OS X Mavericks For Dummies (2014)
Part III. Do Unto Mavericks: Getting Things Done
Chapter 11. Communications Made Easy
In This Chapter
Managing contacts with Contacts
Mastering e-mail with Mail
Conquering chats and iMessages with Messages
Finding places with Maps
In this chapter, you look at a quartet of terrific programs that work together and make managing your contacts, e-mail, maps, and messages (chats) a breeze. You’re about to find out how these eponymous programs — Contacts, Mail, Messages, and Maps — work, and how to use them individually and as a team.
I cover a lot of material in not a lot of space in this chapter, so if there’s something you want to find out about Contacts, Mail, or Messages that I don’t cover, don’t forget about the wonderful assistance you can find in Help⇒Mail Help (or Contacts Help, Messages Help, or Maps Help).
Collecting Your Contacts
Contacts stores and manages information about your family, friends, and anyone else you want to keep in touch with. It works seamlessly with the Mail and Messages applications, enabling you to quickly look up e-mail addresses when you’re ready to send an e-mail, text, or start a chat.
In fact, Contacts works with several applications, both on and beyond your Mac, including the following:
Use it with FaceTime (covered in Chapter 10) to video chat with friends and family.
Use it with Calendar (covered in Chapter 9) by choosing Window⇒Address Panel or pressing +Option+A. You can then drag any person in your Contacts from the Address Panel to any date and time on the calendar, and a special Meeting event is created automatically by Calendar. The event even has a Send Invitation button; if you click it, it launches Mail and sends the person an invitation to this meeting. Very cool stuff.
The Contacts application can also work with any other application whose programmers choose to make the connection or with any device that is compatible with Contacts. For example, FileMaker’s Bento application ($49.99 in the Mac App Store) exchanges data with Contacts seamlessly, so changes made in Contacts appear in Bento (and vice versa) almost immediately.
It’s also available in most programs that have a Share button or menu so you can share with your contacts via whichever method is appropriate, usually their e-mail or .Mac address (for iMessages).
If you use iCloud, you can sync contacts with devices that include (but are not limited to): other Macs, iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches.
In the following sections, you find out the best ways to fill Contacts with your own contacts and how to keep those contacts organized.
Follow these steps to create a new entry in the Contacts:
1. Launch the Contacts application by double-clicking its icon in the Applications folder, clicking its Dock icon, or clicking its Launchpad icon.
The Contacts window appears. The first time that you open Contacts, you see two cards: Apple Computer and the one with the personal identification information you supplied when you created your account.
2. To create a new entry, click the + button at the bottom of the Contact card and choose New Contact from the drop-down menu.
An untitled address card appears. The First name text field is initially selected. (It’s highlighted in Figure 11-1.)
3. Type the person’s first name in the First text field.
Here, I type Bob.
4. Press Tab.
Your cursor should now be in the Last text field.
You can always move from one field to the next by pressing Tab — in fact, this shortcut works in almost all Mac programs with fields. (Move to the previous field by pressing Shift+Tab.)
Figure 11-1: A new address card in Contacts.
5. Type the last name for the person you’re adding to your Contacts.
Here, I type LeVitus. Continue this process, filling in the rest of the fields shown in Figure 11-2.
Figure 11-2: The address card displayed in the Contacts window.
6. When you’re done entering information, click the Done button to exit the editing mode.
The contact I created with this step appears in Figure 11-2.
The little triangles (actually up and down arrows) between the labels and their contents fields in Figure 11-2 are pop-up menus that offer alternative labels for the field. For example, if you were to click the arrows next to the word Mobile, you would be able to choose Home, Work, Main, Home Fax, Work Fax, Pager, Other, or Custom to replace the label Mobile.
To add more info about any Contacts entry, click the name in the list on the left (Bob LeVitus in Figure 11-2). You can tell when a name is selected because it’s blue instead of black (Bob LeVitus in Figure 11-2). Click the Edit button at the bottom of the Contacts window, and make your changes.
Repeat these steps for everyone you want to keep in touch with.
Importing contacts from other programs
If you already have contacts you created in another program, you might be able to import them into Contacts. Contacts can import contacts in vCard, LDIF, or Text file format.
The first thing you need to do is export the data from the other program in one of these formats. Then choose File⇒Import⇒vCard (or LDIF or Text file, as the case may be), choose the exported data file in the Open File dialog, and then click the Open button.
Creating a basic group
Now let me explain how to organize your contacts into groups. Why would you want to organize your contacts into groups? The main reason, at least for me, is practical: I can send e-mail to everyone in a group that I’ve defined with a single click. So when it’s time to send out a press release, I can simply send it to my Press group, shooting the e-mail off to all 50 people I have in that group. And when I want to send an e-mail to all the parents of kids on my son’s indoor football team, I merely address it to my Flag Football Parents group, and all 12 families in that group receive it.
Here’s how to create a group and add contacts to it:
1. Launch the Contacts application by double-clicking its icon in the Applications folder or clicking its Dock icon.
2. To create a new group, choose File⇒New Group, press +Shift+N, or press the + button at the bottom of the window.
An untitled Group appears in the Group column with “Untitled Group” highlighted.
3. Type a descriptive name for this group and then press Enter or Return.
I named mine Family.
4. Click All Contacts on the left side of the window to show all your contacts on the right side.
5. Click the contacts you want in the group from the contacts list.
Hold down the key as you select contacts if you want to select more than one contact.
You can use the Search field (magnifying-glass icon) at the top of the window to find a contact or contacts, and then drag them onto the group to add them.
6. Drag the selected contact names onto the group, as shown in Figure 11-3.
Contacts considerately displays the number of contacts you’re dragging, which happens to be six in this instance.
Figure 11-3: Adding six contacts to the Family group.
Another way to create a group is to select contacts by clicking, -clicking, and/or Shift-clicking and choosing File⇒New Group from Selection.
Setting up a Smart Group (based on contact criteria)
A second type of group — called a Smart Group — might be even more useful to you. A Smart Group gathers contacts in your Contacts based on criteria you specify. 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 I add a new Apple contact, that contact automatically becomes a member of the Apple Smart Group with no further action on my part. And if you delete a card or modify it so the contact no longer matches the Smart Group criteria, the contact is removed from the group automatically.
To create a Smart Group, follow these steps:
1. Choose File⇒New Smart Group or press +Option+N.
A Smart Group sheet appears in front of the Contacts window, as shown in Figure 11-4.
Figure 11-4: Creating a new Smart Group.
2. Give the Smart Group a name.
I named mine @Apple.
3. Select the appropriate items from the menus: Any, Company, Contains, Email, and so on.
In Figure 11-4, I’ve created a Smart Group that 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.
To delete a group or Smart Group from your Contacts, click to select it, and then press Delete or choose Edit⇒Delete Group.
The View is lovely
Mountain Lion’s Contacts app offered three views: Groups, List and Card, and Card Only. Mavericks cuts it down to a pair of toggles:
Show/Hide Groups: Choose Show/Hide Groups to hide or show the leftmost column (where you see On My Mac, All Contacts, Smart Groups, and Last Import in Figure 11-2).
Show/Hide Last Import: Choose Show/Hide Last Import to show or hide the Last Import Smart Group Apple kindly provided for you.
iCloud + Contacts = Your contacts everywhere
If you’re not an iCloud user (iCloud is discussed in Chapter 10), your contacts will be stored locally on your hard disk. iCloud users, on the other hand, can choose to store their contacts either locally or in iCloud. The difference is if you store them on iCloud, you can sync all your devices so they all display the same information. In other words, if you add a contact to your iPhone, you’ll see it on your Mac in the Contacts app within a few minutes. Conversely, if you add a contact on your Mac, within a few minutes, it magically appears in the Contacts app on your iDevice.
To enable iCloud for Contacts:
1. Choose Contacts⇒Preferences (shortcut: +,).
The Contacts Preferences window appears.
2. Click the Accounts icon at the top of the window.
The Accounts pane appears.
3. Click the + button near the bottom of the window.
The Choose a Contacts Account to Add sheet appears.
4. Click the iCloud button and then click Continue.
The Sign In with Your Apple ID sheet appears.
5. Type your Apple ID and Password and then click Sign In.
The iCloud Use With sheet appears with the Contacts check box already selected.
6. Click Add Account.
If you’ve previously enabled iCloud for Contacts, re-enabling it is even easier: Choose Contacts⇒Preferences (shortcut: +,), click the Accounts icon at the top of the window, Click iCloud in the list on the left, and then select the Enable This Account check box.
If you use iCloud, there’s no reason to store contacts locally (that is, On My Mac). And, in fact, if you use iCloud, you shouldn’t even see an On My Mac section in the Groups list. My advice is that if you do see both sections (On My Mac and iCloud) in the Groups list, copy the contacts stored in On Your Mac to iCloud by clicking All on My Mac in the Groups list and selecting all its contacts (Edit⇒Select All or +A) and dragging them onto the iCloud group. Now click the iCloud group and confirm that the contacts you just dragged are visible, and then delete the On My Mac group (select it and choose Edit⇒Delete Group). Finally, look for duplicate contacts by choosing Card⇒Look for Duplicates. If any duplicates are found, you’re invited to either delete one (if they’re the same) or merge them (if one is different).
Sending e-mail to a contact or group
You don’t even have to open Contacts to send an e-mail to a contact or group contained in your Contacts. In the following sections, you see how Mail finds contacts or groups for you without launching Contacts. But if you already have Contacts open, this technique for sending e-mail to a contact or group is probably most convenient.
To create a blank e-mail message to a contact, click and hold the label next to the e-mail address, and choose Send Email from the pop-up menu that appears, as shown for the Home label in Figure 11-5.
Figure 11-5: Sending e-mail to a contact is as easy as clicking.
The Mail program becomes active, and a blank e-mail message addressed to the selected contact appears on your screen. Just type your e-mail as you normally would.
As you can see in Figure 11-5, in addition to sending an e-mail, the pop-up menu next to e-mail addresses lets you:
Start a FaceTime video chat (see Chapter 10).
Send an iMessage (see the “Communicating with Messages” section, later in this chapter).
Send your vCard (see the following Tip) to this e-mail address.
Search for this e-mail address in documents on your Mac using Spotlight (see Chapter 7).
The information for each contact can be sent to others in an industry-standard file format known as a vCard (virtual business card). Choosing Send My Card works the same as Send Email, but instead of starting with a totally blank e-mail message, the message starts with your vCard enclosed. When the recipient opens the vCard file, all your contact information will be added to his or her Contacts (or other contact manager in Windows).
Sending and Receiving E-Mail with Mail
Mail is a program for sending, receiving, and organizing your e-mail. Mail is fast and easy to use, too. Click the Mail icon in the Dock or Launchpad or double-click the Mail icon in the Applications folder to launch Mail. The Mail icon looks like a canceled postage stamp, as shown in the margin.
You can use other applications to read e-mail. Mozilla (Thunderbird) and AOL, for example, have their own mail readers, as does Microsoft Office (Entourage or Outlook). But for Macs, the easiest and best mail reader around (meaning the best one on your hard drive by default) is almost certainly Mail. And of course, you can’t beat the price; it’s free!
The following sections, in some cases, offer you starting points. Even so, you should find everything perfectly straightforward. If you run into a question that the following sections don’t answer, remember that you can always call upon the assistance of Help (Help⇒Mail Help).
Setting up Mail
If this is your first time launching Mail, you need to set up your e-mail account(s) before you can proceed. A set of New Account screens appears automatically. Just fill in the blanks on each screen and click the Continue button until you’re finished.
If you don’t know what to type in one or more of these fields, contact your ISP (Internet service provider) or mail provider for assistance.
After you’ve set up one or more e-mail accounts, you see a Welcome message asking whether you’d like to see what’s new in Mail. If you click Yes, Help Viewer launches and shows you the What’s New in Mail page (while Mail’s main window, which looks like Figure 11-6, appears in the background). Or if you click No, Mail’s main window appears as the active window immediately.
Figure 11-6: Mail’s main window.
Mail’s main window is actually called a viewer window or message viewer window. You can have more than one of them on your screen, if you like; just choose File⇒New Viewer Window or press +Option+N.
One last thing: My tech editor, Dennis Cohen, urged me to at least mention Classic layout, which puts the message list above the content as shown in Figure 11-8 instead of next to the content as shown in Figure 11-6.
If you prefer the old-school view, here’s how to make the change:
1. Choose Mail⇒Preferences.
2. Click the Viewing tab (icon) at the top of the window.
3. Check the Use Classic Layout check box.
4. Click the Close button (a.k.a. the red gumdrop), or use the Close Window shortcut — +W — to close the Preferences window.
If you decide you liked it better the other way, just go back and uncheck the Use Classic Layout check box.
Composing a new message
Here’s how to create a new e-mail message:
1. Choose File⇒New Message, click the New button on the toolbar (as shown in the margin), or press +N.
A new window appears. This is where you compose your e-mail message, as shown in Figure 11-7.
Figure 11-7: Composing an e-mail message.
2. Place your cursor in the To field, and type someone’s e-mail address.
Use my address (Mavericks4Dummies@boblevitus.com) if you don't know anyone else to send mail to.
If the recipient is in your Contacts (as Barack Obama and Barry the Electrician are in mine), just type a few letters, and Mail’s intelligent autocomplete function matches it up with Contacts. So, for example, in Figure 11-8, I typed the letters b-a-r, and a list of people in my Contacts with bar in their names — namely, Barack Obama and Barry the Electrician — appeared. I can select a name by clicking it and typing an additional letter or letters to narrow the search (typing an r would leave only Barry the Electrician; typing an a would leave only Barack Obama), or by using the arrow keys and pressing Return or Enter.
3. Press the Tab key twice to move your cursor to the Subject text field and type a subject for this message.
I typed Isn’t Autocomplete neat? in Figure 11-7.
4. Click in the main message portion of the window, and type your message there.
I typed Your message here . . . in Figure 11-7.
5. When you’re finished writing your message, click the Send button to send the e-mail immediately, or close it to save it in the Drafts mailbox so you can work on it later.
If you save your message to the Drafts mailbox (perhaps so you can write more later on), you can send it when you’re ready by opening the Drafts mailbox, double-clicking the message, and then clicking the Send button.
Just for the record, here’s what the buttons in the toolbar in Figure 11-7 are all about:
Send: D’oh. Sends the message.
Attach: Opens a standard Open File sheet so you can pick a file or files to enclose with this message. To enclose multiple files, hold down the key as you click each file you want to enclose.
If the recipients of this message use Windows, you probably want to select the Send Windows-Friendly Attachments check box at the bottom of the Open File sheet.
Format: Shows or hides the Formatting toolbar, which is showing (between the toolbar and the To field) in Figure 11-7.
Photo Browser: Opens the Photo Browser panel, which displays the photos in your iPhoto library and lets you drag and drop them into a mail message.
Show Stationery: Opens a sheet with a selection of stationery you can use for your e-mail message. (You find out more about this feature in the upcoming section, “Working with stationery.”)
The little arrow thingie to the left of the From pop-up menu (shown in the margin): This little doohickey is actually a pop-down menu that lets you add fields to your message header. What fields? Glad you asked. . . . You can choose CC Address Field, BCC Address Field, Reply-To Address Field, or Priority Field. Or if you choose Customize, you see all the available fields with check boxes next to them so you can turn them on or off at will.
Changes you make using this menu become defaults. In other words, if you add a BCC field to this message, all subsequent messages also have a BCC field.
If you don’t see text labels for the items in your toolbar, as you do in Figure 11-7, choose View⇒Customize Toolbar. The Customize Toolbar sheet appears in front of the active window; choose Icon and Text from the Show menu in its lower-left corner.
A quick overview of the toolbar
Before you go any further, look at the nine handy buttons and a Search field in the viewer window’s toolbar by default:
Get Mail: Checks for new e-mail.
New Message: Creates a new, blank e-mail message.
Delete: Deletes selected message or messages (“Isn’t Mavericks’ Mail App Nice?” in Figure 11-6).
To select more than one message in the list, hold down the key when you click the second and subsequent messages.
Junk: Marks the selected message or messages as junk mail. Mail has built-in junk-mail filtering that can be enabled or disabled in Mail Preferences. (Choose Mail⇒Preferences and click the Junk Mail icon on the toolbar.) If you receive a piece of spam (junk mail), select it and click this button to help train Mail’s junk-mail filter. If a selected message has been marked as junk mail, the button changes to read Not Junk.
For more info on junk-mail filtering, click the question-mark button in the Junk Mail pane of the Mail Preferences window.
Reply: Creates a reply to the sender only.
Reply All: Creates a reply to the sender and everyone who was sent the original message.
Forward: Creates a copy of this message you can send to someone other than the sender or other recipients.
Flag/Unflag: This drop-down menu lets you mark or unmark one or more messages with any of seven colored flags. The selected message in Figure 11-6, for example, is flagged in green.
Finally, on the toolbar is a Search field that finds a word or phrase in any item stored in Mail. When you begin typing, a drop-down menu appears, as shown in Figure 11-8, so you can narrow the search to people or subjects matching your search phrase. You can also click the buttons in the Favorites bar to limit your search to specific mailboxes or to search only specific parts of messages — All, Inbox (15), Sent, Flagged (1), and Drafts (1) in Figure 11-8.
Figure 11-8: Searching for items with “bo” reveals 17 items.
The little numbers next to the mailbox buttons in the Favorites bar indicate the number of unread messages in that mailbox. A message is considered “read” after you click it.
Searching in Mail should be familiar to you; it works the same way as searching in the Finder. So, for example, if you want to save a search as a Smart Mailbox (Mail’s version of a Smart Folder in the Finder), you click the Save button, which is hidden by the drop-down menu in Figure 11-8.
I’ve mentioned the Favorites bar, a feature that first appeared in Mountain Lion, a couple of times now. Mail populates it with mailboxes you use often: Inbox, Sent, Drafts, and Flagged in Figure 11-8. Add your own mailboxes by dragging them from the Mailbox pane to the Favorites bar.
Working with stationery
I personally find stationery for e-mail dorky. But since you might think it’s the greatest thing since sliced kittens, here are some tips for working with it. First, to use it, click the Show Stationery button in a New Message window.
I’m a Luddite when it comes to e-mail. When I started using e-mail a long, long time ago, it was considered bad form to add anything but text to an e-mail message. It was generally agreed that e-mail messages should include only what was necessary to convey the information and nothing more. That’s why all these froufrou flowers and borders irritate me and why I find them a waste of bandwidth. So please do me a favor: If you decide to send me an e-mail message, please don’t use goofy stationery.
Here are some tips to help you have more fun with stationery:
Adding favorites: If you find you’re using a particular stationery a lot, you can add it to the Favorites category to make it easier to use. To do so, merely click the appropriate category in the list on the left (Birthday, Announcements, Photos, Stationery, and Sentiments in Figure 11-9); then click the stationery you want to make a favorite and drag it onto the word Favorites in the list on the left. When Favorites highlights, drop the stationery, and presto — that piece of stationery will appear in the Favorites category evermore.
Greeking out: You can change the Greek/pseudo-Latin text that appears in all the stationery by selecting it, deleting it, and typing whatever text you want to appear. You have to do it only once; the text you type in any stationery appears in all other stationeries.
Replacing pictures: You can replace any picture in any stationery with a picture of your own. Just drag a picture — from the Photo Browser (Window⇒Photo Browser) or the Finder — onto any picture in any piece of stationery. I’ve replaced the boilerplate text and all three of the dorky pictures in the Air Mail stationery, as shown in Figure 11-9.
Removing stationery: If you decide you don’t want to use stationery with a message after you’ve applied it, click the Stationery category and choose the Original stationery, which changes your message back to a clean, blank page.
Checking your mail
How do you check and open your mail? Easy. Just click the Get Mail button at the top of the main Mail window (refer to Figure 11-9) or press +Shift+N.
To read a new message, select it. Its contents appear in the Message Content pane.
To delete a selected message, click the Delete button on the toolbar.
To retrieve a message you accidentally deleted, click Trash on the left and drag the message into the Inbox or other mailbox.
To configure Mail to send and check for your mail every X minutes, choose Mail⇒Preferences and click the General icon at the top of the window. Click the Check for New Mail pop-up menu and make a selection — every 1, 5, 15, 30, or 60 minutes — or choose Manually if you don’t want Mail to check for mail automatically at all. (The default setting is to check for mail every 5 minutes.)
To add a sender to Contacts, when someone who isn’t already in your Contacts sends you an e-mail message, simply choose Message⇒Add Sender to Contacts (shortcut: +Y).
Adding a sender to your Contacts has an additional benefit: It guards messages from that person against being mistaken for junk mail. In other words, your Contacts is a white list for the spam filter; if specific senders appear in your Contacts, their messages will never be mistakenly marked as junk mail.
Figure 11-9: Drag and drop your own pictures in a stationery.
Dealing with spam
Speaking of junk mail, although e-mail is a wonderful thing, some people out there try to spoil it. They’re called spammers, and they’re lowlifes who share their lists among themselves — and before you know it, your e-mail box is flooded with get-rich-quick schemes, advertisements for pornographic websites and chat rooms, and all the more traditional buy-me junk mail.
Fortunately, Mail comes with a pretty darn good Junk Mail filter that analyzes incoming message subjects, senders, and contents to determine which ones are likely to contain bulk or junk mail. When you open Mail for the first time, it’s running in its training mode, which is how Mail learns to differentiate between what it considers junk mail and what you consider junk mail; all it needs is your input. Mail identifies messages it thinks are junk, but if you disagree with its decisions, here’s what you do:
Click the Not Junk button in the brown bar for any message that isn’t junk mail.
Conversely, if a piece of junk mail slips past Mail’s filters and ends up in the Inbox, select the message and click the Junk button in the Mail window’s toolbar.
After a few days (or weeks, depending upon your mail volume), Mail should be getting it right almost all the time. When you reach that point, choose Move It to the Junk Mailbox on the Junk Mail tab of Mail’s Preferences window. Now Mail starts moving junk mail automatically out of your Inbox and into a Junk mailbox, where you can scan the items quickly and trash them when you’re ready.
If (for some reason that escapes me) you prefer to receive and manually process your junk mail, you can turn off junk-mail processing by disabling it on the Junk Mail tab of Mail’s Preferences window.
Changing your preferences
Actually, Mail’s preferences (Mail⇒Preferences or +,) are more than you might expect from the name. This is the control center for Mail, where you can
Create and delete e-mail accounts.
Determine which fonts and colors are used for your messages.
Decide whether to download and save attachments (such as pictures).
Decide whether to send formatted mail or plain text.
Decide whether to turn on the spell checker.
The default is to check spelling as you type, which many people (myself included) find annoying.
Decide whether to have an automatic signature appended to your messages.
Establish rules to process mail that you receive.
Mail rules rule
If you really want to tap the power of Mail, you need to set rules. With some cool rules, you can automatically tag messages with a color; file them in a specific mailbox; reply to/forward/redirect the messages automatically (handy when you’re going to be away for a while); automatically reply to messages; and kill-file messages (just delete them without even bothering to look at them — what better fate for mail from people you hate?).
There’s no way I can do rules justice in a page or so, but here’s a quick look at how to create one:
1. Choose Mail⇒Preferences.
2. Click the Rules icon on the toolbar of the Preferences window.
3. Click the Add Rule button.
The first condition should say From in its first pop-up menu and Contains in its second pop-up menu. Look at your options in these menus but return them to their original state — From and Contains — when you’re done looking.
4. In the field to the right of the Contains pop-up menu, type a word you want to filter for (I typed LeVitus).
Below the condition you just created, you should see an action under the words Perform the Following Actions. It should say Move Message in its first pop-up menu and No Mailbox Selected in its second pop-up menu.
5. Look at the options on these menus, but this time, change the first one from Move Message to Play Sound and the second one from No Mailbox Selected to Blow.
6. Type a description of the rule, such as Message from LeVitus, in the Description field.
Your rule should look identical to Figure 11-10 now.
Figure 11-10: When you get a message from me, Mail plays the Blow sound.
7. Click OK.
Mail asks whether you want to apply your rule(s) to the selected mailboxes.
8. Choose Apply if you want Mail to run this rule on the selected mailboxes, or choose Don’t Apply if you don’t.
And that’s how you build a rule. From this point forward, every time you get a message from me, you hear the Blow sound.
Notice the little + (plus) and – (minus) buttons to the right of each condition and action. Use the + button to add more conditions or actions and the – button to delete a condition or action. If you have multiple conditions, you can choose Any or All from the pop-up menu above them, which executes this rule when either any of the conditions or all of the conditions are met. Either way, all the actions you create are always executed when this rule is triggered.
Mailboxes smart and plain
The following sections take a closer look at both types of mailboxes — plain and smart.
Plain old mailboxes
Plain mailboxes are just like folders in the Finder; you create them and name them, and they’re empty until you put something in them. They even look like folders in Mail’s Mailboxes pane. You use mailboxes to organize any messages you want to save.
Here are several ways to create a plain mailbox:
Choose Mailbox⇒New Mailbox.
Click the little + sign at the bottom of the Mailboxes pane on the left side of the viewer window.
Click the Action menu at the bottom of the Mailboxes pane (the one that looks like a gear), and choose New Mailbox.
Right-click or Control-click in the Mailboxes pane and choose New Mailbox from the contextual menu.
Whichever way you choose, the next thing that happens is that a sheet drops down with a Location pop-up menu and a field for you to type the name you want to give this mailbox. Choose On My Mac from the Location menu, and name the mailbox anything you like. Click OK, and the mailbox is created in the Mailboxes pane.
You can create submailboxes (mailboxes inside other mailboxes) to further subdivide your messages. To do so, click a mailbox to select it before you create a new mailbox.
In Figure 11-11, I’ve divided my Books mailbox into three sub-mailboxes: iPhone For Dummies, Mountain Lion For Dummies, and Mavericks For Dummies.
Figure 11-11: My Books mailbox is divided into three submailboxes.
You can also drag and drop a mailbox from the top level of the list (such as Drafts, Junk, and Other Dumb Mail in Figure 11-11) onto another mailbox (such as Books or any of its three submailboxes) to make them submailboxes. If you drag a mailbox into a submailbox, it becomes a sub-submailbox. And so on.
To delete a mailbox, click it to select it and then do one of the following:
Choose Mailbox⇒Delete Mailbox.
Right-click or Control-click the mailbox and choose Delete Mailbox.
Click the Action menu at the bottom of the Mailboxes pane (the one that looks like a gear) and choose Delete Mailbox.
Intelligent smart mailboxes
A smart mailbox is Mail’s version of the Finder’s Smart Folder. In a nutshell, smart mailboxes are mailboxes that display the results of a search. The messages you see in a smart mailbox are virtual; they aren’t really in the smart mailbox itself. Instead, the smart mailbox displays a list of messages stored in other mailboxes that match whatever criteria you’ve defined for that smart mailbox. As with Smart Folders in the Finder, smart mailboxes update automatically when new messages that meet the criteria are received.
Here are two ways to create a smart mailbox:
Choose Mailbox⇒New Smart Mailbox.
Click the + button at the bottom of the Mailboxes pane, and choose Smart Mailbox from the pop-up menu.
Whichever way you choose, the next thing that happens is that a sheet drops down with a field for the smart mailbox’s name, plus some pop-up menus, buttons, and check boxes, as shown in Figure 11-12.
Figure 11-12: This smart mailbox gathers messages with the word Mavericks in the body or subject.
Name your smart mailbox, determine its criteria (by using the pop-up menus, plus and minus buttons, and check boxes), and then click OK. The smart mailbox appears in the Mailboxes pane with a little gear on it to denote that it’s smart. You can see the Smart Mavericks smart mailbox highlighted on the left in Figure 11-12. Notice that it has a gear (plain mailboxes don’t).
Sign here, please
If you’re like me, you’d rather not type your whole signature every time you send an e-mail message, and you don’t have to with Mail. If you create canned signatures, you can use them in outgoing messages without typing a single character.
Here’s how it works:
1. Choose Mail⇒Preferences or press +, (that’s +comma).
2. Click the Signatures icon in the Preferences window’s toolbar.
3. Click the name of the mail account you want to create this signature for in the left column (iCloud in Figure 11-13).
Figure 11-13: My newly created BL Long signature.
4. Click the little + sign at the bottom of the middle column to create a new, blank signature.
5. Type a descriptive name for this signature to replace the default name Signature #1 (BL Long in Figure 11-13).
6. Type the signature exactly as you want it to appear in outgoing messages in the right column (Regards, Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus -- Houston Chronicle, and so on in Figure 11-13).
7. Drag the name you’ve assigned this signature (BL Long in Figure 11-13) onto the mail account you’re using it with (iCloud in Figure 11-13).
If you have more than one signature, you can choose the one you want to use as the default: Choose the account in the column on the left; then choose the signature from the Choose Signature pop-up menu.
If you have more than one signature, another cool thing happens: A Signature menu appears in new messages, as shown in Figure 11-14, so you can choose a signature other than the one you chose from the pop-up menu as the default (it’s BL Short in Figure 11-14).
Figure 11-14: Choosing my BL Long signature from the Signature menu in a new message.
Take a (Quick) look and (Slide) show me some photos
One last cool feature, and you’re finished with Mail. That cool feature is Quick Look, which includes a slick Slideshow option. If you press and hold on the button with the paper clip (shown in the margin and in Figure 11-15) and select Quick Look from the resulting drop-down menu, a new window appears showing one of the enclosed pictures, as shown lower right in Figure 11-15.
If you don’t see a paperclip, hover your cursor over the line between the message header and the message body and they’ll magically appear.
Above my smiling face in the Quick Look window on the right in Figure 11-15 is the same set of buttons described in the Quick Look section in Chapter 7.
To close the Quick Look window, click the little X in its top-left corner.
Figure 11-15: Press on the paperclip and choose Quick Look from the menu; the picture (or pictures) appear in a separate window (_23B9699.jpeg).
Communicating with Messages
Instant messaging and chat rooms enable interactive communication among users all over the world. If you’re into instant messaging, Messages gives you immediate access to all the other users of AIM, Jabber, Google Talk, and iCloud. All you need are their screen names, and you’re set to go. You can even join any AOL chat room just by choosing File⇒Go to Chat Room. To get started, launch Messages from either your Applications folder, Launchpad, or Dock.
By the way, if you’re a fan of the iChat application in previous OS X releases and wonder where it went in Mavericks, Messages is the answer. The program you knew and loved as iChat is now called Messages. Same great iChat tastiness and now with support for iMessages!
What the heck is an iMessage?
iMessage is Apple’s inter-device messaging protocol. That means you can send unlimited iMessages to anyone with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 5 (or later) or a Mac running Mountain Lion or Mavericks (OS X 10.8 or 10.9).
Think of it as MMS messaging, similar to what you find on smartphones, but you can send and receive messages from your Mac. Better still, an iMessage can include photos, videos, locations, and contacts in addition, of course, to text. And if you have more than one iOS device, iMessage keeps all your conversations going across all of them. You can also get delivery receipts letting you know your messages went through. You’ll know it’s been read, too, if your friend has enabled read receipts.
Chit-chatting with Messages
Your chats can be one to one, or they can be group bull sessions. Messages is integrated with Contacts, so you don’t have to enter your buddies’ information twice. It also communicates directly with the Mail application. Here’s all the essential info you need to get started:
To start a text chat, open Messages, select a buddy in your buddy list, and choose Buddies⇒Invite to Chat. If you don’t see your Buddies List, choose Window⇒Buddies or press +1.
Each participant’s picture (or icon) appears next to anything she says, which is displayed in a cartoonlike thought bubble, as shown in Figure 11-16. If you find the thought bubbles a little too childish, you can turn them off by choosing View⇒Messages and an option other than Show as Balloons.
Figure 11-16: A chat with myself. (I have two Macs on the same network.)
To start a group text chat, hold down the key, click each person in your buddy list that you want to include, and then click the A button at the bottom of the buddy list. In a group text chat, everyone sees every message from every participant.
To attach a picture to a person in your Contacts (as I have for myself on both Macs), copy a picture of the person to the Clipboard in your favorite graphics application (Preview, for example). Now open Contacts, and display the card for the person you want to add a picture to. Click the empty picture box at the top of the card, and paste the picture on the Clipboard. You should now see that picture on the Contacts card and also when you chat in Messages with the person. Neat!
If you’ve already attached a picture to a contact in Contacts, that picture will appear automatically when you chat.
To transfer a file or files, just drag the icon(s) to the message box (where you type your messages), and then press Return or Enter. The file zips across the ether. This is a very convenient way to share photos or documents without resorting to file sharing or e-mail.
When you drag an image file onto the Messages window’s message box, you see an oversize semitransparent preview, so you’re sure you’re sending them the right image and not something totally embarrassing. Way to go, OS X Mavericks.
You could also choose Buddies⇒Send File or press +Option+F and then select the file(s) from a standard Open File sheet, but the drag-and-drop method is faster and easier.
To send an e-mail from Messages, just select a buddy in Messages’ buddy list and choose Buddies⇒Send Email (or press +Option+E). Mail launches (if it’s not already open) and addresses a new message to the selected buddy, ready for you to begin typing.
Maps Are Where It’s At
The Maps application, which is new in Mavericks, should look familiar to people who use iOS devices, which have sported a Maps app since time immemorial. If you know how to use the Maps app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you already know most of what you need to know to use Maps on your Mac.
As for the rest of you — the ones without iOS devices — I’ll have you up to speed RealSoonNow™.
Finding your current location with Maps
I’ll start with something supremely simple yet extremely useful: determining your current location. At the risk of sounding like a self-help guru, here’s how to find yourself: Launch the Maps application from the Dock, Launchpad, or Applications folder, and then click the Current Location button, which is a little gray (or blue if it’s enabled) arrowhead shown in the margin and found in the upper-left corner of the Maps window.
Your location is indicated by a blue dot, as shown in Figure 11-17.
If you tap or drag the map, your Mac continues to update your location but won’t re-center the blue marker. So the blue dot can scroll (or zoom) off the screen. If that happens, click the Current Location button again to center the map on your current location again.
Figure 11-17: The blue dot shows my location; the blue arrowhead in the toolbar means Current Location is enabled.
Finding a person, place, or thing
To find a person, place, or thing with Maps, choose Edit⇒Find, press +F, or click in the Search field in the upper-right corner, and then type what you’re looking for. You can search for addresses, zip codes, intersections, towns, landmarks, and businesses by category and by name, or combinations, such as New York, NY 10022, pizza 60645, or Texas State Capitol.
If the letters you type match names stored in your Mac (or iDevice) Contacts app, the matching contacts appear in a list below the Search field. Click a name to see a map of that contact’s location. The Maps app is smart about it, too, displaying only the names of contacts that have a street address.
If you don’t find a match in the list, press Enter or Return and with any luck, within a few seconds, a map will appear. If you search for a single location, it’s marked with a single pushpin. If you search for a category (BBQ Lockhart, TX, for example), you see multiple pushpins, one for each matching location (BBQ joints in Lockhart, TX), as shown in Figure 11-18.
You can search for all sorts of things, including intersections, neighborhoods, landmarks, restaurants, and businesses. Furthermore, you can combine several items, such as pizza and a zip code. The Maps app is quite adept at interpreting search terms and finding the right place. After you’ve used the app a few times, you’ll be as addicted as I am.
To find out more, click a name in the list below the Search field or click on a pin. A little flag with the name of the location (Black’s Barbecue in Figure 11-19) appears. Click the “i” on the right side of a flag, and a window with information about the location appears, as shown in Figure 11-19.
Figure 11-18: Search for BBQ Lockhart, TX, and you see pushpins for all of the famous BBQ joints in Lockhart.
Figure 11-19: The Info window for Black’s Barbecue.
This handy little info window sometimes contains reviews and/or photos (the one in Figure 11-19 has both); click the appropriate tab to read reviews or see photos. I’ll get to the four buttons at the bottom of the window shortly, but first take a look at how to navigate your Maps.
Views, zooms, and pans
The preceding section talks about how to find just about anything with Maps. And the following section shows ways to use what you find. But before doing that, I want take a little detour and explore how you can work with Maps.
Three views are available: standard (map), satellite, and hybrid, all of which may be available in 3D. You can choose a view by clicking one of the three tabs in the toolbar. Refer to Figure 11-17 for standard view and Figure 11-18 for a Hybrid view, which combines street and landmark names with satellite imagery, and also shows the View menu in all its glory. Finally, check out Figure 11-20 for a Hybrid map in 3D.
Speaking of which, here’s the scoop on 3D maps:
3D maps aren’t available in every area. It appears that the more populated the area, the more likely it will be available in 3D.
To switch to 3D in any of the three views, click the 3D button (shown in the margin) or choose View⇒3D.
You may have to zoom in for the map to appear in 3D.
To scroll, hold down the mouse or trackpad button and drag left, right, up, or down. If you have a trackpad, you can drag using two fingers.
If you click and then fling your mouse in any direction (or flick with two fingers on a trackpad), you’ll “fly over” the ground below. It’s not particularly useful but it looks cool.
To adjust the camera angle, click the compass and drag up and down.
You can zoom, rotate, or scroll to see more or less of the map in any view and with 3D on or off.
To zoom out: Choose View⇒Zoom Out or press +minus (that’s –). If you have a trackpad, you can also pinch to zoom out (just like on your iPhone).
To zoom in: Choose View⇒Zoom in or press +plus (that’s +). If you have a trackpad, you can also unpinch (spread two fingers) to zoom out (just like on your iPhone).
An unpinch is the opposite of a pinch. Start with your thumb and a finger together and then flick them apart.
You can also unpinch with two fingers or two thumbs, one from each hand, but you’ll probably find that a single-handed pinch and unpinch is handier.
To rotate: Rotate two fingers on the screen or click the compass and drag.
To scroll: Click and drag up, down, left, or right. If you have a trackpad, you can also drag two fingers in any direction to scroll.
Figure 11-20: A Hybrid 3D map of the Texas State Capitol and downtown Austin.
Maps and contacts
Maps and contacts go together like peanut butter and jelly. For example, if you want to see a map of a contact’s street address, click the little bookmarks icon to the left of the Search field, click All Contacts in the list on the left, and then click the contact’s name. Or type a few letters of the contact’s name in the Search field and click her name in the list that automatically appears.
After you find a location by typing an address in Maps, you can add that location to one of your contacts. Or you can create a new contact with a location you’ve found. To do either, click the location’s pushpin on the map and then click the little “i” to the right of the location’s name (Black’s Barbecue in Figure 11-18) to display its Info screen, as shown in Figure 11-19.
Now click the Add to Contacts button on the Info screen.
You can also get driving directions from most locations, including a contact’s address, to most other locations, including another contact’s address. You see how to do that in the “Smart map tricks” section, later in the chapter.
Timesaving map tools: Bookmarks, Recents, and Contacts
The Maps app offers three tools that can save you from having to type the same locations over and over. All three are in the Bookmarks screen, which appears when you click the little gray bookmarks icon on the right side of the Search field.
On the left side of the Bookmarks window is a list offering Bookmarks, Recents, and Contacts; the following sections give you the lowdown on these useful options.
Bookmarks in the Maps app, like bookmarks in Safari, let you return to a location without typing a single character. To bookmark a location, click the little > in a blue circle to the right of the location’s name or description to display the Info screen for that location. Then click the Add to Bookmarks button on the Info screen. (You may have to scroll down the Info screen to see the Add to Bookmarks button.)
You can also drop a pin (a kind of temporary bookmark) anywhere on the map by clicking and holding down the mouse button for a couple of seconds. Or right-click and choose Drop Pin from the menu.
After you’ve dropped a pin, you can click and drag it anywhere on the map. When the pin is where you want it, lift your finger off the mouse button or trackpad to drop the pin. To bookmark this location, click the little “i” to the right of the banner on the pin to open the Info window; click the Add to Bookmarks button to add the bookmark.
After you add a bookmark, you can recall it at any time. To do so, click the bookmarks icon to the left of the Search field, click Bookmarks in the list on the left, and then click the bookmark name to see it on a map.
The first things you should bookmark are your home and work address. You use these addresses all the time with Maps, so you might as well bookmark them now to avoid typing them over and over. Also create zip code bookmarks for your home, work, and other locations you frequently visit. Then when you want to find businesses near any of those locations, you can choose the zip code bookmark and type what you’re looking for, such as 78729 pizza, 60645 gas station, or 90201 Starbucks.
To manage your bookmarks, first click the Edit button in the top-right corner of the Bookmarks window. Then you can do the following:
To move a bookmark up or down in the Bookmarks list: Click and drag the bookmark upward to move it higher in the list or downward to move it lower in the list.
To delete a bookmark from the Bookmarks list: Click the little “x” to the right of the bookmark’s name.
When you’re finished using the Bookmarks list, click the Done button in the top-right corner of the window or just click anywhere on the map.
The Maps app automatically remembers every location you’ve searched for in its Recents list (unless you’ve cleared it, as described next). Click Recents in the list on the left side of the Bookmarks window to see a list of your recent searches; click the item’s name to see it on the map.
To clear the Recents list, click the Clear button in the top-right corner of the Bookmarks window. Sadly, removing a single entry is not possible; clearing the Recents list is an all-or-nothing deal.
When you’re finished using the Recents list, click the Done button in the top-right corner of the window or just click anywhere on the map.
To see a map of a contact’s location, click the Contacts button in the list on the left side of the Bookmarks window, and then click the contact’s name in the list.
To limit the Contacts list to specific groups (assuming you have some groups in your Contacts list), click the group’s name in the list. Now only contacts in this group are displayed in the list.
When you’re finished using the Bookmarks list, click the Done button in the top-right corner of the window or just click anywhere on the map.
Smart map tricks
The Maps app has more tricks up its sleeve. This section lists a few nifty features you may find useful.
Get route maps and driving directions
You can get route maps and driving directions to any location from any other location in a couple of ways:
If a pushpin is already on the screen: Click the pushpin and then click the little “i” to the right of its name to display the item’s Info screen. Now click Get Directions to get directions to that location.
When you’re looking at a map screen: Click the Directions button in the toolbar. The Start and End fields appear below the Search field in the toolbar. Type the start and end points or select them from your Bookmarks, Recent maps, or Contacts if you prefer (by typing the first few letters of its title). If you want to swap the starting and ending locations, click the little swirly arrow button to the left of the Start and End fields.
If you need to change the start or end location, click the Clear button in the top-left corner and try again.
When the start and end locations are correct, press Enter, Return, or Tab, and step-by-step directions will appear in a pane on the right side of the Maps window, as shown in Figure 11-21.
Maps will often suggest several routes. The number of suggestions appears at the top of the list of directions (it’s 3 in Figure 11-21), and the alternate routes are shown on the map in lighter blue and cartoon balloons that tell you how long it will take. Click a cartoon balloon or light blue alternate route to see step-by-step directions for it, or cycle through the options using the left or right arrow key.
Click the blue line or cartoon balloon to select a route, as in Figure 11-21, where Route 2 is selected.
Figure 11-21: Routes from the Texas State Capitol in Austin and Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart, TX.
Now you can print your directions (File⇒Print or +P); Export them as a PDF (File⇒Export as PDF); or share them (File⇒Share).
When you’re finished with the step-by-step directions, click the Clear or Close button to close the Directions pane.
Get walking directions
For step-by-step directions for walking, click the walking person icon below the Start and End fields. Walking directions generally look a lot like driving directions except for your travel time.
Get traffic info in real time
You can find out the traffic conditions for whatever map you’re viewing by clicking the curling page button in the lower-right corner and then clicking the Show Traffic button. When you do this, major roadways are color-coded to inform you of the current traffic speed, as shown inFigure 11-22.
Figure 11-22: Traffic may be moving very slowly (red), kind of slowly (yellow), or nice and fast (green) in downtown Austin.
Choose View⇒Show Traffic to help determine which route will be most expedient.
Here’s the key to those colors:
Yellow dots: 25 to 50 miles per hour
Red dashes: Under 25 miles per hour
Other: No data available at this time
Traffic info isn’t available in every location, but the only way to find out is to give it a try. If no color codes appear, assume that traffic information doesn’t work for that particular location.
Do more on the Info screen
If a location has a little “i” to the right of its name, you can click it to see the location’s Info screen.
As I explain earlier in this chapter, you can get directions to or from that location, add the location to your bookmarks or contacts, or create a new contact from it. But you can do three more things with a location from its Info screen:
Click the phone number to call it.
Click the e-mail address to launch the Mail app and send an e-mail to it.
Click the URL to launch Safari and view its website.
And that, my friends, should be all you need to know to get started with Maps.