Address Book 6.x: Show pictures on cards

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Show pictures on cards in Address Book

A card can contain a picture of the contact. The picture typically comes from the system (such as the picture used for your user account in System Preferences) or you can add a custom picture. Custom pictures appear in other applications on your computer that share your address book information, such as Mail or iChat. Your contacts don’t see the pictures; they’re for your use only. You can’t add custom pictures for contacts in an Exchange account.

Address Book supports image formats such as JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, and PDF. Generally, if you can view an image using Quick Look or Preview, you can use the image in Address Book.

Another way a picture can appear in a contact’s card is if the picture has a filename that matches the contact’s email address and a .tiff extension (such as, and is located in any Library/Images/People folder. To view the ~/Library folder, which is hidden by default, in the Finder choose Go > “Go to Folder” and then enter ~/Library.

Add a custom picture

  1. Select a contact or your own card, and then choose Card > Choose Custom Image.
  2. Select a picture in one of these ways:
    • Drag an image to the picture well.

    • If your Mac or Apple display is equipped with a built-in camera, or if a video camera is connected and turned on, click the Camera button to take a video snapshot to use as a picture.

    • If you have an iPhoto library, click the Face button to import a face from your library.

    • To locate a picture on your computer or network, click Choose.

  3. Adjust the picture:
    • To apply special effects, click the Effects Gallery button and choose an effect. Use the Next and Previous buttons to scroll through the available effects.

    • To zoom in and out of the picture, drag the slider; drag the picture to change which part of it is visible.

    • To rotate the picture, hold down the Option key while you click and drag the picture.

  4. When you’re done adjusting the picture, click Set.

Delete a custom picture

Select a contact and choose Card > Clear Custom Image.

Published Date: Nov 6, 2013