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How to Swap Bytes with vCards

A vCard is a standard file format for exchanging contacts between programs such as Address Book on your MacBook, Microsoft Entourage and Outlook, Eudora, and the Android operating system. (Heck, if you’re awesome enough to have an iPod, iPad, or iPhone, 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 or exchange with others by using your cellular phone and palmtop computer. vCard files end with the extension .vcf.

In Address Book, you can create a single vCard containing one or more selected entries by choosing File→Export and choosing Export vCard. Then, as with any other Mac OS X Save dialog, just navigate to the spot where you want the file saved, give it a name, and click Save.

To import vCards into Address Book

  • Drag the vCard files that you’ve received to Address Book and drop them in the application window.

  • Alternatively, choose File→Import (or press Command+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 Address Book Preferences window allows you to choose the format of your exported vCard files (older devices work only with vCard 2.1 format, whereas 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 whether they will include any photos you’ve attached.

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