How To Set Up Signatures In Outlook

Email signatures are important and have a number of purposes. A well designed signature can be a real benefit to your company brand. They also provide all your contact details, can be used to help with marketing campaigns, and if you’re a business, provide important required information about your company registration. Here’s some guidance on adding signatures in Outlook.

We often forget – if we remember at all – that ‘e-mail’ stands for ‘electronic mail’. It’s only really in the last 25-30 years that email has become the de-facto method of day-to-day communication and it’s important to recall back to when paper was the primary method of communication. In some cases, mainly legal, letters are still the required format. Letters would usually be sent on company headed paper which contained the key details of the company. You wouldn’t send formal letters, notices or invoices on plain paper!

Your email signature therefore could be considered to be a form of headed company notepaper so it’s important it 1) looks right and 2) contains the information required.

Design It First

Perhaps counter intuitively, the first place to start is not Outlook, but Word. Its much easier to get the layout and text sorted out here that you can copy into Outlook later on.

You can then save the document as a template for use by everyone for consistency across the company. It’s a simple copy-paste operation then for everyone, with just simple edits to their own personal details.

What To Include

Sections 349 to 351 of the Companies Act 1985 (amended in 2006/2007) requires that email signatures contain

  • The registered company name
  • The registered company office
  • The place of registration (e.g. England and Wales, Scotland)
  • The company registration number

Ref: Companies Act 1985 (

You should also include your name, job title, contact details, company logo. You may also want to include a disclaimer.

You should have the basic details of the sender, such as their name, job title, and contact details. The job title is important because it indicates the position and authority of the sender.

It’s also a good idea to include a basic disclaimer along the lines of

The information in this email is confidential and intended for the addressee(s) only. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender and delete the email from your system immediately… etc.

Create Separate Signatures for New Emails and Replies

The above information is important to have included in the email chain, but not necessarily on every email. It’s enough to have the company details and disclaimer in the first email of the chain.

When creating your template, design 2 versions; one long version with all the company information and branding, and a shorter one with just the key contact details.

Save Your Template With Your Details

Go to your Word document template and save a copy with your personal details.

Adding the Signature to Outlook

Now that you have everything you need, let’s set up Outlook.

Go to File > Options > Mail > Signatures

Create 2 new Signatures

  • New Emails
  • Replies

Copy and paste the signatures you created in Word into the editing window for each of the New and Reply templates.

NOTE: the editor in Outlook is not great, hence why we’ve created our signature in Word. On pasting, it may distort the signature in the window, but it should show OK in the email itself.

Set the defaults for New Emails and Replies at the bottom using the drop down menu.

Paste your templates into the editor box and don't worry if the layout looks wrong.
Paste your templates into the editor box and dont worry if the layout looks wrong

Need More Signatures?

Using this same method, you can create even more templates if you need them. You might have a campaign you are running with another banner, or have different signatures for different types of email.

If so, you can choose your signature template from the Signatures button in the Outlook email ribbon.

You can create multiple signatures to use for different emails
You can create multiple signatures to use for different emails

A Better Way?

The above is useful for editing your signatures in Outlook on a PC, but it doesn’t apply through to Outlook on the web or on mobiles. You will need to replicate this on other devices you use.

See our guides:

How to add your email signature in Outlook Mobile – Macnamara ICT

How to add a signature in Webmail – Office365 – Macnamara ICT

An even better solution would be to use centrally managed signatures. This applies the signature at the server level which has a number of benefits:

  • The same signature is always applied regardless of the device used to send the email
  • Signatures are guaranteed to be consistent across the organisation by removing the ability of staff to add their own (possibly off-brand) customisations

Why Use Managed Email Signatures? – Macnamara ICT

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