Outlook 2011 signature deployment

richmac
New Contributor III

Anyone know a good way to deploy signatures to multiple machines in Outlook 2011. With Entourage it was a little easier because there was just 1 file called "Signatures". I see now with Outlook the signature file has a generated name x33_randomnumber.olk14Signature and if you remove this file or replace it with a different name Outlook wants to rebuild the database.

This is supposed to be an enterprise product, there must be an easier way to do this.

19 REPLIES 19

donmontalvo
Esteemed Contributor II

We tried, seems like the Outlook 2011 flat file naming convention doesn't lend to packaging signatures. William is the uber-guru-mvp who might (hopefully) know of a way...

Don

--
https://donmontalvo.com

lisacherie
Contributor II

+1 has anyone been able to successfully do this?

mm2270
Legendary Contributor II

There may be a way to script it with AppleScript. I just opened Outlook 2011's AS dictionary in AppleScript Editor and see this-

signature?n [inh. object > item] : A signature. ELEMENTS contained by application. PROPERTIES name (text) : The name of a signature. content (text) : The HTML content of a signature. plain text content (text) : The content of a signature as plain text. include in random (boolean) : Indicates whether the signature is included in the random list.

Unfortunately, I'm not so good with Applescript, so I'm not really sure how you'd use the above, if its even possible, to add a signature to a user profile. It may only be used to read existing ones.

talkingmoose
Honored Contributor II

Yep, AppleScript is the only way of doing anything automated but it still requires Outlook to be running under the user's Mac OS X account before that will even work. Outlook for Mac has no command line way of mucking with signatures because they are stored in binary preference files within a user's identity and not within .plist files.

I wrote the following blog post a year ago and got the opportunity to review it with the Office for Mac developers earlier this year. It includes making all application preferences, especially Outlook's, manageable using MCX.

How can Microsoft make Office for Mac ‘administrator friendly’?

They've taken to heart a lot of things to make Office for Mac more enterprise friendly. I'm hoping they go even further with Office 15 for Mac. I'd imagine we're at least a year out before we see that, though.

lisacherie
Contributor II

Thanks for the replies.

I have also made contact with our Microsoft account rep.. Will share if I receive any useful tips.

mm2270
Legendary Contributor II

I played around with the Applescript commands yesterday and I figured out how to edit an existing signature file with new data, but its a little inconsistent in how it works. In the tests I did, I saw some cases where the new information wouldn't get set unless the Signature Preference window was actually open in Outlook. In other attempts it updated immediately even if that window wasn't open and could be used in a new email message. I'm not sure what caused it to not work in some cases and work fine in others.

Also, I don't see a way to create a new signature from scratch, which I think is what everyone is looking to do, but its possible there is a way and I just don't know the right syntax.

If someone knows of a way to deploy a "Default" blank signature to the user's profile, then a script could be pushed that would add content to that signature file. If your users are working with LDAP based accounts, you could even query AD/OD an pull the user's info, like full name, title, location, etc and use that to populate their signature automatically. All speculation since I haven't done any of this, but I think it would be possible.

talkingmoose
Honored Contributor II

Outlook's AppleScript dictionary doesn't have much by way of formatting signatures so you'll want to use "content" instead of "plain text content" if you want to apply HTML formatting.

This AppleScript:

tell application "Microsoft Outlook"
    make new signature with properties {name:"My Company Signature", content:"-- <br />
<big><b><font color="red">Marty Moose</font></b></big><br />
Technical Analyst<br />
Talking Moose Industries<br />
(612) 555-1212"}
end tell

Will create this signature:

--

[size=16pt][color=red]Marty Moose[/color][/size]
Technical Analyst
Talking Moose Industries
(612) 555-1212

This also has a couple of downsides. You still can't assign assign signatures to accounts automatically. The user must do that himself. Also, you can't use this method to embed graphics.

tkimpton
Valued Contributor II

Hi guys

Any news if anyone managed to get something working as a signature template?

bentoms
Honored Contributor III
Honored Contributor III

tkimpton
Valued Contributor II

@bentoms

Thanks very much. Take it works ok for the Office 2011?

Can't see the specs

bentoms
Honored Contributor III
Honored Contributor III

@tkimpton, looks like they have a local client.. but we use the server side version & run the sigs via exchange (so works on all clients).

http://www.exclaimer.co.uk/email-signature-software

bentoms
Honored Contributor III
Honored Contributor III

Michael_Donegan
New Contributor

Hi all,

Has anyone found a way to do this yet?

chad_fox
Contributor II

With help from @talkingmoose I was able to tweak and add some changes. Hopefully this helps someone else out:

tell application "Microsoft Outlook"

make new signature with properties {name:"Your Company", content:"<br />

<font size="3"><b><font face="Fancy Font"><font color="000000">FirstName LastName</font></b><br />

<font color="000000">Position</font></b><br />

<b><font color="000000">Your Company</font><br /></b>

<font color="000000">O: +1 555-555-5555 | M: +1 555-555-5555</font><br />

<font color="000000"><a href=mailto:first.last@yourcompany.com>first.last@yourcompany.com</a> |<a href="http://www.yourcompany.com">www.yourcompany.com</a> </font><br />

<br />

<i/><small><font color="000000">BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH.</font><i/></FONT>
"}

end tell

apizz
Valued Contributor

@chad.fox Did you figure out a way to take the userFirstName or other variable info from the script and plug it into the signature properties?

Currently trying to easily solve our school's move to standardize email signatures and this would just save all kinds of time.

apizz
Valued Contributor

OK, kinda figured it out by referencing some other threads ... now just need to figure out how to set it as the default signature.

try
        make new signature with properties ¬
            {name:"SignatureName", content:" " & userFirstName & " " & userLastName & "<br />
            " & userTitle & " " & userDepartment & "<br />
            <b>Institution Name</b><br />
            Office: " & userWorkPhone & "<br />
            <a href="mailto:" & emailAddress & "">" & emailAddress & "</a> | <a href="https://yoursite.com">Hyperlinked Website Text</a>
        "}
        my writeLog("Signature Creation: Successful.")
    on error
        my writeLog("Signature Creation: Failed.")
    end try

apizz
Valued Contributor

After much time spent today, this is what I ended up with:

try
        make new signature with properties ¬
            {name:"SIGNATURENAME", content:" <span style=font-family:'Calibri (Body)';font-size:12.0pt><b>" & userFirstName & " " & userLastName & "</b></span><br />
            <span style=font-family:'Calibri (Body)';font-size:12.0pt>" & userTitle & " | INSTITUTIONNAME</span><br />
            <a href="http://WEBSITELINK"><img src="file://localhost/path/to/image.png";align='left' /></a>
            <span style=font-family:'Calibri (Body)';font-size:12.0pt>&nbsp&nbsp<a href="mailto:" & emailAddress & "">" & emailAddress & "</a></span><br />
            &nbsp&nbsp<span style=font-family:'Calibri (Body)';font-size:12.0pt>INSTITUTIONADDRESS</span><br />
            &nbsp&nbsp<span style=font-family:'Calibri (Body)';font-size:12.0pt>" & userWorkPhone & " office | " & userMobile & " cell</span><br />
            <span style=font-family:'Calibri (Body)';font-size:12.0pt><span style=color:#8064A2><b>PART OF</span><span style=font-family:'Calibri (Body)';font-size:12.0pt><span style=color:#FABF8F>OUR MOTTO</b></span><br />
        "}
        my writeLog("Signature Creation: Successful.")
    on error
        my writeLog("Signature Creation: Failed.")
    end try

The final product looked something like this:

2bdf3e88616749ce89990793ebfcafb3

As an FYI - when using an image in the signature I couldn't get any sort of padding to work the way I wanted it to. My workaround was to manually enter HTML blank spaces (&nbsp) where I needed them.

Hope this is helpful for folks! Still haven't figured out how to set it as the default signature, though ...

wmateo
Contributor

@talkingmoose asked this in another thread. Anyway to create and prepackage tempaltes. we dont need to pull from AD, etc. it's more so user can have web banners (not clickable)

mottertektura
Contributor

@aporlebeke I'm having some trouble getting images to show up properly in the signature? I've tried packaging up the pngs and adding them to a folder in /Library/Application Support/ and then linking the html using:

src="file:///Library/Application%20Support/yourcompany/Signatures/image-01.png"

But the images show up blank when viewing the signature in Outlook. If I open the html in a browser however, the images load fine.

I've also tried linking the html to the same pngs that are uploaded to imgur, which works (the images load fine in Outlook) but I'd rather link to locally saved pngs on the computer.

Any ideas what issue I might be running into here?

Thanks!