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Convert vCard *.vcf File to CSV and Back for Samsung S4

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Last Modified: 2014-08-27
Android Phone: Samsung Galaxy S4
Desktop: Windows 7 Ultimate

BACKGROUND
The Samsung generates a *.vcf vCard file when it exports the phone contact list. I want to manipulate this file using Microsoft Excel 2013. There are many fields available on the Samsung phone for each contact.

QUESTION
I need help finding software that converts the vCard file to CSV and back to vCard in a way that does not lose any data for each contact. I'm ok with paying for the software, if necessary. However, the package I found, called Opal converter, does not seem to retain all the data during conversion. Suggestions?
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aikimarkSocial distance; Wear a mask; Don't touch your face; Wash your hands for 20 seconds
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Top Expert 2014

Commented:
If you type "Contacts" into the start menu's textbox, you will be shown a dialog that allows you to import and export vcf and csv files.

If the Windows intrinsic solution isn't to your liking, here are some utilities worth evaluating:
http://www.csvtovcard.com/  (freeware)
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Office-tools/Other-Office-Tools/CSV-to-VCF-vCard-Converter.shtml (freeware)
http://vcard-converter.en.softonic.com/  (into Excel)
http://excel-to-vcard-converter.en.softonic.com/  (back out of Excel)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/vcftoxlsx/  (vcf to Excel importer)
http://xlsx-to-vcf-converter-software.software.informer.com/  (Sobolsoft)
Jerry LOperations Manager

Author

Commented:
Thank you for those links. It seems the Samsung contacts list requires a custom converter to go from csv back to vCard while retaining all the information in the original contact data records.

I may look for opensource code, or I will post another question to get help writing such a VBA macro.
aikimarkSocial distance; Wear a mask; Don't touch your face; Wash your hands for 20 seconds
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Top Expert 2014

Commented:
What happened when you typed Contacts into the start menu?
Jerry LOperations Manager

Author

Commented:
In reply to aikimark, entering 'contacts' into the Start menu search did not return any dialog box. There is a list of applications, folders, and files. One of the programs listed is Contacts.accdt (Microsoft Access).
aikimarkSocial distance; Wear a mask; Don't touch your face; Wash your hands for 20 seconds
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Top Expert 2014

Commented:
on my PC it is "%ProgramFiles%\Windows Mail\wab.exe"
Jerry LOperations Manager

Author

Commented:
A custom script will be required to provide the conversion.
Jerry LOperations Manager

Author

Commented:
I am attempting to use WAB.EXE to import the vCard file. Then I will export it to CSV. Then I will re-export to vcf. However, there is a problem.

Steps to Reproduce Problem:
1. Export phone contacts from Samsung Galaxy device. This creates a vCard 'contacts.vcf' file.
2. Using wab.exe, I select 'Import'. I then select the 'contacts.vcf' file.

RESULT:  Only one contact is imported at a time. I have over 400, so this will be impractical.

Alternative:
I tried using Opal vCard Converter, but the free version is limited to only 10 contacts. To convert 500+ contacts will cost $80 for one license.
Jerry LOperations Manager

Author

Commented:
@aikimark
If you think we can find a way to perform the conversions I need, then yes.
aikimarkSocial distance; Wear a mask; Don't touch your face; Wash your hands for 20 seconds
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Top Expert 2014

Commented:
In my earlier comment, http:#a40083910 , I suggested several utilities that might work for you.  Have you looked at or evaluated any of them?

Can you post a sample contacts file?
Social distance; Wear a mask; Don't touch your face; Wash your hands for 20 seconds
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Commented:
This one is on us!
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David Johnson, CDSimple Geek from the '70s
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Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
can you provide a sample vcard file for examination
Jerry LOperations Manager

Author

Commented:
@aikimark - I don't remember gmail being mentioned earlier. Was it? However, I believe it may be the correct solution for what I'm trying to do. I will experiment with converting back and forth between gmail and my phone to confirm. Then I will let you know.

@David Johnson - Thanks for stepping in. I'll let you know if I need further assistance.

NOTE: After converting to csv from gmail, I am able to use Scooter Software Beyond Compare to see how the files differ. This is one reason performing vCard maintenance by hand using csv format is so powerful. It seems gmail *may* be the perfect conversion tool back and forth from csv to vcf.

Let me finish my experiments, and I'll report back here.
Jerry LOperations Manager

Author

Commented:
Here is one observation:

1. Phone 1 - Type  (Column heading as it appears in the CSV file generated by gmail)
After importing my contacts.vcf into gmail, this field changes my custom value, such as "City1", to "Other". The preset field names such as Mobile, Home, Work, etc. are retained. This may not be a complete show stopper, and there may be a workaround, but it is very bad since it takes a lot of time to enter this custom information. For example, I have one phone entry for Home Depot. However, there are several phone numbers, one for each of the stores in my area. I use that field to identify in which city each store is located.

Note: contacts.vcf was originally generated by the Export function of my phone prior to importing it into gmail. I'm using a secondary gmail account so I can start with an empty contact list in that account.

I'll continue looking at this over the next day or so and report my findings.
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Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
Maybe my comnent will not be relevant for you but it is what I will do if I were you.

Provided that you have not updated the android os to 4.3 or above, you can use the contact manager of kies 2.6 to edit the contacts details.

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/faq/FAQ00052706/61336

From my experience, it is a bit troublesome to convert the format of a vcf file.
Jerry LOperations Manager

Author

Commented:
FIRST ATTEMPT
(The phone exports in v2.1 but imports the following successfully)

BEGIN:VCARD
VERSION:3.0
FN:24 Hour Fitness
N:Fitness;24;Hour;;
TEL;TYPE=X-Local Number:5559359064
TEL;TYPE=X-Membership:8004326348
END:VCARD

NOTE:  The text, "Local Number", got truncated due to space character.

GMAIL
(The above version did not import correctly into gmail. So I fixed the fields in gmail and exported to get the following. This syntax, however, does not import correctly into the phone. The phone number imports, but the custom type description does not. It defaults to "Home".)

BEGIN:VCARD
VERSION:3.0
FN:24 Hour Fitness
N:Fitness;24;Hour;;
item1.TEL:5559359064
item1.X-ABLabel:Local Number
item2.TEL:8004326348
item2.X-ABLabel:Membership
END:VCARD

NOTE: Handling Address and other custom fields is similar.

PHONE EXPORT AS V2.1

BEGIN:VCARD
VERSION:2.1
FN:24 Hour Fitness
N:Fitness;24;Hour;;
TEL;X-Local:5559359064
TEL;X-Membership:8004326348
END:VCARD

@Jackie Man
I've tried Kies but I want the flexibility of Excel.
aikimarkSocial distance; Wear a mask; Don't touch your face; Wash your hands for 20 seconds
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Top Expert 2014

Commented:
With a text editor, change the troublesome space character into an underscore character.
Jerry LOperations Manager

Author

Commented:
I think the suggestion to use gmail can be considered an acceptable solution to this EE Entry. However, it would be nice to have a script that converts the gmail vCard output to be Samsung compatible.

QUESTION:
Do you know how to create a VB Script for Excel that can do this conversion? The pseudo code would be something like this... (othewise, I'll post another EE Question in the Excel category)

for (i++ = 1) {
     if exist "item"(i) {
          merge two lines into one
     }
}

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aikimarkSocial distance; Wear a mask; Don't touch your face; Wash your hands for 20 seconds
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Top Expert 2014

Commented:
I thought you were exporting from Samsung, not importing to Samsung.

If you have a vcf-to-CSV conversion process, I would recommend a new question if you want to tweak that process or data.  Be sure to post a link to this question in the new question.
Jerry LOperations Manager
Commented:
This one is on us!
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aikimarkSocial distance; Wear a mask; Don't touch your face; Wash your hands for 20 seconds
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Top Expert 2014

Commented:
one step at a time, then.

What kind of manipulation do you need to do?
Jerry LOperations Manager
Commented:
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
aikimarkSocial distance; Wear a mask; Don't touch your face; Wash your hands for 20 seconds
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Top Expert 2014

Commented:
that's why you should open another question, specific to the possibility of automating or simplifying the Excel editing you will need to do.
Jerry LOperations Manager

Author

Commented:
aikimark provided the suggestion to use Gmail as a VCF to CSV conversion tool. This put me on the right track to develop a complete solution and deserves the points. My comments provide suggestions about how to provide a complete solution that requires Excel programming skills.
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