Productivity

How to Add and Change a Signature in Microsoft Outlook

Sandy Writtenhouse Updated 04-08-2020

A signature at the end of your Outlook or Gmail message can add polish to your emails. Email signatures are a networking and promotional tool. Even a simple signature that includes your name, contact information, and optionally, your website and business address say a lot.

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If you use Outlook for your emails, then creating a signature is super easy. It does not take much time, offers flexibility, and can provide you with multiple signatures for business and personal communications.

How to Add a Signature in Outlook

If you are unsure how to create a signature in Outlook, you must first access the setup screen. You can open this area in two different ways in the Outlook desktop application.

  • The first method is to click File > Options > Mail. You should see the option for Signatures and just hit that button.

signatures in outlook mail settings

  • The second way to access the setup window is on the email composition screen. Select the Insert tab, the Signatures dropdown box, and pick Signatures.

signatures in email compose window

Both of these methods will bring you to the Signatures and Stationery screen. This is where you will create your signature and configure its settings.

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how to make your outlook email signature stand out

How to Create a Signature in Outlook

To begin with, your first signature creation, make sure that you are on the E-mail Signature tab in the setup window. Then, follow these steps.

  1. Select the email account you want to use on the right if you have more than one address set up. Remember, you can create multiple signatures for multiple accounts.
  2. Click New, which should be the only accessible button if there are no other signatures yet.
  3. Give your signature a name. This is as important as it is handy if you plan to set up more than one signature. For instance, you may choose to have different signatures for new messages and replies or for in-office and out-of-office messages. So, try to use a meaningful name that you will recognize at a glance.
  4. Click OK when you finish.

how to make your outlook email signature stand out

How to Format a Signature

Now comes the fun part, creating a standout email signature in the text editor. Of course, you can keep it simple by just inserting your name and contact information. But you can use the tools available to change the font style and size, format the text How to Edit Email Fonts & Formatting in Microsoft Outlook Does your Outlook font keep changing? Maybe the font size is too small, for example when you reply to an email. This guide will help you fix your email and font formatting in Microsoft Outlook. Read More , change its color, and align it to the left, right, or center.

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If you want to make those adjustments, you can use the tools before typing your signature or after. However, it’s easiest to start by typing your signature in the Email Signature text box first and making the changes afterward.

Spruce Up the Text

For changing the text in the signature after you type it, just select the text and make changes to the font style, size, formatting, or color. For example, maybe you would like your name to appear larger and in an elegant font. Or perhaps you would like your business name and phone number to display in your company colors.

how to make your outlook email signature stand out

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Add a Link

One nice feature of creating your signature in the Outlook desktop is that if you want to add a link to a website, the application does it for you automatically. For instance, if you begin typing “www.” and then the rest of the URL, when you hit the Enter key, the text is linked to the site for you.

Alternatively, you can link the text yourself and use a different language with the Hyperlink button. This allows you to compose any text you like and link it. As an example, you may want your company name to appear as it is but link it to the company’s website.

To do this, follow these steps:

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  1. Select the text and click the Hyperlink button at the top of the editor.
  2. Under Link To make sure that Existing File or Web Page is selected.
  3. Confirm the text to display at the top and then enter the URL in the Address field.
  4. Click OK and you’re set.

how to make your outlook email signature stand out

You will notice that you can also link to an email in that same box, which is another handy way to format your email address. You can even include a subject line so that you know the message is from a user who clicked your address in the email. Just note, the user can likely adjust that subject line with their own application.

Insert an Image

Another great way to make your signature stand out is by inserting an image. The most common use for this is for your company logo. And many businesses actually require their logo to be in your signature. Either way, adding this is just as easy as adding a link.

Move your cursor to the spot in your signature where you want the image and click the Image button. Browse for your file in the popup window, select it, and hit Insert. That’s it, Outlook inserts your image into your signature.

Outlook Desktop Add Image to signature

If you realize after inserting the image that it could use some formatting, you can do this too. Just double-click on the image to open the formatting window. Then, you can adjust the size or colors and lines, as well as enter alternate text and crop the image.

Another terrific way to format an image in your signature is to link it. This way, your recipient can just click the logo and head right to your company website. To do this, add the image and insert the link with the above steps.

Include a Business Card

While maybe not as common as the other formatting tools, the option to add a business card is available. Just put your cursor where you want it, click the Business Card button, select the location in the Look in the dropdown box, and click OK.

Outlook Desktop Business Card

If you have a business card saved that includes your name, job title, and company name, this is a convenient way to add those details quickly.

How to Configure a Signature

All you have to do now is decide when it should be used. You have already chosen the email address to attach it to, but there is more. You can use the signature for new messages, replies and forwards, or both. And, you can create different ones for each.

For instance, if you have a signature that includes much detail along with your name, you might not want all that included when you are simply replying or forwarding an email to someone. At that time, you may just want a simple “thank you” along with your first name instead.

So, you would keep the name of your new email signature in the New messages area and then create another new signature and select its name in the Replies/forwards box. Outlook will insert these into your emails by default but you can change them before you send it.

configure your outlook email signature

How to Use a Different Signature in Outlook

Now that you have your default signatures set, you do not have to worry about inserting them when you compose, reply, or forward a message. But what if you want to use a different signature in that email?

In the new message window, click the Insert tab. Then, select the Signatures dropdown box and pick the signature you want to use. You will then see your choice pop right into your email replacing the default.

Outlook Desktop Signatures Choose

How to Change a Signature in Outlook

You may have all your signatures set up now, but realize you need to make a change. How do you edit an existing signature? This is just as simple as creating one.

Once again, access the signature set up window by clicking File > Options > Mail. Or on the email composition screen, select the Insert tab, the Signatures drop-down box, and pick Signatures.

Then, pick the name of the signature in the Select signature to edit box. Make your changes within the editor and then click Save.

You can also rename your signature from this area too if needed. Click Rename, give it a new name, and click Save.

change or rename your outlook email signature

Signatures Are for More Than Business Emails

You may be in a situation where your company has strict rules for email signatures and formatting. Or you just prefer to keep your signatures simple for professional reasons. But email signatures are not just for business and with the tools Outlook offers, you can make your personal emails fun and creative.

Here are just a few suggestions.

Add some holiday cheer to emails you send to friends and family. You can pop in a cute holiday image, add a cheerful closing, and spruce up your signature with festive colors.

holiday outlook email signature

Include motivation, inspiration, or good old humor with a quote. You can make any words look fancy or funny with the formatting tools in Outlook.

quote outlook email signature

Show your team spirit for football, basketball, or baseball season. You can insert a photo of your favorite team, link it to their official website, and use the team colors for a cool effect.

sports outlook email signature

And for more options, take a look at these email signature generators The 5 Best Email Signature Generators to Make Your Mails Pop An email signature says a lot. Here's how you can make gorgeous email signatures with the help of these apps and sites. Read More to make your emails stand out.

Your Online Outlook Signature

If you occasionally access your Outlook account on the web, you can add a default signature there too. Yes, Outlook on the web isn’t quite the same thing as Outlook on desktops, but this is one thing they both share. Learn more about the differences between Outlook, Hotmail, and Microsoft’s email services Hotmail Is Dead! Microsoft Outlook Email Services Explained Stop searching for Hotmail! Microsoft Outlook email services are confusing. Here are Outlook web app, Outlook Online, and others explained. Read More .

  1. Click the gear icon on the top right to open your settings.
  2. Select View All Outlook Settings at the bottom.
  3. Pick Mail on the left and then Compose and reply.

Outlook Web Signature

While you can currently only create and use one signature on the Outlook site, you can still format it, add images and links, and configure it to the message type.

Take the Time to Create Your Outlook Email Signature

For business emails, signatures can be simple, attractive, and useful all at the same time. They give your recipients an easy way to see your contact information and visit your company website. For personal emails, signatures can be unique, fun, and entertaining. They can show personality and spirit.

So taking the time to create your Outlook email signature is always worth it.

If you need a little more help with your business signature, check out our tips for creating the perfect professional email signature 7 Tips for Creating the Perfect Professional Email Signature We've written a lot about how to email like a pro, but one aspect that's regularly overlooked is the email signature. Here's how to set up the perfect professional email signature. Read More .

Related topics: Desktop Email Client, Email Signatures, Email Tips, Microsoft Outlook.

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  1. Tom
    December 6, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Was expecting to see the suggestion to scan your actual signature and place it in the email signature as an image.

    Better yet, to avoid someone grabbing your signature from the image, use another graphics software- something as easy as Publisher- to overlap your signature with phone number, address, etc. so some of those elements would be captured in any screen grab of your signature. Then make all the parts together the image you insert.

    I have people who see my email signature always asking me how I did that, then almost invariably doing it themselves.

    • Ardwych
      February 28, 2020 at 6:20 pm

      Yes, agreed. I was expecting instruction on inserting a signature, not a 'signature block'. Poor title.
      I agree with Tom that a signature should be 'confused' with other characters, if possible, so as not to be wholly stolen.
      I've noticed lately that inserting a photo of a signature into Adobe Reader (desktop) will clear the surrounding 'background' making it transparent, and insert a movable, sizable, 'line drawing', as though you've written on the page over some of its contents, as we do physically. It would be good if it were a practice more widely implemented.

  2. Ken Mitchell
    December 6, 2017 at 3:39 am

    ALWAYS include your email address in your signature file. "But it's right there in the header of the email, isn't it?" Not always - especially if your message gets forwarded to other people. You want other people to be able to EASILY email you. If you often communicate by phone, include your phone number in your sig line. You don't want your contact to have to dig through 50 other messages to find out what your phone number is.

    Keep politics and religion out of the signature of a business email. Even innocuous things like "Have a blessed day!" can be annoying.

    • Downtown MKE
      December 6, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Caution in setting fancy email signatures with resized logos or graphics. Sometimes the graphics and fancy fonts will bloat the file size of your email. If you, or your boss, hoard email to the brink of freezing your account, I would keep these email signatures to a simple style. Tip: Resize any photo (such as a logo) appropriately to avoid file bloat and a full email account. Happy Email!