Outlook: Adding Notes to a Signature vCard

I created a vCard for myself in my Outlook Contacts folder and associated it with my signature in Outlook 2002 so that outgoing messages include the vCard. In addition to name, address, email address, and phone data, I typed some information into the large text box at the bottom of the vCard. However, the vCard that people receive in my signature doesn't show the information that I typed in the large text box. How can I configure Outlook to send that information?

First, a little background: vCards don't actually have "a large text box" in which you can type information. A vCard is simply a text file. The text box you see exists in a text field on an Outlook contact. When you open a vCard on a machine that's running Outlook, the vCard opens in Outlook.

When you created your vCard in the Contacts folder, you actually created a contact record in Outlook. To add the vCard to your signature, you selected the record in your Contacts folder. Outlook then automatically exported a vCard file to the folder that contains your Outlook signatures. That folder's location varies depending on your version of Windows. On a Windows XP system, the location is \Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures, where %username% represents the name you use to log on when Windows starts.

If you want to see what a vCard really looks like, open any Outlook contact that has information in that large text box, then choose File, Save As, and save the contact as a vCard file. Open the resulting .vcf file in Notepad. The text that you typed in the text box will appear in a field called NOTE. For example, if I type the text "Just notes and more notes" into a contact, then press Enter and save the item as a .vcf file, that .vcf file will contain the following information:

NOTE;ENCODING=QUOTED-
PRINTABLE:Just notes and 
more notes =0D=0A

The problem is that although Outlook includes the note when you use File, Save As to create a vCard, it doesn't act the same way when you attach a vCard to a signature. Specifically, it doesn't include the NOTE field. I'd call this a bug.

The problem sounds complicated, but you can implement a simple solution. After you set up a signature to include a vCard, open the contact you want to use as the vCard's source and choose File, Save As to save it to your local signatures directory. Replace the existing vCard file with the one you want to use. Outlook doesn't create a new vCard every time you send a message; it uses the one in your Signatures folder.

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