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: 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!



Email Returned? Need to send the same message to multiple people?

You know the drill. You compose an email and send it out--and then suddenly you get a message like this one in your mailbox:
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...

iWork '08 vs Microsoft Office 2008

Tomorrow morning I will be half of the presenting team that will do a presentation comparing Microsoft Office 2008 and iWork '08. I will be needing to share a lot of links with my friends from Washington Apple Pi, a Macintosh User Group that serves Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.

In looking for ways to present a lot of material in a very short time, I finally decided to let some others do the work for me!

First, let's take a look at the two applications and what they provide.

No none can speak better for office than the Microsoft Mac Business Unit. Head on over to view a comparison of the three versions of Office 2008: Click here to read more...

The best tool for Mail is back!

The day I installed Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard was a bittersweet one for me. I had come to rely on a little tool, Mail.appetizer, to make sure that I immediately saw any messages coming into my Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus Consulting email mailbox. Unfortunately, the old version broke in Leopard.

Because Mail.appetizer was a beta application and it had not been updated since July 2005, I held out little hope of seeing a new version coming soon.

This morning I received a message from Stefan Schüßler of Bronson Beta, the developer of Mail.appetizer. He has just released a new version that works with Leopard Mail! It is still a beta, but it seems to be very stable. Click here to read more...

Links in my emails won't work

Don't you just hate it – you get an email with a link – maybe lots of links. You decide to visit them, but some of them just don't work.

There are several things that can cause a link to break: Click here to read more...