Get Address Book phone numbers in the Spotlight menu

Spotlight in your menu bar hooks nicely into Address Book. Type a name in the search field, and the contact(s) will show up in the Spotlight menu. Point to the contact, hover for a few seconds, and get all the phone numbers for that contact in a help tag, so you don’t have to open Address Book itself. But, wait – that’s not the tip, because there’s a slight problem: all the phone numbers show up, unidentified as to which is work, home, cell, and so on.

It’s easy to assume that you can enter phone numbers into Address Book fields in only one of two formats (123-4567 and 123-456-7890) because when you type in 7- or 10-digit numbers, the hyphens are automatically added for you. But you’re not stuck with just that. You can type more than 10 characters (such as 123-456-7890wk) and the first 10 will be formatted as expected, while the extra ones will just be tacked on to the end where you typed them. You see where I’m going with this, don’t you?

Top, the help tag for "normal" phone numbers on Mike's contact card. Bottom, after altering the numbers in Address Book to identify work, home, and cell numbers.

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