How to create professional email signatures in Outlook

So, you want a professional looking email signature for your business email? It’s really quite simple. All you need is this quick guide – along with a little basic HMTL knowledge – and you’re good to go.

Step 1

To start with, create a new signature to use as a placeholder by going to File > Options > Mail and click on Signatures.

Click New button and give your new signature an appropriate name (choose something you will remember) and click OK. Not too hard so far, right?

Email Signature

Now, there’s two ways to approach the next step; you can either go to the following location on your hard drive:

Windows 7 and Windows Vista


Windows XP

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Signatures

Note: Make sure to show hidden files and folders.

Or, you can go back into File > Options > Mail and hold the CTRL key and click on Signatures.

Either of these methods will open the folder where your signature files are stored.

Step 2

Here you will see that Outlook has created three versions of your signature for the three different formats in which Outlook can send messages. (In case you didn’t know, the formats are HTML, Rich Text and Plain Text.)

Open the HTML file with your favourite text editor, delete everything and start creating your new amazing signature. We suggest choosing something snappy, that looks professional too.

Step 3

When you’re done, save the file and then open it in your browser. Select all the text and simply copy to your clipboard.

Step 4

Open up the rich text version, which should be blank and paste in the copied content of the HTML file.

Be aware that you may need to alter a few things such as spacing and font sizes. Once you’re happy with it, select all and copy to your clipboard.

Step 5

Now, open the plain text version and paste in the copied content. (Again, you may need to alter some things such as line breaks). Save it – and you’re all done!

Little Extras

Now, if you want your signature to really wow people, you might want to add some extra features. Using these methods, you can include images in your signature, such as logos or banners.

There’s two ways to achieve this. Both are tricky to get the hang of, but they might just be worth it. If you want to give your emails some extra pizzazz, try these tricks:

Option 1 – Host the image online

If you have a website or some kind of online hosting, you could upload your image or banner and use this remote file as the source of your image.


<img src=”” />

This is a great way to include images in your email signature and it’s the preferred way of approaching this at Next Pixel.

The downside is that these images won’t be visible until your recipient clicks ‘Download external images.’

Option 2 – Embed the link as an attachment

You can set the source of your image to a local file that exists on your hard drive.


<img src=“file:///C:/path/to/my/logo.png” />

When you send an email with an image in this format, Outlook will convert the image to an invisible attachment and embed the image. It may sound difficult, but it’s actually quite straightforward.

This trick is great if you want your image to always be visible without a user having to accept external files.

The downside to this method is in cases, every email that your recipients receive will look as though they have an attachment.

Please note… In recent versions, Microsoft changed the way Outlook works in terms of adding images to signatures. Images are not embedded but linked to.

WARNING! IT professional needed!!!

You can enable embedding images by adding the appropriate key to your Windows registry. Be aware that editing the Windows registry is a risky operation – if performed incorrectly you can damage your operating system or lose your data.

If you do not have previous experience in using Windows Registry Editor, please seek help from an IT professional.

If you know what you are doing, follow the steps below to apply the suggested solution:

Run Windows Registry Editor  – (start, run/search regedit.exe)

Find the following path – (replace VERSION with your office version number )


If it does not exist, add the below key:


Add a new value of this type:

DWORD (32-bit) Value

Enter the value name exactly as below:

Send Pictures With Document

Modify the registry key setting it as follows:

Value data: 1
Base: Decimal
Send Pictures with documents

Close and re open outlook and the new settings will take effect.

Set all new emails to include your signature

Congratulations you’re almost there. All you need to do now is configure Outlook to automatically include your new signature with all the emails.

Go back to File > Options > Mail and click Signatures. Select your new signature as the default for new messages and replies/forwards.

Creating an email signature

That’s it, all done!

Why not go one step further and create a different, maybe shorter signature for replies? It will just take a moment. Just go back to the folder where your signature is stored and make a copy of all three files with a new name e.g. “My Email Signature – Reply” then set “Replies/Forwards” to use this signature instead.

I hope this helps you to create professional signatures for your email but if you’re stuck or would just like a professional signature creating for you, why not give us a call? Our Experts will be more than happy to give you a hand.