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Ask me about my Address Book

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

I ran into an issue where Apple’s Mail.app was adding contacts to Address Book, seemingly at random. After a call with the very helpful Apple Support folks, I think I’ve tracked it down to this:

add-sender.png

Add Sender to Address Book is, by default, aliased to Command-Shift-Y. When you press this shortcut or select the menu item, seemingly nothing happens. No dialog asking you if you’re sure, no confirmation that the sender was added. Address Book doesn’t even open.

This is a pretty awful behavior, especially for a menu item with a keyboard shortcut. I’m betting that I’ve pressed this by accident many times, likely when trying to mark as unread (Command-Option-U). I had no idea that menu item was even there, much less that it was bound to a keyboard shortcut I might be hitting.

It’s super important to always provide some sort of feedback after an action is taken, especially when they’re invoking a keyboard shortcut, and doubly especially when dealing with their data.

I’ve filed bug 6577578 about this. Hopefully we’ll see a fix in an upcoming version of Mac OS X.

For now though, you can use this handy defaults command to remove the offending keyboard shortcut:

defaults write com.apple.mail NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add "Add Sender to Address Book" "nil"

Hopefully this was actually the root cause of my issue, and not some kind of crazy Mail.app bug.