How to Create a vCard on Your iMac

By Mark L. Chambers

A vCard is a standard file format for exchanging contact information between programs such as Contacts, Microsoft Entourage, Microsoft Outlook, Eudora, and the Android operating system. (Heck, if you’re sharp enough to have an iPod, iPhone, or iPad, you can even store vCard data there.) Think of a vCard as an electronic business card that you can attach to an e-mail message, send via File Transfer Protocol (FTP), or exchange with others by using your smartphone and tablet computer. vCard files end with the extension .

If you want to create a vCard using your iMac, you can do so in Contacts. You can create a single vCard containing one or more selected entries by choosing File→Export→Export vCard. Then, like with any other OS X Save dialog, just navigate to the spot where you want the file saved, give it a name, and click Save.

Here are two ways to import vCards into Contacts:

  • Drag the vCard files to Contacts and drop them in the application window.

  • Choose File→Import (or press the Command key+O). From the Open dialog, navigate to the location of the vCard files that you want to add, select them, and then click Open.

The vCard tab in the Contacts Preferences window allows you to choose the format of your exported vCard files. Older devices work only with vCard 2.1 format, while newer applications recognize the improved vCard 3 format. You can also specify whether your exported vCard files will contain the contents of the Notes field and also whether they will include any photos you’ve attached. If you’d rather not provide the private data on your personal (or Me) card in a vCard, make sure that you select the Enable Private Me Card check box.