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How to Set up a Smart Group in Mac OS X Lion

A Smart Group gathers contacts in your Mac OS X Lion Address Book based on criteria you specify. It’s like a normal contact group, but it makes the list for you. So, for example, you could create a group that automatically selects Apple staff members.

The big advantage of a Smart Group over a regular group is that when you add a new Apple contact, that contact automatically becomes a member of the Apple Smart Group with no further action on your part.

To create a Smart Group, follow these steps:

  1. Choose File→New Smart Group, press Command+Option+N, or click the + button at the bottom of the Group column and choose Smart Group from the pop-up menu.

    A Smart Group sheet appears in front of the Address Book window.

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  2. Give the Smart Group a name.

    In this case, it’s called Apple.

  3. Select the appropriate items from the menus: Any, Company, Contains, Email, and so on.

    Here, the Smart Group includes any contact that contains Apple in the Company field or @apple.com in any e-mail field.

  4. When you’re happy with the criteria specified, click OK.

    You can tell if a group is set up as a Smart Group because its icon includes a gear.

To delete a group or Smart Group from your Address Book, click to select it and then choose Edit→Delete Group.

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