How do I set the default "To" address for contacts in Apple Mail ?

I have contacts in my Apple Address Book with multiple email addressses but I generally only want a specific email address to be used for each recipient 99% of the time. With some contacts, Apple Mail automatically reverts to an address that I do not want and I send the email without paying attention (since only the contact name is displayed in the line) and I have not been able to find a way to specify a default address on a per contact level or otherwise.

I looked into the 'previous addresses' list as potentially a place where this setting could be adjusted but that does not seem to be it.
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From the TidBITS ebook Take Control of Apple Mail in Tiger (

Although Apple improved Automatic Addressing somewhat in
the Tiger version of Mail, Im aware of two potentially troublesome
issues, which I explain here so you can best cope with them:
" The order in which matches appear when you use Automatic
Addressing is somewhat unpredictable. Usually, matches from
the Previous Recipients list and Address Book appear before
matches from LDAP servers, and matches of an email address
appear before matches of a name. But this doesnt always mean
you can easily get the address you want.
Suppose I enter MJ, my wifes initials, to send her a message.
Since those letters are part of her email address, it appears as one
of the options, though not necessarily the first onemy Address
Book has five addresses beginning with mj. Unless the address
I want is the only match (or at the top of the list), I have to pay
attention and scroll until I find the right oneextra steps that
make the process harder rather than easier. Mail has no
nickname feature to specify custom shortcuts for frequently
used addresses.
" As if to acknowledge the tendency of automatic address completion
to steer you wrong, Mail includes a preference to highlight
addresses outside domain(s) you specify. That way, if you
mistakenly choose John Smith your neighbor instead of John
Smith your CEO, you get some warning before sending that
confidential financial information.
Turn on this feature in the Composing preference pane by
selecting Mark Addresses Not in This Domain. Enter any safe
domains in the field provided; to use more than one, separate
them with commasfor example,, The next time you address a message to anyone
outside the specified domains, that persons address will appear
in red. Color is the only indication of an unsafe domainif youre
color blind or using a grayscale display, youre out of luck.



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htghtgAuthor Commented:
thanks for this. some useful info but is there no way to specify within 'address book' a DEFAULT address per contact?
Doesn't appear to be.... sorry.
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