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email signaturesGmail is superior to desktop clients like Outlook or Thunderbird in almost every way. It’s faster, accessible from any browser and (being from Google) includes amazing search capabilities. I’ve given up email clients altogether in favor of Gmail, and I don’t think I’m alone.

One shortcoming of Gmail, or so I’m told by people considering making the leap to the Gmail-only lifestyle, is the seeming total lack of a way to have multiple signatures at once.

This is a shortcoming, to be sure, and one we’ve addressed before. Saikat wrote about 5 ways to create custom multiple email signatures in Gmail 5 Ways To Create Custom Multiple Signatures In GMail 5 Ways To Create Custom Multiple Signatures In GMail Read More , and his list is a good one. In fact, the only problem with this list is that all the solutions he lists all depend on some sort of browser-based plugin in order to work.

The article was accurate at the time of writing. Since then, Gmail has introduce this feature natively.


That’s fine if you primarily access your email from the same computer, but I jump from computer to computer constantly. As such, I’ve been looking for a way to manage multiple email signatures from within Gmail. I didn’t think I’d ever find one until I started playing with the Canned Responses plugin found in Gmail Labs.

Canned Responses is intended to save you time by allowing you to instantly send messages you seem to send a lot. Mark explains more in his article about saving time with Gmail email templates using Canned Responses. Save Time with Gmail Email Templates using "Canned Responses" Save Time with Gmail Email Templates using "Canned Responses" Read More

But email signature templates isn’t all Canned Responses is good for; it also makes a pretty good killer tool for managing multiple Gmail signatures. Best of all, because it’s built into Gmail you don’t need a browser-based plugin to use it.

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Using Canned Responses For Signatures

email signatures

You’ll find Canned Responses in the “Labs” section of your Gmail preferences. You can enable it by clicking the “Enable” button followed by the “Save” button at the top or bottom of the lab list.

Once you do enable it, you’re ready to create your email signatures. Doing so can be a touch confusing, but don’t worry: it’s simple once you get used to it. Click “Compose Mail.” Simply write your signature where you’d normally write your email text. When you’re done that click “Canned Responses” followed by clicking the “New Canned Response” button seen under “Save.” You’ve now saved your first signature; repeat the process as many times as necessary.

creating email signatures

As you can see, I’ve got five different signatures that I use depending on who I’m writing to. You can add as many signatures as you want.

Inserting a signature is easy. Once you’re done writing an email all you need do is click “Canned Responses” and then click your signature of choice under “Insert.” Voila; you’ve added your signature.

email signatures

Conclusion: It Works But…

The canned responses plugin in Labs makes a great email signature manager, but it seems kind of sad that I have to resort to what amounts to a hack in order to achive this functionality. Gmail is by far my favorite email client, but I wonder how it is that such a great service lacks signature management by default?

Sure, with this trick you can have the functionality, but I still think Google should put together a more “official” signature manager that feels less like a hack and more like a feature. For now, however, I’m more than happy with this solution.

What do you guys think? Is canned responses a good way to achieve multiple signatures, or are you having trouble with it? Can you think of a better way to achieve this without resorting to browser-based extensions? If so please share, because I want to hear from you!

  1. Sharon
    March 23, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    I have added other email addresses to my gmail account and therefore would like each email address to have its own signature. Although Cannded responses can help achieve this, it would be better if the signature automatically drafted when I started to write an email from that address.

    • Justin Pot
      March 23, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      That is exactly how the tool works for me! You can pick a signature for each address in the main page of the settings in Gmail, there's a drop-down menu for it.

      • Justin Pot
        March 23, 2016 at 5:08 pm

        I wrote this article a long time ago, over half a decade, and Gmail has since added the feature. :)

  2. Gregoire
    August 10, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    They also need to make a reply-tos work better so that it looks to outsiders as if I was on my corp net when I am actually on Google Apps Mail. This along with signature by account would allow me to look as though I was on the native systems.

  3. EDZ
    July 11, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Seriously? It's kind of sad that you went through the trouble of writing up this post. I thought MakeUseOf was on top of things. Gmail released Rich Text Signatures, which supports multiple custom signatures, two days ago: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/...

  4. EDZ
    July 11, 2010 at 4:52 am

    Seriously? It's kind of sad that you went through the trouble of writing up this post. I thought MakeUseOf was on top of things. Gmail released Rich Text Signatures, which supports multiple custom signatures, two days ago: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/rich-text-signatures.html

    • Aibek
      July 11, 2010 at 8:52 am

      I guess that happened because the post was scheduled for publication before that new feature was introduced. We will add the update note shortly.

    • Jessica Cam W.
      July 11, 2010 at 10:47 am

      The new Gmail feature doesn't actually let you have more than one rich text signature per email account, which is what this article maintains so it still applies if you're interested in creating several different signatures regardless of how many email addresses you own or whether the signatures are adorned up in rich text or not.

  5. Vitor Hugo
    July 11, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Huuum... It might be helpful if you want more than one signature per account.
    But if you only need one per account, Gmail already has the thing:
    http://googlesystem.blogspot.c...

  6. Vitor Hugo
    July 10, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Huuum... It might be helpful if you want more than one signature per account.
    But if you only need one per account, Gmail already has the thing:
    http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2010/07/gmail-adds-rich-text-signatures.html

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