(vCards) How to Receive and Send Business Cards in Outlook

By standss Thursday, October 21st, 2010

In the physical (paper) world, printed business cards are a common way of sharing contact information. Do you know that Outlook also provides a very effective way of sending electronic business cards?

What is an electronic business card?

Electronic business cards are called vCards and are files with the extension vcf. vCards are now recognized by most email clients so you can use Outlook to send and receive vCards even if they do not use Outlook.

Outlook makes it easy to:

  1. Send vCards: Convert any contact record to a vCard file (and then send the file)
  2. Receive vCards: Convert a received vCard into a contact in your Outlook

Create your own Business Card (vCard)

vCards in Outlook are made from contact records. To make your vCard you first need to create an Outlook contact with your own details in it.

  1. If you are using Outlook 2010, (on the ribbon) click on the Home TabNew Items-Contact to open a new contact record (or create a new contact record using any other method).
    For earlier versions of Outlook, (on the menu) click File-New-Contact.
  2. Enter any details about yourself that you want to share with others.
  3. Click Save & Close.

Your contact record is now ready to be used as an electronic business card.

Send your vCard with all your emails

The easiest way to send your vCard to others is to add it to your signature so that it gets attached automatically to emails.

The following steps explain how to create a new signature with a vCard. The steps to add a vCard to an existing email are very similar.

  1. If you are using Outlook 2010, (on the ribbon) click File-Options. Select the Mail section and then click the Signatures button.
    For other versions of Outlook, (on the menu) click on Tools-Options, click on the Mail Format tab and then the Signatures button.
  2. Click New to add a new signature.
  3. Enter a name for your signature, and then click Next.
  4. Type the desired signature information in the text window.
  5. In Outlook 2010 and 2007, click Business Card, select the contact that you want to add, and then click OK three times.
    In earlier versions of Outlook, click New vCard from Contact.
  6. In the Show Names from the box, select Contacts or another address list.
  7. Click to select the entry for which you want to create a vCard, click OK, click Finish, and then click OK to complete the signature entry.
  8. Assign this signature to the Email account you want and click OK

Now (depending on your signature settings) when you create a new e-mail, your Business Card will be automatically attached to it.

If the signature is not assigned to your e-mail account, you can insert it by:

If you are using Outlook 2010/2007:

  1. On your composed e-mail, go to Insert tab
  2. Click Signature and select your signature that has the Business Card

If you are using earlier versions of Outlook:

  1. On your composed e-mail, go to Insert menu > Signature
  2. Select your signature that has the Business Card

Receiving vCards and adding them to your Contacts

If you receive an email with a vCard (vcf file), it is super easy to add it to your Contacts list.

If you are using Outlook 2010/2007:

  1. Right-click on the Business Card in the received e-mail
  2. Click on Add to Contacts.
  3. A contacts window will open with all the fields filled-in from the Business Card.
  4. Make any needed changes then Click Save and Close

If you are using earlier versions of Outlook:

  1. Double-click on the Business Card in the received e-mail
  2. Outlook will open the window in a Contact form
  3. Click Save and Close to save that contact to your Default Contacts folder.

Sending other people’s contact information

Do you need to send someone’s contact details to someone else? Now you can just send their vCard (I am assuming here that the person is in your contact list).

In Outlook 2010/2007:

  1. Click on the Insert tab on the ribbon
  2. Click on Business Card and select the name you want to insert on the list (Click Other Business Cards if the name is not on the list).

In earlier versions of Outlook:

  1. Open the contact (person whose business card you need to send).
  2. In the open contact, on the Actions menu, click Forward as vCard. Outlook attaches the contact information in a vCard file called contactname.vcf
  3. Complete the rest of the message and click Send.

I hope that this guide to vCards has been useful. Please let me know what you think by commenting.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips

2 thoughts on “(vCards) How to Receive and Send Business Cards in Outlook

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