Using vCards

Friday, January 2, 2009, 09:34 PM – Tips and Hints

Sooner or later someone will ask you for your “vCard” That is a record in your Address Book that is automatically created by your Mac when you first set it up. Safari and other browsers use the information in this card to AutoFill web page forms for you and iChat uses the picture from this card and the AIM address you have listed there (assuming you have one listed).

People will ask for a copy of your “vCard” because it is a fast, accurate, and easy way to add you to their address book. Both Mac and PC users may ask for it. On the latest versions of the Mac operating system you will find the vCard referred to as a me card, but when anyone asks for a vCard this is what they want.

But you may have information in that card that you don’t want to give out. You may not want your home address to go to business associates, or your private cell number to go to everyone you meet. Whatever the reason, you can choose to keep certain information on your card private when you export a copy.

Your vCard is distinguished from all the others in the name list in your Address Book by the silhouette icon next to your name. If your Mac hasn’t already made the designation, you can do so by clicking on your card and selecting the Card menu and clicking on “Make This My Card”.

You will see from looking at your card that a lot of information has been filled in. All five of my email addresses are on my card, added there by my Mac, along with other personal information.

Here is how you and I can control what I goes out when we export a vCard to others.

With Address Book open, select Preferences > “vCard” icon. Put a checkmark next to “Enable private me card”.

Now you can go to your card in Address and click on the Edit button (bottom left). Checkboxes will appear next to each item on the card. Uncheck items you don’t want to include when you export a vCard to someone else. Individualize it as appropriate since it is so quick and easy to do. Don’t forget to click the Edit button again when you are finished.

And about that picture — that is the image that I selected as the administrator image for my account. If I had selected a puppy, that is what would show in the image for my vCard.

I’m leaving for Macworld Monday morning and I will be blogging every day about what I see and hear what stuff I think is really cool for beginners. I hope you will stop back by for updates.


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