Today, it would not be a guess to say that any kind of email client have some feature that allow users to create and manage signatures. Not just ones that are installed on your computers but also web-based clients.
If you are an Outlook user you can enjoy Outlook’s great Signatures and Stationery feature that allows you to create and manage personalized signatures and add them to your email messages.
Personal Stationery tab define how new and reply email messages look: fonts and themes are defined there.
Signatures and Stationery dialog box can be accessed in two ways: going to Outlook Backstage and choosing Options or from an email message.
- from Options: click File, click Options, click Mail, on the right under Create or modify signatures for messages click Signatures… button.
- From an email message: on Home tab click New E-mail (or CTRL+N)
Not only this, but you can have a number of signatures that are automatically inserted whether you use different e-mail account, write new message or reply/forward a message to someone. That action is defined on the right side, under Choose default signature.
Editing signatures is done on the left part. At the top left is the list of signatures you have created with buttons to Delete, make new, save after editing or rename a signature.
The bottom half of the screen is where editing of the signature takes place.
We have some basic controls for editing text, the same that you will find in Word or in other Office applications. Font type, size , style, color and horizontal alignment.
Three remaining buttons are used to insert Business Card, picture and a hyperlink.
That’s it! That’s all! What? Show me some other commands and buttons! I want to have a professional signature with my company logo aligned on the left, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn icons on the right and my name in the middle! (I don’t know if anyone could call this professional signature, but you got the point).
How to have complete control of the text in signature(s) if we don’t have tools to that? Well, easier than you think. We have the tools, but not in Outlook. We have to go to Word.
Before you open Word, create new, blank signature and name it. I chose an innovative name: Blank.
Open Microsoft Word 2010 and start with a blank document. I will create a sample signature just to show you that you can insert in signatures pretty everything that comes to your mind.
I have made this ‘professional’ signature in Word. Here it is:
Press CTRL+A, that is: select all.
Once my signature is in clipboard (guess what is going to happen), go to Outlook, to Signatures and Stationery dialog box that you’ve left open, left click to editing area to put text cursor in it,
And press CTRL-V or paste. Alternatively, right click in editing area, menu pops out, and click Paste.
What?!? Nothing happened!?!
Not really. Notice how text cursor changed its position. It means that something is in there. (I’m scared, previous sentence is like from some horror movie commercial).
It did happen, signature is here but it is not visible right now, not until you insert it.
Press OK button to close Signatures and Stationery. Now you are ready to insert a signature you’ve created in Word.
- on Home tab click New E-mail (or CTRL+N)
- Click Signature icon to display menu
- Click Blank
And that’s it, here it is!
Your custom signature, just the way you wanted it!
Although I have not tried every single combination, I bet that you can create (almost) any signature you want.
The key here is that you can use Word’s tools and features to create any kind of text and objects, align them the way you want, apply the effects you want and insert it later in Outlook to use it as an e-mail signature.
Just to try, here is another ‘signature’ example in Outlook:
You can even edit chart inside email message. Look how Outlook displays contextual menus (Chart Tools: Design, Layout and Format). Cool, isn’t it?
Good luck in creating signatures, this time the way you exactly want!