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Set preferred search result match in Address Book Apps
Snow Leopard only hintThere no obvious way to set which card is selected by default in the Address Book search results. But it is possible to do so with a little keyboard workout.

Important: cards with a blank First Name or Last Name field will always be selected first when searching (e.g. searching for Jo will always select the card John instead of John Smith). A workaround is to insert a single space in the blank field. With that in mind, here's how to set which card appears selected by default when searching:
  1. Search using letters that bring up multiple results (for example, Da could return several Davids).
  2. Select the card you want to appear by default for that search query.
  3. Make sure the search field is active (Command-F), then hit the Right (or Left) Arrow key, and then Return (or Enter), one after the other. Repeat this sequence at least three times.
  4. Clear the search box and search again, using the same query. If the desired card is selected, you are done. If not, you will have to repeat the last step, and increase the number of repetitions (some cards might require over 20).
Note: First and last names will always be selected before nicknames. So a card with Bill in the First Name field will always be selected before a card with Bill in the Nickname field. Bonus: Search results in the Spotlight menu will respect these preferences as well.

[robg adds: I tried this in 10.5, too, but it doesn't seem to work there. It definitely works in 10.6, though. I was even able to reassign the preferred card from a group of family members with relative ease.]
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