A VCF (Virtual Contact File), or vCard, is a standard format for storing contact information.
It is commonly used to exchange contact information between various devices and applications. Sometimes you will interact with VCF files as you work with Excel.
However, Excel cannot open VCF files directly because it does not have native support for .vcf files; therefore, you need to know how to open or import such files in Excel.
This tutorial shows you three methods for opening VCF files in Excel.
Methods to Open VCF Files in Excel
Here are the techniques for opening VCF Files in Excel:
Method #1: Use Excel’s Text Import Wizard to Open VCF File in Excel
Excel’s Text Import Wizard is a feature that allows users to import and break down text data from various sources, such as a text file, web page, or Virtual Contact File (VCF).
For example, we can use this feature to open VCF files in Excel.
Suppose we have the following “Contacts” VCF file with data for three contacts:
We want to import the VCF file into Excel using Excel’s Text Import Wizard.
Below are the steps to open the VCF file in Excel:
- Click on File to open the Excel Backstage window.
- Click Open on the left sidebar and Browse on the right of the Backstage window.
- Locate the “Contacts.vcf” file, select it and click Open.
- Select Delimited on the Text Import Wizard – Step 1 of 3 dialog box and click Next.
- On the Text Import Wizard – Step 2 of 3 dialog box, on the Delimiters options group, select Tab and then Other (input a colon) and click Next.
Note the changes in the ‘Data preview’ section at the bottom of the dialog box.
- Click Finish on the Text Import Wizard – Step 2 of 3 dialog box.
The VCF file is opened in Excel:
Method #2: Use an Online VCF to Excel Converter
We can use many free online VCF to Excel converters to convert VCF files to Excel.
However, their performance may vary based on various factors such as conversion speed, file size, and accuracy.
One of the popular online VCF to Excel converters is Convertio.co. We shall use this converter to show how to use online VCF to Excel converters.
Suppose we have the following “Contacts” VCF file with data for three contacts:
Below are the steps to convert a VCF file to Excel using an online coverter
- Navigate to the converter at https://convertio.co/xls-converter/
- Click the Choose files button, locate the “Contacts.vcf” file, select it, and click Open.
- Click the Convert button. This will start the process of converting the VCF file to an Excel file.
- Click the Download button to download the converted Excel file.
- Open the Downloads folder and open the Excel file.
The data is converted and is in one column:
While the VCF file has been converted into Excel, you will notice that the data is all in one single column and has not been split into separate columns.
So let me show you how to split the data into separate columns using the Text to Columns wizard.
How to Split the Column into Two Columns
Below are the steps to split the data into two columns using Excel’s Text to Columns feature:
- Select the entire dataset as shown below:
- On the Data tab, on the Data Tools group, click the Text to Columns button.
- On the Convert Text to Columns Wizard – Step 1 of 3 dialog box, select Delimited and click Next.
- On the Convert Text to Columns Wizard – Step 2 of 3 dialog box, on the Delimiters option group, deselect the Tab option and select the Other option and enter a colon on the box next to the option and click Next.
- On the Convert Text to Columns Wizard – Step 3 of 3 dialog box, click Finish to accept the default options.
The data is split into two columns, as shown below:
- Double-click the right edges of the letter headers of columns A and B to autofit the contents:
Also read: How to Merge Two Excel Files?
Method #3: Use Excel’s Get & Transform Feature to Open VCF File in Excel
Excel’s Get & Transform feature, formerly Power Query, is a data transformation and manipulation feature that allows users to extract, transform, and load data from various sources into Excel.
For example, we can use this feature to import VCF files into Excel.
Let’s consider the following “Contacts” VCF file with data for three contacts:
We want to use Excel’s Get & Transform feature to import the VCF file into Excel.
We use the below steps:
- On the Data tab, on the Get & Transform Data group, open the Get Data drop-down, hover the cursor over From File option, and choose From Text/CSV on the submenu.
- On the Import Data feature, open the File type drop-down, choose All Files (*.*), select the Contacts VCF file, and click Import.
- On the Power Query Editor, open the Open As drop-down and choose Text File.
The VCF file is loaded onto the Power Query Editor as text in one column:
- On the Home tab, on the Transform group, open the Split Column drop-down and choose By Delimiter.
- On the Split Column by Delimiter dialog box, select Colon on the Select or enter delimiter box, select the Split at Left-most delimiter, and click OK.
The data is split into two columns:
- Click the Load & Close button. Doing this would insert a new worksheet in your workbook and give you the data in the new worksheet.
The VCF file is imported into Excel:
This tutorial showed three techniques for opening VCF files in Excel.
We can use the Text Import Wizard, online VCF to Excel converter, and the Get & Transform feature.
Also read: How to Convert a Text File to Excel?
Common Errors/Issues When Opening VCF Files in Excel (How to Fix)
Opening VCF files in Excel can sometimes be a challenge, and you may encounter several errors or issues.
Fortunately, most of these errors are easy to fix if you know where to look.
In this section, we will explore some common errors or issues that may occur when opening VCF files in Excel and how to troubleshoot them, so you can work with your contacts without frustration.
Incorrect File Format
If you encounter an error message when opening a VCF file in Excel, one possible cause could be that the file format is incorrect.
VCF files are usually used to store contact information, so make sure that the file you are trying to open is indeed a VCF file.
To check the file format, right-click on the file and select “Properties” from the context menu.
Look for the “Type of file” field, which should say “vCard File”. If it says something else, then the file may be in the wrong format.
Another way to check the file format is to open the VCF file in a text editor and verify that the file starts with “BEGIN:VCARD” and ends with “END:VCARD”. If the file format is correct, try opening it in Excel again.
If you are sure that the file is in the correct format, then the error message may be due to a corrupted file.
In this case, try opening a different VCF file to see if the problem persists. If it does, then the issue may be with your Excel installation or computer settings.
Another common issue with VCF files is missing data. This could be due to various reasons, such as incomplete data entry or formatting errors.
To check for missing data, open the VCF file in a text editor or any other application that can read the file’s contents.
Look for any missing fields or incomplete data entries. If you find any missing data, try to fill in the gaps or correct any formatting errors.
Incompatible Excel Version
If you are using an older version of Excel, you may encounter compatibility issues when opening VCF files.
To check if your version of Excel is compatible, try opening a different VCF file or opening the same file in a newer version of Excel.
If the file opens without any issues in the newer version, then the problem may be due to an incompatible Excel version.
In this case, consider upgrading your Excel software or using a different application to open the file.
Large File Size
If the VCF file you are trying to open is large, Excel may have trouble opening it due to memory constraints.
To check if the file size is the issue, try opening a smaller VCF file to see if it opens without any issues.
If the smaller file opens without any problems, then the issue may be due to the file size.
In this case, try to reduce the file size by removing any unnecessary data or splitting the file into smaller files.
By troubleshooting these common errors or issues, you can successfully open VCF files in Excel and access the contact information stored in them.
Also read: How to Open BAK File in Excel?
Benefits of Opening VCF Files in Excel
There are several benefits of opening a VCF (Virtual Contact File) in Excel:
- Sorting and filtering: Excel provides powerful sorting and filtering capabilities that allow you to quickly find and analyze specific contact data within the VCF file and generate valuable insights or reports.
- Conversion to other formats: Excel can convert the VCF file to other formats, such as CSV (Comma Separated Values) or XLSX (Excel Workbook), which may be more compatible with other programs or devices.
- Merging multiple VCF files: Excel can merge various VCF files into one Excel file, making managing and manipulating the contact data easier.
- Easy viewing and editing: Excel allows you to view and edit the contact data in a VCF file in a more organized and structured way compared to other programs that may simply display the raw data.
I hope you found the tutorial helpful. Also, do leave your thoughts in the comments section.
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