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How to set up or change email signature in Outlook on the Web (Office 365 and Exchange 2016/2019)?

How to set up or change email signature in Outlook on the Web (Office 365 and Exchange 2016)?

[Update]: This article was first published on March 15, 2016. It’s been updated to reflect the current steps required to set up an email signature on respective platforms.

Back in the day, when Exchange 2016 was released, OWA was replaced with a brand new and shiny Outlook on the web, known from Office 365 (or Microsoft 365, as the name also changed in the meantime). Since then, Outlook on the web went through some visual upgrades, but there wasn’t another name change (yet). What’s interesting is that despite the same name used for both on-premises (Exchange 2016 and Exchange 2019) and cloud environments, those Outlook versions are a bit different. Even though both clients are similar when it comes to setting up signatures, there are some noticeable differences. One of them is the path to the email signature editor.

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How to add email signatures in Outlook for Microsoft 365 and Outlook on the web (OWA)

Microsoft Outlook is the go-to email client for most businesses and enterprises. This is no surprise, as it has been around for decades and managed to become the ‘gold standard’ of this software category in the meantime. Outlook has evolved a lot since its first appearance, leading to its supposedly final form, “Outlook 365”. In this article, I’m going to quickly explain what Outlook 365 stands for and how to set up email signatures in this Microsoft-365-powered email client.

How to add email signatures in Outlook for Microsoft 365 and Outlook on the web (OWA)

Outlook 365: Outlook for Microsoft 365 vs Outlook on the web (OWA)

It might come as a bit of a surprise, but officially, there’s no such thing as “Outlook 365”. There are two Outlook versions which this name may relate to: Outlook for Microsoft 365 and Outlook on the web. Both come as a part of the Microsoft 365 subscription, which is probably the reason why so many users came to name them “Outlook 365”. This can be very confusing, especially since the name doesn’t explain whether the user means the app installed locally or the webmail version. The name stuck nonetheless and nowadays can be found all over the Internet, including tech community forums and specialist websites.

To be precise, Outlook for Microsoft 365 is the version of the app installed on desktop or laptop computers. It’s the most recent iteration, originating from a long line of apps included in Microsoft Office suites and standalone programs, so you might say it’s the longest known, as it brings to the table all the features and improvements implemented over the years.

Outlook on the web, on the other hand, is the webmail version of Outlook, allowing you to access your email account through your web browser. Besides being part of a Microsoft 365 subscription, it’s also available for organizations using on-premises Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 & 2019. By the way, the name “Outlook on the web” is being used interchangeably with “OWA”. The abbreviation actually stands for “Outlook Web App”, which was the official name of the app used with Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 & 2010, formerly called “Outlook Web Access” in case of Microsoft Exchange Server versions older than 2010. The biggest difference in comparison to Outlook for Microsoft 365 is that you don’t have to install anything on your computer or mobile device to use Outlook on the web.

Learn more about the differences between Outlook versions on this Microsoft’s site

How to set up email signatures

Now, let’s dive in and have a look at individual processes of setting up email signatures in Outlook for Microsoft 365 and Outlook on the web.

Outlook for Microsoft 365

Follow the steps below to set up an email signature in the desktop Outlook 365:

  1. Open the Outlook for PC app from the Start menu or from the taskbar.
Opening the Outlook for PC app
  1. In Outlook, click File > Options.
Opening the Outlook Options window
  1. In the Outlook Options window select the Mail tab and click Signatures in the Compose messages section.
Navigating to the Signatures and Stationery window

Note: Another way to start configuring your signatures is to open a New Email message, click Signature in the Include group and again Signatures.

Navigating from the New Email message window
  1. In the Signatures and Stationery window, click New and provide a name for your signature.
Creating a new signature
  1. Create your signature in the Edit signature section. Use available formatting tools to modify its appearance.
Editing the signature

Note: The formatting tools offered in the Outlook signature editor are quite basic. If you wish to achieve a more sophisticated and polished design, you can use a free email signature generator to create an advanced signature template. Simply choose Outlook as the target email platform, select one of the many available templates, adjust it to your needs and there you go. Your signature is ready to be copied and pasted into the Outlook editor.

  1. The Choose default signature section can be used to define which email account should get the signature (in case there is more than one email account set up in Outlook), and whether it should be added to new messages and/or replies/forwards. Once you are done, save changes by clicking OK.
Choosing default signatures
  1. In case you selected your signature to be treated as default for new messages, you will see it every time you compose a new email.
Default signature for new messages

Note: If you didn’t select your signature as the default one, you will still be able to add it manually every time you write a new email. It will be available after clicking the Signature button in the Include group.

Adding the signature manually to a new message

That’s all there is to it. If you wish to create more Outlook signatures, simply follow the steps from point 3 onwards. You can create as many of them as you need – they will appear on a list visible after clicking the aforementioned Signature button.

Outlook on the web

The steps required to configure email signatures in the ”Outlook 365” webmail client are a bit different than in case of the desktop app:

  1. Open your Outlook on the web either by selecting the Outlook App in your Office home page, or by using this direct link.
Opening Outlook on the web
  1. Click the Gear icon in the top-right corner and select View all Outlook settings.
Opening the Outlook on the web settings menu
  1. In the navigation pane on the left, go to Mail > Compose and reply. You can also use this direct link to reach the signature editor panel. Use the provided editor box to enter your signature text, apply formatting as well as to add images or links.
Navigating to the signature editor panel

Note: If you wish to achieve a more refined appearance, you can use a free email signature generator with lots of advanced signature templates that you can fill in with all the necessary details and copy into the editor box in Outlook on the web.

  1. The two drop-down menus under the signature editor let you decide whether the created signature should be added automatically to your new messages and replies/forwards respectively.

Note: It is possible to create and use multiple signatures for a single mailbox – similarly to the Outlook desktop client. Just click the New signature button after you have saved your first signature to create another one.

Once you are done, save changes and close the settings window.

Saving the email signature
  1. If you select your signature(s) in one of or in both drop-down menus, it will appear in the compose message window as you type your email in the appropriate scenario. In case you left the menus’ default settings (No signature), you will still be able to add your signature manually while composing email.
Adding the signature manually while composing an email

Limitations of signatures set up by users

As you can see in the above guides, setting up a professional email signature is a fully manual process. From the company’s viewpoint, it comes with some limitations and risks:

  • If a company cares about their brand and wants to have unified look of their emails, the process needs to be repeated individually for or by everyone within the organization. It’s highly time-consuming, especially when you consider some less proficient users who will require support to properly apply their signatures. Not to mention the recurring efforts in case of any signature updates in the future.
  • The more users requiring signatures, the higher the risk of incomplete or outdated data, inconsistent design, missing legally required information (no disclaimers or company data).
  • Creating original, visually appealing (and working properly across different email clients and devices) signatures requires advanced HTML and CSS skills.
  • Nothing stops users from using wrong personal information or applying custom layout.
  • And more.

Being aware of those limitations, you may want to change the way email signatures are managed in your organization. Instead of leaving this task to users, many companies decide to manage email signatures centrally.

Central management of email signatures

Building and promoting a company’s brand is a continuous process and every employee interacting with customers or business partners needs to be seen as a brand ambassador. Email correspondence takes up a considerable part of that professional interaction, therefore email signatures should not be underestimated. They are a powerful way to convey the sender’s professionalism and tell the recipients whether the organization cares about its image.

Managing email signatures centrally ensures that they are kept under control and stay up-to-date, consistent in design and aesthetic and are personalized across the whole company. This way, email signatures can be carefully crafted (and implemented organization-wide) to send a strong message that helps the brand, promotes offers and supports the business.

It also allows for automation of a rather unexciting task, letting employees focus on their own work instead. Not to mention getting rid of issues connected to user carelessness or lack of technical skills.

Central management via Exchange Online

Exchange Online allows for central management of email signatures and disclaimers for the entire Microsoft 365 organization. It is possible to set up email signatures and legal disclaimers, which are added to email messages that enter or leave your organization. To achieve this, it is necessary to create a mail flow rule (with the Append the disclaimer action specified) that adds the required information to email messages. And since mail flow rules may include many different conditions and exceptions, it is also possible to create separate signature templates for different departments or even specific users.

However, the process might turn out to be troublesome for someone doing this for the first time. That is why we’ve prepared a short video guide explaining:

  • How to set up an email signature rule in the Exchange admin center.
  • Where to get the HTML code with Active Directory placeholders for the signature template.
  • How the global email signatures work from the user’s perspective.
  • What the limitations of signature rules are.
  • What tricks are possible to make the signature-adding-rule more useful.

Besides the Exchange admin center, it is also possible to achieve similar results using PowerShell and VBScript. The immediate drawback of these two methods is that the former only works for Outlook on the web (OWA) and the latter only for the desktop client.

Limitations

Although those management methods are better than setting up all email clients separately, they are still not perfect. They come with a lot of limitations:

  • Lack of a dedicated, user-friendly HTML editor.
  • No automatic users’ photos in email signatures.
  • Delegation of signature management is impossible.
  • Signatures don’t show up directly under replies/forwards.
  • It’s not possible to use embedded images.
  • Signatures not visible while typing or in Sent Items.
  • Blank spaces in signatures in case of missing Active Directory values.
  • No Active Directory attribute picker.
  • Forcing email format is not available.
  • No multitenancy support.

The above list is intended to highlight the constraints most commonly faced by businesses and as such is not exhaustive. Read this article to learn more about the limitations of native functionalities

Central management via CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365

While the above list seems a long one, overcoming all those limitations is easier than you might think. Although they cannot be fixed natively, a dedicated tool, such as CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365, can solve all related issues and do much more.

The service reinvents handling email signatures in Microsoft 365 organizations:

  • Manage all signatures centrally
    You can use a single rule to apply personalized email signatures to everyone in a Microsoft 365 organization. Signatures are added to emails sent from every device and email client. You can adjust signature templates to look differently for chosen departments or users.
  • WYSIWYG HTML template editor
    Easily create advanced email signatures that work on all email clients and mobile devices, automatically convert your signatures into HTML, Plain Text and RTF formats, insert Active Directory placeholders, edit signature layout, change colors and fonts, insert images, logos or Microsoft 365 users’ photos, etc.
  • Signatures visible while composing emails and in user’s Sent Items folders
    CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 is the first email signature management software for Microsoft 365 that allows you to preview signatures that will be added in the cloud and to display signatures in users’ Sent Items folders across various devices and email clients.
  • Support for AAD fields and custom attributes
    Besides the fields available in Azure Active Directory, you can add custom attributes that are not available in Azure AD, or you can let your end users update their signature information themselves (without impact on the original values stored in AAD).
  • Embedded logos and images
    Add company logo and marketing banners as inline attachments. This way, images are not blocked by recipients’ email clients on receiving an email.
  • User photos in email signatures
    Add Microsoft 365 users’ photos to email signatures.
  • And a whole lot more.

See the product’s page to learn more and test the tool for free or watch the following short video to learn why companies choose our software:

How to set up an HTML email signature in Apple Mail

UPDATE: This article was updated on September 13, 2021.

Creating and adding your email signature to Apple Mail (or Mac Mail, whichever name you like more) should be as easy as possible. Is it, though? If you’ve ever had any problem with setting up your email signature in Apple Mail, this guide is for you. I’ll show you how to create an email signature with a free email signature generator and how to add it to the Apple’s native email client.

How to add signature to Apple Mail

How to add an HTML email signature in Apple Mail – the easy way

UPDATE: We’ve updated our free email signature generator with a dedicated option for Apple Mail. There’s no longer any need to browse through the file system or paste HTML code directly into text files. You’re welcome.

To set up a professional email signature in Apple Mail, follow this short instruction:

  1. Before you begin, a word of warning. If possible, don’t use the email signature generator with the Safari browser. I don’t want to point fingers, but this browser has the tendency of adding unnecessary formatting to signatures. So, unless you want to give a slight Picasso vibe with an abstract signature formatting, use another browser, or proceed at your own risk.
  2. Go to the signature generator, choose Apple Mail and follow the intuitive interface to create your own email signature. When in doubt, you can always refer to the user’s manual. When the email signature preview on the right looks great, click Apply your signature.
Apple Mail HTML signature generator
  1. Next, Copy your signature to the clipboard.
Copy Apple Mail HTML signature
  1. Start Apple Mail.
Open Mail App
  1. Then, go to Mail > Preferences > Signatures.
Mail App Preferences
  1. Before you proceed with anything else, switch from All signatures to your email account (1), add a new email signature with the + button (2) and uncheck the Always match my default message font option (3). If you don’t do it, the signature probably won’t turn out right. Next, paste the signature you have copied earlier (4) and (optionally) select it as the default one (5). Note that the signature won’t look right in the Apple Mail’s editor at this point – don’t worry about that.
Apple Mail Signatures Settings
  1. When you compose a new email, the signature should be there with all the formatting and images displayed correctly (even if they were missing in the signature editor).
Apple Mail signature standard mode

That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Now you have a professional email signature in your Apple Mail client. But what if you want everyone in your company to get a similar signature? You could rinse and repeat the whole procedure for everyone, but it might take you ages to complete such a task. Especially, if some users use more than one email client. That’s why I saved the best method for last.


Organization-wide email signature management (the easiest way)

If your company uses Microsoft 365 or Exchange Server as the email platform, you can manage email signatures for everyone, the smart way. No matter what email clients are used, no matter how many users there are, you can deploy signatures to everyone in a matter of minutes. Whether it’s Apple Mail, Outlook for iOS, or any other client used on any other device, email signature management tools let you provide instant updates to the signatures in your company.

  • CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365 – the #1 email signature solution for Microsoft 365 tenants. With this flexible web-based email signature service, you can manage your Microsoft 365 signatures easily from any device. It can be integrated with web analytics tools, CSAT survey tools and meeting scheduling solutions, and it is the first among competition to use the newest technologies to help you manage your branding effectively.
  • CodeTwo Exchange Rules – the best signature solution if you use Exchange Server. It lets you change a simple email signature into an effective marketing channel.
    And if you want to do much more than just manage email signatures, it includes a Pro variant which gives you full control over your mail flow.

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How to set up an email signature in the built-in Mail app for Windows 10

Email Signatures in windows 10 Mail app

Windows 10 Mail app is a lightweight email client which comes with Windows 10. While it’s not nearly as advanced or popular as Outlook, or Thunderbird, it gets its job done and has a fair share of users. Up until recently, it wasn’t possible to format email signatures in the Mail app the way you’d like. Fortunately, now you can add a great looking HTML email signature to your email instead of using the default “Sent from Mail for Windows 10”, or a sad, plain text signature.

Design a good HTML email signature

One of the tricks to having email signatures which look the same (or at least very similar) across email clients is using tables and in-line HTML styles. Unfortunately, Windows 10 Mail app only has a basic email signature editor which doesn’t let you do much formatting. If you want your signature to include your name, basic contact info and a logo, simply pasted in a single column, then there’s no need to worry. However, if apart from contact details, you’d like to add social media buttons and format the whole thing in a pleasant way, you will need to design your email signature in another editor and then paste it to the Mail app for Windows 10.

The easiest way to create a good-looking email signature is to use our free email signature generator or download one of our free email signature templates. If you are using the generator, just leave the default email platform (Outlook) and follow the guidelines in the tool to make your own HTML email signature. When you apply your signature, and copy the signature to clipboard, you can start adding it to Windows 10 Mail app.

If you want to roll up your sleeves and create an HTML email signature from scratch, here are some articles which can help you get this done:

Once you have your HTML email signature ready and copied to clipboard, it’s time to set it up in the Mail app.

Add an HTML email signature to Windows 10 Mail app

The process is pretty straight-forward. Mind that this email client doesn’t allow you to use multiple email signatures or different signatures for replies and forwarded messages.

I’m using Windows 10 Mail Version 16005.12827.20560.0 configured with a Microsoft 365 account. Although the Inbox looks a bit differently for Gmail and Outlook.com accounts configured in Windows 10 Mail app, I’ve tested it and email signatures are configured exactly the same for both email services.

  1. First, you need to launch your Windows 10 Mail app:
Windows 10 Mail app - main window
  1. Go to Settings (the ⚙ icon at the bottom) and choose Signature from the menu on the right side of the window:
Signature settings in Windows 10 Mail app
  1. This opens the signature editor in Windows 10 Mail app. Make sure that the Use an email signature option is On and that the drop-down points to the right email account, if you have more than one configured. The editor has some basic formatting options available and the default “Sent from Mail for Windows 10” signature is already set up. Delete that text and paste your email signature (Ctrl+A, followed by Ctrl+V should to the trick, provided you have copied the signature to the clipboard).
Windows 10 Mail app Signature editor
  1. Once your signature is in the editor, you can make some adjustments. Check for typos, see if links work correctly. As you can see below, your signature might not fit entirely into the tiny editor pane, so let’s check how it looks in an actual email.
Paste email signature to your Windows 10 Mail editor
  1. When you create a new email (or reply or forward an existing one) the signature will be there just the way you wanted it to be:
Windows 10 Mail app new email with signature

After you set up your signature in the Mail app in Windows 10 (or any other email client), it’s best to send an email with your signature to yourself first to see if your images look well and if there are no formatting issues.

How to handle email signatures company-wide

Setting up an email signature for a single email client is not that hard, especially when you use a well-crafted template as your starting point. The thing is different when you think about email signatures on a company level. Companies that care about their brand identity and visual identity need to unify their email signatures. This will allow them to build their brand with one of the most commonly used communication channels – emails.

How difficult is it to deploy email signatures in a company

While manual deployment of unified email signatures is possible, it’s not easy to set up or maintain. Especially when employees can use various email clients and devices for email communication.

That’s why we came up with tools for email signature management which make designing and deploying email signatures for the whole company a child’s play, saving you a lot of time and resources.

See also:

How to design an email signature and disclaimer for a lawyer

Is there really anything special about email signatures for lawyers or attorneys? Actually, there is. Email signatures are like your digital business cards, only they tend to last longer than their paper equivalents. Lawyers send a considerable number of emails all the time and if their signature isn’t perfect, their reputation is at stake. If you want to learn how to design a good email signature for an attorney or see a sample lawyer’s email disclaimer, read on.

How to design a perfect email signature for a lawyer
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How to automatically add email signatures to replies and forwards in Office 365?

[Update]: This blog post was updated on July 09, 2021.

When it comes to Office 365 email signatures, you may want to have different variants for different purposes. It is a common practice to create two signatures for the same sender – one with full contact details and graphics, and one with less details and less or no graphics. The first signature applies only when you send your first email. The next signature is added only when continuing a conversation within the same email thread. Such a setup keeps email threads readable, but with necessary contact details always at hand.

Surprising as it may be, the native Office 365 signatures defined via mail flow rules cannot help you here. Office 365 makes email signatures land at the bottom of an email thread and lets you only use the same email signature design for new messages, replies and when you forward an email. In this article, you will find out how to have such signatures added automatically in Office 365 by using a third-party email signature manager, CodeTwo Email Signatures for Office 365.

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