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Mac Basics: Address Book

Learn about Address Book.

Address Book makes it easy to manage your current address book, personal organizer, or business card collection. Learn how to create contacts and add Smart Groups to your Address Book.

Address Book card view

Address Book keeps all your contacts right at your fingertips

Address Book allows you to enter all sorts of information about a person, including his or her email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, websites, chat names, names of the important people in his or her life (including spouse, partner, mom, dad, siblings, and assistant), and more. And because it's a system-wide application, you can email, chat, or visit a contact's website directly from an Address Book card. You can even print address labels.

Create a new contact

If you want to add someone to Address Book, here's how to create a new card.


Enter as much or as little contact information as you wish; if you leave a field blank, it won't appear in the final card
 

  1. Open Address Book from the Launchpad, Dock, or from the Applications folder.

  2. Click the Add (+) button below the contacts list to create a new contact card.

  3. Enter the person's name and contact information in the designated fields, just click a field and type. Note that each type of contact (Phone, Email, Names, addresses, and so on) is grouped in sections on the card.

  4. Some fields have a pop-up menu, allowing you to choose a label for that field. For example, if you want to enter someone's cell phone number, click the pop-up menu next to any Phone field and choose mobile.

  5. To add additional fields, from the Card menu, choose Add Field, then choose a category from the menu (such as URL, Birthday, or Job Title).

  6. If you want to add any extra information, type it in the Note section.

  7. You can have Address Book display a picture of the person or any image that you want. To add a picture, just drag any image file onto the square next to the person's name at the top of the card.

  8. When finished, select Done or choose Save from the File menu (or press Command-S).

Using Address Book

Here are some of the things you can do in Address Book.

  • To send an email to one of your contacts, select the person's name in the contact list, click the label to the left of the email address to open the pop-up menu, and choose Send Email.

  • If you prefer to see only contact cards instead of the contact list and card display, click the "Card Only" button at the bottom-left corner of the contacts list. To pull up someone's contact information, either type his or her name in the search field or use the arrow buttons on the bottom-right corner to scroll through your contacts.

  • If you want to address a group of people in an email instead of entering all their email addresses, create a group. From the File menu, choose New Group and enter a name for the group. Select the All Contacts group, to view all of your contacts. Then drag names from the contact list onto your new group in the group list.

  • You can also create a Smart Group, a group that automatically updates itself if any contact fits the same search criteria you set for a Smart Group. To create a Smart Group, choose New Smart Group from the File menu, type a name in the Smart Group Name field, set your search criteria using the pop-up menus and fields. For example, choose Company from the first pop-up menu and type a company name in the field to create a Smart Group for people at that company, and click OK. Any contacts that match your search criteria will become part of this Smart Group.

    Address Book smart group
    If you frequently send email to a group of people, such as all your coworkers,
    create a Smart Group, which automatically updates on its own
     

  • If you'd like a tangible address book, print out a pocket-sized version of Address Book. Select the names that you want to include from the contacts list, or select a group, and choose Print from the File menu. Click Show Details, and choose Pocket Address Book from the Style pop-up menu, select any other options you want, and click Print.

  • It’s also a good idea to back up your Address Book.

 

Additional Information

Tip: Want to learn more about Address Book? Check out the built-in Address Book Help guide on your Mac (in Address Book, choose Address Book Help from the Help menu).
Last Modified: Nov 16, 2012
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  • Last Modified: Nov 16, 2012
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