Changing Outlook's Business Card layout

Last reviewed on August 14, 2013

An often asked question about Microsoft Outlook 2007 & 2010's Business card layout is how to change it for all contacts. While you can't globally change existing contacts directly, you can change the default which is used for new contacts by creating a custom contact form with the desired business card layout and publish it. Set it as the default Contacts form for new Contacts.

To apply the layout of the new business card to existing contacts, see Code Sample 3: Change the business card layout to match the selected contact.

Business card on an Outlook Contact

Editing the Business Card

You can edit the business card on individual contacts to add images, background colors, or change the fields displayed.

double click on a business card to open the editorOpen a contact then double click on the business card image or click on the Business Card command on the ribbon (visible in screenshot above) to open the Business Card editor.

When a contact photo exists, Outlook will use it on the business card or you can add a logo or other image to the card.

Use the business card editor to re-arrange the fields, change the font attributes, add a background color, or position the image.

Create a custom form

  1. Open a new Contact form and edit it as desired.
    Do not add names, addresses or phone numbers in this form. Change only the business card or other features you want applied to all future contacts.
  2. Go to the Office icon, Editor Options and enable the Developer tab (File tab, Options in Outlook 2010)
  3. From the Developer tab, choose Publish form as.
  4. Publish the form to Outlook Folders

Using the custom form

Right click on the Contact folder, choose Properties and set the newly created custom form as the default form for the folder.

When you click New Contact, you'll use this form and all newly created contacts will use the new layout.

You can't change the form used by existing contacts, well, you can change the form, but the new business card layout won't be used. Use a tool listed below to change the message class to the new form.

See Using Custom Business Cards for more information on how to use a custom business card with new contacts.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

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