Most people will agree that the process for creating email signatures on Apple Mail leaves a lot to be desired. What has made it more bothersome is the fact that HTML signatures are not available by default. But before you create an HTML email signature you should be aware that it should only be used if doing so is important to your brand. Examine who your target audience is first and foremost. One reason for not using an HTML signature is that many people do not use HTML-enabled email clients. Some because their workplace does not allow it, or they have a slow connection, or they simply don’t want to be tracked by marketing emails (which use tracking pixels inside graphics in the signature). In fact, most email clients will not read all the different types of HTML available so be aware that your signature might not be seen as much as you’d expect. If you’re OK with the possible downsides to implementing HTML signatures then read on to find out how to make an HTML signature in Apple Mail.
NoteThis blog post deals with Apple mail specifically but some of the techniques can be applied to other mail readers, especially on mac clients.
Creating a signature in HTML
Open Apple Mail and go to Mail > Preferences
Next, click on the Signatures tab and select the mail account you want to create a signature for from the left-hand side list.
If you don’t have a signature in place yet click the + at the bottom of the window in the centre and give the signature a name. Type anything you like in the right-hand side pane and then close the window.
If you already have a signature in place simply add a couple of characters to the current one (to change the timestamp) and close the window.
Next, you will have to create a html page in a text editor. The easiest way to do this is to use a code editor like Sublime Text or Text Mate. I prefer not to use the default TextEdit app for this kind of work as it can make changes automatically to inverted commas and play with the formatting a little.
A neat trick for WordPress users is to create a page in the WordPress admin (make it draft), add the HTML elements and then preview the page to see the results. When you have the signature correctly formatted simply copy the HTML code and save the draft for future use.
Quick HTML Primer
every opening tag should be closed with a / as in the div example below
[html]<div>Content inside the Div. <p>A second line inside the div</p> </div>[/html]
Here’s some typical HTML tags that you can use to create your signature:
A divider or section, for keeping elements in sections.
A second level heading, as in the ‘Quick HTML Primer’ heading above.
Bold or Strong, a way of emphasizing text.
Tables are old school HTML but still work for formatting in HTML that can’t read stylesheets, for example, signature files.
A Hyperlink, a link to another webpage.
An image tag.
For more information on basic HTML head to w3schools.com
Find and edit the signature file
Depending on whether you’re using iCloud for your Apple Mail App or if your mail app runs locally you will need to open particular locations on your Mac to edit the signature file.
Open up Finder, click on the Go menu in the top bar. Next select Go to Folder and paste one of the two following options in the dialogue box.
For Apple Mail App on iCloud:
For Apple Mail locally:
Find the mailsignature file with the latest time stamp and right-click it (or CTRL-click) and choose Other..
Find your HTML editor from the application list and open the file.
If you have your HTML code ready simply paste it into the signature file.
Once you’ve pasted the code and closed the file, right-click it again and select Get Info. Find the Locked tick box in the information panel that appears. Check this tick box and close. This tells Apple Mail to use this file and not to overwrite it with an older version.
Restart Mail and compose a new email message to view your signature!