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Create an electronic card in Outlook for all your business email communications

JD Sartain | May 28, 2015
Business cards are more than just contact information; they are, in fact, a symbol of your professional business. In some ways, Electronic Business Cards (EBCs, or e-cards) created in Outlook are even better because when you send an EBC to clients, colleagues, and friends, they can add the information directly to their contact lists even if they're not using Outlook.

Add graphics to the e-card

Don't settle for text-only e-cards.Graphics, photos, and/or company logos help business cards look more professional. If you don't have a logo, the Internet has dozens of sites with free images that you can download and use.

1. Open your business card record

Open Outlook's Contact list and select your Contact record. Click the Business Card button in the Options group, and the Edit Business Card dialog window opens.

2. Add an image

To add an image (i.e., replace the default gray strip Outlook provides) to your business card, click the Change button, browse to the Pictures folder, select an image, and click OK. If you're not happy with it, choose another image.

Outlook replaces the gray strip with your image, in the same location, at the same size. Now you can make adjustments based on the image size and content, the amount of text on the card, and personal preferences.

Note: You may have to crop and size the image in a photo editing program first, so the image fits logically and aesthetically in the graphic frame on the card.

3. Choose formatting options

Notice the various formatting options in the Card Design area: Layout, Background Colors, Image Change, Image Area, and Image Align. Image Change is the button used to select new images. Image Area is the percentage of space the image occupies. Outlook often suggests a percentage based on the layout and alignment selected; if not, however, you can manually adjust the percentage yourself.

4. Work with the image

Select Layout to position the image on your card, or choose Background Image (which fills the entire card), or Text Only (which creates a card with just text and no images). Select Image Align to position the image with left, right, or center justification or to fit to an edge.

5. Position the image

Click the Layout arrow to position the image on your card. The first card design (below) shows the Layout of the film graphic as the background image with an image area of 50 percent ( the maximum size and the default percentage for background images), and the Image Align set to Fit to Edge (which, in this case, means the image touches all four edges of the card).

In the second card design (with the antique camera), the layout is set to Image Left, the Image Area is 25 percent, and the Image Align is set to Top Left. In the third card design (the film strip), the Layout is set to Image Right, the Image Area is 25 percent, and the Image Align is set to Fit to Edge (which, in this case, means the image touches the right edge of the card). Notice the Background color on this card was changed to a soft, pale blue. Click OK to close the Color Chart and, when finished with all your edits, click OK again to close the Edit Business Card dialog.


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