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Address Book: How do you select, copy and paste info to an email?

3955 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Apr 5, 2012 1:47 PM by unfrostedpoptart RSS
musicspirit Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 31, 2011 3:42 PM
I look up a contact in my Mac Address Book and want to cut and paste email/address and phone into an email I am writing in another application - in this case using AOL online.

It seems that you cannot select and paste the information or selected parts of it from the Address Book to the email using the usual key commands to select/copy/paste text?

It is as if you are trying to copy from a photo... am I the only one to find this a completely mindless limitation of the Address Book?

Or is there something obvious I am missing?

thanks in advance

Mac Pro1,1 Dual-Core Intel Xeon 3GHz 5GB RAM + L9 + Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, Mac OS X (10.5.8), MacBookPro OS X (10.6.3) 2.66 + M Audio Fast Track Ultra
  • Barney-15E Level 7 Level 7 (33,305 points)
    That feature was available pre-Snow Leopard. However, all the programs were re-written for Snow Leopard and a few things didn't seem to make the cut. Nobody here knows whether the feature will reappear one day, nor can we speculate on its reappearance.
    However, you can create an Automator Service that will copy the selected card's info to the clipboard.
    Open Automator and select Service as the type of workflow.
    Set it to receive no input from Address Book.
    Click on the Contacts item in the Library and drag over the Get Selected Address Book Items action. Set it for People.
    Then, drag in a Get Contact Information action. Set it for the general information you'd like to copy. If you want it to ask for the info, click on Options at the bottom of the Action and set it to show this action when workflow runs.
    Click on Utilities in the Library and drag in a Copy to Clipboard action.
    Save the workflow and open Keyboard System Preferences. Find your service and create a shortcut for it. Now, in address Book, with a contact selected, Go to the Address Book menu, Services, and select your service. After selecting it once from the services menu, it will respond the the shortcut.
    1.8 SP G5/MBP 2.33/iPhone/MBP Unibody, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Neville Mayfield Level 4 Level 4 (1,305 points)
    Of course you can copy from AB to Mail! I've just done it.

    Drag over the info you want to copy to highlight it, use the usual copy command, go to Mail and paste into your email.

    If you want all the info for the contact just drag the contact's name from the AB window into the message part of Mail and a vCard will be created in your email.

    Have I missed something in the posts?

    Perhaps AOL doesn't allow pasting into an email.


    Message was edited by: Neville Mayfield
    Macbook Pro 2.53, 4GB RAM, 250GB, 1TB WD ext, Mac OS X (10.6.4), eMac 1.42MHz, 160GB, 10.4.11, 1.5 GB, Superdrive, 250GB My Book Essential
  • Barney-15E Level 7 Level 7 (33,305 points)
    The way I understood it (because it has been asked that way before), is selecting multiple fields (phone, email, address) and copying the whole thing. Yes, you can copy one single field, but you can't copy the entire card at once.
    1.8 SP G5/MBP 2.33/iPhone/MBP Unibody, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Neville Mayfield Level 4 Level 4 (1,305 points)
    Barney, you're right about not being able to select multiple fields in the copy & paste. Address & phone number would be at least 2 copy & paste's.

    The vCard of course can include all information in one move.

    I'm sure it would not be difficult for Apple's software engineers to allow multiple cmd-select items to be copied in one basic step or in fact drag-select over multiple fields too. Do you know whether this has been requested through the appropriate channels?

    Macbook Pro 2.53, 4GB RAM, 250GB, 1TB WD ext, Mac OS X (10.6.4), eMac 1.42MHz, 160GB, 10.4.11, 1.5 GB, Superdrive, 250GB My Book Essential
  • Barney-15E Level 7 Level 7 (33,305 points)
    It worked in Leopard. However, it wasn't terribly pretty. The formatting was kind of all over the place.
    I believe it has been submitted through feedback, but I don't know if anyone submitted it as a bug report or ER.
    1.8 SP G5/MBP 2.33/iPhone/MBP Unibody, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Barney-15E Level 7 Level 7 (33,305 points)
    You first should select the command from the Services menu that is in the Address Book menu. Once you have done that one time, the shortcut will work. And yes, you would then paste into your email. However, paste is cmd-v, not ctrl-v.
    1.8 SP G5/MBP 2.33/iPhone/MBP Unibody, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • blondieblue227 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    has this been fixed?


    why can't all of a address card be copied unto textEdit?

  • Taser_This Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    The omission of being able to copy the information at one time from an address book record is mind-numbing. 

  • mdp123 Calculating status...

    This worked fine on all OS's prior to Snow Leopard (to which I've just upgraded) and now this basic functionality was lost.  I frequently send vCards as attachments but sometimes you just need some of the text (but multiple fields) to be able to paste somewhere. 


    I'm amazed this isn't a basic feature kept by Address Book now on Lion.



  • unfrostedpoptart Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    This is insane!  I switched to Mac a few years ago (still use XP/Win7/Linux at work) and generally like it. However, I keep running into these idiotic and arbitratry limitations!  I want to create a bunch of address cards for people I work with.  Everthing is the same except phone extension, name, and email.  There's no way to copy/duplicate contacts in Mac Address Book or on my iPhone.  And, like many similar issues, if I dare to ask about it at an "Expert Bar", I'll first get a look of confusion and when I finally get the person to understand, I'll just get the useless response of "that's how it works".   No ideas for work-arounds. No reporting to Apple development. Just the attitude of "why would anyone want to do anything it doesn't already do?"


    It's great having all the Apple stores around here and being able to ask (simple) questions, but they're really not able to deal with much more than older folks who just bought a Mac and don't know how to use a computer at all. If you've been using dozens of computers and operating systems for 20+ years, they don't want to talk to you.




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