Using Mail Signatures

Learn the basic of using signatures in Apple Mail on your Mac. You can create multiple signatures and assign them to different email accounts. You can set a default signature for each account and also choose between signatures when you are composing an email message. You can also have a random signature appear each time. Best to keep signatures simple for greater compatibility. You can also customize a signature while composing an email.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Using Mail Signatures.

Hi, this is Gary with Let's take a look at using Mail Signatures.

Signatures are the bit of text added to the end of an email message when you compose one, reply, or forward a message. In Mail you can have multiple signatures and then choose between them.

The way you find your Signatures is to go to Mail Preferences and then click on Signatures here. Then you have a list of signatures and what each signature looks like.

I've cleared them all out here so we can start fresh. You notice on the left I have each of the email accounts that I am using in this copy of Mail. I've got a standard email here, I've got gmail, and I've got an iCloud account. I can assign signatures to each one of these that are different. I'll see a list of all the signatures if I have All Signatures selected. If I select only one account I'll just see the signatures that apply to that one.

For instance, for this example email account selected I'll hit the plus symbol here. It will give me a name signature number one and it will then fill it in with my name and email address according to the contact I've set up. I can leave that there.

If I look at my iCloud account I see that I have no signatures there. I go back to the example and I see I've got that one. In the iCloud account I can add one there as well. This one is going to be blank and I'm just going to put my first name there. You can see it has called that signature number two.

So here I have 1 and 2. If I click on All Signatures I can see both of them.

Now I can add a second signature for this account here. I'll do that and let's just make this one my initials. So you can see I've got two different signatures and when I do that I get this Choose Signature here below. It only shows up if I have one of these accounts selected. If I have All Signatures selected I don't get to choose a signature.

But this is the default signature for that account. So whenever I send an email from this account here it will automatically choose signature number 1. But I can change that to signature number 3 so that is the one automatically chosen.

Now when I compose an email I get to choose at the top what account it is from. So I have two accounts now that are enabled; that example one and the gmail one. If I've have chosen one that has multiple signatures I get to choose which signature I am using. You can see it chose signature number 3 because that is set for default but I can change the signature to number 1 and you can see the signature changed there.

Now if I look in Preferences here I can see not only can I choose which signature to use for this email account here but I can have it pick one at random or go through them in order so that if I had five of them it would go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and then back to the beginning. Also I can have it start as the default of None forcing me to choose one each time or not have any signature at the bottom of the email.

The idea behind random is that I can fill this up with a whole bunch of different ones. Say I wanted to do inspirational quotes or tips and tricks, things like that, I can have it just pick one at random each time so somebody I correspond with often might see a different signature each time and might get something out of it.

Now I can share signatures between accounts by dragging and dropping. So, for instance, in iCloud I've just got signature number 1. Say I want to have signature number 3 available to it I can drag and drop it there and now I can have both these available in both accounts. It is easy to go to All Signatures and drag from All Signatures into each account.

If you want to remove one from an account, so say here I want to remove number 3 I can use the minus symbol there and you can see I still have it available here and it still is listed in All Signatures because it is listed for one of these accounts but it is no longer available for iCloud.

You can also do some styling in these. Some basic commands like Command B for bolding will work. If you want something a little more advanced since there is no buttons here for styles and things like that you can always compose something in TextEdit or Pages and copy and paste it in here and a lot of the formatting will keep.

You can also drag and drop text in here or even drag and drop images in here.

You want to be careful though and not make signatures too complex because you don't know what somebody has on the other end when you are sending them an email. They can have a very simple email client. They can be on Windows, they can be on Mac, they can be on a mobile device, they can be on an old phone, they can even be using web based email like Yahoo or gmail of something and if you get a little too complex you might be surprised to find out that they are not seeing anything close to what it is you are seeing when you send the email. So keeping a nice, simple signature like this is useful.

A lot of times people like to have a first line here where they can separate it with a bunch of dashes or something like that, or equal signs just to create a nice separation between the body of the message and the signature below it.

You also have the option here for an account say to always have the signature placed above quoted text instead of below it which is useful so the signature isn't lost after a large quote in there. You can always just have the font match your default font. I like to send plain text email so the font that I am using here is really not going to matter in what I actually send.

Keep in mind that when you insert a signature it is editable. So if I were to compose an email here and whether or not I select an email signature or not I can go in and edit this anytime I want. So it is the kind of thing that if you want to just for once for a single email just have your first name or something like that you don't need to create a new signature for that if you are not going to be using it all the time. You can insert a signature or use the default one and then edit it. This will stay there just for that one email and the next time you compose something it will go back to your normal signature.

Comments: 13 Responses to “Using Mail Signatures”

    5 years ago

    Thanks, Gary. I don’t usually use signatures because I didn’t know how, even though I’ve used emails for years. You made it sound very simple, and now I will use them for sure. Good job!

    Jim Welch
    5 years ago

    Gary, in my signature line is possible to put a “clickable” link to our website or a url? Thanks, Jim

      5 years ago

      Yes. Actually, most email clients will make any URL in the message clickable. So just start with http:// and your URL and it should work. Try it.

    Shirley Allan
    5 years ago

    I like to select and rename my signatures so I don’t have to remember what #1 or #2 is. For example I change Signature #1 to “First Name” and Signature #2 to First and Last Name and #3 to Name plus email addy.

    5 years ago

    The sig feature on my last two laptops has been pretty flaky. Sigs always work like I want on my iOS devices but on my laptops, not so much. Recently I used a MBA and now I’m using a MBP (latest OS on each). The same prob on both of them: I have to reenter my info in preferences every time I restart the computer. They’ll even just ‘go away’ over night if I leave the computer on. Very frustrating.

    Pav Stacey
    5 years ago

    One real failing in signatures is that if you include your logo it appears as an attachment.

    Tom Lang
    5 years ago

    I have been trying to use Sigs for a long time and they just do not show up in the mail no matter what I do. Do you have any troubleshooting hints? I am using OSX 10.9.4 presently.

      5 years ago

      What are you trying? Did you try manually adding one with the Signature pop-up in the composing window? Did you try playing around with the signatures and assigning them to accounts? If you still can’t figure it out, maybe have an expert take a first-hand look at what you are doing (Genius Bar, maybe?)

    bill heinrich
    5 years ago

    I sm trying to add a photo to my email signature but it is showing up to large, how do I make it smaller so it is locked and sits below my signature. Thanks for your support

      5 years ago

      Use an image editing app (Preview will do if you don’t have Photoshop or Pixelmator) to make a smaller version of the photo.

        bill heinrich
        5 years ago

        Thank you! I It worked like a charm.

          Bill Heinrich
          5 years ago

          I have multiple (3)signatures and want to be able to use any one of them for any email I send from any of my 3 macs. How do I make them show up on all of my computers? Thanks, I really appreciate your support.

            5 years ago

            Strangely enough, I don’t think there is any good way to sync email signatures across Macs. But copying and pasting just 3 should be pretty quick and will solve the problem.

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