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Her Gmail signature set up, she has time to practice her signature.

How to Add a Signature to Gmail (or Multiple Signatures)

Set up an email signature (or more than one) in Gmail to end your messages in style (even with an image) automatically.

First, Some Boxes of Steel

5,071.5 lb of steel can change the world in the right shape.

The shipment container, just the right amount of steel or aluminum in the form of a humble and unassuming but standardized box, has taken many a worry out of shipping goods around the world. No longer are goods packed with lots of spare space, unloaded and transferred laboriously in ports, easily damaged or lost in the process.

An email signature is almost as good in Gmail. No longer do you have to worry about what to write, how to format it or even think at all about including finishing lines (all with your preferred contact information) when writing emails: the signature takes care of that automatically. Once set up, your Gmail signature is included in all emails and replies you send without further effort.

Gmail signatures come with a few options (such as adding images or having different signatures for different accounts). Interested? All right, let’s get going with your Gmail container!

How to Add an Email Signature to Gmail

To set up a new email signature using Gmail with a desktop or tablet browser:

  1. Click the Settings gear icon in Gmail.
  2. Select Settings from the menu that has appeared.
  3. Make sure the General tab is selected.
  4. If you have more than one address set up for sending in Gmail, make sure you select the address for which you want to set up the signature under Signature:.
  5. Type the text of your signature in the Signature: text field.
    Not sure what to write? See below for some suggestions.
  6. If you have multiple addresses, you do need to edit the signature for each separately.
    Tip: You can copy and paste signatures, of course.
  7. Click Save Changes.

Those are the basic steps, and by far not all you can do with signatures in Gmail.

Gmail Signatures: FAQ

How Big Can My Gmail Signature Be?

You can use up to 10,000 characters in a Gmail email signature; do not use all of them.

One page of text is roughly 3,400 characters. If you use all the 10,000 characters Gmail lets you use for a signature, it would be a bit shy of 3 pages of printed text.

How Big Should My Gmail Signature Be?

It is best to keep your Gmail email signature—any email signature, for that matter—to some 4 to 5 lines of text.

What Should I Include in My Signature?

Brevity is good for signatures.

Do include

  • your name
  • your company and role, if it is for business and
  • preferred contact information.

Where Exactly Will My Gmail Signature Appear in Emails?

Where Gmail will place your signature depends on two things: whether you are composing a new message or a reply (or forward), and the setting for Insert this signature before quoted text in replies and remove the “–” line that precedes it..

Let’s look at those in order.

When you send a new message, your signature will appear pre-filled as the only text. You type above the signature, so appears at the end.
If Insert this signature before quoted text… is not checked, Gmail will automatically insert the old, standard signature delimiter (“– ” on a line of its own) before the signature. If you have enabled Insert this signature before quoted text…, the delimiter line will not appear. It is a good idea to still add it to your signature manually.

When you send a reply or forward and Insert this signature before quoted text… is not checked, the signature will be added as the very last thing of the email to the bottom, preceded by “– ” on a separate line.
If Insert this signature before quoted text… is checked, the signature will be inserted after your reply but before the quoted original email. The “– ” delimiter will not be added automatically.

How about a matrix? Sure.

Insert this signature before quoted text…
CheckedNot Checked
New messageEnd of email
No “– “
End of email
“– ” automatically added
Reply or ForwardAfter your reply
Before quoted message
No “– “
End of email
After quoted message
“– ” automatically added

How to Add Formatting or an Image to Your Gmail Signature

You can make text bold and italicize, add images and orangize in Gmail, even in your signature.

To format text in your email signature:

  1. Click the Settings gear icon (⚙️) in Gmail using a desktop browser.
  2. Choose Settings from the menu that has shown.
  3. Make sure you are on the General tab.
  4. If you have multiple addresses set up for sending from Gmail, make sure the one whose signature you want to format is selected under Signature:.
  5. Now, to add formatting:
    1. Highlight the part of your signature you want to format.
    2. Use the formatting tool to apply the effect you desire.
      Yes, you can make that text orange.
  6. With multiple addresses, don’t forget your other signatures.
  7. Click Save Changes.

To make sure an email address can be clicked to start a new message, for instance:

  1. Enter the email address in your Gmail signature.
  2. Highlight the address with the mouse.
  3. Click the Link button (it sports a chain).
    That should be enough. If Gmail did not automatically turn the email address into a link:

    1. In the Edit Link sheet that has come up, check the text under Text to display:. Does it contain anything but the email address—a stray character such as a comma, for instance?
      If it does, you can click Cancel and highlight the email address (and nothing but the email address) anew.
    2. If you do want to include those stray characters in the clickable email address, select Email address under Link to: and type the email address (again, I know) under To what email address should this link? before clicking OK.

What Happens If I Send a Plain-Text Email with a Rich-Text Signature?

If you have signatures set up that use rich-text formatting, Gmail will strip all that formatting to create a plain text signature when you send a message using plain text.

That means images, boldening, font choices, colors or alignment may be lost, but all the text will be there.

I Don’t See a Formatting Bar for My Signature in Gmail; What Can I Do?

To make sure rich-text formatting is available for signatures in Gmail (if you see Plain Text above the signature editing page):

  1. Save your current signature setup by clicking Save Changes if you are on Gmail’s Settings page.
  2. Click COMPOSE.
  3. Now click the More options button () in the new email editor that has appeared.
  4. Click Plain text mode to make sure it is not checked.
    Rich text will appear briefly in the message’s status bar.
  5. Click Discard draft () button.
  6. Re-open Gmail Settings.
    A simple way is to click Inbox, then select Settings from the Settings gear menu again.

Can I add an Image to My Gmail Signature?

Yes, and it is good to be careful with signature images. The process can be a bit involved, but you will get through adding an image or logo to your Gmail signature and getting it to display right.

Can I Edit the Signature When I Write an Email or Reply in Gmail? I’m not Even Seeing It…

Yes, you can always edit the text of the automatically inserted signature. The tricky thing is that Gmail may also be hiding the signature’s text by default.

To change or remove the Gmail signature added to an email you are composing:

  1. If you are writing a reply or forward, click Show trimmed content ().
  2. Highlight and edit the signature’s text and images like all other parts of your message.

How to Set Up a Special Gmail Signature for Mobile Use

Mobile Kangaroo

Gmail lets you create a special signature that is used in place of your standard signature when you send from the Gmail apps for iOS and Android.

To use a special mobile-only signature in Gmail:

  1. Tap the hamburger menu button in the Gmail app.
  2. Select Settings (at the menu’s bottom).
  3. Now select the account for which you want to add a mobile signature.
  4. Tap Signature settings under General.
  5. Make sure Mobile Signature is enabled.
  6. Enter the signature you want to use for emails you send from the Gmail app under Mobile Signature.

Note: The default mobile Gmail signature is Sent from Gmail. You can overwrite this with your own text.
The mobile Gmail signature is always plain text only.
No matter what your standard signature settings are, the mobile signature will always appear at the very bottom of the message.
Before it, Gmail adds the “– ” delimiter, so you need not add it manually.

Can I Set Up More Than One Signature for an Account in Gmail?

No and yes.

With Gmail alone (and the exception of mobile signatures; see above), you can set up only one signature per sending address. You can use Gmail alias addresses to set up multiple Gmail signatures for one account, though.

To add multiple signatures for one Gmail account:

  1. Click the Settings gear icon in your Gmail inbox.
  2. Select Settings from the menu that has appeared.
  3. Go to the Accounts and Import tab.
  4. Click Add another email address under Send mail as:.
  5. Type your Gmail address followed by “+”, followed by a string that identifies the use of this address and signature.Example: A plain work version of your address and signature could use “example+w@gmail.com” as the email address.
  6. Leave Treat as an alias. checked.
  7. Click Next Step ».
  8. Go to your Inbox: click Inbox or, with Gmail keyboard shortcuts enabled, press G+I.
  9. Add a signature for the email address you just created. (See above.)

Now, to select the alternative signature when composing a new email or reply:

  1. Select the alias address associated with the signature under From.
    Tip: If you do not see the From line when composing, click the recipient’s name or address.

Gmail will automatically use the correct signature.

Note: Your email will come from the alias address. This is also where you will receive future replies by default. Usually, this is an added benefit: it lets you further organize and automate your email.

If you do not want to use Gmail aliases, Gmail offers an alternative to signatures: templates.

Are There Any Alternatives to Signatures in Gmail?

Yes.

If it is more flexibility you need and want, you can use Gmail message templates as a substitute for signatures. Note that, unlike signatures, these templates will not be inserted automatically. You can choose just the right “signature” for each email you send, though.

To use Gmail message templates as an alternative to signatures:

  1. Create a canned response for each signature you want to set up.
    • Make sure the template contains nothing but the signature—no recipients in particular and no default subject.
  2. To insert the signature saved as a canned response, position the cursor where you want to add the “signature” to appear (typically, right below your message but above quoted text) and pick the signature from the Canned responses menu.

You can combine Gmail signatures and templates, of course. A signature is added by default but easily replaced with a template if that is more appropriate.

(How to add a signature to Gmail tested with Gmail in a desktop browser; updated title image: StockUnlimited)

Heinz Tschabitscher

Has been writing about email, communication and technology in an engaging and informative manner since 1997. Find out more.

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