I confess that its been several years since I’ve been tethered to Outlook so when I went to create an HTML signature I found that the signature advanced editor had been removed. Ack! Yes Rich Formatted text would get me close but if you want more control it might be time to create an HTML signature. HTML signatures are useful if you are wanting to use images or attach a business card with actually attaching a file every time you send an email. It is preferable to link to your contact card and use html tags to include the image.
Personally I use well formatted text and hyperlinks in my email signature but find what works for you.
A few final design notes:
- Don’t include your important information within the image. If your image is blocked then your info is as well.
- Explore how to mimic your coporate colors and feel using rich text. See some good examples at “Creative design tips for e-mail signatures“
For more do’s and don’ts read Smashing Magazine’s “The Art And Science Of The Email Signature”
How to create an HTML Signature for Outlook 2010 (Windows 7)
- To get to the email signature settings click File -> Options -> Mail -> Signatures.
- Click “New” to create a new signature and name it to something you will recognize. We’ll use “Example HTML”
- Type in a few nonsense letters and click “Save”
- Leave outlook open and navigate using Windows Explorer to C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Roamin\Microsoft\Signatures (Note that the AppData folder is hidden by default so you might need to select show hidden folders)
- Within this folder you will find a file named “Example HTML.htm” right click this file and select edit.
- Windows will open your default HTML editor, usually Word. I use Notepad++ but whatever you choose now you can edit your signature. Depending on your editor you may need some help with the HTML code so remember Google is your friend.
- Once you have your signature created click save and return to the Outlook Options.
- Select your new signature and you should see it formatted based on the HTML file you modified.
Linkedin provides a great tool for creating email signatures. Visit linkedin.com/signature to get started. It’s free but requires a Linkedin account.
- Fill out the info fields and select a template.
- Scroll to the bottom and click “Click Here for Instructions”. This will open a new window that gives you the HTML code.
- Paste this code into your HTML editor (step 6 above)
- Save and preview in Outlook
I’d like to know what you prefer in email signatures. Text only or well designed image signatures. How does your mobile use of email affect your answer?