What Will Open a Vcf File?

By David Nield

A Vcf, or vCard, file is a digital contact card typically containing information such as telephone numbers and email addresses. The format is supported by many software applications, particularly those handling contact details, such as email clients and personal information managers. VCards use a simple way of storing information, so you can use a basic text editor such as Notepad to open and extract data from a Vcr file.

Gmail

A variety of Web-based email clients are able to handle Vcf files, including Google's Gmail. From the main Gmail inbox view click "Contacts" on the left, open the "More" menu at the top, then select "Import" from the list. Click the "Choose File" button to pick out a vCard file from the local computer. The Google Contacts system does not support some vCard elements, including contact attachments, distribution lists, and rich text formatting and unlimited text length in the "notes" field. When a certain field cannot be imported, Gmail displays an alert notification.

Outlook

The majority of professional email and contact management tools can open and save Vcf files. To load in a vCard from disk in Microsoft's Outlook, click the "File" menu and select "Open" and "Import" to launch the Import and Export Wizard. Choose the option labelled "Import a VCARD file (.vcf)," click "Next" and pick out the file from your system. The contact information is loaded into the main Contacts folder where you can viewed and edit it.

Windows Live Mail

Many freeware applications are able to handle the Vcf file format, including Microsoft's free email client, Windows Live Mail. To open up a vCard using the application, click the "Contacts" link down in the lower left-hand corner, then open up the "Import" menu from the ribbon at the top and pick "Business card (.VCF)" from the list. Select a Vcf file in the subsequent dialog box. Windows Live Mail imports the contact data into a new entry in its contacts database.

Other Programs and Converters

As the Vcf file format is supported as a standard by so many applications and services, there are many related tools and converters that can open this type of file. Examples include the Online vCard Converter at labs.brotherli.ch/vcfconvert, the CSV 2 VCF conversion tool from sourceforge.net/projects/csv2vcf and the simple VCF Viewer application available at sourceforge.net/projects/vcfviewer. Update your Vcf file tools on a regular basis to ensure compatibility with the latest features supported by the format.