Add a return e-mail address link to a message

Applies to
Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003

You can include a return e-mail address, such as mailto: someone@example.com, in a custom signature that you create. An e-mail signature consists of text or pictures or both that are automatically added at the end of an outgoing message.

In this article...

Signatures automatically add the information to messages

More on using Word for signatures

     Create a signature and include a return address link

          If Word is your e-mail editor

          If Outlook is your e-mail editor

Insert a signature in a message

     Automatically insert a signature in all new messages or in all messages that you reply to or forward

     Manually insert a signature in an individual message

          If Word is your e-mail editor

          If Outlook is your e-mail editor

You can add any information that you want to a signature that you want to be automatically included with your outgoing messages. You choose the text, formatting, and style (style: A combination of formatting characteristics, such as font, font size, and indentation, that you name and store as a set. When you apply a style, all of the formatting instructions in that style are applied at one time.) of the information. In the case of adding a return e-mail address, you might need to decide how to display it. Some examples include:

Examples of return address links

In each case, you can make all or part of the text an active hyperlink (hyperlink: Colored and underlined text or a graphic that you click to go to a file, a location in a file, a Web page on the World Wide Web, or a Web page on an intranet. Hyperlinks can also go to newsgroups and to Gopher, Telnet, and FTP sites.) that the recipient can click to open a new e-mail message that is already addressed to you.

You can combine the e-mail address link with a standard signature and other contact information, or you can insert only the e-mail address. Learn more about turning text into hyperlinks.

Signatures automatically add the information to messages

To have a return e-mail address (or any other information) automatically inserted into outgoing messages, you must create a signature. If you want to close a message with only a return e-mail address, that is all you need to include in the signature that you'll create.

The way that you create and insert a signature depends on which e-mail editor you are using — Outlook or Microsoft Office Word 2003.

 Note   Word 2003, the default e-mail editor for Outlook 2003, offers more formatting and style capabilities than does Outlook. When you use Word as your e-mail editor, e-mail names and Internet addresses are automatically converted to hyperlinks. Therefore, when you want to add an e-mail link in your signature, Word can do much of the work for you, depending on the text that you're using. Find out more about using Word as your e-mail editor.

How can I tell if Word is my e-mail editor?    

  1. In the main Outlook window, on the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Mail Format tab.
  2. If Word is your e-mail editor, the Use Microsoft Office Word 2003 to edit e-mail messages check box is selected.

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More on using Word for signatures

Word not only offers more as an e-mail editor, it also offers more capabilities for creating signatures, such as adding pictures or additional formatting. And if you create a signature in Word, the signature is automatically added to your outgoing messages, just as the signatures created in Outlook are. Learn more about signatures in messages.

Create a signature and include a return address link

Use the following steps for the e-mail editor that you are using — Word or Outlook.

If Word is your e-mail editor

  1. In Outlook, in a new message, on the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the General tab.
  2. Click E-mail Options, and then click the E-mail Signature tab.
  3. Under Type the title of your e-mail signature or choose from the list, type a name for your signature.
  4. Under Create your e-mail signature, insert the text or pictures, or both, that you want to use for a signature. Use the formatting tools to apply formatting to your text.
  5. Type the text that you want to use for your return e-mail address.

 Note   If you use an e-mail address (someone@example.com) or complete Internet address (starting with www.) with standard formatting, Word automatically converts the text to a hyperlink. Skip to step 8. If you don't use one of these types of addresses, follow steps 6 through 7 to convert the text.

  1. Select all the text that you want to be part of the hyperlink that contains your return e-mail address, right-click the text, and then click Hyperlink on the shortcut menu.
  2. In the Address box, type the return e-mail address.

 Note   Remember, you can convert any text in the signature into a hyperlink, but make sure that it is clear to the recipients where that link takes them. For example, don't make just your name a hyperlink without indicating that clicking it opens a reply message (the additional text doesn't have to be part of the hyperlink).

  1. Click Add.

If Outlook is your e-mail editor

  1. In Outlook, on the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Mail Format tab.
  2. In the Compose in this message format list, click the message format that you want to use the signature with.
  3. Under Signatures, click Signatures, and then click New.
  4. In the Enter a name for your new signature box, type a name.
  5. Under Choose how to create your signature, select the option that you want.
  6. Click Next.
  7. In the Signature text box, type the text that you want to include in the signature.
  8. Type the text that you want to use for your return e-mail address.

 Note   If you use an e-mail address (someone@example.com) or complete Internet address (starting with www.) with standard formatting, Outlook automatically converts the text to a hyperlink. If you don't use one of these types of addresses, the next two steps explain how to convert the text.

  1. Select all the text that you want to be part of the hyperlink that contains your return e-mail address.
  2. On the Insert menu, click Hyperlink.
  3. In the Hyperlink dialog box, in the Type box, click mailto:, and then in the URL box, type the return e-mail address.

 Note   Remember, you can convert any text in the signature into a hyperlink, but make sure that it is clear to the recipients where that link takes them. For example, don't make just your name a hyperlink without indicating that clicking it opens a reply message (the additional text doesn't have to be part of the hyperlink).

  1. To change the paragraph or font format, select the text, click Font or Paragraph, and then select the options that you want.

 Note   These options are not available if you use plain text as your message format.

  1. Click Finish when you are done editing the new signature.

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Insert a signature in a message

After you create a signature, you need to set up Outlook to insert the signature into your outgoing messages. You can have the new signature included in all new messages or on an as-needed basis.

Automatically insert a signature in all new messages or in all messages that you reply to or forward

  1. In the main Outlook window, on the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Mail Format tab.
  2. In the Compose in this message format list, click the message format that you want to use the signature with.
  3. Under Signatures, select an e-mail account, and then select the signatures that you want to use for new messages and for replies and forwards. You can use a different signature for each.

Manually insert a signature in an individual message

The way that you insert a signature in individual messages depends on which e-mail editor you are using, Word or Outlook. See the instructions for the e-mail editor that you are using.

If Word is your e-mail editor

  1. In the open message, click where you want to insert the signature in the message body.
  2. On the Insert menu, point to AutoText, point to Signature, and then click the signature that you want to use.

 Notes 

  • When you use Word as your e-mail editor, the signature that you can insert manually is AutoText that comes from the name and information that you typed when you installed Microsoft Office. To view the information in Word, on the Tools menu, click Options, and then click User Information.
  • When you use Word as your e-mail editor and you have Outlook automatically apply your signature to messages that you send, forward, or reply to, the signature comes from the e-mail signature that you created in one of the following places:
    • In Word, on the Tools menu, click Options, click General, and then click E-mail Options.
    • In Outlook, on the Tools menu, click Options, click Mail Format, and then click Signatures.

If Outlook is your e-mail editor

  1. In the open message, click where you want to insert the signature in the message body.
  2. On the Insert menu, point to Signature, and then click the signature that you want.

If the signature that you want is not listed, click More, and in the Signature box, select the signature that you want to use.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2003