Creating Signatures for Your Messages - dummies

Creating Signatures for Your Messages

By Bill Dyszel

Many people like to add a signature to the end of every message they send. A signature is usually a small portion of text that identifies you to everyone who reads your message and tells something you want everyone to know. Many people include their name, the name of their business, their business’s web address, their motto, a little sales slogan, or some squib of personal information.

You can tell Outlook to add a signature automatically to all your outgoing messages, but you must first create a signature file.

To create your signature file, follow these steps:

  1. Select the File tab on the Ribbon and click the Options button.

    The Outlook Options dialog box opens.

  2. Click the Mail button in the navigation window on the left.

    The Mail settings dialog box opens.

  3. In the Compose Messages section, click the Signatures button.

    The Signatures and Stationery dialog box opens.

  4. Click the New button.

    The New Signature dialog box opens.

  5. Type a name for your new signature.

    The name you type appears in the New Signature box. You can name a signature anything you want.

  6. Click OK.

    The New Signature dialog box closes.

  7. Type the text of the signature you want in the Edit Signature box and add any formatting you want.

    To change the font, size, color, or other text characteristics, use the buttons just above the text box. If you’re more comfortable creating highly formatted text in Microsoft Word, you can create your signature in Word and then copy and paste it in the Edit Signature box.

    However, many people receive email on cell phones and other kinds of devices that don’t know what to do with elaborate formatting, so you may be best off with a fairly simple signature. Also, try to be brief. You don’t want your signature to be longer than the message to which it’s attached.

    If you work in a company in which everyone uses similar company-approved signatures, you can copy a signature from an email you get from someone else and change the specific information about phone number, address, and so on, from their information to yours. Just open an incoming message from a colleague, run your mouse over the signature to select it, press Ctrl+C to copy it, then click in the New Signature box and press Ctrl+V to paste it in. At that point, you can edit the signature as you wish.

  8. Click OK.

    Your new signature is now saved and the Signatures and Stationery dialog box closes.

  9. Click the OK button in the Outlook Options dialog box.

    The Outlook Options dialog box closes.

    Your new signature will now appear on every new message you send. If you create more than one signature, you can switch to a different default signature by following steps 1 through 3 and then choosing the signature you want from the New Messages menu in the Choose Default Signature section. If you want to include a signature in your replies and forwards, choose the signature you want from the Replies/Forwards menu in the Choose Default Signature section.

If you use more than one email address, you can choose your signatures in a couple ways:

  • Set up Outlook to use different signatures on different email addresses: For example, assume that one address is for business and another is for personal messages. You can create a business-like signature for the first and a more casual signature for the latter. To designate which signature goes with which address, select the address from the Email Account drop-down menu in the Choose Default Signature section and then pick the signature you want to use for that email address. Repeat this for each additional email address for which you want to include a signature.

  • Choose signatures one at a time: When you finish writing the body of an email message, click the Insert tab on the New Message form’s Ribbon and then click the Signature button to see the list of signatures you’ve created. Clicking the name of the signature that you want to use makes that signature appear in your message.