Create and share contacts as Electronic Business Cards

Electronic Business Card Electronic Business Cards make it easier to create, view, and share contact information in Microsoft Outlook. An Electronic Business Card is another view of a contact that displays information from the contact in a highly recognizable form.

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Create Electronic Business Cards

Electronic Business Card shows a subset of the information in the related contact form

Callout 1 A contact form that contains Jon Morris's information.
Callout 2 A view of the Edit Business Card dialog box, with the corresponding fields filled in for Jon Morris's Electronic Business Card.

Build a new Electronic Business Card or modify an existing one

You can build an Electronic Business Card from new information, or you can base a new card on an existing one. If you want to create multiple Electronic Business Cards that share some common contact information, it might be easier to change an existing card. For example, you might want to have three cards, one for work, one for home use, and one for a club membership.

Before you add or change the contact information, choose the layout and background for your card. Add any pictures or other graphics. Each of these elements helps you position the text when you add contact information.

Do the following to change an existing Electronic Business Card or to create one from a blank card:

Choose the layout and background

  1. In Contacts, on the Home tab, in the New group, click New Contact.

New Contact command on the ribbon

  1. In the contact form, click the business card to open the Edit Business Card box.
  2. Under Card Design, click the Layout list arrow and click a layout from the list. A Text Only layout is available for a card with no picture, logo, or other image.

 Note    When you start, the default Outlook card layout is visible in the preview box next to the Card Design section. You can also use this image and the layout choices for your card.

  1. If you want a background color for the card, click Background, and then click a color.
  2. If you want to add an image, such as a picture or company logo, use the image options to add, size, and position the image.

 Note    To delete the default or other image on the card, select Text Only in the Layout list. To remove all added information and start over, click Reset Card.

Format the contact information

  1. To remove a field from the card, click the field, and then click Remove.
  2. To add empty line spaces, click the field above where you want the empty space, click Add, and then click Blank Line.

 Tip    By default, empty line spaces on a card show as Blank Line fields. As you add information to the card, you can add new information fields between the Blank Line fields. For example, click Blank Line, click Add, and then click a field. The field appears beneath the blank line.

  1. To position text on the card, click a field, and under the Fields list, use the Up and Down arrows to move the fields. You can also move blank lines this way, to add more space between lines of text.
  2. To format text, use the formatting and style buttons under Edit.

 Note    If you click Reset Card, the card reverts to the default Outlook design and the information that is entered in the default fields in the contact form.

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Save a contact or Electronic Business Card

When you receive contact information as an Electronic Business Card or a contact form (contact form: A view of an individual contact that contains all the information stored in the contact.) (as a .vcf file) in an e-mail message, you can right-click the card or the attached .vcf file, and then choose options. If your contact list already includes the same name, you can update the existing contact or create a new one.

Save an Electronic Business Card that you receive

  1. In an open message, right-click the card, and then click Add to Outlook Contacts.
  2. On the Contact tab, in the Actions group, click Save & Close.
  3. If a duplicate contact name is detected, do one of the following:
  • Click Add new contact.

A new contact is created.

  • Click Update information of selected Contact.

Existing duplicate contacts are listed. Double-click a contact, update the information on the contact form, and then save it.

The new contact information is saved in Contacts and includes an Electronic Business Card. You can change the contact information at any time.

Save a received .vcf file

  1. In the message header, double-click the .vcf file attachment. This opens the card in a contact form in Contacts.
  2. On the Contacts tab, in the Actions group, click Save & Close.

 Note    If you already have a contact with the same name, when you click Save & Close, you can choose to add a new contact or update an existing contact..

In the Actions group, you can click Save & New. This saves the contact and then opens a new, empty contact form.

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Send Electronic Business Cards to other people

Electronic Business Cards can be shared in e-mail messages. They provide a corporate or personal visual identity similar to a paper business card. How the Electronic Business Card is displayed to recipients depends on the e-mail application that is used.

Recipients who use Microsoft Outlook     In Outlook 2010 or Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, the Electronic Business Card appears in the message exactly as you see it. The recipient right-clicks the card to save the contact information to his or her Outlook Contacts.

Recipients who use earlier versions of Outlook or other e-mail applications that use HTML to view messages also see the Electronic Business Card in their message. However, these cards are only images and are not clickable. A .vcf file is attached to the message which contains the information in the Electronic Business Card. The .vcf file can be opened and the information saved to the contact list.

Recipients who view messages in plain text     People whose e-mail program uses plain text do not see an image of the Electronic Business Card. A .vcf file is attached to the message which contains the information in the Electronic Business Card. The .vcf file can be opened and the information saved to the contact list.

In any e-mail application, the attached .vcf file can be opened and saved to the contact list.

.vcf attachment in a message header

Include an Electronic Business Card in an e-mail message

  1. In a new message, on the Message tab, in the Include group, click Attach Item, click Business Card, and then click a name in the list.
  2. If you don't see the name that you want, click Other Business Cards, click the name in the Filed As list, and then click OK.

Attach Other Business Cards command on the ribbon

 Notes 

  • The Business Card menu includes the last 10 contact names that were inserted as Electronic Business Cards in messages.
  • You can insert multiple Electronic Business Cards in a message.
  • To help distinguish between duplicate names on the Business Card menu, click Other Business Cards. More information appears, including a card preview, in the Insert Business Card dialog box.
  • If you drag a business card from Business Cards view into a new message, only a .vcf file is included when the message is sent. This attached .vcf file opens the contact form with all the information that the recipient can save to a contact list.

Include an Electronic Business Card in your e-mail signature

By adding your Electronic Business Card to your e-mail signature, your contact information is included in each message that you send. An e-mail signature can contain only an Electronic Business Card. Recipients can right-click the card in the signature (or right-click the .vcf file) to save it directly to their contacts list.

How a signature with an Electronic Business Card appears in a message

Callout 1 When you send a message that has a signature that includes an Electronic Business Card, a .vcf file is attached that contains all the contact information. This enables recipients with other e-mail applications to view and save the contact information.
Callout 2 The card appears in the signature.
Callout 3 When you receive a message that includes a card in the signature, right-click the card image, and then click Add to Contacts.
  1. In a new message, on the Message tab, in the Include group, click Signature, and then click Signatures.

Signatures command on the ribbon

  1. On the E-mail Signature tab, under Select signature to edit, click the signature to which you want to add a business card.

If you want to build a new signature, click New, type a name for the signature, and then click OK. Then click the name of the new signature in the Select signature to edit list.

  1. In the Edit Signature box, type the text that you want to include in the signature.
  2. To add an Electronic Business Card, place your cursor where you want the card to appear in the signature text, click Business Card, and then click a contact name on the Filed As list. Click OK.

Download free electronic business card templates  Use the professionally designed card templates on Office Online or get ideas for designing your own.  You can also find printable and Community-submitted card designs.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010