Sharing Contacts with vCards: MS Outlook

Dennis Faas's picture

A vCard presents contact information as an electronic business card that can be sent via e-mail. vCards are based on an open standard, allowing any application that supports vCards to share contact information. In addition to sending a vCard as an attachment, you can also include it with your message signature.

When you receive a message with a vCard attached, a paper clip icon appears in the preview pane to indicate the attachment. Use one of the following methods to add the data in the vCard as a contact entry:

  • From the preview pane, select the paper clip icon and click the filename that appears.
  • If you've opened the message, right-click the business card icon in the message and click Open.

After you can view the information sent in the vCard, click Save And Close to add the information to your contacts list. You can also drag a vCard from a message to your Contacts folder to add the contact information.

Creating a vCard from a Contact entry

One way to send contact information to someone else is to attach the contact entry to a message as a vCard. You can use this method to share your own contact information or to share one or more other contact entries with another person.

Follow the steps below to attach a vCard to a message:

  1. In the Contacts folder, select the contact item you want to send as a vCard.
  2. Choose Actions, Forward As vCard. Outlook opens a new message from with the contact entry attached as a vCard.
  3. Specify an address, complete the message s you would any other, and then click Send to send it.

Including a vCard with Your Signature

The second method of sharing a contact is useful when you want to share your own contact information. Rather than attaching it to a message, you can have Outlook send it along with your message signature. This ensures that the vCard is sent with all out-going messages.

Follow these steps to add your contact information as a vCard to your message signature:

  1. Create your own contact entry if you haven't already done so.
  2. Choose Tools | Options.
  3. On the Mail Format tab, click Signatures.
  4. Click New.
  5. Enter a name for your signature.
  6. Select Start With A Blank Signature.
  7. Click Next.
  8. In the Edit Signature dialog box, click New vCard from Contact.
  9. In the Select Contacts To Export as vCards dialog box, select your name from the contact list, click Add, and then click OK.
  10. Click Finish and then OK twice.

Now your contact information will be attached to all outgoing messages.

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