Creating a custom email footer and other stationery in Outlook

Tested on 3 December 2008 using Microsoft Outlook 2003

Email footers and other custom stationery can be easily created and automatically inserted into the body of a new message.

  • Custom outlook email

Create message template

The first step is to create the message template using HTML and any logos or images that will be required.

If you are not familiar with HTML, Fourwest Media can design and produce HTML email stationery with your contact information, a disclaimer notice or a new product range. To discuss your requirements in more detail please contact us.

Tip: If you are creating the HTML template yourself, any CSS should be added inline. Also complex code (especially CSS code) is not commonly supported in many email programs so it is best to keep the HTML simple.

Add files to the Outlook directory

Move all the files that were created in step 1 to the following directory:

  • C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery

If Fourwest Media have created a template for you, we will send you an email with all the relevant files attached. This will usually consist of:

  • A .html file
  • A .jpg or .gif file(s)

Add the message template to Outlook for use

You now have two options:

With option A, you can use this template as your default message footer, and it will show up each time you create a new message.

With option B, you can keep your current message settings and manually choose when you would like to add the footer. This is useful if you have more than one template that you would like to use at different times, or if you like to use plain text messaging as default.

Option A:

  1. Run Outlook.
  2. From the menu bar click Tools » Options and then click the Mail Format tab.
  3. Under the heading Message format, click the drop-down list and choose HTML.

    Outlook message format HTML

  4. Under the heading Stationery and Fonts, click the drop-down list and select the HTML file supplied by Fourwest Media (or the one you created).

    Outlook default stationery

  5. Click Apply and then OK.

Now when you create a new message, the footer should be in your message as default.

Option B:

  1. Run Outlook.
  2. From the menu bar click Actions and then New Mail Message Using.
  3. If your HTML file is on the list, select it. If not, select More Stationery, highlight the HTML file and click OK. In future, your message will be available from the initial list.
Tip: To make it easier to quickly choose a different template, you can add a shortcut to the toolbar:
  • From the menu bar click Tools » Customize and then click the Commands tab
  • From the Categories list click Actions, then from the Commands list, click and drag the command New Mail Message Using onto the toolbar at the top of outlook.

The limitations of HTML in emails:

Including HTML and images in an email does have some drawbacks:

  • Some users (especially via their company policies) have their email software set up so that images are not displayed.
  • Some users also set their software to only receive email in plain text format.

In the above situations, the images in the message will be removed from both, and any text sent to users who wish to receive only 'plain text' will be displayed without the formatting.

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