Leopard’s Address Book is easy to use and, at first glance, appears pretty basic. However, scratch the surface and it has all sorts of neat features to improve your productivity. Here are just 5 ways to be more productive with Address Book.
You probably know that you can organize your contacts into groups by clicking the + button at the bottom of the Group list to create a new group, then dragging contacts into that group.
However, Address Book also lets you create Smart Groups. These work pretty much like Smart Playlists in iTunes. Choose File > New Smart Group, then specify your search criteria in the dialog that appears:
The Smart Group automatically updates its list of contacts whenever you add, remove, or edit contacts in Address Book. Select the Highlight the group when updated checkbox, and whenever a contact is automatically added to or removed from the group, Address Book highlights both group and contact in purple.
(By the way, if you hold down Option while a contact is selected in the contacts list, Address Book highlights the group(s) they’re in – including regular groups as well as Smart Groups – in yellow.)
Smart Groups are great for grouping all the people who work at a certain company, or who live in a certain town, for example.
Dialling a contact
Right- or Control-click a phone number in Address Book and, if you have IP-to-phone software installed such as Skype or Gizmo, you can dial the number, or send an SMS to the number, right from the pop-up menu:
You can get a similar menu of options by clicking the field label to the left of the field.
Finding a contact in Google Maps
Do the same trick with an address field, and you’ll get a Map Of option. Click to display the address in Google Maps:
Displaying a phone number in large type
Again, right/Control-click a phone number, or click the field name next to the phone number. Now choose Large Type from the menu to display the number in huge letters on the screen. Perfect if your phone happens to be on the other side of the room!
Ever tried printing from Address Book? Not only can you print a list of names and addresses, but you can print address labels, envelopes, and even a handy tabbed pocket address book that’s great for those times when you don’t want to, or can’t, take your iPhone or PDA with you. Just select the contact(s) you want to print, then choose File > Print and pick an option from the Style menu inside the Print dialog:
There are many more little-known features of Address Book – not to mention a wealth of plugins available for the app – that I’ll cover in a future post. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoyed these little tips!