To Create an AutoSignature for WordMail

Last reviewed on August 14, 2012

Signatures in Outlook 2003, 2007, and 2010 can be assigned to email accounts in your profile. When each account is assigned a signature, you can change the sending account and the signature will change to the one assigned to the account (requires Word as the editor in Outlook 2003). You can also right click on the signature and choose a different one.

If you are upgrading to Outlook 2007 or 2010 and were in the habit of using signatures to insert boilerplate text, use Quick Parts in Outlook 2007/2010. Quick Parts are on the Insert tab of the ribbon and work much like AutoText found in older versions of Word.

In Office XP, WordMail and the regular editor share signature files. In other words, you no longer have separate signatures for the regular editor and for WordMail Any WordMail signatures from earlier versions should still be in your Normal.dot Word template as AutoText entries. You can insert them with the Insert | AutoText command, using the E-mail Signature list on the AutoText menu.

In earlier versions, WordMail does not share signatures with Outlook and instead uses only AutoText entries.

Office 2007 | Office 2003 | Office XP (Outlook 2002) | Office 2000 | More Information

Office 2007 & 2010

In Office 2007, there is just one editor: Word. As with older versions, each signature consists of three files — .htm, .rtf, and .txt — stored in your Windows profile directory.

To create a new signature in Outlook:

  1. Open Outlook’s Tools | Options menu.
  2. Select the Mail Format tab then the Signatures button at the bottom of the dialog.
  3. Create one or more signatures, including a blank signature.
  4. Select each account in your profile and assign a signature to it.
  5. Click Ok to return to the Mail Format tab.

To create a new signature while composing a message, choose Signature from the Include chunk and select Signatures… from the flyout to open the Signature and Stationery dialog.

If you have chosen to insert the signature automatically, but want to use a different signature for the current message, right-click on the signature. From the pop-up menu, select either the name of the signature you want to use or Signatures… to create a new one.

Tip: Create a blank signature named None that consists of just a character or two (like – or –), then set Outlook to always insert your normal signature automatically. If you don’t want a signature on a message, right-click the automatically inserted signature, then choose None from the menu that pops up.

Tip: Always assign a signature to accounts, using the blank signature on accounts that don’t need a signature. When you use an account that has no signature assigned (“<none>”) you can’t right click to add a signature.

To add a signature when sending Word documents using the Email command in Word (File | Send to | Mail recipient), select a signature from the Signature button flyout.

If you are upgrading to Outlook 2007 and were in the habit of using signatures to insert boilerplate text, use Quick Parts in Outlook 2007. Quick Parts are on the Insert tab of the ribbon and work much like AutoText found in older versions of Word.

Office 2003 (Outlook 2003 with Word 2003)

In Office 2003, WordMail and the regular Outlook editor share signatures. Each signature that you create actually consists of three files — .htm, .rtf, and .txt — stored in your Windows profile directory.

To create a new signature in Outlook:

  1. Open Outlook’s Tools | Options menu.
  2. Select the Mail Format tab then the Signatures button at the bottom of the dialog.
  3. Create one or more signatures, including a blank signature.
  4. Click Ok to return to the Mail Format tab.
  5. Select each account in your profile and assign a signature to it.

To create a new signature while working in Word or WordMail:

  1. In Word or a WordMail message, choose Tools | Options.
  2. Switch to the General tab, and click E-mail Options.
  3. Create one or more signatures
  4. (Optional) Select the signature you want to be inserted automatically.
  5. Click OK until you return to your document or message.

If you have chosen to insert the signature automatically, but want to use a different signature for the current message, right-click the signature. From the pop-up menu, select either the name of the signature you want to use or E-mail Signature to create a new one.

Tip: Create a blank signature named None that consists of just a character or two (like – or –), then set Outlook to always insert your normal signature automatically. If you don’t want a signature on a given WordMail message, right-click the automatically inserted signature, then choose None from the menu that pops up.

Tip: Always assign a signature to accounts, using the blank signature on accounts that don’t need a signature. When you use an account that has no signature assigned (“<none>”) you can’t right click to add a signature.

To add a signature when sending Word documents using the Email command in Word (File | Send to | Mail recipient), create an AutoText entry for each signature. You can then insert them with the Insert | AutoText command.

When using the Outlook editor, you need to use the Insert | Signature menu to change signatures.

Office XP (Outlook 2002 with Word 2002)

In Office XP, WordMail and the regular Outlook editor share signatures. Each signature that you create actually consists of three files — .htm, .rtf, and .txt — stored in your Windows profile directory.

To create a new signature while working in Word or WordMail:

  1. In Word or a WordMail message, choose Tools | Options.
  2. Switch to the General tab, and click E-mail Options.
  3. Create one or more signatures
  4. (Optional) Select the signature you want to be inserted automatically.
  5. Click OK until you return to your document or message.

If you have chosen to insert the signature automatically, but want to use a different signature for the current message, right-click the signature. From the pop-up menu, select either the name of the signature you want to use or E-mail Signature to create a new one.

WordMail does not include an Insert | Signature command like the regular Outlook editor. If you want to be able to insert a signature into a WordMail message manually, you can to create an AutoText entry for each signature. You can then insert them with the Insert | AutoText command.

Another strategy is to create a signature named None that consists of just a character or two (like – or –), then set Outlook to always insert your normal signature automatically. If you don’t want a signature on a given WordMail message, right-click the automatically inserted signature, then choose None from the menu that pops up.

Office 2000 (Outlook 2000 with Word 2000)

  1. Start a new message with WordMail.
  2. Choose Tools | Options.
  3. Switch to the General tab, and click E-mail Options.
  4. Create one or more signatures, then click OK until you return to your message.

To insert your signature into a message (if you did not choose to have it added automatically), choose Insert | AutoText | E-mail Signature, then choose your signature from the list.

If you did choose to insert the signature automatically, but want to use a different signature for the current message, right-click the signature. From the pop-up menu, select either the name of the signature you want to use or E-mail Signature to create a new one.

The signatures are stored in Word’s global Normal.dot template. Make sure you answer Yes when you see a dialog asking whether you want to keep changes made to that template.

You can also create a WordMail signature that includes a picture:

  1. In a new Word document, create the signature you want to use, adding a graphic with the Insert | Picture command. Don’t worry about any text formatting yet.
  2. Select the entire signature and use Format | Styles to apply the E-mail Signature style.
  3. Format the text however you like.
  4. Select the entire signature again and use Insert | AutoText to create a new AutoText entry.

Your new signature should now appear on the WordMail signatures list.

Outlook 97 and Outlook 98

I believe these instructions should also work for Outlook 2000 if you have Word 97, not Word 2000, installed:

  1. Start a new message with WordMail.
  2. Type, format and select the new autosignature.
  3. Choose Insert | AutoText | New.
  4. In the Create AutoText dialog box, type SIGNATURE, then click OK.
  5. If you’re asked Do you want to redefine the AutoText entry?, click Yes to replace the existing autosignature.

By default, the signature is stored in the Normal.dot template. To create a separate autosignature for each WordMail (for example, Email.dot) template, follow these steps:

  1. Start a new message with WordMail.
  2. Type, format and select the new autosignature.
  3. Choose Insert | AutoText | AutoText.
  4. At the bottom of the AutoCorrect dialog box, under Look in, select your WordMail template.
  5. In the Enter AutoText entries here box, type SIGNATURE, then click Add.
  6. If you’re asked Do you want to save changes to Email.dot ?, click Yes.

The SIGNATURE AutoText entry in the Email.dot file will be used instead of any default SIGNATURE AutoText in the Normal.dot file.

More Information

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

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