Using the Address Book - Lists

Address book lists are a convenient means of grouping addresses for multiple mailing.

There is some confusion as to how Netscape 7.1, and Mozilla handle mail lists. It may appear that creating a list often corrupts the Personal Address book. This is not true. The program does what it is designed to do, no more, no less.

Address book lists are not actually lists added to the address book, but function more like an INDEX file in any database program, and point to the actual address in the parent address book.

The proper method of creating a Mail list is as follows:

Open Address Book window:
In the left panel, Select the address book in which you wish to create the list.
(it will appear as dark background when selected)
Select NEW List from the top menu
A dailog box will open
Enter List Name, and any other information you want
Select "OK" and a small triangle arrow will apprear next to the Addressbook that you selected in the dialog box
With the left Mouse button click the triangle, and expand the display
In the left panel select the the Address book that contains the address you want. This will display the names in the right panel.
Using the Mouse, and either the Shift or Ctrl key - select the names that you want to add to the list.
Hold down the left mouse button and drag them to the list that you want to add them to, and release.
(The list will assume a dark background when it is selected.)
There is no indication that the names are COPIED, but if you open the list they are there.

Be aware that if you drag from one address book to another address book LIST, a NEW card will be created in the parent address book. e.g. If you select a name from the Collected Addresses, and drag it to a list in the Personal Address Book, a new card will be created in the Personal Address book.

Deleting a name from a LIST will not delete it from the parent Address Book. Deleting a name from the Parent Address book WILL delete it from any list dependent on that parent.

If this proceedure is followed, you should not have any problems with "corrupt" address books.

Most of the so called problems that appear are user generated as the result of using the "auto complete" function, and adding names manually to the list properties dialog box.

Backgound on how Mozilla and Netscape 7.1 handle address books cards:

When you create a NEW addressbook card, you enter:
First Name ( field 1), Last Name (field 2) and the program generates Diplay name (field 3) and you enter email address
(field 5). The critical field is "Display" - this is the field that is used by the program to search, as it is the only common field.. When Mozilla collects addresses it has no way of knowing first from last, and bases everything on on display name.

If you create an email addressed to and have selected to collect addresses you will get a NEW card with no first name, last name or display name, only an email address - when you look at the parent address book you will have an address card showing this. Just the email address and no other properties.
Please note the separators "<" - ">" these are required for everything to work correctly.
If you create an email addressed to john It will create a card with "john" as first name, no last name, and the generated display name "john"
john jones will create a card with first name john, last name jones and generated display name "john jones".

When you add entries manually to the list properties, they are handled the same way.

If you create an entry  john  <> this will create a card with "john" as first name  no last name
and the generated display name as "john"

 john jones
<>  this will create a card with first name john last name jones  and generated display name as "john jones"  and so on.....

You can now see how the address book breaks down, when you try and add names to the list properties box... especially if you do not follow the syntax rules.

Auto complete follows these conventions, and looks for the name in the display field, as this is the common field. Auto complete will start with the left field. If you select a name and it does not EXACTLY match the displayed field it will create a NEW card based on this data - that is how you get all the extra cards with the same email address.

If you have selected to "Look in Local Address books" and the address was found in an address book other that the parent address book of the list, a new card will be created in the parent address book. You could wind up with more than one card for a given name( in separate address books).

Deleting the name from the parent address book will delete it from the "list", but not from the original location. The entry will be removed from the list properties , but leaves a Blank entry in the "list" display right panel. This may be a legitimate BUG. Simply delete the Blank entry from the "list" display.


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Since 09/16/03