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Chapter 4. .Mac Mail > Using the Address Book with .Mac

4.5. Using the Address Book with .Mac

If you use Mac OS X's Address Book application for storing and managing your contacts, you can make them available for use with .Mac's web-based Mail as well. All you need to do is use iSync to synchronize your Address Book data to your iDisk, which instantly makes your contacts available for use with Mail.

4.5.1. Syncing Your Mac's Address Book with Your .Mac Account

Of course, it isn't necessary to maintain an Address Book online, but it sure makes it easier when you're on the road and you can't remember someone's phone number or email address. If you have used iSync to synchronize data from your Mac to your iDisk (see Chapter 9), one thing you can do is pair up the contacts you have stored in the Address Book application on your Mac with the online Address Book.

If you haven't already used iSync to synchronize data on your Mac with your iDisk, you might want to skip ahead to Chapter 9 to learn more about iSync, and then come back here.

Once your Address Book data has been synced to your iDisk, you'll need to flip the proverbial switch to make it all work seamlessly. To do this, log in to your .Mac account and follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Address Book icon on the Mac.com site.

  2. Log in using your .Mac member name and password.

  3. Click on the Turn On Syncing button, as shown in Figure 4-30.

Figure 4-30. Before the Address Books can be synced, this message will be displayed.

As the message states, it could take a few minutes to create your online Address Book the first time you sync your Address Books. This is because the data stored on your iDisk (in /Library/Application Support/Sync/CONT) needs to be pulled out and formatted as a viewable/usable contact list. As the information in your Address Books sync, the message shown in Figure 4-31 is displayed. Apple even went as far as creating an animated GIF that has iSync's icon spinning around, just as it does in the Dock when iSync is in progress.

Figure 4-31. This message will be displayed as the data stored on your iDisk gets formatted into an online Address Book.

Once the synchronization process has completed, you can now use your Address Book contacts online with .Mac's web-based Mail.

4.5.2. Adding an Address to an Email

Once your Address Book contacts have been synchronized with the .Mac servers, you can pull addresses from your online Address Book rather quickly. The first step is to click on the Compose icon in the toolbar to bring up a blank message, as shown in Figure 4-32.

Figure 4-32. A blank email message...your slate is clean.

Now just follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Address Book icon in the message's toolbar; this takes you to a page that shows all of your Address Book contacts in list form.

  2. Depending on how many contacts you have in your Address Book, you may only have a page or two to look through to find the person for whom you're looking. One easy way to find a contact is to use the Search field. Type some information that you know will turn up a result, and then select an option from the pop-up menu. By default, this is set to All, but you can also search based on Name, Email, and Phone. Once you've set your search criteria (shown in Figure 4-33), click on the magnifying glass button to start your search.

    Figure 4-33. Use the Address Book's Search field to quickly find the person you want to email.

  3. After a quick search through your contacts, the results appear in a new page, as shown in Figure 4-34.

    Figure 4-34. Use the search results page to select the right person to email.

    On the right side of the search results page, you will see an empty pop-up menu for each contact entry. Use these pop-up menus to select the address line of the email on which you would like the person's email address to appear. Your options are To, Cc, Bcc, or blank. For example, if someone's address showed up in the search results and you didn't want to include them on the message, leave the pop-up menu blank.

  4. Once you've selected where you would like their email address to appear on the message, click on the Apply button. This takes you back to the message you were composing, as shown in Figure 4-35.

    Figure 4-35. With the addresses inserted, just type your message and send it on its way.

  5. Now all you need to do is type in your message and then click on the Send button.

If you look closely at how the multiple email addresses are listed in the Cc: line, you'll see that they take the form of:

FirstName LastName <email_address>, FirstName LastName <email_address>

with the person's email address placed between angle brackets, followed by a comma and a space before the next address. Keep this in mind for times when you want to type this in manually.

4.5.3. Setting Up Quick Addresses

Wouldn't it be great if there were a way you could quickly pop in an address for someone you email frequently? Well, there is. If you look off to the right of the To: and Cc: lines when you go to Compose a new email message (see Figure 4-32), you'll see pop-up menus next to these fields that say Quick Addresses on them.

The Quick Addresses menus can contain up to 10 email addresses, which you can then use to quickly insert names and their associated email addresses in the To:, Cc:, and Bcc: fields.

To configure the Quick Addresses menus, follow these steps:

  1. From the .Mac web page, click on the Address Book link.

  2. Log in with your .Mac member name and password.

  3. Locate the person (or persons) whose address you want to add to the Quick Addresses menu and select the checkbox to the right of their name in the Quick Addresses column, as shown in Figure 4-36.

    Figure 4-36. Select the names of the people you want to add to the Quick Addresses menu.

  4. Click on the Save button to place these folks into your Quick Addresses menus.

You cannot have separate Quick Address lists for the To:, Cc:, or Bcc: fields; the 10 people whose names you selected will appear in all of the Quick Address menus, as shown in Figure 4-37.

Figure 4-37. Use the Quick Addresses menu to insert names and email addresses into the To:, Cc:, and Bcc: fields.

To remove a name from your Quick Addresses menu, simply go back into your online Address Book, search for the name of the person, and then uncheck the box in the Quick Address column next to their name.

If you have enabled Safari's auto-fill feature (Safari → Preferences → AutoFill), Safari will auto-complete an email address that you've previously entered, just like with Mac OS X's Mail application. This almost reduces your need to add names to the Quick Address menus, but they can be useful for people you email less frequently.

4.5.4. Creating a New Address Book Record Online

Even though you've synced your Address Book contacts to your iDisk, you can still add new contacts to your Address Book online. To create a new contact for your online Address Book, follow these steps:

  1. From the Mac.com home page, click on the Address Book icon

  2. Log in using your .Mac member name and password

  3. In the toolbar, click on the New icon

  4. Fill in the blanks that you have information for or want to include in the record

  5. Click on the Save button to save the changes

Then, the next time you use iSync on your Mac, the new contact you've added will get merged with the contacts on your Mac.

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