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Free tips and tricks for using Microsoft Office and Windows

Free Online Microsoft Training

Free tips and tricks for using Microsoft Office and Windows

Create a signature in Outlook

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The use of a signature at the bottom of an email is considered standard practice in todays digital world. A signature is the simplest way to include information about yourself or your business without the need to repeatedly add this content yourself.

A signature can be created, edited and formatted within Microsoft Outlook. You can create different signatures to use at different times. You can even have specific signatures to use when you reply to, or forward an email.

A few things to consider when creating an email signature include:

  • Be sure that any information you include is relevant to most people you send emails to.
  • If you are working in a business then standard information such as your name, company name, and contact number is sufficient.

An email is a part of daily business communications, so just as a letterhead should represent your business, so to should your signature. Including images can be useful in some instances, however, be mindful that it is possible that not all recipients will be able to see the image. Using images within your signature may also increase the file size of each of your messages. When deciding what information you will include, go with a “less is more” approach.

To create a signature in Outlook:

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Go to the File tab and choose Options.
  3. The Outlook Options dialog box will appear.
  4. Select Mail from the categories down the left-hand sidebar:
  1. Click the Signatures button.
  2. The Signatures and Stationery dialog box will appear:
  1. You will see a list of the email accounts setup on your computer in the E-mail account drop-down menu. Make sure the email account you want to create the signature for is selected.
  2. Firstly you need to create the signature entry, you will notice that the lower half of the dialog box under Edit signature is greyed out, this is because you either have no signatures setup, or you have not selected a signature from an existing list.
  3. Click the New button.
  4. The New Signature dialog box will appear:
  1. Type in a suitable name for your signature. I generally try and use a description such as The Training Lady Main – this will help me identify this is my main signature, then click OK.
  2. Place your cursor in the Edit signature text box and type in the details you wish to include in your signature.
  3. Once you have entered the relevant text, you can now use the formatting tools on the toolbar to format sections of your signature:
Create a signature in MS Outlook
  1. Highlight text and apply any font formatting, and use the bold, italics & underline features to highlight important information. Be careful not to use too many different font styles or colours within the signature to avoid it looking too busy.
  1. Click the Save button located below the Edit signature box, to save your completed signature.
  2. You can now create additional signatures to use as a reply or forwarding email signature. Generally, for these versions, I use a cut-down version of my normal signature. Remember when you reply or forward an email, the person knows you and knows your details so you can just include a quick sign off and leave out your full contact details.
  4. Once you have finished creating each signature, you need to apply the signatures to show at the correct time.
  5. To apply the signatures use the New messages and Replies/forwards drop-down menus in the bottom right of the dialog box and select which signature to use for each situation:
  1. Once you have finished click OK and you will be returned to the Outlook Options dialog box, click OK again to return to the Outlook window.

Test out your new signature

  1. Create a new email message and check that your “main” signature appears.
  2. Forward an existing email message and check to ensure your “reply or forward” signature appears.
  3. If either signature fails, return to the File > Options dialog box and double check you have assigned a signature to the New messages and/or Replies/forwards drop-down menus.

Congratulations on setting up a new signature within Microsoft Outlook. Why not check out my post on how to set up Email Tracking Options in Outlook or look at further ways you can customise Outlook such as how to Customise the Quick Access Toolbar.


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