How to Use Contact Information from Address Book - dummies

How to Use Contact Information from Address Book

By Mark L. Chambers

Okay, after you have your contact information in Address Book on your MacBook, what can you actually do with it? Often, all you really need is a quick glance at an address. To display the card for any contact within Address Book, just click the desired entry in the Name column.

You can move to the next and previous cards by using the up- and down-arrow keys on your keyboard. (Oh, and don’t forget that you can right-click many items within a card to display menu commands specific to those items.)

But wait, there’s more! You can also

  • Copy and paste. The old favorites are still around. You can copy any data from a card (press Command+C) and paste it into another open application (press Command+V).

  • Visit a contact’s home page. Click the contact entry to select it, and click the page link displayed within the card. Safari dutifully answers the call, and next thing you know, you’re online and at the home page specified in the entry.

  • Map the address. Right-click a contact address and choose Show Address in Google Maps to display the address location on a Google Maps web map. You can also get turn-by-turn directions there, if you need them.

  • Send an e-mail message. Click and drag to select any e-mail address on a card; then click the Address Book menu, click the Services menu, and choose New Email to Address. Bingo! Depending on the information that you select, other services might also be available.

  • Add an iChat buddy. From within iChat, click the Buddies menu and then click Add a Buddy. From the dialog that appears, you can select a contact card that has an Instant Messenger address and add it to your Buddy List.

  • Export contacts. From within the Address Book, select the contacts that you want to export, click File, and then choose Export vCards from the Export submenu. Address Book displays a Save sheet. Navigate to the location where you want to save the cards and click Save.

  • Search amongst your contacts. If you’re searching for a specific person and all you have is a phone number or a fragment of an address, click in the Search field (which bears a magnifying glass icon) and type the text. While you continue to enter characters, Address Book shows you how many contacts contain matching characters and displays just those entries in the Name column. Now that’s sassy!

    (And convenient. And fast as all get-out.) Note that a couple of very familiar folks share the same address in Gotham City, and they were found by using the Search field.


Speaking of searching using a contact in the Address Book, Spotlight is also at your beck and call — click a contact to select it, then click the Edit menu and choose Spotlight. Whoosh! Lion searches your entire system for everything related to that contact and displays it in the familiar Spotlight window.