). You can add a photo to a card by dragging a photo onto this well. The photo you use can be a JPEG, GIF, TIFF, or PDF file and should be 64x64 pixels.

The card marked with a silhouette is your card. This is important because your card can be used to add your contact information in various locations automatically.


When you send email to or receive email using Mail from a contact who has an image in the related card, that image appears in the email.

Working with Address Book Contact Information

Although Address Book provides the standard functions you expect, such as email addresses and phone numbers, the information in Address Book is dynamic. For example, when a contact's card includes an email address, you can click the address to send the contact email. When you include a home page for a contact, you can click it to visit that home page, and when the contact has a .Mac account, you can open the contact's iDisk. You can also use the contact's card to chat with the person using iChat and visit the contact's Web site from within Safari. Address Book information is also accessible in many other places, such as when you are faxing documents using Mac OS X's built-in fax capability.

To locate information within Address Book itself, you can browse your contacts or search for specific contacts.

To browse your contacts, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Address Book by clicking the Address Book icon on the Dock or by opening the Applications folder and double-clicking the Address Book icon.

  2. Scroll in the Name column to find the contact you are interested in.

  3. Select the contact whose information you want to view. The contact's card is displayed, and you can see the person's information.

The information in Address Book is extremely flexible. The fields displayed for each contact can be configured individually. When you display a card, only the fields that contain information are displayed. For example, compare Figure 12.1 and Figure 12.2 to see how Address Book has reconfigured the card display for cards with different amounts of information.

Figure 12.2. Come now, you didn't really expect me to include my real phone number and address in this book did you? (The email address is real.)


You can also search to locate a contact's information:

  1. Open the Address Book by clicking the Address Book icon on the Dock or by opening the Applications folder and double-clicking the Address Book icon.

  2. Enter text in the Search field. You can enter text found in any of the contact's information, including name, address, home page, and so on. As you type, the list of names shown in the Name column is narrowed so it includes only those contacts whose data contains the text you enter.

  3. Select the contact whose information you want to view. The contact's card is displayed, and you can see the contact's information.

To view all your contacts again, click the X button that appears in the Search field when you perform a search.

When working with the Address Book, you can easily do the following tasks:


When you click a data label, such as an email or address, the pop-up menu that results has different commands for different items. For example, when you open an email address's pop-up menu, one of the options is Send Email. However, if you click a physical address, you see different options including Map Of, which enables you to retrieve a map for the address.

  • Send an email? To send an email to one of your contacts, view the contact to which you want to send an email. Then click the label next to the email address to which you want to send an email. A pop-up menu appears. Select Send Email (see Figure 12.3). Your default email application opens and a new message addressed to the contact is created.

    Figure 12.3. Sending an email from Address Book can be done with the Send Email command.


  • Visit the contact's Web site or home page? Click the label next to a Web site you want to visit. From the resulting pop-up menu, select Go to Web Site. Or, click a URL shown on the card. Your default Web browser opens and you move to the Web site.

  • View a map to an address? Click the label next to an address and select Map Of from the resulting pop-up menu. Your default Web browser opens and moves to the Map Quest Web site. A map to the selected address is then displayed.

  • Chat? Select iChat to use the iChat AV application to text, audio, or video chat with the contact.

  • Open an iDisk? If the contact has a .Mac account and you have configured his .Mac email address, you can open the person's iDisk by clicking the label next to the .Mac email address and selecting Open iDisk. The contact's iDisk opens in a new Finder window.

  • Scroll through your contacts? Select Card, Next Card (or press graphics/mac.gif-]) or select Card, Previous Card (or press graphics/mac.gif-[) to browse through your contacts.

  • Edit your contacts? Click the Edit button to move into the Edit mode (more on this later).

You can change the view of the Address Book to show only cards by clicking the View Card Only button; selecting View, Card Only; or pressing graphics/mac.gif-2. The window collapses down to the card only. You can add cards, edit cards, or browse cards from the collapsed window.

Show the other columns again by selecting View, Card and Columns or by pressing graphics/mac.gif-1.

Configuring Your Address Book

You can configure several aspects of the Address Book by using its Preferences dialog box (see Figure 12.4). To open this dialog box, select Address Book, Preferences or press graphics/mac.gif-,.

Figure 12.4. Maximize the benefits of your Address Book by customizing it using the Preferences dialog box.


Configuring Address Book General Preferences

Using the General tab of the Preferences dialog box, you can configure the following preferences:

  • Display Order? Click the "First name Last name" radio button to have Address Book display contact information in the first name, last name format. Click the "Last name First name" radio button to display contacts in the last name, first name format.

  • Sort criterion? Select First Name or Last Name on the Sort By pop-up menu to have Address Book sort the Cards column by that criteria.

  • Address Format? Use the Address Format pop-up menu to select the address format you want to use by country.

  • Font Size? Use the Font Size pop-up menu to select the Regular, Large, or Extra Large font size for the information shown in the Address Book window.

  • Notifications about changes to your card? If you want contacts to be notified when your contact information changes and want to send them your revised information, create at least one group containing the contacts whom you want to be notified (you'll learn how to do this later in this chapter) and check the "Notify people when my card changes" check box. Whenever you change something on your own vcard, you can notify people in the group by selecting File, Send Updates. In the resulting Send Updates dialog box, select the groups to which you want to send the update by checking their check boxes; then enter a subject and text for the message and click Send. The message you send includes your updated vcard that the recipients can use to replace the outdated version of your card in their own contact lists.

  • Synchronization with Exchange? Many organizations use an Exchange server to provide email and contact information services to the network.

You can synchronize your Address Book with the information stored on an Exchange server by doing the following:

  1. Check the Synchronize with Exchange check box.

  2. Click Configure. In the resulting dialog box, enter your username, password, and the Outlook Web Access server address with which you want to synchronize your Address Book.

  3. If you want to synchronize this information every hour, check the "Synchronize every hour" check box.

  4. Click OK; information from the Exchange server is added to your Address Book and your Address Book information is added to the Exchange server.


For synchronization to work, you must enter the address for Outlook Web Access server rather than the Exchange server address itself. Address Book uses the Web access address to retrieve your information. If you don't know what this address is, contact the administrator for the Exchange server you are trying to access. To confirm that you are using the right server address, access the address through Safari or Internet Explorer. If you can access your email this way, you should be able to synchronize Address Book with your Exchange information.

Customizing Your Address Book Card Template

You can customize the information and layout of the cards in your Address Book.

Open the Address Book Preferences window and click the Template button to open the Template preferences pane (see Figure 12.5).

Figure 12.5. You can use Address Book's Template preferences to design the cards in your Address Book.



You can also edit the card template by selecting Card, Add Field, Edit Template.

To change the layout of and the information contained on the cards in your Address Book, you can do any of the following:

  • Add or remove fields? Use the Add Field pop-up menu at the top of the dialog box to add or remove fields from the cards in your Address Book. To add a field, select it on the menu. The field is added and a check mark is placed next to the field on the pop-up menu. To remove a field, select that field (which is marked with a check mark) on the pop-up menu; it is removed from the card.


    The fields that are grayed out on the menu are already on the card. To remove them, you use the minus sign next to the field as explained in the next bullet.

  • Remove fields? Click the minus sign next to a field to remove it from the card.

  • Add more fields of the same kind? Click the plus sign next to a field to add another field of the same type to the card.

  • Change a field's label? Use the pop-up menu next to a field's label to change that label. You can select one of the labels on the menu or select Custom and create a custom menu.

Using these tools, you can customize the contents of cards and the specific fields they contain as much as you like. Because Address Book displays only those fields that contain data (when you view a card), you don't need to be concerned about having too many fields on your cards.

Configuring Address Book's Phone Number Format

You can change the phone number format used in Address Book by using the following steps:

  1. Open the Phone pane of the Address Book Preferences dialog box.

  2. To have Address Book format phone numbers automatically, check the "Automatically format phone numbers" check box.

  3. If you do check the check box mentioned in the previous step, use the Formats pop-up menu to select the format that should be used.


You can create custom phone number formats by clicking the down arrow next to the Formats pop-up menu, which opens a pane showing the configured formats. Select one and click Edit to change it. To add a format, click the plus sign. To remove a format, select it and click the minus sign.

Choosing Vcard Preferences

On the vCard pane of the Address Book Preferences dialog box, you can set the following preferences:

  • vCard Format? Click the 3.0 radio button to use the newer vcard format. Click the 2.1 radio button and select a format on the pop-up menu to use a version of the previous vcard standard.

  • Private 'Me' Card? You can use this option to hide information on your vcard so that information won't be exported when you provide your vcard to someone else. To do so, check the Enable Private 'Me' Card check box. Edit your card and uncheck the check boxes for the data that you don't want to include on your vcard when you share it.

  • Export Notes with Vcards? If you check the Export Notes in vCards check box, when you export vcards, any notes you have entered for a card are exported with the card. If you put information in the notes on cards, be careful with this one!


Address Book can also work with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directories that can provide address information over a network. Such directories appear when you select the Directories icon in the Group column. You can add directories to your Address Book by using the LDAP tab of the Address Book Preferences dialog box. Explaining how to use such directories is beyond the scope of this chapter. If you need help, see the administrator of the network that is providing one or more LDAP directories to you.

Adding Addresses to Your Address Book

Obviously, before an address book is of much value, it has to have some information in it. There are several ways to get information into your Address Book:

  • Edit your own address card.

  • Add cards manually.

  • Add a card from an email message you have received.

  • Import a contact's vcard.

  • Import address information from an email application.

Creating and Editing Your Own Address Card

The first time you open Address Book, a card is created for you automatically based on the information you entered when you installed Mac OS X. If you entered one or more email addresses when you installed Mac OS X, those addresses are included in your address card automatically. You should edit this card, mostly so that you can easily send your contact information to other people simply by sending them your vcard.


Another place your card's information is used is for Safari's AutoFill feature. When you complete a form on the Web, your card's information is used if you choose to enable Safari's AutoFill feature.

Your card's icon has a silhouette next to your name. When you select your name in the Name column, your card appears; its image well is marked with the text me.


You can export a vcard by viewing it and selecting File, Export vCard.

You can export your own card, or any other card for that matter, as a vcard by selecting the card, opening its contextual menu, and selecting Export vCard. Select a location, name the vcard, and click Save.

If you want to create a different card for yourself for some reason, you can create a new card and enter your contact information in it. After you have created your new card, select it and select Card, Make This My Card (this is disabled if you have already selected your card).

You can edit your own card using the same steps you use to edit any other cards (editing cards is explained shortly).

Adding Addresses Manually

As you might expect, you can add people to your Address Book by inputting their information manually.

To manually add an address, do the following:

  1. Click the Plus button in the Name column; select File, New Card; or press graphics/mac.gif-N to see a new, empty address card. The fist name is highlighted by default so you can edit it immediately (see Figure 12.6).

    Figure 12.6. This is a new card, ready for the contact's information.


  2. Input the first name.

  3. Press Tab to move to and select the Last field, and then enter the contact's last name.

  4. Press Tab to move to and select the Company field, and then enter the person's company information if applicable.

  5. If you want the company to be listed above the name, check the Company check box.

  6. Press Tab to move to and select the first contact information, which is work by default.

  7. Click the menu icon to reveal the label pop-up menu (see Figure 12.7).

    Figure 12.7. You use this pop-up menu to label contact information.


  8. Select the label for the contact information, such as home.


    Two entries on the label pop-up menu require some explanation. The selection called other inserts the label other. If you select Custom, you can create a custom label for a field.

  9. Enter the contact information, such as a work phone number if you chose the label work.

  10. Continue tabbing to each field on the card, selecting the label for that field and editing the information to fill in the rest of the card.

  11. If the contact has a home page, select the home page field and enter the URL of the home page with which you want to associate the contact.

  12. If you want to remove fields from the card, click the Remove Field button (the minus sign) next to the field you want to remove. The field is removed from the current card only.

  13. If you want to add more fields of the same type to the card, click the Add Field button (+) next to one of the existing fields. After you have added a field, you can edit it in the same way as the default fields. Similar to removing a card, when you add a field to the card, it is added on the current card only.

    To learn how to add a field to all cards in the Address Book, see "Customizing Your Address Book Card Template," p. 336.

  14. If you have an image you want to associate with the contact, drag the image onto the contact's image well. (You can add images in the usual graphics formats, such as JPEG or TIFF.) When you are over the image well, the cursor changes to a green circle with a plus sign in it. Release the mouse button and you see the image in a new window (see Figure 12.8).

    Figure 12.8. Okay, I don't really look like Mel Gibson, so sue me.


  15. Use the slider at the bottom of the window to crop the image.

  16. When the image appears as you want it, click the Set button.


    When you are editing a card, you can double-click an image or the image well to open the image editing window. You can also select Card, Choose Custom Image to open the same window. In that window, click the Choose button to move to and select an image to display in the window. If you have a camera, such as an iSight camera, connected to your Mac, click the Take Video Snapshot button to capture the image being taken by the camera.

  17. Add notes for the card by clicking next to the Note label and typing the note.

  18. Click the Edit button to move out of the Edit mode. Your new card is now ready to use (see Figure 12.9).

    Figure 12.9. You can create an address card for anyone you know (or even for those you don't know!).



When you edit your own card and have the "Notify people when my card changes" preference selected, you are prompted to send a message notifying others that your card has changed.

Adding an Address from an Email Message

You can create a contact in your Address Book by adding the sender's information from an email message to it. To add a contact from an email that you receive in the Mail application, do the following:

  1. Use Mail to open an email message from the person whom you want to add to your Address Book.

  2. Select Message, Add Sender to Address Book (or press graphics/mac.gif-Y). The person's name and email address are entered on a new address card.

Using Vcards to Add Information to Your Address Book

The benefit to using a vcard is that you can add a lot of information about a contact with very little work on your part. When you receive a vcard from someone, use the following steps to add that person's address card to your Address Book:

  1. Drag the vcard onto the Name column in Address Book.

  2. Click OK when prompted. The vcard is added to your Address Book.

  3. Select the card and click the Edit button.

  4. Edit the information as needed (you learn how to edit cards later in this chapter).


When you import vcards to your Address Book, the group called Last Import always contains the cards you most recently added.


Vcard files have the filename extension .vcf (virtual card file).

Importing Addresses from Another Application

If you have used another email application in the past, you probably have an Address Book or Contact database in that application. If that application supports vcards, you can easily export vcards from the application and then add them to the Address Book.

As an example of how this works, the following steps show you how to export contacts from Microsoft's Entourage email application and then add those contacts to the Address Book. Because Entourage supports vcards, you can create vcards for your Entourage contacts and then import those contacts into the Address Book:

  1. Create a folder to temporarily store the vcards you export from Entourage.

  2. Open Entourage.

  3. Click the Address Book button to move into the Address Book mode.

  4. Drag the contacts for whom you want to create vcards from the Entourage window onto the folder you created in step 1, and drop them in that folder. A vcard is created for each of your Entourage contacts.


    If you drag an Entourage group to create a vcard, a text clipping file is created instead. You need to re-create your groups within Address Book.

  5. Open the Address Book.

  6. Drag the vcards from the folder in which you stored them onto the Name column. The contacts you added are now available for you to use and edit.


Unfortunately, if the application you have used for your contact information does not support vcards, there isn't a way to import its information into Address Book.

It is unlikely that all the information in your current address book or contact list will make it into the Address Book application. For example, if you have added Category information for your Entourage contact list, that information is not imported into the Address Book. After you have imported contacts into the Address Book, you should check them over so you know exactly what information made it in, and what didn't. If you lost any important information, you might have to spend some time re-creating it within Address Book.


When you import addresses into your Address Book and it finds duplicates, you have the opportunity to review the addresses you are adding so you can remove the duplicated entries.

Editing Addresses in Your Address Book

To edit an address in your Address Book, use the following steps:

  1. In Address Book, view the card containing the information you want to edit.

  2. Click the Edit button. Address Book moves into the Edit mode. The first name is selected and is ready to edit.

  3. Use the same steps to change the information on the card that you do to create a card (see the earlier section on creating cards for the details).


You can use the Add Field button on the Template pane of the Address Book Preferences dialog box to add fields to the card. You can also add fields by using the Card, Add Field command. On the Add Field menu, you can select the type of field you want to add.

Many of the data fields have pop-up menus containing the data field's label. You can open these menus and select a new label for that field. The changes you make by doing this affect only the current address card; this means you can configure the information for a specific card independent of other cards. For example, if you know someone who has three mobile phones, you can select Mobile Phone as the label for three of the fields on that person's address card. You can also select Custom to create custom field labels for existing or new fields.

You can quickly swap the last name with the first name for the card by viewing the card and selecting Card, Swap First/Last Name.

To remove an image from a card, view the card and select Card, Clear Custom Image.

If you don't want a field's data to appear on a card, select the data and delete it. The data is replaced with the type of data it is, such as Email for an email address. The data does not appear on the card when it is viewed.


After you add a field, you can't remove it. You can only delete its data so that it doesn't appear on the card any more.

To delete a card from the Address Book, select it and press Delete. Click Yes in the resulting prompt and the card is deleted.


You can view a card in an independent window by viewing it and selecting Card, Open in Separate Window (or by pressing graphics/mac.gif-I).

Working with Address Groups

Address groups (just called groups in Address Book) enable you to email multiple people using a single address. Working with an address group is similar to working with other address cards in your Address Book. Creating an address group is simple, as you can see in the following steps:

  1. Click the New Group button, which is the plus sign in the Group column; select File, New Group; or press Shift-graphics/mac.gif-N. You see a new group in the Group column, and the name of the group is selected and ready to edit.

  2. Change the group's name to something meaningful and press Return.

  3. Click All in the Group column to view all the cards in the Address Book.

  4. Search or browse for the cards you want to add to your Address Book.

  5. Drag the cards you want to be included in the group onto the group's icon in the Group column. Those cards become part of the group.


You can create a new group and add selected address cards to it by first selecting the cards you want to place in the new group and selecting File, New Group From Selection. A new group is created and includes the cards you selected.

You can view a group by selecting it on the Group column. The Name column shows only those cards that are included in the group. You work with the cards in a group just as you do individual cards. For example, you can edit the card, use it to send email to that individual, and so on.

To remove a card from a group, view the group, select the card you want to remove, and press Delete. After you confirm the action, the card is removed from the group. However, the card still exists in the Address Book.

You can also export a group as a vcard. Select the group, hold down the Control key, click the mouse button, and select Export Group vCard. Select a location, name the card, and click Save. You can use the group's vcard just like vcards for individuals.

If any of the cards you add to a group includes more than one email address, you can edit the mailing list for the group to set the specific addresses that are used:

  1. Select the group for which you want to configure the mailing list.

  2. Select Edit, Edit Distribution List. The Edit Distribution List sheet appears.

  3. Select the email address you want to use for an individual by clicking it. The address that will be used appears in bold; other addresses are grayed out to show that they won't be used.


    You can change all the email addresses used for the group to be of the same kind by selecting a type on the Change All Labels pop-up menu. For example, to use only home email addresses, select home.

  4. Click OK. When you send a message to the group, the addresses you selected is used.


You can back up your Address Book by selecting File, Backup Database. If you want to return to the version of the database you have backed up, select File, Revert to Database Backup.

Addressing Email

There are several ways in which you can address email to people in your Address Book:

  • View the contact to whom you want to send a message and Control-click the label for the email address you want to use. Select Send Email on the pop-up menu.

  • Drag the contact's vcard to the To, Cc, or Bcc box of a Mail email message.

  • Control-click a group and select "Send email to groupname," where groupname is the name of the group you clicked.

  • Drag a group's vcard to the To, Cc, or Bcc box of a Mail email message.


When you send email from the Address Book, the email application used is your default email application.

Printing Your Address Book

As you work with your Address Book, you might want to print it to take it with you, to print address labels, and so on. When you print from the Address Book, you have the following two layout options:

  • Lists? This option prints the cards you select in a list. You can select the attributes that are included on the list for each card.

  • Mailing Labels? This prints the cards as mailing labels.

To print the Address Book as a list, use the following steps:

  1. Select the cards you want to print. To print the entire Address Book, select All in the Groups column.

  2. Select File, Print or press graphics/mac.gif-P. The Print dialog box opens.

  3. On the Style pop-up menu, select Lists.

  4. Configure the printer, presets, paper size, and orientation just as you do with any print job.

  5. Select the attributes you want included for each card by checking their boxes. You see a preview of the list in the left side of the dialog box.

  6. Select the font size on the Font Size pop-up menu.

  7. Print the list.


To access the standard print options from the Address Book Print dialog box, click the Advanced Options button.

To print mailing labels, use the following steps:

  1. Select the cards you want to print. To print the entire Address Book, select All in the Groups column.

  2. Select File, Print or press graphics/mac.gif-P. The Print dialog box opens.

  3. On the Style pop-up menu, select Mailing Labels.

  4. Click the Layout tab.

  5. If you are printing on standard Avery or DYMO labels, select the label type on the Page pop-up menu. If you are creating a custom label, select Define Custom instead; in the Layout Name sheet that appears, enter the name of the label you are creating and click OK. As you make choices, a preview of the labels appears in the left pane of the dialog box.

  6. If you selected a standard label, select the specific label number you are printing on the label number drop-down list that appears next to the Page pop-up menu. If you selected Define Custom in the previous step, use the controls under the Layout tab to design the label, such as by defining the margins, number of rows and columns, and the gutters.

  7. Click the Label tab.

  8. Select the group for which you want to print labels on the Addresses pop-up menu. If you want to print labels for all addresses, select All.

  9. On the Sorting pop-up menu, select how you want the labels to be sorted. The options are Last Name and Postal Code.

  10. If you want country to be included on the labels, check the "Print country" check box. If you don't want your own country to be included, check the "Except my country" check box.

  11. Click the Color box and use the Color Picker to select the color of the text on the labels.

  12. Drag an image into the image well to include that image on the labels.

  13. Click the Set button to open the Font panel and select the font you want to use on the labels.

  14. Check the labels in the preview pane.

  15. Print the labels.

    Part I: Mac OS X: Exploring the Core
    Part III: Mac OS X: Living the Digital Life