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I currently have contact information at several places:

  • old PDA's address book
  • mobile phone's phone book (primarily name, phone number)
  • email client's address book (primarily name, email)
  • web mailer's address book (primarily name, email)
  • instant messenger's contact list (primarily name, im, email, birthday)

And there are several social or business networking sites on the Internet where contacts provide information about themselves, like LinkedIn or XING.

All those sources can export as vCard, but as you might imagine, I get a lot of vCards for the very same contact that way. Are there any tools where I can import them and then merge them (it may ask me which phone number is more current in case of field clashes of course)?

Bonus points if it can track which information I have discarded so when I re-export all information from one of the sources I can't import to (networking sites), it won't ask me again if I want to overwrite phone number of person X with the same ancient number...

I hope you understand what I try to accomplish, if not just ask :-)

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2 Answers

What I do is drag&drop VCards into Outlook Contacts list and save them. Outlook will automatically identify duplicates and you can choose what details you want to merge.

Make sure you have Check for duplicates when saving new contacts enabled

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You can also use GMail for this - it allows you to import vCards and can merge contacts automatically (the cons is you can import one file at a time)

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But you will have to manually look over every contact every time, I guess? I found a way using SVN and a few Perl scripts; it is very hacky but it can track which information has already been discarded :D –  mihi Jul 8 '11 at 16:58
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I'm trying to improve Nicu's answer here.

Yes, Gmail seems to only accept one .vcf file at a time; yet there could be multiple vCard contacts in the same .vcf file. E.g.:

BEGIN:VCARD
VERSION:2.1
N:;myName;;;
FN:myName
END:VCARD
BEGIN:VCARD
VERSION:2.1
N:;=68=6D=20=7A;=E4=B8=9D;;
FN:hm z
TEL;CELL;PREF:1-234-223-4325
END:VCARD
BEGIN:VCARD
VERSION:2.1
N:;John;;;
FN:John
TEL;CELL;PREF:1-357-975-3197
END:VCARD

What I am suggesting is that you could choose to manually combine a lot of .vcf files into one before uploading to Gmail. Just to save some clickings.

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