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Sharing our Contact Information has become quite commonplace.

When it comes to passing this information out, we write it down, we type it in, or we open our Address Book and attach our file (vCard) to an email and send it off.


This electronic information, called a vCard (.vcf) allows us to email our own contact information to others, so that it can be easily imported into their address book, without either party having to manually retype or re-enter the info.


Within Mail.app you would drag your contact info from Address Book into the body of your email or signature area. A vCard icon displays and is sent with your email. It’s that simple. Remember, we like fast and easy.



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Sending vCards has probably had an impact on our budgets as well. I downsized purchasing and handing out paper business cards a long time ago. As other options of getting information to existing and prospective friends and clients evolved, so did how I thought about the use of a business cards.


But, sometimes we have information within our own electronic contact file that we do not want to share with everyone, and sometimes, anyone. Information that is put there just for our use or reference, like a user ID and password, for example.


Address Book has options within the Preferences that allow you to restrict what information is sent out when you send your vCard.


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With that you are creating a “Private meCard.”

After you “Enable private me Card”, selecting the Edit button from the user interface, will bring up checkboxes for you to decide what is and what not is sent along with the vCard. This gives you the freedom to input desired information and know that this information will remain private.


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That is, at least as long as you send from your computer.

There is no “Enable private me Card” option on the iPhone or iPod Touch so if you send (Share Contact) from one of these devices, you will be sending information that is set as private in Address Book.


Hopefully, this will be remedied in the near future, as it really messes up a good workflow, and seems to be an option that should just be available. But, if not and if you need to share contact information today from your iPhone or iPod Touch there are solutions.


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One that really seems to fit the bill is:

iBeam http://www.razix.com/ibeam.htm

iBeam allows you to turn off/on various fields, per contact, so that only the desired fields will be sent along with the vCard.


With iBeam you can beam contact info to another iPhone, email it or transfer info using the iPhone camera using a barcode method. And you can send the contact information in vCard or even text form.

 


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For more great tips on how to use the Mac Address Book see:

http://macgroup.org/blog/2010/01/25/10-address-book-tips/


For a great review featuring more apps to send contact information see:

http://terrywhite.com/techblog/archives/914

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  • http://www.beckmanjm.com Jack Beckman

    Thanks for this tip. I have not sent a vcard with my info because there’s a lot of email addresses, phone numbers, and notes I just didn’t want to give out. Now I’ve unchecked all those.

  • Chita

    Happy to help! :-)