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Filename extension.vcf, .vcard
Internet media typetext/x-vcard
Type codevCrd
Uniform Type Identifierpublic.vcard
Developed byInternet Mail Consortium
Type of formatelectronic business card
Container forcontact information

vCard is a file format standard for electronic business cards. vCards are often attached to e-mail messages, but can be exchanged in other ways, such as on the World Wide Web. They can contain name and address information, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, URLs, logos, photographs, and even audio clips.


Versitcard was originally proposed in 1995 by the Versit Consortium, which consisted of Apple, AT&T Technologies (later Lucent), IBM and Siemens. In December 1996, ownership of the format was handed over to the Internet Mail Consortium, a trade association for companies with an interest in Internet e-mail. vCard is accompanied by a proposed standard for exchanging data about forthcoming appointments called vCalendar, since superseded by iCalendar; the Internet Mail Consortium has issued a statement that it "hopes that all vCalendar developers take advantage of these new open standards and make their software compatible with both vCalendar 1.0 and iCalendar."

Version 2.1 of the vCard standard is widely supported by e-mail clients. Version 3.0 of the vCard format is an IETF standards-track proposal contained in RFC 2425 and RFC 2426. The vCardDAV working group of the IETF is updating the vCard format. The commonly-used filename extension for vCards is vcf. In RFC 4770, vCard Extensions for Instant Messaging, a new type of entry to hold an IMPP URI is defined, which is "IMPP".

Derivatives and Applications

The hCard microformat, a 1:1 representation of vCard in semantic (X)HTML, allows publishers to embed vCard data in web pages. There are browser extensions such as Operator for Firefox; and there are technologies that convert such hCards into vCards, thus providing interoperability between hCards published on the web, and the aforementioned vCard clients.

An XML vCard format has been defined by the XMPP Standards Foundation and is in use with technologies such as XMPP and Light-Weight Identity. W3C has published a note on RDF-based encoding for vCard).

Sending vCards by Bluetooth is one of the most broadly compatible but inelegant forms of placecasting. Since sending vCards via Bluetooth does not require device pairing, some use the standard to transmit anonymous messages (see bluejacking).

Applications have different implementations of the vCard standard. The Address Book application in Mac OS X and the KDE Kontact application accept any number of contacts in a single vCard file and allow export of any set of contacts, or all contacts, in one vCard file, while Microsoft Outlook only accepts one contact per file. Google Contacts will import and export Mac OS X or similar vCard files.

Example vCard file

The following is an example of a VCard file containing information for one person:

vCard 2.1:

FN:Forrest Gump
ORG:Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
TITLE:Shrimp Man
TEL;WORK;VOICE:(111) 555-1212
TEL;HOME;VOICE:(404) 555-1212
ADR;WORK:;;100 Waters Edge;Baytown;LA;30314;United States of America
LABEL;WORK;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:100 Waters Edge=0D=0ABaytown, LA 30314=0D=0AUnited States of America
ADR;HOME:;;42 Plantation St.;Baytown;LA;30314;United States of America
LABEL;HOME;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:42 Plantation St.=0D=0ABaytown, LA 30314=0D=0AUnited States of America
EMAIL;PREF;INTERNET:[email protected]

vCard 3.0:

FN:Forrest Gump
ORG:Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
TITLE:Shrimp Man
TEL;TYPE=WORK,VOICE:(111) 555-1212
TEL;TYPE=HOME,VOICE:(404) 555-1212
ADR;TYPE=WORK:;;100 Waters Edge;Baytown;LA;30314;United States of America
LABEL;TYPE=WORK:100 Waters Edge\nBaytown, LA 30314\nUnited States of America
ADR;TYPE=HOME:;;42 Plantation St.;Baytown;LA;30314;United States of America
LABEL;TYPE=HOME:42 Plantation St.\nBaytown, LA 30314\nUnited States of America
EMAIL;TYPE=PREF,INTERNET:[email protected]



Name Description Semantic
N Name A structured representation of the name of the person, place or thing associated with the vCard object.
FN Formatted Name The formatted name string associated with the vCard object
PHOTO Photograph An image or photograph of the individual associated with the vCard
BDAY Birthday Date of birth of the individual associated with the vCard
ADR Delivery Address A structured representation of the physical delivery address for the vCard object
LABEL Label Address Addressing label for physical delivery to the person/object associated with the vCard
TEL Telephone The canonical number string for a telephone number for telephony communication with the vCard object
EMAIL Email The address for electronic mail communication with the vCard object
MAILER Email Program (Optional) Type of email program used
TZ Time Zone Information related to the standard time zone of the vCard object
GEO Global Positioning The property specifies a latitude and longitude
TITLE Title Specifies the job title, functional position or function of the individual associated with the vCard object within an organization (V. P. Research and Development)
ROLE Role or occupation The role, occupation, or business category of the vCard object within an organization (e.g. Executive)
LOGO Logo An image or graphic of the logo of the organization that is associated with the individual to which the vCard belongs
AGENT Agent Information about another person who will act on behalf of the vCard object. Typically this would be an area administrator, assistant, or secretary for the individual
ORG Organization Name or Organizational unit The name and optionally the unit(s) of the organization associated with the vCard object. This property is based on the X.520 Organization Name attribute and the X.520 Organization Unit attribute
NOTE Note Specifies supplemental information or a comment that is associated with the vCard
REV Last Revision Combination of the calendar date and time of day of the last update to the vCard object
SOUND Sound By default, if this property is not grouped with other properties it specifies the pronunciation of the Formatted Name property of the vCard object.
URL URL An URL is a representation of an Internet location that can be used to obtain real-time information about the vCard object
UID Unique Identifier Specifies a value that represents a persistent, globally unique identifier associated with the object
VERSION Version Version of the vCard Specification
KEY Public Key The public encryption key associated with the vCard object

In addition, because vCard augments RFC-2425, a standard for directory information, the following property types are also supported: SOURCE, NAME, PROFILE, BEGIN, END.

vCard extensions

vCard supports private extensions, with a "X-" prefix, a number of which are in common usage.

Some of these include:

Extension Used As Data Semantic
extensions supported by multiple different programs
X-ABUID property string Apple Address Book UUID for that entry
X-ANNIVERSARY property YYYY-MM-DD arbitrary anniversary, in addition to BDAY = birthday
X-ASSISTANT property string assistant name (instead of Agent)
X-MANAGER property string manager name
X-SPOUSE property string spouse name
X-GENDER property string value "Male" or "Female"
X-AIM property string Instant Messaging (IM) contact information; TYPE parameter as for TEL (I.e. WORK/HOME/OTHER)
X-ICQ property string "
X-JABBER property string "
X-MSN property string "
X-YAHOO property string "
X-SKYPE, X-SKYPE-USERNAME property string "
X-GADUGADU property string "
X-GROUPWISE property string "
X-MS-IMADDRESS property string " (IM address in VCF attachment from Outlook (right click Contact, Send Full Contact, Internet Format.)
X-MS-CARDPICTURE property string Works as PHOTO or LOGO. Contains an image of the Card in Outlook.
X-PHONETIC-FIRST-NAME, X-PHONETIC-LAST-NAME property string alternative spelling of name, used for Japanese names
introduced and used by Mozilla, also used by Evolution (software)
X-MOZILLA-HTML property TRUE/FALSE mail recipient wants HTML email
introduced and used by Evolution (software)
X-EVOLUTION-ANNIVERSARY property YYYY-MM-DD arbitrary anniversary, in addition to BDAY = birthday
X-EVOLUTION-ASSISTANT property string assistant name (instead of Agent)
X-EVOLUTION-BLOG-URL property string/URL blog URL
X-EVOLUTION-FILE-AS property string file under different name (in addition to N = name components and FN = full name
X-EVOLUTION-MANAGER property string manager name
X-EVOLUTION-SPOUSE property string spouse name
X-EVOLUTION-VIDEO-URL property string/URL video chat address
X-EVOLUTION-CALLBACK TEL TYPE parameter value - callback phone number
X-EVOLUTION-RADIO TEL TYPE parameter value - radio contact information
X-EVOLUTION-TELEX TEL TYPE parameter value - Telex contact information
X-EVOLUTION-TTYTDD TEL TYPE parameter value - TTY TDD contact information
introduced and used by Kontact and KAddressBook
X-KADDRESSBOOK-BlogFeed property string/URL blog URL
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-Anniversary property ISO date arbitrary anniversary, in addition to BDAY = birthday
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-AssistantsName property string assistant name (instead of Agent)
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-IMAddress property string im address
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-ManagersName property string manager name
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-Office property string office description
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-Profession property string profession
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-SpouseName property string spouse name

Note: The Internet media type text/vcard was used (incorrectly) in some SyncML Documentation to refer to vCard 3.0, and the example was followed in various implementations.

See also


  1. "draft-ietf-vcarddav-vcardrev-12 - vCard Format Specification, section-6.5.2". IETF. Retrieved 17 July 2010.

External links

ast:VCard az:VCard cs:VCard de:VCard es:VCard fr:VCard it:VCard nl:VCard ja:VCard pl:VCard ru:VCard simple:VCard sk:VCard fi:VCard zh-yue:VCard zh:VCard