Table of Contents

last revision
27 October 2011, 6:33pm
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Vcard ‹↑›

Vcard is used for storing contact information for people and organisations. It is a format recognised by many email and chat software programs.

It may seem odd that this section is so detailed, but I have been searching for a good 'contacts' data format, and this seems the best I can find. At least its not xml.

Vcard is specified in the 'request for comments' RFC 2425 and RFC 2426

www: http://www.rfc-ref.org/RFC-TEXTS/2426/
the vcard rfc
www: http://www.rfc-ref.org/RFC-TEXTS/2426/chapter3.html#sub1sub1
definitions and examples for the the vcard types.

Vcard Implementation Quirks ‹↑›

The fastmail.fm import allows lower case names, but no spaces before any of the element names.

Skype vcard import function apparently doesnt import phone numbers (!) which is something of a pity.

Attribute Lists ‹↑›

Debian-style packages for vcard
2vcard - convert address book to vcard format
glabels -
vcard4j - a java library (but not a user application)

vcard attribute names and purpose
N the name of the person or company (structured) eg: 'N:Small;Frank'
FN the formatted (display) name of the person or entity eg 'FN:Frank Small'
PHOTO an image or photograph of the person or entity
BDAY date of birth
ADR a postal address in a structured format
LABEL a displayable postal address
TEL a telephone number eg 'TEL;TYPE=WORK,VOICE:(111) 555-1212'
EMAIL an email address eg 'EMAIL;TYPE=PREF,INTERNET:forrestgump@example.com'
MAILER the type of email program used
TZ the standard time zone of the entity
GEO a geographical latitude and longitude
TITLE job title,
ROLE job role (eg 'executive)
LOGO a company or personal logo image, can be a url or mime data
AGENT a person who will act on behalf vcard person or entity. (eg secretary)
ORG Organization Name or Organizational unit, X.520 Organization Name/Unit
NOTE supplementary information or a comment
REV time and date of last revision of the vcard eg 'REV:20080424T195243Z'
SOUND sound of the pronunciation of the formatted name
URL a url to obtain realtime information about the person/entity
UID a globally unique identifier for the person/entity (?)
VERSION the version of the vCard Specification
KEY the public encryption key associated with the vCard object

difference between vcard 2.1 and 3.0`

 EMAIL;TYPE=INTERNET;TYPE=PREF   3.0
 EMAIL;TYPE=internet,pref        3.0
 EMAIL;INTERNET;PREF             2.1

the most minimul vcard example (all these elements are obligatory)

BEGIN:VCARD VERSION:3.0 N:Bond;James FN:James Bond END:VCARD ,,,

vcard version 3.0 example (note the 'TYPE=work,voice' etc syntax

BEGIN:VCARD VERSION:3.0 N:Clark;James FN:James Clark ORG:Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. TITLE:Mr 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:20080424T195243Z END:VCARD ,,,

vcard data exported from 'fastmail.fm' email

BEGIN:VCARD VERSION:2.1 FN:amy and ben N:ben;amy and;; NICKNAME:amyandben EMAIL;INTERNET;PREF:alpountain@yahoo.co.uk ADR;HOME;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:;the stalls, moreton lane=0D;draycott in the clay;ashbourne;derbyshire;;uk END:VCARD ,,,

Vcard Name Types ‹↑›

vcard comments

 ;

the formatted or 'display' name for a person or entity

 FN:Mr. John Q. Public\, Esq.

The 'N' name element is made up of

 Family Name, Given Name, Additional Names, Honorific Prefix, Honorific Suffix.

structured name examples

 N:Public;John;Quinlan;Mr.;Esq.
 N:Stevenson;John;Philip,Paul;Dr.;Jr.,M.D.,A.C.P.

photos

 PHOTO;VALUE=uri:http://www.abc.com/pub/photos/jqpublic.gif
 PHOTO;ENCODING=b;TYPE=JPEG:MIICajCCAdOgAwIBAgICBEUwDQYJKoZIhvcN...etc

birthdays

 BDAY:1996-04-15
 BDAY:1953-10-15T23:10:00Z
 BDAY:1987-09-27T08:30:00-06:00

vcard attribute extensions
X-ABUID string, Apple Address Book UUID for that entry
X-ANNIVERSARY YYYY-MM-DD, additional anniversaries (see BDAY)
X-ASSISTANT a string, assistant name (instead of Agent)
X-MANAGER a managers name (text)
X-SPOUSE spouse name (text)
X-GENDER either "Male" or "Female" only
X-AIM Instant Messaging (IM) contact information; TYPE parameter as for TEL
X-ICQ IM contact information;
X-JABBER IM contact information;
X-MSN IM contact information;
X-YAHOO IM contact information;
X-SKYPE IM contact information;
X-GADUGADU IM contact information;
X-GROUPWISE IM contact information;
X-MS-IMADDRESS property, string, " (IM address in VCF attachment from Outlook (right click Contact, Send Full Contact, Internet Format.)
X-MS-CARDPICTURE works like PHOTO or LOGO. an outlook image of the Card
X-PHONETIC-FIRST-NAME
X-PHONETIC-LAST-NAME roman spelling of name, eg Japanese names
X-MOZILLA-HTML property, TRUE/FALSE, mail recipient wants HTML email

mark up the prefered work telephone (as opposed to a fax) with voice mail

 TEL;TYPE=work,voice,pref,msg:+1-213-555-1234

a home fax line

 TEL;TYPE=home,fax,pref:+1-213-555-1234

an x400 style email address, whatever that is

 EMAIL;TYPE=x400:jdoe@isp.net

a preferred email address ()

 EMAIL;TYPE=internet,pref:jane_doe@abc.com

postal addresses


  == address types
  .. intl - an address outside the current country
  .. dom - an address within the current country
  .. postal - a postal address (?)
  .. parcel - a parcel postal address
  .. work - a work postal address
  .. pref - the preferred postal address (where there is more than one)
  ..

  po box, flat number, house number and street name, the locality (e.g., city);
  the region (e.g., state or province); the postal code; the country name. 
  ADR;TYPE=postal,pref:;;123 Main Street;SomeTown;NSW;2028;Australia  ##(the same)

a postal address example

 ADR;TYPE=postal;TYPE=pref:;;123 Main Street;Katoomba;NSW;2028;Australia

a gpo box in hobart australia

 ADR;TYPE=postal:gpo 1990;;;Hobart;TAS;7001;Australia

the 'label' which is the displayed postal address

     LABEL;TYPE=dom,home,postal,parcel:Mr.John Q. Public\, Esq.\n
        Mail Drop: TNE QB\n123 Main Street\nAny Town\, CA  91921-1234 \nU.S.A.

indicate a company or personal logo image (a url location of the image file)

 LOGO;VALUE=uri:http://www.abc.com/pub/logos/abccorp.jpg

inline mime encoding of an logo image

 LOGO;ENCODING=b;TYPE=JPEG:MIICajCCAdOgAwIBAgICBEUwDQYJK ... etc

the entity organisation name (company, branch, division)

 ORG:ABC\, Inc.;North American Division;Marketing

additional notes

 NOTE: this number is available 24/7

indicate when the information in the vcard was revised

 REV:1995-10-31T22:27:10Z
 REV:1997-11-15

Vcard Geographical Information ‹↑›

the timezone element indicates in what time zone the entity resides

 TZ:-05:00
 TZ;VALUE=text:-05:00; EST; Raleigh/North America

the geographical position of the entity in decimial longitude vs latitude

 GEO:37.386013;-122.082932

Job Title Elements ‹↑›

the vcard job title element (based on X.520 'title' element)

 TITLE:Director\, Research and Development

the role of the person within an organisation

 ROLE:Programmer

DOCUMENT-NOTES:

telephone 'TYPE' values
work -
home - a residence not work
pref - the preferred phone (if there is more than one)
voice - a normal phone (not a fax)
fax - a fax phone
cell - a cell phone (a mobile phone)
video - a phone with video capability
modem -
bbs - a bulletin board
car - a carphone