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Addressing Address Books For Linux - page 4

1, 2, 3, 4... Contact

  • April 1, 2004
  • By Rob Reilly

The Ximian Evolution personal information manager has a built-in address book. It has a spreadsheet style user interface and drop-down menus for support functions, like the distribution (known as a contact list in Ximian). There is a selection bar on the left that lets the user jump to other personal information manager functions. Along the right side are the alphabet buttons, that sort contacts by the chosen first letter.

Key Evolution Features - version 1.2.3 (Ximian)
Simple list style user interface
Import vcard files, LDAP directory based address data and Outlook Express data
Personal information manager tasks integrated into left tool bar
Synchronization with Palm Pilot

The Evolution address book can be started in a number of ways:

  • From a menu item on your KDE or Gnome, etc. startup menu
  • From an icon on your desktop
  • From the command line: evolution

With Evolution running, you'll see the normal task bar buttons at the top. Along the left side is the personal information management task bar. The task bar has buttons for a daily summary page, viewing your in-box, a calendar, to-do tasks and contacts. In the middle of the screen is the list of contacts, as is the search text box. Just to the left of the search box is a drop down button with common user search criteria. This button also brings up the advanced search form.

Entering new contacts can be accomplished by clicking the "New" button at the top. A new card pane will pop up and let you add your contact's name, address, phone numbers and so on. The "Details" tab has fields for Managers's Name, Spouse's Name, Birthday and Anniversary, along with a "notes" area. When you click on the Birthday or Anniversary, the little calendar conveniently pops up. The detail form is a virtual mirror image of KaddressBooks form. Go figure.

The Evolution address book can import LDAP, Outlook Express, vcard and .CVS files. Export is similar with .CVS and vcard 3.0 files. You can save files in the vcard format.

Distribution lists, known as contact lists in Evolution, are created using the "New" button and then choosing "Contact List". A little contact list editor window will appear so you can add names and email addresses.

Lot's of people really like Evolution, because of it's summary page and good integration with email. It's a developing product that shows great promise.

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