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Archive for the ‘From PC to Mac’ Category

I have been a user of Windows/Intel machines for many years but am now predominantly a Mac user and I want to offer the tips and things I’ve learned in hopes of helping people avoid the confusion that I’ve suffered. A word of caution: I am still adapting, and the transition takes a long time. Real Mac users may read this and tell me there is an even better way to do this or that, and I welcome all comments.

Situation #1: You’ve been syncing your iPhone with a Wintel machine and its Microsoft Outlook email program and now want to shift gears and sync the same phone with your new Mac machine (laptop or desktop). You discover that on the Macbook is a program called Entourage, which is the Mac version of Outlook. What you want is that all your contacts, calendar information, etc. will transfer over to Entourage.

Mistake: On the Wintel machine, Outlook embodies all of the pieces you are using to manage your day (email/contacts/calendar/etc.) and so in your mind you look to Entourage on the Mac and think: “I want all my contacts in Entourage so that when I sync my phone with my Mac all the contacts will be there.” So you decide to export your Outlook data file (this can be done from your Wintel machine) and then import that data file into Entourage. Good news — this can in fact be done, and there is even a “mapping” feature in the Entourage program that allows you to match the contacts structure, which is called “mapping” (this tool is necessary because labeling for, let’s say, “email address” is different in each program, so you need to tell Entourage which label goes with which counterpart in the Outlook file).

Bad news: it doesn’t work and your contacts file in Entourage is a jumbled mess.

Revelation: Ah, Grasshoppa, here is your moment of revelation: On a Mac, the contacts file that will sync most easily with your iPhone, and the calendar that will also sync most easily with your iPhone, are separate programs…..that is, they are not inside the Entourage program (or even the Mac Mail program), or rather I should say: Let go of your attachment to the email program’s guts and embrace the Mac program called “Address Book” and the Mac program called “iCal”.

Solution: When you sync your iPhone with the iTunes file on your Mac (which means you will lose your music library on your phone, which is synced with the Wintel version of iTunes; in order to prevent piracy you are thwarted from copying your music library to iTunes on another device, but that sorry state of affairs is for a different essay), you will have the ability, through a tab in Itunes on your Mac computer, to copy your contacts file into the Mac program called “Address Book”, which will work and will update from your phone (and vice versa) as you make changes to either and then sync the devices going forward. The same is true for the calendar.

So this is one solution to the syncing problem, and it continues to work well for me.

Still Clunky: However, there still remains a fly in the ointment: you are now using the Entourage email program on the Mac, but the Mac’s own email program is Mac Mail (“Mail”). ┬áThe Address Book and iCal programs sync with Mail, not with Entourage, so when you are initiating email in Entourage, you want it to have a copy of all of the contact info in the Address Book. This can be done as follows, but it is not a continuous sync with the iPhone (i.e., you do it once manually and then need to do it manually again).

  • Export the entire contacts file from Address Book into a vCard (Group file) and save it on your Mac
  • Copy the vCard file into Entourage

Regarding Entourage versus Mail as email programs, I use them both (each for different email accounts). Entourage seems to have better graphics features and capabilities (e.g., “Paste Special / Picture”), but I have a feeling that I am under-utilizing the Mail program’s power.

I welcome all comments, tips, suggestions, and experiences.

Good luck to all.

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