How to Customize Gmail Signatures
An update to Gmail last week brought rich text signatures. Now Gmail users can add links, photos and graphic flourishes like colored text and fonts in different styles and sizes that both individual and business users may find useful.
Users can also create a different signature for each email address they've assigned to be sent from Gmail. Both new features are located in Settings.
The new features may reduce the need for workarounds like browser extensions to add customized signatures, even the new Gmail doesn't cover all the bases. HTML signatures are not supported and the new editor does not allow hyperlinked images.
Google notes only the latest desktop version of Gmail supports rich text signatures and multiple signatures. The older version and HTML version of Gmail, along with the mobile versions, use a plain text version of the primary account’s signature.
Ready to get fancy?
There are many elements beyond your name and other contact information that can be added to an email signature. While a company logo may be the most obvious, here are some additional ideas to get your contacts where you want them:
Website: insert a URL by highlighting your text, click on Gmail's link button in the signature toolbar and paste the Web address into the box.
QR code: This ingenious mark may contain contact information or a link to a Web page. The codes are designed to be read by a QR-equipped reader on a smartphone. Depending on the data coded in the image, contact information can be loaded directly into a scanner's address book or used to automatically open a window in the phone's browser.
Social media icons: Unfortunately, the updated Gmail does not yet allow users to link up images like Twitter and Facebook icons. Use WiseStamp for this purpose, a browser add-on available for both Firefox and Chrome with a Safari version in the works. WiseStamp will also allow you to pull in your latest blog post, Flickr photo, Tweet, or almost anything that can be accessed from an RSS feed .
Random quotes and location: Up until February of this year, Google Labs offered Random Signature, pulling pithy quotes from BrainyQuote, and Location in Signature that automatically adds a note the email was sent from your current location based on IP address, two Gmail additions that did not make the cut for Google. Wisestamp has picked up the services in its browser add-ons along with linked social media icons.
HTML signatures: If you are comfortable with simple HTML code, downloading Blank Canvas will add HTML signature capability to Gmail. It comes with a preview window, so you can see how your signature looks without testing it on a message.
Like Wisestamp, Blank Canvas is a browser extension or add-on, available for Chrome and Firefox users. With an HTML signature, you can take advantage of a service like web2gfx.com that offers free Facebook and Twitter buttons coded with links to your sites. Also, the Facebook Badge code will work without saving as an image and manually adding the link.
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