Smart groups are groups of contacts where the membership is defined with rules. Contacts that match the rules of a smart group are filed in the group automatically.
To add a smart group tap the plus button. The app will ask you the name of the smart group.
To see the smart group rules, tap the group name.
To edit a smart group name or delete a smart group tap edit. Tap the red minus button to show the delete button; tap the blue disclosure button to change the smart group name.
Each group can contain as many rules are needed. If a group has more than one rule, a contact has to match all of them to be filed in the group.
When showing the group rules you can see and modify each rule detail by tapping the rule name.
To remove or add a rule tap the edit button. To remove a rule tap the red minus button. To add a new rule tap the green plus button.
Rule name can be used to remember what a rule does. You can also leave it empty and ABContacts will use the name "Rule" automatically.
There are five types of rules, we'll see later how they work in depth.
The first type is "Match never" and it's used only as a placeholder when you create a new rule. Probably you should never use this rule type in a real life situation.
The second type is "Field not empty"; use this rule when you want to check if a field is empty or filled.
The third type is "Text match" which is probably the rule type you'll use most; with this rule you can check if a field contains some text.
The fourth type is "Birthday" and the fifth is "Events". These are very similar and works on dates.
Each rule can have different options; one of this option, which is common to all rule types, is "negate". If you turn on the "negate" switch the rule is reversed. This means that contacts that do NOT match the rule are filed in the group. This can be very useful since many complex rules can be easily defined using the negation of a simpler rule.
Rules of type "Field not empty" and "Text match" works on address book fields. You can use these fields in your rules : note, company, first name, last name, job title, department, work city, work state, work country, home city, home state, home country. You can also specify any city, any state, any country when you're not interested in the type of address. You can also use a combination of first name, last name and company to check all three fields with a single rule.
Other fields may be added in future version of ABContacts. Please note that the more different fields you use in your smart groups, the more information have to be loaded by ABContacts so keeping the number of used field small is a key to has speed if you have a lot of contacts.
Rules of type "Field not empty" can be used to check if a contact field is filled or empty. The negate switch can be used to reverse the meaning (i.e. to check if a field IS empty) and the field selector to choose which field the rule has to check.
This kind of rule can be useful if you want to easily see which contacts have missing parts or to separate companies from individuals.
Combined with other rules you can use them for more complex checks.
Rules of type "Text match" can be used to check if a contact field contains some text terms that you have typed in the "Text to match" field.
You can type in a single term or multiple terms separated with spaces.
The negate switch can be used to reverse the meaning, i.e. to check if a field DOES NOT contain the term(s), and the field selector to choose which field the rule has to check.
You can also choose between two types of matches: "Match all" means that ALL term has to be matched in order to have the contact filed to the group. "Match any" means that AT LEAST ONE term has to be matched in the contact field in order to have the contact filed to the group.
The last option is the "Full search" switch. If the switch is off, terms are matched with words starting chars only . If the switch is on terms are matched even in the middle of words.
Please check the examples below to fully understand how to use all these options.
Rule types "Birthday" and "Events" are very similar. We'll see events rules only as birthdays rules are similar but work on birthday dates whereas events rules work on other dates.
This rule type checks dates. There is the "Events" field where you can choose the range of dates that should be checked. You can choose between today, tomorrow, 7 days, 15 days, 30 days and 60 days. The "Add past 7 days" switch can be used to tell ABContacts to check the past 7 days also. This can be useful to see events you've missed because they have already passed.
You can also type in event labels or part of them. If you leave that field empty all events are checked. If you type in some text, only labels that matches are checked. You can type in more than one label separated by spaces. Events with each label will be checked. You can also type in part of label(s), ABContacts will match labels that starts with the parts you've typed in.
Here are a couple examples for the text match rule.
If you want to create a group that shows all contacts that contain a text in the note field you simply have to create one rule with text match type, type in the text to match, choose "Match all" as the match type. If you type in partial text then turn on the full search text. For example if you type in "golf" all contacts that contain golf or any word that starts with golf are matched when the full search switch is off (for example, "golf" and "golfer" will be matched); with the full search switch on, even contacts that contain "golf" in the middle of words will be matched (for example "montgolfier").
To create a group that contains all people with last names in the range A - F you can use a text match rule, type in "a b c d e f" in the text to match field, choose "Match any" as the match type. Leave the full search switch off.
This will match contacts that have the last name that starts with any letter in the range A-F. If a last name has more than one word (for example "Mc Donald") each word is checked and if at least one matches the contact will match the rule.
To create a group with all the contacts in California, with the word "recall" or "email" in notes and with an event with label "visit" in the next 30 days you have to create three rules.
The first rule is a text match rule, type in "CA" or "California" (depending on the text you usually type in in the state field), "Match All" match type and full search off. Choose the work or any state as field.
The second rule is also a text match rule on the notes field, type in "recall email"; leave full search off and set "Match any" as match type.
The third rule is an event rule, with the "Events" field set at 30 days; type in "visit" in the labels field.