How to Scan a Business Card to Outlook

by Travis DeLingua

Card scanners are designed to save you the time of typing the contact information from a business card into your computer's address book. If you meet a lot of clients or your Rolodex is getting out of control, a business card scanner can be an effective organizational tool. A card scanner will digitize, manage and back up your contacts while promoting a clutter-free, paperless office. Purchase a card scanner online or at an electronics retail store. Popular manufacturers include Iris, CardScan and Targus.


Connect the scanner to the computer using the USB cable that comes with the device and turn it on. USB devices are ready to use and do not need installation.


Install the software that comes with the scanner. Card scanning software is designed to automatically read a business card and extract the name, address, phone number and other business information.


Insert a business card into the scanner. It will read the business card automatically and extract the contact information. Confirm that the extracted contact information is correct and in the appropriate field. Text that is curved and misaligned may not always appear in the correct field. Extraction can take anywhere from two to 30 seconds depending on how legible the font is. A sans-serif font will be read faster than a complex serif script.


Export the contact information into your Outlook contacts. All card scanners come with their own software and address books, but they can also export the extracted information into your preferred address book and email software. The Targus USB Mini Business Card Scanner has a simple interface, and you can export your contacts in a few quick mouse clicks.


Open the scanner application. Click "View," "Card List" then select the entries you wish to export. Next click "File," "Synchronize with" then select "Microsoft Outlook."


  • close Always check that the contact information was scanned correctly. Card scanners save time but don't always input information into the correct field. They often have trouble reading complicated fonts.

About the Author

Travis DeLingua has been writing professionally for print and online publications since 2005. He has been published in magazines including "Time Out New York" and the "New York Press." DeLingua has a Bachelor of Arts in English from SUNY Albany.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Jupiterimages, Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images