Mail - Why do wrong addresses pop up?

Joel, one of my friends from the Hershey Apple Core User Group, asked a question that I hear too often.

It seems that when he types an address in Mail, old and incorrect addresses pop up in the To field.

This ability for Apple’s Mail program is one of its best features, but it can also be one of the most frustrating ones. There is a special list of previous email recipients that Mail keeps track of. To see the list, go to the Window menu in Mail and select Previous Recipients.

A window like this one will appear. I have resized the columns so that I have not exposed the addresses of my friends and clients.

This is a list of all the people you have sent email to since you began using Mail, cleared the list, or removed addresses. If you have made mistakes in typing in addresses, those are also captured. Look at this name in my list:

If I type in Still, Mail will fill it in as an address. Notice that there is no @ sign, and no email server in the listing--but Mail will still use it.

Is this a bug? No. Mail will allow you to send emails to a whole group of people who are in a special list in your address book and those lists do not have the as a part of their name. The are designated by the Groups list in your Apple Address book.

If you are getting old or incorrect addresses when you are adding recipients to emails, take a few minutes to clean out the errors in Previous Recipients.

Le’s spend a few more minutes to explore some of the things you can do in Previous Recipients.

I know that many Apple users don’t realize that the column headers in the window below are actually sort buttons.

If you click on the name button, the list will be sorted alphabetically by the person’s name. Do you see the little arrow at the end of the Name button? That arrow determines the sort order. If the arrow is pointing up, the list will be sorted from A to Z by last name. If the arrow points down, the list will be sorted from Z to A (The items without names will be at the bottom of the list in Previous Recipients).

If you click the Email button, the Previous Recipients list will be sorted by email addresses. Again, the triangles will determine the sort order.

If you click the Last Used button, the Previous Recipients List will be sorted by the date you last used the address. In this case, the up arrow will put the oldest addresses at the top. The down arrow will put the most recently used addresses at the top of the list.

Did you notice the little icon that appears before Frederick Apple C? That icon lets me know that the email address for Frederick Apple C is in my Address Book.

The next time you are on hold on the telephone, consider cleaning up your Previous Recipients list. Begin by looking for incomplete addresses. Then sort the addresses by name and delete older addresses when you have multiple addresses for the same person, consider eliminating the older ones. Think about eliminating addresses that you have not used in several years. Highlight addresses for friends that are not in your address book and use the button in the lower right corner of the window to add them to your address book.

If your addresses are in really bad shape, you may want to select all of the addresses (Command A), press the Remove from List button and start all over again!

While computers can make our lives easier, sometimes they cause nothing but problems! If your computer is giving you trouble, consider booking a tutoring session with
Doctor Mac Consulting. We can show you how to make your computer easier to use. The cost is $60.00 per hour and we can use our special software to “see” your computer. Send a note to or call us at (408) 627-7577 for further information.



Safari: Tabs - More Tricks

Who would have thought there is even more things that can be done with Safari’s tab feature?

Yesterday I did a special presentation for the Falcon’s Landing Apple Group. I used Safari: Using Tab as the basis for the presentation. When I was reflecting on the day, I decided to look for a few more features. I can often find hidden commands and little-know tidbits in the View and Windows menu of application.

While the View menu didn’t yield much, the Window Menu was full of things to explore:

If you look at the bottom of the menu, you can see that I had seven different windows open in Safari:

If you look at the upper left corner of my screen, you six of the windows, but one is completely hidden. Unless you go to the Window menu, it’s easy to miss something that you have opened.

This is a time when it would make sense to move all of those windows into one--and there is a command for that!

If you use the Merge All Windows command, the seven windows will suddenly become this:

Merging all the windows into one is certainly efficient. Now, let’s explore some ways to navigate around tabs. In the same Window menu are the clues.

The Select Next Tab command ends with two symbols and the Select Previous command adds a third. I have learned that most Mac users don’t know what those little symbols mean, so here is a cheat sheet:

So, using this chart, to go to the next tab you would press Command - Tab. To go to the previous tab, press Command - Shift - Tab.

If you would like a copy of the list of symbols above, just drag the graphic to your desktop or press and hold the Control key while clicking on the picture to see this pop-up menu:

You can find even more Apple keyboard shortcuts by clicking on the words.

There are two more command that you might find helpful. Pressing Command - T will make a new tab in you current Safari window.

The second command in very interesting. Look carefully at the two screenshots below.

When I made the first screenshot, I had a Safari window open with no tabs. The command to close the window was Command W. The Close Tab command was grayed out. Now look at the second screenshot, In this case, the Safari window had at least one tab. Using Command W would close the active tab. If I wanted to close the window, I would need to press Shift - Command - T.

It is the little features like these that show how much thought and effort has gone into the programming of Safari. Kudos to Apple for all the little, useful details!

If you would like to learn even more about Safari, book a tutoring session with Doctor Mac Consulting. We can show you how to make your computer easier to use and we can see where you are having problems. The cost is $60.00 per hour and we can use our special software to “see” your computer. Send a note to or call us at (408) 627-7577 for further information.



Safari: Using Tabs

There are so many features in Safari that are not turned on when it ships. These are features that make Internet surfing faster and easier. It’s difficult to understand why Apple does not enable them when it ships Safari.

Here is a list of recent posts about Safari features on MacMousecalls.

Another Safari feature that I really like and use every day is tabbed browsing. When you first use Safari, the top of the window looks like this:

The Show Tab Bar command in the View Menu…

will add a tab bar in the Safari window:

When you are on a web page with links to other pages , hold down the Command key as you click on the links.

Tabs will appear along the tab bar and the web page will load on the tabs.

If you click on a tab you will see that web page, but your original page will not disappear. You can click the tabs to view the different web pages.

If you want to close a tab, hover your cursor over the favicon (icon) on the tab. An x will appear.

It is possible to re-arrange the tabs by dragging then along the tab bar.

To move a tab into a separate Safari window, click and drag down on the tab:

If you try to close a Safari window that has multiple tabs, it will warn you that you are about to close multiple web pages:

While I like the way Apple has configured tabs to work, you can modify those actions in the Safari Preferences.

To get to this window, go to the Safari menu and choose Preferences. Be sure to select Tab in the toolbar at the top of the window.

Sometimes it is difficult to learn new things, even with all of these pictures. If you would like one-on-one help, consider booking a tutoring session with Doctor Mac Consulting. We can show you how to make your computer easier to use and we can see where you are having problems. The cost is $60.00 per hour and I can use our special software to “see” your computer. Send a note to or call us at (408) 627-7577 for further information.



Taking notes on your Mac and iPhone: Notes in Mail

While adding notes to calendar events and people in your address book are good for many purposes, there are other notes that need to be somewhere else.

Until the release of iPhone OS 3 I used several different note apps on my iPhone. Each had some method of syncing, most involved having another application on my computer. That was one more thing to add to my dock and often one more web site to pay money to each year.

Now that the Notes Application on my iPhone

…can sync with the Notes in Mail

…I am pretty happy.

Let’s review how this works.

When you open the Notes app on the iPhone, you will see one of the two screens below. If you see this screen, you either have no notes or you are looking at notes you have previously made. To add a note, click the plus icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

If you see this screen, you are looking at the note you were last using. Click the plus icon in the upper right to add another note. Click the arrow icons at the bottom of the screen to navigate to your other notes. The envelope icon attaches the note to an email so that you can send it to someone. The Trash can icon deletes the note.

If you want to add a note on your computer, it is done in Mail:

Click on the Note icon in the toolbar at the top of the screen to add a new note. Click on the Notes icon in the Mail sidebar to view your notes.

There are many options when making Notes in Mail. It is possible to change fonts and colors, attach files and photos and even to make To Do items in a note:

Syncing notes

While it is possible to sync Mail accounts, Contacts, Calendars and Bookmarks to the iPhone using MobileMe, Notes are not included.

Instead, synching is set up in iTunes:

This means that in order to see the latest changes you have made on the other device (iPhone or Mac), you must connect your iPhone to the Mac and do a sync.

While there are lots of other applications that can be used for notes, I prefer Apple’s Notes application. Since it is an application made by Apple Inc., I can check my notes at any time. For example, when I am talking on the telephone, playing a game, listening to my podcast or music. For me this availability is not to be missed!