Address Book

Adding Groups to Address Book

Ron and I recently took part in MacMania 11, a themed cruise from Insight Cruises. Over 100 people were a part of our group. While many were old friends from previous cruises, approximately half of the cruisers were new to the experience.

MacMania is an opportunity to spend time on a cruise ship with fellow Mac users and Mac luminaries. On the days when the ship is at sea, we can attend classes (and did I mention parties?). When the ship is in port, we take part in ship tours and excursions, just like other passengers. In the evenings we have our own section in the dining room and we are free to dine with fellow MacManiacs. We do lots of table-hopping.

Since there are lots of geeks, there are also lots of cameras and picture-taking. After a week or more together, we have made lots of new friends. However it is sometimes difficult to remember everyone’s names.

My goal this trip was to use my iPhone to take a photo of as many of my fellow travelers who wanted to participate. They were free to add as much information to their card as they wanted to share by having them enter it on my iPhone.

Then I used MobileMe to sync the data to my computer. I am sending the collected vCards to everyone so that we have at least photo and name for each of our fellow cruisers.

As I began sending out the vCards, I discovered that while some people knew exactly what to do with the file, others needed a bit of help. Therefore, these are the directions for those who need a quick review on vCards.

I am sending the vCards as an attachment in an email message. I am using Apple Mail.

The first way to save the attached file is simply to drag it to the desktop of your computer:

Another way to save the file is to your computer by using the “Save” button in the header of the message:

If you use this method, you will want to click the arrow at the end of the file name box so that you can easily designate where the file should be saved.

Now that the vCard file has been downloaded, let’s add it to the Address Book. Drag the vCard file into the leftmost column of the Address book and watch for “All Contacts to become selected. When there is a ring around it, let go of the mouse button.

If there are any cards that seem to match ones already in your address, you will see a window similar to this one. You may want to review the duplicate cards–or you can work on it later. If you have lots of duplicate cards, you may want to read the article here to learn how to clean up your address book.

Now it is time to make a Group for the people you just added to your Address Book. Click on the arrow at the bottom left corner of the window and make a name for you new group.

Since we just imported a group of vCards, they will be listed in “Last Import.” Click on one of the names in the column, the use Command - A to select all the names.

Another, slower, way to select all the names is using the Edit menu in Address Book.

Now drag all of the highlighted names to the MacMania Group.

All of the vCards are now a part of your Address Book, and the names can be isolated by choosing that particular group.

Cruising with our friends from MacMania is always fun! To learn more about future MacMania cruises, check here. We are already signed up for MacMania 14. We hope to see you there.



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.



Taking notes on your Mac and iPhone: Address Book

Its time for another blog series. This time we’ll take a look at making notes on you computer

Are you a note taker? I am. Sometimes I wish there was just one place and one way to make notes, but realistically, it would not work well. In fact, I need different ways of taking notes--and they need to be stored in different places or I would never be able to make sense out of them.

Let’s start by looking at making notes in the Address Book. Do you remember the old days when we used paper address books to keep track of people’s addresses. I would use the same book for several years, until it got so messy and “scratched out” that I simply had to begin again.

The worst part of transferring to a new address book was the loss of bits of knowledge that somehow did not make it into the new book. Add to that the time that it took to hand write all the addresses and the possibility of introducing errors in copying the information. That was a task that begged for computerization!

There are extra fields that can be added to the Address Book template to make it easier to organize information. To make changes to the template, first choose Address Book > Preferences from the menu bar:

In the Preferences window, click the Template button and then click the Add Field button.

I have added just about every field to my template. However, notice that I have left Phonetic First/Last Name unchecked. If I need those fields, I can add them while I am in the Edit mode of Address Book. To add a field, use the menu item Card > Add Field.

It is also possible to add multiple items in many of the fields. For example, it is possible to add many different kinds of telephone numbers:

At the bottom of the pop-up are two choices, other and Custom… If you choose “other”, a new item labeled Other is added. If you choose Custom, you will see this window where you can add a new, specific kind of telephone number.

Add a custom field and the label will show the new field:

However, the Custom field is not available in the fields in other address cards. That is a suggestion that I will have to send to Apple!

At the bottom of each address card, there is a Notes field. I add all sorts of information to this area. It could be anything from an old address to notes about what I served the last time I invited the person for dinner. I also add ideas for future gifts and reminders about gifts I have sent in the past. If it is an entry for a business, I add employee names, notes about things I have purchased there, directions to their store etc.

Searching is one of the best features of Address Book. Not only can the name and address fields be searched, but the results will include any information that is stored in any other field, including the Notes area.

When you enter text into the Search area of the Address Book, it will look for that text throughout the Address book. It will include all fields and the Notes area.

If you use MobileMe to sync information from the Address Book to your iPhone or iPod Touch, the information is available in the Notes section of each card. However, at this time, it will not come up in the search results. For example, If you have entries for restaurants and you have added the cuisine that they serve in the Notes area, you would not be able to search the Contacts on your iPhone for Mexican food restaurants. I hope Apple will add these capabilities in new versions of the iPhone software.

If you need help in organizing your address book or you need to move addresses from another application into Address Book, consider booking a help session with me at Doctor Mac Consulting. I can show you how to move your addresses out of just about any program and into Apple’s Address Book. 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.



Christmas Cards Addressed?

December 2???

Where did the year go? Have you started your Christmas card list? Would you like to print the envelopes out easily?

Getting ready to send out the cards can be a lot easier if you spend some time getting ready, then use your computer and printer to streamline the process.

The first task is to clean up your address book a bit.
Click here to

Making sense out of SMS or text messages

Okay – I will admit it – I am not a member of the under 20 crowd, I am not a member of the under 30 crowd, I am not a member of the under 40 crowd. But that is as far as I will go.

My five children fall into some of those age groups, and they are much more likely to embrace new technologies a bit more quickly than I do. However, being a technologist means that I have to stay current to help you.

One of the newer things is text messaging. Everyone under 30 seems to just get it, and those over 50 probably need a little help in figuring this one out.

Three of my children don’t have land line telephones. Their cell phone is the only way to reach them. They also attend lots of meetings and appointments when having their telephone ring is not appropriate… Click here to read more...

All the wrong information

I had an interesting call recently. The client complained that whenever she tried to fill out a form on the Internet, Safari seemed to have all the wrong information.

So, where does Safari get its information? It uses your entry in the Address Book: Click here to read more...