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.

Review of Delineato Pro, a light weight diagramming tool for the Mac

I came across Delineato Pro almost by chance while browsing the App Store. A quick googling around, after reading the developer interaction with his users on macrumors forum, I bought it just to try it out. I wrote the review with it as you can see below. For the search engine: I recommend giving a try, especially if you are frustrated with the complicated feature set of OmniGraffle, and find pure mind mapping tools too restrictive in terms of layout.

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


Itunes Music Match Resource Usage

My main  music library is on my 2011 Mac Mini, 2.3GHz 8G ram Core i5 CPU. Right now it is half way matching my 9000+ songs. Looking at the activity monitor, it is using up one entire CPU, with 35 threads and about 500 Meg of real memory. I assume the matching process is some sort of checksum computation and then a network query, which is why it is CPU intensive but not network intensive.

Modifier keys not working in Lion for External Keyboard

Lion Tip of the Day:

As a emacs user, I always change the caps lock key on my Mac keyboards to "Control". This is in fact a nice built in feature since Leopard. However today I docked my new MacBook Pro for the first time and the Caps Lock key on my external aluminum keyboard (USB) does not send the new modifier key.

Turned out this is a feature. In Lion, you can select different modifier key actions for different keyboards. There is a new dropdown at the top. Select external keyboard and update the modifier key.

Mac Bluetooth wireless keyboard tips and tricks

[flickr size=small float=right][/flickr]I bought a new bluetooth wireless keyboard for my MacBook Pro to reduce clutter at my home office. Immediately I run into a few "problems" that can easily be solved.

Volume keys do not work

The top of the bluetooth keyboard has all the special keys to control volumne, play/pause etc. I was so disapponted that they do not work! They invoke the normal function key functions instead, running spaces etc. Then I remembered. I most likely have to install the latest keyboard driver. Click on the Apple menu, software update, downloaded the new driver, and all is well. This happened when I added the magic mouse as well. So, remember to run software update after adding new hardware.

[flickr size=small float=right][/flickr]

Changing the Caps Lock Key to Control

This is for the hardcore programming using emacs. We live by the control key. Almost all modern keyboard move the control key to somewhere horrible. Well, OS X (bless Apple) actually have a system wide setting that let you change the pretty much useless Caps Lock key into Control .Just go to System Preferences, Keyboard, Keyboard Tab, modifier keys and change the mapping for the "Caps Lock" key to "Control". Your hands will thank you.

Get the CSV QuickLook plugin for your Finder

I have been using Macs for three years now. Yet I did not know you can install additional plugins for QuickLook so that you can quickly view different types of file in the finder just by pressing the spacebar ! I work with CSV files a lot and it has always been a pain having to open them in numbers or openoffice to view them. Now come (free) CSV quicklook plugins. You can find a lot of different plugins at this site . This CSV plugin is the one that I installed.

How to Install

  1. Go to the download site, often it is something on
  2. click on the <whatever plugin name>.dmg to download the software
  3. Click on the downloaded DMG file and it should open in Finder
  4. copy the <whatever plugin name>.qlgenerator file into your quicklook plugin directory: Either at /Library/QuickLook/ or ~/Library/QuickLook/
  5. If you copy into ~/Library... it will only be available to your account. If the ~/Library/QuickLook directory is not there, create it first.
  6. either reboot, or start a terminal session and type: qlmanage -r

That is it!