Mac Tip #298/18-July-2007
When you write emails you may like to have some information always appear, such as a business address and phone number, a quote of the day or some other text. This is known as an email signature.
Most email software lets you set up a signature that you can then set to automatically be attached to any message you send. Some software lets you set up several signatures, or even random signatures.
Email signatures are supposed to be separated from the main body text of the email by a line containing two hyphens and a space:
-- followed by a return. Mail.app doesn’t seem to add this automatically so I suggest you add it to each signature you create.
In Apple’s Mail.app go to the Mail menu and choose Preferences…, then click on the Signatures tab. A window appears that allows you to create signatures and choose how they should be used. In the screenshot you can see that I have two email accounts listed on the left.
To make a new signature click the
+ sign below the centre column. A new signature name appears in that column, with suggested text in the right-hand column. You can edit the suggested name if you wish by typing over the existing text.
If you’d like to edit the signature itself click in the right-hand column and delete anything you don’t want, and type in any additional text.
Make more signatures if you wish.
Once you’re happy with the signature you can drag the name from the centre column on to one or more of the accounts listed in the left column. That makes that signature available to that account.
To choose how an account should handle signatures by default click on the account in the left column and choose an option from the Choose signature pop-up at the bottom of the window. Here’s how it works:
- If you chose None and make a new message then no signature will be attached by default.
- If you chose one particular signature and make a new message then that signature will be attached by default.
- If you chose At Random and make a new message then one random signature will be attached by default.
- If you chose In Sequential Order and make a new message then the next unused signature will be attached by default.
There’s a checkbox at the bottom of the window labelled Place signature above quoted text. See the articles linked below to understand why.
When you create a new message, Reply to or Forward an email your signature will now be attached, according to the choices you made in the Preferences. You should see that signature in the email before you send it.
Note that when you create a new message you can override the default: click on the Signature pop-up and choose the signature (or None) that you prefer for this message.
Update May 2009: I have removed several links to material that is no longer available.