Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sharing Contacts with vCards

Electronic versions of old-fashioned Rolodex cards, vCards provide the fastest way to import contacts into your own Address Book or to share your Address Book contacts with friends, family, or colleagues.

Much like their physical predecessors, vCards contain basic contact information (such as name, address, phone, and email). But you can easily add information to enhance their value, including URLs, photos, or logos. And since the vCard format works cross-platform with many contacts programs, including Microsoft Outlook, you can exchange contacts with people who don’t use Address Book in Mac OS X Leopard.

To export a vCard from Address Book on your Mac, just highlight the contact and drag it to your desktop or directly into an email. (The file icon even looks like a Rolodex card.) To import a vCard into Address Book, drag the card-shaped icon into your open Address Book application or onto the Address Book icon in your Dock or Applications folder. Address Book opens (if not already open) and asks you to verify the import. Click Import to have Mac OS X store the vCard’s contact information in Address Book.

Spotlight Keywords Screenshot

Share contacts by dragging vCards to and from Address Book.

Want to export more than one contact from Address Book? Just Command-click to select multiple contacts, and drag them to the desktop or into an email. This method collects all the highlighted contacts in a single vCard file. (Note that although Address Book allows you to export multiple contacts in a single file, Microsoft Outlook only lets you import a single contact per file.)

When you drag this combined vCard into Address Book, all the contacts are added at once as separate Address Book contacts. So with vCards and Address Book, it’s as easy to share a large group of names as it is to share a single contact.

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