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Address Book Stands Alone on Your MacBook

The Address Book is a standalone application on your MacBook, earning a default location in the Dock and available whenever you need it. It’s true that in early versions of Mac OS X, Address Book was relegated to the minor leagues and usually appeared only when you asked for it within Mail.

Although it could be run as a separate application, there was no convenient route to the Address Book from the Desktop, so most Mac owners never launched it as a standalone. Although the Address Book can still walk through a meadow hand-in-hand with Mail, it also flirts with other Mac OS X applications and can even handle some basic telephony chores all by itself through the use of Services.

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Here is the default face of the Address Book, complete with a personal address card: your own contact information, which you enter within the Setup Assistant. This card carries a special me tag on your thumbnail image (indicating that it’s your personal card) as well as a suave-looking silhouette next to your name in the Name column.

Other Mac OS X applications use the data in your card to automatically fill out your personal information in all sorts of documents.

Address Book features an entirely new appearance in Mac OS X Lion. You’ll notice two icons at the lower-left corner of the Address Book window: These two buttons set the application’s display mode.

By default, Address Book uses a two-pane display mode that’s similar to a printed book, but you can click the button bearing the square icon to switch to a single-pane display. The single-pane display takes up less room but sometimes requires an extra mouse click or two while you’re using Address Book.

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