Access an iCloud Contacts List from Mail Composer in Mac OS X

Jan 15, 2014 - Leave a Comment

Mail icon for Mac OS X The Mail compose window has long had an auto-complete function that lets you start typing a name or email address to see a list of suggestions for completing the contacts email. That list is based upon who you’ve email and also what contacts you have in your address book, but now with the newest versions of Mail app in OS X, you can access all your iCloud Contacts directly from the new message composer in a new way, with a searchable address book panel. Easy to use and even easier to overlook, here’s how to access the handy contacts list panel directly from a new email composition window, and how to get to full-time address book directly within the Mail app.

Accessing the iCloud Contacts List Panel in Mail Composer

  1. From Mail app, choose to compose a new email message as usual
  2. When the mouse cursor focus is in the “To” or “Cc” box, click the blue plus (+) button to summon the Contacts list
  3. Access Contacts in Mail app Compose window

  4. Search or scroll through the Contact list, click on the addressee(s) you want to send the email to, then click the email address to add that contact to the mail message

iCloud Contacts Mail compose window in Mac OS X

Simple, right? This is great for obvious reasons, and it’s also helpful for when you have a contact with multiple email addresses to choose between, you stylize your contacts with Emoji to differentiate them, or just can’t remember a specific addressee name (oops) or spelling.

Using this often? Try opening a floating Address Book Panel window

If you plan on writing a ton of emails or just find yourself using the iCloud Contacts quick-access list often, you can opt to open a separate floating contacts panel within Mail app. This panel can be accessed with a simple keystroke by hitting Command+Option+A, or by pulling down the “Window” menu and selecting “Address Panel” to open the floating searchable window:

Quick Address Panel in Mail app for OS X

Both of these contact lists is synced through iCloud with other Macs and iOS devices that use the same Apple ID, meaning if you add, edit, merge, or delete a contact on your iPhone it will be accessible through this Mail Contacts panel, and vice versa.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

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