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  1. Introduction
  2. Managing Contacts in Address Book
  3. Working with Schedules in iCal
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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Managing Contacts in Address Book

Many of the applications you use on your MacBook send information to, or receive information from, other people. Snow Leopard offers a central contact database that you can access in Mail, iCal, iChat, and other programs. Appropriately enough, you manage this database through an application called Address Book (found in the Applications folder).

Address Book acts as a digital rolodex, pulling together personal and business contacts. With it you can connect to enterprise directory servers for accessing centralized company personnel listings. The Address Book application is similar to many other Snow Leopard applications, providing a drill-down view from a group list, to a contact list, and, finally, to contact details.

Adding Groups

When you first start Address Book, there is a single pseudo-group available: All Contacts. The group displays any contact available in Address Book. To make the most efficient use of Address Book, you should add groups for the different types of contacts you use—businesses, coworkers, family, friends, doctors, and so on. Like Mail, Address Book can use rules to create Smart Groups.

>>>step-by-step: Creating a Group

To create a new group, decide what you’d like it to be called, then follow these steps.

  1. Click the + button below the group list.
  2. A new “untitled group” is added. Type to change the name of the group.

Creating a Smart Group

If you’d like to use search criteria to define your address book groups, you’re in luck! Address Book supports Smart Groups, capable of pulling contacts together from multiple different groups, and even network accounts.

  1. Click and hold the + button below the group list. Choose New Smart Group from the pop-up menu that appears.
  2. Enter a name for the new Smart Group.
  3. Use the + and – buttons to add or remove selection criteria.
  4. Use the first pop-up menu from the selection lines to choose a contact attribute.
  5. Use the second pop-up menu to set a comparison.
  6. Enter the value to use in the comparison in the text field at the end of the selection line.
  7. Check “highlight group when updated” to show when new contacts match a group.
  8. Click OK when you’re satisfied with your group definition.

Adding Contacts

The bulk of what you’ll do with Address Book is entering contacts. When it comes to people, one size contact does not fit all. For your family, you might want to store email addresses, instant messaging screen names, and birthdays. But for business contacts, you might only be interested in an address and a phone number. Address Book adapts to the information that you want to store.

Creating a New Contact

To create a new contact, gather all the information you have available for the person, then do the following.

  1. Highlight the group that the contact should be added to.
  2. Click the + button below the Name column.
  3. A new No Name contact is added, and the empty contact details display.
  4. Use the fields in the detail area to enter information for the contact.
  5. Click Company to classify the entry as a business rather than a personal contact.
  6. Set the context for the card’s fields (for example, choose home, work, or cell for a phone number) using the pop-up menu in front of each field.
  7. If you’d like to store additional information for the contact, choose Card, Add Field from the menu.
  8. Click the Edit button at the bottom of the contact details to finish editing the contact.

Setting a Contact Image

Contact images can help you visually identify individuals in your address book and are even displayed in Mail or shown on your iPhone if you sync your phone with Address Book. To set an image for a contact, complete these steps.

  1. Find and select the contact that you want to associate with an image.
  2. Select Card, Choose Custom Image from the menu bar.
  3. Click the Camera icon to take a new picture.
  4. Alternatively, click Choose to choose a picture from your computer.
  5. Set cropping and size for the picture by dragging it within the image window and adjusting the zoom slider.
  6. Apply effects, if desired, using the Effects button.
  7. Click Set to finalize the contact’s custom image.

Creating “My” Card

Many system applications and utilities need to identify information about you. To tell Address Book who you are, enter a new contact for yourself, and then follow these steps.

  1. Find and select your name in the Address Book
  2. Choose Card, Make This My Card from the menu bar.

Editing the Contact Template

If you find that you constantly need to add new fields to contacts, you might want to consider modifying the default contact template. Changing the default gives you a starting place for all future contacts.

  1. Choose Address Book, Preferences from the menu bar.
  2. Click the Template icon in the Preferences toolbar.
  3. Use the Add Field drop-down menu to add additional fields to the contact template.
  4. Click the double arrows to open the pop-up menus in the front of each field to set the context for fields displayed in the template.
  5. Close the Address Book preference window when you’re finished.

Searching Contacts

When you aren’t sure of an exact name, or where you filed a contact, you can quickly search across all of your groups and contact data.

  1. Highlight the address groups to search.
  2. Type into the search field in the upper-right corner.
  3. As you type, the contact list is filtered to show only matching contacts.

Using Network Contacts

Address Book isn’t just limited to keeping information on your MacBook; it can also synchronize with Google, Yahoo, and MobileMe address books, and connect to enterprise directory servers, such as Exchange 2007, and standard LDAP servers.

Synchronizing with Google and Yahoo! Contacts

If you have a Google Mail or Yahoo! Account and would like to transfer your contacts to or from these systems, you can easily configure Address Book to automate the process.

  1. Choose Address Book, Preferences from the menu bar.
  2. Click the Accounts icon in the preference window.
  3. Click On My Mac.
  4. Choose the Account Information button in the details pane to the right.
  5. Click the checkboxes in front of Synchronize with Yahoo!, Synchronize with Google, or both.
  6. Enter your Google or Yahoo! Account information, when prompted.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Close the Address Book preferences window.

Detecting and Merging Duplicates

Over time you might find that you’ve created several Address Book entries for a single person. To identify and merge duplicate cards, follow these steps.

  1. Choose Card, Look for Duplicates from the menu bar.
  2. Address Book analyzes your contacts and presents you with the option to merge identified duplicates.
  3. Click Merge to fix the duplicates.

Connecting to Enterprise Directory Servers

Many organizations provide central enterprise contact directories that you can access via Address Book. Address Book supports three standards: Exchange 2007, CardDAV, and LDAP. Using a central server means that changes and updates are available immediately for everyone who is connected.

  1. Choose Address Book, Preferences from the menu bar.
  2. Click the Accounts icon in the Preferences toolbar.
  3. Click the + button below the Accounts List.
  4. The account creation window appears. Use the fields in the window to set the server type, address, and login information.
  5. If you’re setting up Exchange, you are prompted to automatically set up corresponding email accounts and iCal calendars.
  6. Click Create to provision the server.
  7. The new server appears as a blue book in the group list. You can click to select it and search the group.

Exporting vCards from Address Book

vCards are small files that store all the Address Book entries for one or more individuals or organizations. Exporting the vCard enables you to share your contacts with others by sending them as an email attachment to someone else.

To export vCards from Address Book, follow these steps.

  1. Highlight one or more entries in the Address Book.
  2. Drag from one of the contact names to your desktop.
  3. A vCard file is created with all of the exported contacts.

Printing Addresses

For those times when you need to use actual paper for your communications, Address Book provides several useful print options for printing your contacts onto envelopes or labels.

  1. Select individual contacts or contact groups to print.
  2. Choose File, Print from the menu bar.
  3. Click the disclosure push button (next to the Printer name field) until the full print dialog window appears.
  4. Use the Style pop-up menu to select an output format (Mailing Labels, Envelopes, and so on).
  5. Set any of the additional configuration options for the style you’ve chosen.
  6. Click Print to output the contact information in the selected style.
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