It is important to have a professional looking signature in your business email. Microsoft Word has a template gallery with 20 signatures that you can choose from and then customize to create your own signature. I’ll show you how to access this Word gallery template and then create your own signature.
I’m using Microsoft 365 on a Windows 10 64-bit system, but you can use an earlier version. For your convenience, you can: download the demonstration .docx and .doc files† Word for the web supports almost everything in this article.
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How to start with a template in Word
You can create your own design, but there are so many good templates available that you don’t need to. Start with one you like and change it. To use a template in Word:
- Click the File menu and choose New in the left pane.
- In the search control, enter Signature Template and click the magnifying glass icon or press Enter.
- In the results, choose the email signature gallery – it’s the first in my results (Image A†
- Click Create. Word then downloads the file to your local system.
With the template open, review the 20 signature options and choose one. Simply select it and press Ctrl + C to copy it to the clipboard. Open a new blank Word document and press Ctrl + V to paste it. I chose the first option (Figure B†
Once you’ve inserted a template into a Word document, you’re ready to make changes.
How to customize the template content in Word
I recommend starting with a template as most of the work is done for you. All you need to do is change the text.
The first thing to note is that the information is in a table: that’s one of the reasons they’re so easy to change. Note the two icons at the top (Figure B† With the left you can select the whole table; the one above the vertical line allows you to resize the columns.
To enable the borders, select the table and do the following:
- In the mini toolbar, click Borders.
- From the resulting drop-down list, choose All Borders (Figure C†
Look next to the template and the table borders (Figure D† Displaying the borders allows you to customize the template. There are only two columns and one row. I purposely chose a simple one, but some templates are more elaborate.
Change the data first. I’m only going to change a few items, but you want to update everything.
To change the name, select it and start entering your own name. If you’re familiar with Word, you’ll know how to do it: Select and overwrite all template information.
After you’ve updated the content, you can start changing the formatting if needed. You don’t need to make too many changes, but you can change almost anything about the template.
For example, if you want to change the color of the name to green, select it, click the Font Color drop-down list in the Font group, and choose green. Thanks to Live Preview, you can hover over a color and see it in real time (Figure E†
To change the font or font size, select the name and choose settings from the Font and Font Size options in the Font group. To quickly make the Phone, Mobile, Web, and Email labels green, double-click to select one, hold down the Ctrl key, and then double-click the other one at a time. Then change the font color for all at once.
If you are not subscribed to one or more of the social media platforms represented by the icons at the bottom, please remove the respective icons. You can also add others and change the column width of both columns, just like in any other Word table: Click on a border and drag it. This is useful when your content is wrapped – you can increase the width to remove the wrap.
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How to customize the template images in Word
Changing the photo is a piece of cake! Right-click on the image and choose Change Image from the resulting submenu. Then select the location of the image – probably your local system or device, This Device. I chose From Stock Photos because I don’t currently have a professional photo of myself and I don’t want to misrepresent myself as 30.
Word has changed the shape of the image, but this is easy to fix:
- Select the image.
- Click the Format Picture contextual tab.
- In the Size group, click Crop, and then choose Crop to Shape.
- Select a shape from the resulting submenu – I chose Oval (Figure F†
The image is now round (Figure G† If you want to crop the image, you can still do it with Crop. There are a number of predefined styles in the Picture Styles group. Simply click on the Quick Styles drop-down list for a quick review. The image has a beige border; use the Image Border option in the same group to add a border.
You might think there isn’t much else to change right now. Did you notice that some of the signature templates in the downloaded gallery document had a colored background? This is an easy change to make. With the entire table selected, select a color from the Shading drop-down list in the Paragraph group (figure H†
Unfortunately, the background now shows a white outline around the social media icons. In this case, you cannot remove the borders, nor can you remove them using Word’s Remove Background tool.
Once you’ve made changes and are happy with the signature, there’s one more step to complete before you can copy it to Outlook. To remove the borders, select the entire table and choose No Borders from the Borders drop-down list in the Paragraph group. Now you are ready to add it to Outlook (figure I†
How to add the signature to Outlook
Although we created the signature in Word, you want to use it in Outlook. In Word, select the entire table and press Ctrl + C to copy it to the clipboard. Do the following in Outlook:
- Open a new email.
- In the Include group, click the Signatures drop-down list and choose Signatures.
- In the resulting dialog box, click New under the Select email to edit option list. Maybe you already have signatures, or maybe you don’t.
- Enter the name HomeBaseCommander and click OK (figure J†
- Click in the lower pane and press Ctrl + V to copy the signature from the clipboard (figure K† Click OK.
Open a new email to use the signature. Outlook automatically adds the signature to each new email (figure L† If you don’t want it, select it and delete it.