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Monday, May 17, 2010

Update - Windows Live Mail Signature Working in both Vista and Windows 7 environments

Ok. If you were even mildly interested in my previous post regarding inserting an image signature into Windows Live Mail, you may also be interested in the following update.

As of the last post, I had successfully installed an image logo in Microsoft LiveMail within my Windows Vista Ultimate environment, and a client of mine had a pending request to accomplish the same feat in his Windows 7 environment in the same Microsoft LiveMail program.

Thank you to Randy Markey (my client). Randy is a "Relationship Specialist", LICSW. If you're interested Randy's services you can follow-up with him at http://www.lexingtoncounselingcenter.com/.

Thanks as well to Anne Hennegar (a guru of repute on this topic). In the end, it was Anne's approach documented at http://www.timeatlas.com/email/general/create_image_signatures_in_windows_mail_or_live_mail that proved to be the best template for my use moving forward on this task. Anne does awesome writeups at Productivity Portfolio - her blog, I believe.

So, here are the steps I took on Randy's Windows 7 environment.

1. Downloaded VNU (an HTML editor, freeware) to the laptop
2. Opened the logo file Randy had e-mailed to me. Here it is:

Randy forwarded me a file created via LogoMaker.com. I took a screenprint, pasted it to MS Paint and saved it as a .jpg. I saved it in the My Stationery folder within My Documents on Randy's machine.

3. Created an empty HTML file using VNU.

4. Using VNU insert image icon, inserted the .jpg file into the empty signature file in My Stationery.

5. In VNU, clicked "Do not use alternate text" radio button.

6. Clicked Save in VNU and saved the file as an HTML file.

Kindly note that I believe the above could be accomplished, as suggested by Anne, by opening a Live Mail new message, inserting the target image into the body of the e-mail and saving that file as an HTML file.

7. In either case, opened the newly saved HTML using Notepad.exe and replaced the relative .jpg address with an absolute one as follows:

8. Added the disclaimer text as follows and saved the revised HTML file again in the My Stationery folder - note both the signature file and the .jpg file are reported to be required to reside in the My Stationery folder.

9. With the HTML ready to go, as described in Anne's blog, the next step is to link the signature file and the associated .jpg (image) file to Microsoft Live Mail.

10. As previously described in the Rich Menga blog and Souraph Gupta forum entry, opened Microsoft Live Mail program and:

a. clicked Menus, Safety Options and the Security tab - within that making sure that within Download options, the Block Images.... option is turned off.

b. clicked Menus, Options, and within the Read tab, make sure that the "read all messages in plain text" option is turned off.

c. within the send tab, make sure that "Reply to messages using the same format...." is turned off and that Mail Sending Option is set to HTML.

d. and last but not least, within the Signatures tab,

1. Check Add signatures to all outgoing messages.
2. Add a New Signature.
3. In the Edit Signature section, click the File radio button and browse to (navigate to My Stationery) and select/open the signature HTML revised file (you may need to select HTML as the file type) and return to the Signature window in Microsoft Live Mail.
4. Click Apply, then click ok.

After taking the above steps, Randy's e-mail signature is as follows:
Hope folks find the above to be useful. Please direct any comments, feedback, queries to:

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