Tech Tip Tuesday: Creating HTML Signatures in Mac OSX 7 Lion

One of the most frequent questions I get from other photographers after they’ve received an email from me is how did I get a fancy looking signature on my email that doesn’t come through as an attachment. This was something I figured out long ago because if there’s anything I hate, it’s getting emails that look like they have an attachment when they don’t. It may seem like a weird pet peeve to some, but I believe an HTML signature done correctly is professional and courteous.

This isn’t difficult to do, but there are many steps and you do need a basic understanding of HTML coding.

Let’s begin from the beginning:

Open Mac Mail and go to Mail >> Preferences >> Signatures. Create a new signature.

2. Using your favorite text editor or coding platform like Dreamweaver, create your signature. NOTE: Your code should not have head, html or body tags and must only include inline CSS. If you do not know what this is, you might ask a friend for help. I’ve provided the code for my signature here (in blue) to get the more adventurous started. You will of course need to provide your own images and links.

<br />

<br />

<span style=”font-size:12px”><font style=”color: #666666″ font face=”Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif”>Thanks!<br />-Heidi<p><a href=”” target=”new” text-decoration: none;><img src=”” width=”200″ height=”65″></a><br />

<br>mail: <a href=”mailto:” style=”color: #b2dcc6; text-decoration: none;”></a><br />web: <a href=”” target=”new” style=”color: #b2dcc6; text-decoration: none;”></a><br />blog: <a href=”” target=”new” style=”color: #b2dcc6; text-decoration: none;”></a><br /><p><a href=”” target=”new”><img src=”” width=”160″ height=”39″></a><br>

<a href=”” target=”new”><img src=”” width=”160″ height=”39″></a></br>



3. Open your newly created HTML file in Safari to make sure you are happy with it.

4.  In Safari go to File >> Save As and save your file as a Web Archive to a location on your computer where it can be easily found, like your Desktop. It won’t live there for long, so don’t worry about trying to keep it in a more sensible location.

5. Next, you need to next open the folder ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Signatures/. The difference between OSX Lion and previous versions of OSX is the Library folder is hidden so you have to know where to look. To show your Library in Finder, hold down the Option key and click the “Go” menu in Finder, then travel to the Signatures folder by following the trail given above.

6. Once in the signatures folder, make note of the most recently created signature file and confirm it is the one you created earlier in Mail.

7. Highlight and copy the file name of the Signature file and then delete it.

8. Drag the pretty HTML file you just created into the Signatures folder. Change the name of the HTML file to exactly that of the Mail-created file by hitting Command + P to Paste.

9. Quit and re-open your Mail program. Go to Mail >> Preferences >> Signatures and confirm that your new signature now looks different. The images in your signature will probably not show up in this window, but not to worry – they will show up in your new messages, where it really counts.

10. Just to be sure, close the Preferences menu and open up a new Message. Your new signature should show up nice and pretty, as shown below. If your images are not showing up, confirm the file locations in your HTML code are correct.

Enjoy your new signature!

Have a technology-based question that you think would be a perfect topic for Tech Tip Tuesday? Let me know in the comments section or shoot me an email!


  • Jessie Garcia - Uber like

  • Jessica Forsythe - This is freaking awesome!

  • ala cortez - amazing! totally gonna do this and email you to be proud!!! :)

  • Jenny - Hello (: I got to step 6 and my files don’t come up as a webarchive. It actually reads as .mailsignature instead of .webarchive

    Do you know how to troubleshoot that? I tried opening the original signature in safari and nothing popped up. I also renamed the file to a .webarchive and that didn’t work either.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.



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