How to print multiple address labels from address book on the Mac

It is holiday cards time and every year I go through trying to remember to print address labels from my Mac OSX Contact app. The short answer? It is really simple.

Create a CSV File for Export from Contacts?

Contacts Export Options

No. This is not the way. But the old school me always start thinking down this road. Then I realized there is no "export to CSV" feature in Contacts. You can however drag contacts into Numbers and the contacts will automatically converts to a table.

Mail Merge directly from MS Word?

No. Or rather, you could do this. If you create a new document from the "label wizzard" template in MS Word on the Mac, it will ask for permissions to access your address book. Allow it. (You could also enable the access via the Security & Privacy settings in System Preferences.) But frankly I cannot figure out how to use the mail merge feature in MS Word. Too complicated.

The Mac Way

Print Labels from Contacts

Even as a long time Apple convert, I still am amazed by these obvious answers when using Apple product. You want to print multiple addresses from your Contacts (address book) on your Mac onto Avery 5160 label sheets? You just do the obvious:

  1. Open your contacts application
  2. Select the contacts you want to print: I have all my holiday cards contact assigned to a group, so I select the group and do a select all to highlight all the contacts
  3. Select File / Print / Labels and pick the right Avery label type
  4. print

No need to do export, conversions, merges. Just print labels.

Amazon shuts down Special Occasion Reminder, adding birthday to address app in OSX

I received an email from Amazon at 3 am EST this morning telling me that they are shutting down the Special Occasion Reminder service. They are converting these reminders to their (new?) Friends & Family Gifting service. I understand that they are trying to encourage people to buy things from Amazon for these birthdays as gifts, but do they have to externally rename the service? If you have been a long time Amazon customer like myself, some of the very old reminder setup did not have a marker to say that the reminder is for a birthday. Those older reminders will not be converted. What to do? I can add those reminders back to the new service, or I can add the birthdays to my address book database on my Mac. I updated my address book on the Mac. This is how:

Adding Birthday field to the Address book app on the Mac

  1. Go to the Preferences menu
  2. Click on the Templates button
  3. Click Add Field and select Birthday
  4. Voila ! Each contact in the address book now has a birthday field


Moving Tips 2012


I moved so many times that I wrote up some moving tips on the web in 1996. You can read the old version there. This is an update version, ready for our next moving to the suburbs: According to some studies, moving is the second most stressful thing in life. Here are some tips for moving:

  1. Throw out all the stuff that you don't need months before you even found the new house. Most of our time is actually spent on this part. It is hard, but do it. (Optional) Watch any of the hoarders TV shows for inspiration.
  2. Buy more boxes then you think you need. You can always freecycle them afterwards. U-Haul has an "unused box return deal", but I have never managed to figure out how it actually works.
  3. Buy large clear plastic boxes for packing heavier items or for items that you want to keep dry. You can end up using these for putting items in storage as well. We buy the large ones from Costco.
  4. Pack to unpack. If you are to take away one tip, this is it. Come up with a numbering system for each room and area in the new house. Pack items so that each complete box contains items that are destine for one room. Label that box with the number. Your movers will love you, and you just cut unpacking time in half. I put blue or white masking tape on the boxes, and write "(1) Kitchen", or "(6) Bedroom" etc on them.
  5. Label and/or map all your computer and audio/video cables so that you can quickly plug everything back together.
  6. Plan furniture placement before the move. Asking the movers to rearrange furniture over and over waste time and money. I (being a amateur architect of sort) create a site plan of the new home and lay it out on floor planning software before the move.
  7. Give the movers clear instruction, and let them do their work. Do not have unnecessary family members around to give contradicting directions.
  8. Make sure the showers are working great in the new house before the move. Bring a personal care kit with you. It is nothing more annoying then not being able to at least relax and clean up while unpacking.

How to replace the battery on a Lexus GS300 Key Remote

These are the steps for replacing the battery on a 2004'ish Lexus GS300. The only tools you need is a small Phillips screw driver and a new battery, CR1616. [flickr]4413246177[/flickr]

This is the only tool you need.


Flip the key over and undo this screw.


This is the only hard part -- use the tip of your screw driver to pry, twist a little and at the same time push the top of the case back away from the key. The top part should pop off with little force.


The reason you need to push back a little is because of this "lip" at the back of the key that is holding the top down.


Pop the actual electronics module out. You can see why Lexus build great cars. The attention to details os amazing. They put the battery type on the case itself in case you lost the battery. The battery type is CR1616.


Undo the two screws on the electronics module, and flip open the cover. You can now replace the battery. Note that these two screws are of different length from the first one.


And you are Done !

I ordered my battery from Amazon. It is only a few dollars and gets shipped right to my door.