What is vCard?

vCard is afile formatstandard for electronicbusiness cards. 3 minutes read

vCard, also known as VCF(Virtual Contact File), is a file format standard for electronic business cards. vCards can be attached to e-mail messages, sent via Multimedia Messaging Service(MMS), on the World Wide Web, instant messaging or through QR code. They can contain name and address information, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, URLs, logos, photo graphs, and audio clips.

vCard is used as data interchange format in smart phone contacts, personal digital assistants(PDAs), personal information managers(PIMs) and customer relationship management(CRMs). To accomplish these data interchange applications, other "vCard variants" have been used and proposed as "variant standards", each for its specific niche: XML representation, JSON representation, or web pages. vCard Plus, an elevated vCard, makes use of a customized landing page with all the basic information along with a profile photo, maps location and other fields. This can also be saved as a contact file on smart phones.

The standard Internet media type (MIME type) for a vCard has varied with each version of the specification:

vCard information is common in web pages[citation needed]: the "free text" [clarification needed]content is human-readable but not machine-readable. As technologies evolve, the "free text" (HTML) was adapting to be also machine-readable.

RDFa with the vCard On tology can be used in HTML and various XML-family languages e.g. SVG, MathML.

jCard, "The JSON Format for vCard" is a standard proposal of 2014 in RFC 7095. This proposal has not yet become a widely used standard. The RFC 7095 does not use real JSON objects, but rather uses arrays of sequence-dependent tag-value pairs (like an XML file).

hCardis a micro format that allows a vCard to be embedded inside an HTML page. It makes use of CSS class names to identify each vCard property. Normal HTML markup and CSS styling can be used along side the hCard class names without affecting the webpage's ability to be parsed by a hCard parser. h-card is the micro formats 2 update to hCard.

vCard defines the following property types.

All vCards begin with BEGIN:VCARD and end with END: VCARD. All vCards must contain theVERSION property, which specifies the vCard version.VERSION must come immediately after BEGIN, except in the vCard 2.1 standard, which allows it to be anywhere in the vCard. Otherwise, properties can be defined in any order.

About .vcf File

VCF (Virtual Card Format) or vCard is a digital file format for storing contact information. The format is widely used for data interchange among popular information exchange applications. Most operating systems such as Windows and MacOS come with default applications to create and open these files. A single VCF file can contain contact information for one or multiple contacts. A VCF file usually contains information such as contact’s name, address, phone number, email, birthday, photographs and audio in addition to a number of other fields. Being supported by email clients and services, there is no loss of data during the transfer of contacts via using the vCard format. The media type for VCF file format is text/vcard.

VCF files are textual by nature and are human readable. These can be opened in text editors such as Notepad on Microsoft Windows and TextEdit on MacOS. If there is an image in the file, however, it won’t show in the text editor.

Microsoft Outlook provides support for opening VCF files as well as convert to a number of other formats such as the popular MSG format. VCF file format enhanced with time from version 2.1 to 4.0 adding detailed information to the file format. The format is also used to export phone contacts and later import in another device.

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Last updated on: 16 November, 2021