A signature in an e-mail is kind of like a footer on a web page. It is generally used to convey contact information, legal notices and other repetitive information. This is something that you may not want to re-type every time you send an e-mail message. Thunderbird allows you to create as many signatures as you wish. You can assign a different signature to each individual e-mail address.
The first thing you need to know is that you must create the signature file in a pure text editor, such as Microsoft’s Notepad. Do not use Word or any type of text editor that may embed codes in the text. For our example, I used Notepad and entered the following signature text:
Craig Tech Evangelist http://www.tech-evangelist.com/ bat phone: 555-8080
Next, I saved the text file in a folder I set up specifically to store signatures. You can save these files anywhere on your PC, but it makes sense to store them somewhere where they will not get separated from the rest of your Thunderbird files. In a previous tutorial, I changed the file location for the Thunderbird files in order to make it easier to back up these files. I simply created a new folder called “signatures” in the folder with the rest of the Thunderbird files. Like I said, you can store them anywhere, but when you do it this easy, the signatures stay with your Thunderbird files if you need to move them to another PC or if you have to restore a PC from your backup files.
Wherever you decide to store the files, keep them together and name each in a way that makes it easy for you to identify them.
Next, you will need to assign a signature to each e-mail address. From the Tools menu, select Account Settings… Highlight an e-mail address on the left-hand column. On the right, check the box that says “Attach this signature:” and then click the Choose button to navigate to your signatures folder. Select the file that you want to attach. Click the OK button to save your settings. You will need to repeat this process for each e-mail address where you wish to add a signature.
When you create an e-mail message, you will see the signature near the bottom of the message in gray.
bat phone: 555-8080
Unfortunately, the double-dash just before the signature cannot be removed. It is part of the international Internet standard for e-mail signatures and is automatically inserted by Thunderbird.
Using Hyperlinks and HTML in Signatures
If you add a URL to the signature file, most e-mail clients will turn it into a hyperlink. But if you need to spruce it up of if you wish to use HTML in a signature instead of plain text, here is what you need to do. Create a text file in the same manner as described above. When you save the file, save it with a .html extension, rather than a .txt extension. Thunderbird will then recognize it as an HTML file. You can then use colored fonts, hyperlinks or just about any type of CSS, as long as you use inline CSS styles.
When you are using CSS in e-mail messages, make sure that you fully specify the URLs to images and store the images on your server. Don’t try to embed images or send them with the message. It won’t work well with many browsers.
One more thing that has to be mentioned about HTML in signatures is that the message must be sent in HTML mode for the HTML and CSS to work. When you send any message that contains HTML, Thunderbird will ask you if you want to send it in in Plain Text. You do have to click on the Send in HTML Only or Send in Plain Text and HTML for the HTML and CSS to render properly.