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Outlook Signatures for Outlook 2016 and earlier

Personalize emails in style with signatures on your emails in Outlook 2016 back to Outlook 2007 for Windows. Make one or more signatures for each mail account.

Outlook signatures are a wonderful way to personalize emails. Outlook Signatures are blocks of text or graphics that appear at the end of outgoing messages. As it literally means, a signature basically consists of your name used to signoff the email and can contain optional contact information, text or images.

You can configure Outlook to automatically add signature to a message or you can add the required signature manually.

Outlook lets you create as many signatures as you desire to suit all these facets of your life. Most of us have several ‘hats’ in our life. There’s work and personal but there can be others such as a member or organizer for a group.

Outlook 2016 and before

This article applies to Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2007 which all had the same Signature system. Signatures are saved on the local computer only with no roaming/sync possible to other computers except with some separate folder sync or Outlook add-in.

PLUS what we explain here also applies to Outlook 365/2021/2019 for non-Microsoft mailboxes such as Gmail, ISP mail or Exchange Server hosted outside Microsoft.

In 2022, Microsoft changed the way Outlook signatures are saved but ONLY for Microsoft hosted mailboxes (Microsoft 365 and with Outlook 365, Outlook 2021 and Outlook 2019. See Roaming email signatures in Outlook 365, 2021, 2019

How to Create a Signature

Signatures can be created in different formats and it can contain various elements. A basic signature will have just the sender’s name. Along with the name you can include acknowledgments like “Thank you”, “Yours Lovingly”, etc.

Official or business signatures will have company name, contact number, company address, website URL, etc. Company logo or any other relevant graphic can also be used.

Any text in the signature can be hyperlinked. The text of the signature can be formatted to make it more attractive.

Occasionally signature will also contain disclaimer blocks like stating, “If you are not the intended recipient of the e-mail then you should delete the e-mail”.

Make a simple signature

Open Outlook, go to File | Options | Mail, then choose Signatures and the E-mail signature tab. If you’re already editing a message go to Message | Include | Signature | Signatures …

From the E-mail Account list at right, choose the email account to use with the new signature.

Click New to make a new signature. Give the Signature a name (label) first

And you’re back in the same E-mail Signature again but now there’s a Signature to edit (top left) and the bottom pane is available to write your Signature.

The Signature can have images (logo or photo, keep small to conserve email size), links (to company web site etc) or an Outlook Business Card.

Business Card

You may wonder what a Business card is all about. A Business card or Electronic Business card is a .vcf file which contains your contact information.

You can create a .vcf file based on the contact information you have stored in the address book. This file can be inserted in the signature and it is displayed in the signature as a Business card.

Your mail recipients can add your contact information easily to their address book through the Business card.

New Messages, Replace/Forwards or both?

Each Signature can be automatically inserted for new messages or when replying/forwarding a message.

I think most people have the same signatures for both new and reply/forward but it’s quite possible to have different signatures or none.

If you don’t want the signatures to be automatically added to all outgoing and Replies/forward messages then in the dropdown list choose the “none” option.

Insert signature into message

There are two ways to add signature to message. Signature can be automatically added to all new outgoing messages or you can add signature manually to individual messages.

Now if you open a new message you can find the signature automatically in the body of the message.

The automatic signature isn’t fixed and can be changed. Delete the signature, just like any other message text. Or replace with another signature from Message | Include | Signature.

Or right-click in the signature area to see the same options

Manually add a signature

To add signatures manually to new outgoing message or reply/forward messages open the message and under Message | Include | Signature select the created signature e.g. Personal. The selected signature will be inserted in the message.

Make changes to the Signature

If you wish to edit any of the signatures then you can either do it individually in the message itself or you can modify the signature such that’s applicable to all messages.

To edit the signature in individual messages, open a new message, select desired signature and make the required changes. It’s just like any other message text.

In the above screenshot the text style and color is changed. You can even add additional text to the signature or add any image like company logo. But changes made to the signature in this manner will only apply to the current message.

To edit the saved signature, applicable for all messages, go back to the “Signatures and Stationary” window select the required signature and make the changes in the edit box. If you wish to make changes to more than one signature then click the “Save” button after making changes to one signature. You can even modify the name given to identify each signature by clicking the “Rename” button.

Duplicating a signature

Sometimes you’ll want to copy an existing signature to make a similar one. Unfortunately, there’s no Copy or Duplicate option for Signatures so you have to do it the long way around.

Select the Signature text you want to use and copy to the clipboard. Then select New to make another signature and paste the signature text into the new sig. Finally edit the new signature to suit.

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