vCard

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vCard
Filename extension.vcf, .vcard
Internet media typetext/vcard
Type codevCrd
Uniform Type Identifierpublic.vcard
Developed byInternet Mail Consortium
Type of formatelectronic business card
Container forcontact information
 
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vCard
Filename extension.vcf, .vcard
Internet media typetext/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 or instant messaging. They can contain name and address information, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, URLs, logos, photographs, and audio clips.

History[edit]

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.

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. Version 4.0 is defined in RFC 6350, with a new XML syntax, xCard, defined in RFC 6351. 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". This is now part of the base vCard 4.0 specification.

Media type[edit]

The standard Internet media type for a vCard (often referred to as its mime type) is:[1]

text/vcard

As of version 4.0 specification, other media types known to have been used previously are now deprecated, including:[1]

text/x-vcard
text/directory;profile=vCard
text/directory

Example vCard files[edit]

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

vCard 2.1[edit]

 BEGIN:VCARD VERSION:2.1 N:Gump;Forrest FN:Forrest Gump ORG:Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. TITLE:Shrimp Man PHOTO;GIF:http://www.example.com/dir_photos/my_photo.gif 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:forrestgump@example.com REV:20080424T195243Z END:VCARD 

vCard 3.0[edit]

 BEGIN:VCARD VERSION:3.0 N:Gump;Forrest;Mr. FN:Forrest Gump ORG:Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. TITLE:Shrimp Man PHOTO;VALUE=URL;TYPE=GIF:http://www.example.com/dir_photos/my_photo.gif 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:forrestgump@example.com REV:2008-04-24T19:52:43Z END:VCARD 

vCard 4.0[edit]

 BEGIN:VCARD VERSION:4.0 N:Gump;Forrest;;; FN:Forrest Gump ORG:Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. TITLE:Shrimp Man PHOTO;MEDIATYPE=image/gif:http://www.example.com/dir_photos/my_photo.gif TEL;TYPE=work,voice;VALUE=uri:tel:+1-111-555-1212 TEL;TYPE=home,voice;VALUE=uri:tel:+1-404-555-1212 ADR;TYPE=work;LABEL="100 Waters Edge\nBaytown, LA 30314\nUnited States of America"   :;;100 Waters Edge;Baytown;LA;30314;United States of America ADR;TYPE=home;LABEL="42 Plantation St.\nBaytown, LA 30314\nUnited States of America"  :;;42 Plantation St.;Baytown;LA;30314;United States of America EMAIL:forrestgump@example.com REV:20080424T195243Z END:VCARD 

xCard[edit]

 <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <vcards xmlns="urn:ietf:params:xml:ns:vcard-4.0">   <vcard>     <tel>       <parameters>         <type>           <text>work</text>         </type>       </parameters>       <uri>tel:+1-111-555-1212</uri>     </tel>     <adr>       <parameters>         <type><text>work</text></type>         <label><text>100 Waters Edge Baytown, LA 30314 United States of America</text></label>       </parameters>     </adr>     <email><text>forrestgump@example.com</text></email>   </vcard> </vcards> 

jCard[edit]

 ["vcardstream",   ["vcard",     [       ["version", {}, "text", "4.0"],       ["n", {}, "text", ["Gump", "Forrest", "", "", ""]],       ["fn", {}, "text", "Forrest Gump"],       ["org", {}, "text", "Bubba Gump Shrimp Co"],       ["title", {} ,"text", "Shrimp Man"],       ["photo", {"mediatype":"image/gif"}, "uri", "http://www.example.com/dir_photos/my_photo.gif"],       ["tel", {"type":["work", "voice"]}, "uri", "tel:+1-111-555-1212"],       ["tel", {"type":["home", "voice"]}, "uri", "tel:+1-404-555-1212"],       ["adr",         {"label":"100 Waters Edge\nBaytown, LA 30314\nUnited States of America", "type":"work"},         "text",         ["", "", "100 Waters Edge", "Baytown", "LA", "30314", "United States of America"]       ],       ["adr",         {"label":"42 Plantation St.\nBaytown, LA 30314\nUnited States of America", "type":"home"},         "text",         ["", "", "42 Plantation St.", "Baytown", "LA", "30314", "United States of America"]       ],       ["email", {}, "text", "forrestgump@example.com"],       ["rev", {}, "timestamp", "2008-04-24T19:52:43Z"]     ]   ] ] 

hCard 1.0[edit]

hCard is a microformat 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 alongside the hCard class names without affecting the webpage's ability to be parsed by a hCard parser.

 <html>   <head>     <link rel="profile" href="http://microformats.org/profile/hcard" />   </head>   <body>     <div class="vcard">       <img class="photo" src="http://www.example.com/dir_photos/my_photo.gif" align="left" />       <h1 class="fn">Forrest Gump</h1>       <div class="email">         <span class="type">Internet</span> Email (<span class="type">pref</span>erred):         <a class="value" href="mailto:forrestgump@example.com">forrestgump@example.com</a>       </div>       <div class="n">         First Name: <span class="given-name">Forrest</span><br>         Last Name: <span class="family-name">Gump</span>       </div>         <div class="label" style="display:none">         <span class="type">home</span>         42 Plantation St.<br>Baytown, LA 30314<br>United States of America       </div>       <div class="adr">         <span class="type">Home</span> Address:<br>         <span class="street-address">42 Plantation St.</span><br>         <span class="locality">Baytown</span>, <span class="region">LA</span>         <span class="postal-code">30314</span><br>         <span class="country-name">United States of America</span>       </div>       <div class="tel">          <abbr class="type" title="voice"></abbr>          <span class="type">Home</span> Phone: <span class="value">+1-111-555-1212</span>       </div>         <div>         Organization: <span class="org">Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.</span><br>         Title: <span class="title">Shrimp Man</span>       </div>         <div class="label" style="display:none">         <span class="type">work</span>         100 Waters Edge<br>Baytown, LA 30314<br>United States of America       </div>       <div class="adr">         <span class="type">Work</span> Address:<br>         <span class="street-address">100 Waters Edge</span><br>         <span class="locality">Baytown</span>, <span class="region">LA</span>         <span class="postal-code">30314</span><br>         <span class="country-name">United States of America</span>       </div>       <div class="tel">          <abbr class="type" title="voice"></abbr>          <span class="type">Work</span> Phone: <span class="value">+1-404-555-1212</span>       </div>         <em>vCard last updated:</em>       <time class="rev" datetime="2008-04-24T19:52:43Z">April 24, 2008 at 7:52 PM GMT</time>     </div>   </body> </html> 

Properties[edit]

vCard defines the following property types.

All vCards begin with BEGIN:VCARD and end with END:VCARD. All vCards must contain the VERSION property, which specifies the vCard version. VERSION must come right 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.

blue tickY = required Green tickY = supported

NameVersionsDescriptionExample
2.13.04.0
ADRGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYA structured representation of the physical delivery address for the vCard object.ADR;TYPE=home:;;123 Main St.;Springfield;IL;12345;USA
AGENTGreen tickYGreen tickYInformation 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. Can be either a URL or an embedded vCard.AGENT:http://mi5.gov.uk/007
ANNIVERSARYGreen tickYDefines the person's anniversary.ANNIVERSARY:19901021
BDAYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYDate of birth of the individual associated with the vCard.BDAY:19700310
BEGINblue tickYblue tickYblue tickYAll vCards must start with this property.BEGIN:VCARD
CALADRURIGreen tickYA URL to use for sending a scheduling request to the person's calendar.CALADRURI:http://example.com/calendar/jdoe
CALURIGreen tickYA URL to the person's calendar.CALURI:http://example.com/calendar/jdoe
CATEGORIESGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYA list of "tags" that can be used to describe the object represented by this vCard.CATEGORIES:swimmer,biker
CLASSGreen tickYDescribes the sensitivity of the information in the vCard.CLASS:public
CLIENTPIDMAPGreen tickYUsed for synchronizing different revisions of the same vCard.CLIENTPIDMAP:1;urn:uuid:3df403f4-5924-4bb7-b077-3c711d9eb34b
EMAILGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYThe address for electronic mail communication with the vCard object.EMAIL:johndoe@hotmail.com
ENDblue tickYblue tickYblue tickYAll vCards must end with this property.END:VCARD
FBURLGreen tickYDefines a URL that shows when the person is "free" or "busy" on their calendar.FBURL:http://example.com/fb/jdoe
FNGreen tickYblue tickYblue tickYThe formatted name string associated with the vCard object.FN:Dr. John Doe
GENDERGreen tickYDefines the person's gender.GENDER:F
GEOGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYSpecifies a latitude and longitude.2.1, 3.0: GEO:39.95;-75.1667
4.0: GEO:geo:39.95,-75.1667
IMPPlight green tickY*Green tickYDefines an instant messenger handle.

* This property was introduced in a separate RFC when the latest vCard version was 3.0. Therefore, 3.0 vCards may use this property, even though it's not part of the 3.0 specs.
IMPP:aim:johndoe@aol.com
KEYGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYThe public encryption key associated with the vCard object. It may point to an external URL, may be plain text, or may be embedded in the vCard as a Base64 encoded block of text.2.1: KEY;PGP:http://example.com/key.pgp
2.1: KEY;PGP;ENCODING=BASE64:[base64-data]
3.0: KEY;TYPE=PGP:http://example.com/key.pgp
3.0: KEY;TYPE=PGP;ENCODING=B:[base64-data]
4.0: KEY;MEDIATYPE=application/pgp-keys:http://example.com/key.pgp
4.0: KEY:data:application/pgp-keys;base64,[base64-data]
KINDGreen tickYDefines the type of entity that this vCard represents, such as an individual or organization.KIND:individual
LABELGreen tickYGreen tickYlight green tickY*Represents the actual text that should be put on the mailing label when delivering a physical package to the person/object associated with the vCard (related to the ADR property).

* Not supported in version 4.0. Instead, this information is stored in the LABEL parameter of the ADR property.
LABEL;TYPE=HOME:123 Main St.\nSpringfield, IL 12345\nUSA
LANGGreen tickYDefines a language that the person speaks.LANG:fr-CA
LOGOGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYAn image or graphic of the logo of the organization that is associated with the individual to which the vCard belongs. It may point to an external URL or may be embedded in the vCard as a Base64 encoded block of text.2.1: LOGO;PNG:http://example.com/logo.png
2.1: LOGO;PNG;ENCODING=BASE64:[base64-data]
3.0: LOGO;TYPE=PNG:http://example.com/logo.png
3.0: PHOTO;TYPE=PNG;ENCODING=B:[base64-data]
4.0: LOGO;MEDIATYPE=image/png:http://example.com/logo.png
4.0: PHOTO:data:image/png;base64,[base64-data]
MAILERGreen tickYGreen tickYType of email program used.MAILER:Thunderbird
MEMBERGreen tickYDefines a member that is part of the group that this vCard represents. Acceptable values include:
  • a "mailto:" URL containing an email address
  • a UID which references the member's own vCard
The KIND property must be set to "group" in order to use this property.
MEMBER:urn:uuid:03a0e51f-d1aa-4385-8a53-e29025acd8af
Nblue tickYblue tickYGreen tickYA structured representation of the name of the person, place or thing associated with the vCard object.N:Doe;John;;Dr;
NAMEGreen tickYProvides a textual representation of the SOURCE property.
NICKNAMEGreen tickYGreen tickYOne or more descriptive/familiar names for the object represented by this vCard.NICKNAME:Jon,Johnny
NOTEGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYSpecifies supplemental information or a comment that is associated with the vCard.NOTE:I am proficient in Tiger-Crane Style,\nand I am more than proficient in the exquisite art of the Samurai sword.
ORGGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYThe 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.ORG:Google;GMail Team;Spam Detection Squad
PHOTOGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYAn image or photograph of the individual associated with the vCard. It may point to an external URL or may be embedded in the vCard as a Base64 encoded block of text.2.1: PHOTO;JPEG:http://example.com/photo.jpg
2.1: PHOTO;JPEG;ENCODING=BASE64:[base64-data]
3.0: PHOTO;TYPE=JPEG:http://example.com/photo.jpg
3.0: PHOTO;TYPE=JPEG;ENCODING=B:[base64-data]
4.0: PHOTO;MEDIATYPE=image/jpeg:http://example.com/photo.jpg
4.0: PHOTO:data:image/jpeg;base64,[base64-data]
PRODIDGreen tickYGreen tickYThe identifier for the product that created the vCard object.PRODID:-//ONLINE DIRECTORY//NONSGML Version 1//EN
PROFILEGreen tickYGreen tickYStates that the vCard is a vCard.PROFILE:VCARD
RELATEDGreen tickYAnother entity that the person is related to. Acceptable values include:
  • a "mailto:" URL containing an email address
  • a UID which references the person's own vCard
RELATED;TYPE=friend:urn:uuid:03a0e51f-d1aa-4385-8a53-e29025acd8af
REVGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYA timestamp for the last time the vCard was updated.REV:20121201T134211Z
ROLEGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYThe role, occupation, or business category of the vCard object within an organization.ROLE:Executive
SORT-STRINGGreen tickYGreen tickYlight green tickY*Defines a string that should be used when an application sorts this vCard in some way.

* Not supported in version 4.0. Instead, this information is stored in the SORT-AS parameter of the N and/or ORG properties.
SORT-STRING:Doe
SOUNDGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYBy default, if this property is not grouped with other properties it specifies the pronunciation of the FN property of the vCard object. It may point to an external URL or may be embedded in the vCard as a Base64 encoded block of text.2.1: SOUND;OGG:http://example.com/sound.ogg
2.1: SOUND;OGG;ENCODING=BASE64:[base64-data]
3.0: SOUND;TYPE=OGG:http://example.com/sound.ogg
3.0: SOUND;TYPE=OGG;ENCODING=B:[base64-data]
4.0: SOUND;MEDIATYPE=audio/ogg:http://example.com/sound.ogg
4.0: SOUND:data:audio/ogg;base64,[base64-data]
SOURCEGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYA URL that can be used to get the latest version of this vCard.SOURCE:http://johndoe.com/vcard.vcf
TELGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYThe canonical number string for a telephone number for telephony communication with the vCard object.TEL;TYPE=cell:(123) 555-5832
TITLEGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYSpecifies the job title, functional position or function of the individual associated with the vCard object within an organization.TITLE:V.P. Research and Development
TZGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYThe time zone of the vCard object.2.1, 3.0: TZ:-0500
4.0: TZ:America/New_York
UIDGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYSpecifies a value that represents a persistent, globally unique identifier associated with the object.UID:urn:uuid:da418720-3754-4631-a169-db89a02b831b
URLGreen tickYGreen tickYGreen tickYA URL pointing to a website that represents the person in some way.URL:http://www.johndoe.com
VERSIONblue tickYblue tickYblue tickYThe version of the vCard specification. In versions 3.0 and 4.0, this must come right after the BEGIN property.VERSION:3.0
XMLGreen tickYAny XML data that is attached to the vCard. This is used if the vCard was encoded in XML (xCard standard) and the XML document contained elements which are not part of the xCard standard.XML:<b>Not an xCard XML element</b>

A handful of separate specifications define additional vCard properties.

NameSpecificationDescriptionExample
BIRTHPLACERFC 6474The location of the individual's birth.BIRTHPLACE;VALUE=text:Maida Vale\, London\, England
DEATHDATERFC 6474The individual's time of death.DEATHDATE:19540607
DEATHPLACERFC 6474The location of the individual death.DEATHPLACE;VALUE=uri:geo:53.328,-2.229409
EXPERTISERFC 6715A professional subject area that the person has knowledge of.EXPERTISE;LEVEL=expert:Computer Science
HOBBYRFC 6715A recreational activity that the person actively engages in.HOBBY;LEVEL=high:knitting
IMPPRFC 4770Defines an instant messenger handle. This was added to the official vCard specification in version 4.0.IMPP:aim:johndoe@aol.com
INTERESTRFC 6715A recreational activity that the person is interested in, but does not necessarily take part in.INTEREST;LEVEL=high:baseball
ORG-DIRECTORYRFC 6715A URI representing the person's work place, which can be used to lookup information on the person's co-workers.ORG-DIRECTORY:http://www.company.com/employees

vCard extensions[edit]

vCard supports private extensions, with an "X-" prefix, a number of which are in common usage[citation needed].

Some of these include:

ExtensionUsed AsDataSemantic
Extensions supported by several different programs.
X-ABUIDpropertystringApple Address Book UUID for that entry
X-ANNIVERSARYpropertyYYYY-MM-DDarbitrary anniversary (in addition to BDAY, birthday)
X-ASSISTANTpropertystringassistant name (instead of AGENT)
X-MANAGERpropertystringmanager name
X-SPOUSEpropertystringspouse name
X-GENDERpropertystringvalue Male or Female
X-AIMpropertystringInstant Messaging (IM) contact information; TYPE parameter as for TEL
X-ICQpropertystring
X-GOOGLE-TALKpropertystring
X-JABBERpropertystring
X-MSNpropertystring
X-YAHOOpropertystring
X-TWITTERpropertystring
X-SKYPE, X-SKYPE-USERNAMEpropertystring
X-GADUGADUpropertystring
X-GROUPWISEpropertystring
X-MS-IMADDRESSpropertystringIM address in VCF attachment from Outlook (right click Contact, Send Full Contact, Internet Format.)
X-MS-CARDPICTUREpropertystringWorks as PHOTO or LOGO. Contains an image of the Card in Outlook.
X-PHONETIC-FIRST-NAME, X-PHONETIC-LAST-NAMEpropertystringalternative spellings, for assisting with the pronunciation of unfamiliar names
Introduced and used by Mozilla; used by Evolution (software)
X-MOZILLA-HTMLpropertyTRUE/FALSEmail recipient prefers HTML-formatted email
X-MOZILLA-PROPERTYpropertystringThunderbird specific settings
Introduced and used by Evolution (software)
X-EVOLUTION-ANNIVERSARYpropertyYYYY-MM-DDarbitrary anniversary (in addition to BDAY, birthday)
X-EVOLUTION-ASSISTANTpropertystringassistant name (instead of Agent)
X-EVOLUTION-BLOG-URLpropertystring/URLblog URL
X-EVOLUTION-FILE-ASpropertystringfile under different name (in addition to N, name components; and FN, full name)
X-EVOLUTION-MANAGERpropertystringmanager name
X-EVOLUTION-SPOUSEpropertystringspouse name
X-EVOLUTION-VIDEO-URLpropertystring/URLvideo chat address
X-EVOLUTION-CALLBACKTEL TYPE parameter value-callback phone number
X-EVOLUTION-RADIOTEL TYPE parameter value-radio contact information
X-EVOLUTION-TELEXTEL TYPE parameter value-Telex contact information
X-EVOLUTION-TTYTDDTEL TYPE parameter value-TTY TDD contact information
Introduced and used by Kontact and KAddressBook
X-KADDRESSBOOK-BlogFeedpropertystring/URLblog URL
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-AnniversarypropertyISO datearbitrary anniversary, in addition to BDAY = birthday
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-AssistantsNamepropertystringassistant name (instead of Agent)
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-IMAddresspropertystringim address
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-ManagersNamepropertystringmanager name
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-Officepropertystringoffice description
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-Professionpropertystringprofession
X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-SpouseNamepropertystringspouse 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[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b RFC 6350, section 10.1 "Media Type Registration"

External links[edit]