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Outlook 2003 Issue - Signature File Greyed (grayed) out

Posted on 2006-06-06
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Last Modified: 2011-08-18
I have a PC that has outlook 2003 installed on it on Windows 2000.

Recently a user of mine has been unable to automatically have her signature file populate on new messages.  She manually chooses it.

So I check the Tools, Options, Mail Format setting to select her signature.  However, all options under the Signatures section is greyed (grayed) out.

I logged on with an admin account and received the same results.

I know it isn't a rights issue.  My guess is a registry setting perhaps??

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Question by:regosnell
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 16843091
Greetings, regosnell !

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/916655/en-us

CAUSE
This behavior may occur if any stationary was selected as the default stationary.

WORKAROUND
To work around this behavior, select <None> as the default stationery. To do this, follow these steps:
1.    On the Tools menu, click Options.
2.    Click the Mail Format tab.
3.    Under Stationery and Fonts, click <None> in the Use this stationery by default box.
4.    Click OK.

Best wishes!
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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16843141
The option is set to <None>.  It is also greyed out which I believe is a company wide setting.
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Expert Comment

by:meintsi
ID: 16843327
Are you using Word as your email editor?
If so, the setting are controlled within Word, not within Outlook.
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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16843378
No, neither of those boxes are checked or able to be checked for that matter.  Again, I believe a company wide setting on that section.
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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16843384
I am looking at avoiding the uninstall reinstall.
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 16843667
regosnell,

>> It is also greyed out which I believe is a company wide setting.

If the signature settings are grayed out for users, then there must be group policy blocking the editing of signature.

If the signature settings are grayed out for this one user, create a new Outlook profile.
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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16843683
I neglected to mention that this user can login to another machine and the options are available.
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 16843756
regosnell,

If the user can log into another machine and use the signature, then there is something wrong with the Outlook in the original machine.

1. Reset the Outlook toolbar template. With Outlook close, do a search for and rename outcmd.dat file. Restart Outlook and a fresh outcmd.dat file will be recreated.

2. Register an important Outlook file. Go to Start > Run and type regsvr32 OLE32.DLL
Do the same for INETCOMM.DLL

3. Disable Outlook Addins.  Go to Tools > Options > Other > Advanced Options > Addin Manager or COMM/Addins and disable the addins.

4. Start Outlook in Safe Mode.  Go to Start > Run and type

"c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Outlook.exe" /safe

Your path to Outlook.exe may be a little different.

5. Repair Outlook. With Outlook open, go to Help > Detect and Repair.

6. If no joy, reinstall Outlook.  Go to Add/Remove Programs and highlight Microsoft Office. Click on Install/Uninstall.  A menu will pop allowing you to choose repair or reinstall.

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=291614
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Expert Comment

by:meintsi
ID: 16844013
"I neglected to mention that this user can login to another machine and the options are available."

also with Outlook 2003?

Was there a recent upgrade when this problem started? (The versions of Word and Outlook must match.)
Is Outlook fully updated?

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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16844042
Yes, this machine is setup with outlook 2003 and runs office 97.  In fact it is my machine.  Outlook and office are both patched on both machines.

The only upgrading that happened about a year plus ago was outlook 2000 to 2003.  Office for us has been 97 since ....well 97?

I am going to try your other options as soon as my user allows.
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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16845384
OK,

In Order:

1)  No change

2)  No Change

3)  All disabled - No Change

4) Works ok in Safe Mode.  Now what?

5)  Repaied in Safe Mode.  Started Normal Mode - No Change

6)  Reinstalled Outlook - No Change
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 16877520
regosnell,

Are you using Outlook 2003 and Office 97 at the same time?  Did you install Outlook 97?  Outlook 2003 and Outlook 97 will conflict.

Outlook 2003 and MS Office 97 may conflict. Disable MS Word as editor in Outlook Options > Format tab.  
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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16884772
Yes Office 97 and Outlook 2003 are on this machine.  MS Word is not the editor and is disbaled as stated previously.

No one else has this issue with identical setups so I can't accept that Outlook 2003 and Office 97 cannot co-exist.  

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Expert Comment

by:meintsi
ID: 16885194
I'm gonna second WAR's comment here.
Ofiice 97 & 2003 do not react nicely together.

Depending on how they were installed/updated, neither may function at all.

If the versions of Word and Outlook do not match, and much functionality between Outlook and the entire Office suite is lost.

e.g
The "send to mail reciipient" form word & excel do not work.
Word CANNONT be used as the email editor.
Mail merge functions fail.
The list goes on .................

If some of this works and others do not, compatability & a bad installation IS your problem.
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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16885235
I appreciate all your comments meintsi and WAR1.

However, in your comments about compatibility I know that they are incorrect from experience.  All of those functions etc work fine with different versions.  Outlook is an add on to Office, not a required component.

At this point I am reinstalling to solve the problem.

I will request the moderator to close this ticket.
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 16889974
regosnell,

Sorry that you feel you need to reinstall to fix the problem.  You could uninstall one of the two Office applications.  Two offices may be running on some computers, but not on others.  We are talking from experience also.
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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16893447
As long as they have been in seprate directories I have never had a conflict with different versions and this goes through at this location over 100+ nodes with two different operating systems and three different email clients.  I do appreciate the attempt, but the uninstall reinstall option cleared up whatever was remining in the registry/security.
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by:war1
ID: 16895262
regosnell,

Earlier you wrote, "6)  Reinstalled Outlook - No Change:"

Now you write, "but the uninstall reinstall option cleared up whatever was remining in the registry/security."

Are you talking about reinstalling Outlook to fix the problem or reinstalling the operatiing system?
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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16895355
I see.  In option 6) I choose reinstall, actually tried a repair as well with no success.  

Final solution was to uninstall and reinstall and that resolved the issue.

In both cases it was Outlook 2003 that was addressed and not the OS.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:meintsi
ID: 16895381
This asker has constantly contradicted himself and responds in a tone that none of the suggestions could possibly be true because HE knows better.

First ...
"I logged on with an admin account and received the same results.
I know it isn't a rights issue.  My guess is a registry setting perhaps??"

Then ...
"No, neither of those boxes are checked or able to be checked for that matter.  Again, I believe a company wide setting on that section."

And then ...
"I neglected to mention that this user can login to another machine and the options are available."


Even the MS website warns about incompatability between the versions and how a specific installation order must be followed to allow both to work. (with reduced functionality)

Its possible reinstalling correctly could solve his problem.
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 16895387
I posted the reinstall Outlook solution on 06/06/2006 09:01AM PDT
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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16895413
Right, but reinstall/repair is different then uninstall and reinstall.  Reinstall just overlays what is there, repair looks for discrepancies and fixes, while unisntall removes and reinstall puts it back.  I did not interpret your suggestion to remove first.  
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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16895428
In fact the article you quote from Microsoft states the same thing as not to remove, but to reinstall over the existing or more to the point, repair it.

When I tried that it did not work.
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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16895726
>First ...
>"I logged on with an admin account and received the same results.
>I know it isn't a rights issue.  My guess is a registry setting perhaps??"

This is correct, when I logged on with a local admin account this was the case which I would say not a rights issue but a software issue.  I think anyone would say that, no?




>"No, neither of those boxes are checked or able to be checked for that matter.  Again, I believe a company wide setting on that section."


This was in response to wether the boxes for Word as editor are checked and they are not and I added that they can't be checked as this is blocked out by company wide policy.  All I was doing was providing truthful information here.




<"I neglected to mention that this user can login to another machine and the options are available."

The option of choosing a signature file which is what my question relates to was available on another machine.  Not the boxes of Word.


<Even the MS website warns about incompatability between the versions and how a specific installation order must be followed to allow both to work. (with <reduced functionality)

If it warns about it, I'd like to see the link.  I don't think one was provided.


<Its possible reinstalling correctly could solve his problem

Perhaps it is possible, but it didn't work and that was what my comment was on the suggestions.

I'd like to be clear that I appreciate all the help everyone provided even though it didn't solve the issue.
Based on EE guidlines I solved the issue and I believe the guidlines say you shouldn't accept an answer just because you liked their help (for lack of a better paraphrase).  So I followed and choose to close call.  
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Expert Comment

by:meintsi
ID: 16896442
Here's a couple of links real quick..

My comments were referring to the differences between the versions do not co-exist nicely. It will work, but not great.
You positivly cannot use Word 97 for email with Outlook 2003.  The versions must match.
Every hotfix for 2003 may break even more functionality with Office 97 because they consider it a dead product. They WANT you to upgrade.

Starters ... for installation order (Note "not reccommended" & "Outlook not compatable with older versions"
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/828956/en-us

This is one of many about the "reduced functionality" because of the differences.  Again because of the version differences.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/828509/en-us


"while unisntall removes and reinstall puts it back."  If this is true, why is there a removal tool for office?

I have no objections closing the question as you choose because it's obvious that you knew assumed you knew all the answers before you asked. It's only the flippant responses for tossing aside valid answers that provoked my last response.

Again, feel free to close as you wish.
Unsubscribe.
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Author Comment

by:regosnell
ID: 16896505
>Starters ... for installation order (Note "not reccommended" & "Outlook not compatable with older versions"
>http://support.microsoft.com/kb/828956/en-us

I don't debate an order, but it does run and the article didn't indicate that you lose anything.

>This is one of many about the "reduced functionality" because of the differences.  Again because of the version differences.
>http://support.microsoft.com/kb/828509/en-us

This article is for Excel 2002.  Not related to what I listed.

>"while unisntall removes and reinstall puts it back."  If this is true, why is there a removal tool for office?

My guess is because Office and the OS don't "play nice with each other department wise."


>I have no objections closing the question as you choose because it's obvious that you knew assumed you knew all the answers before you asked. It's only the >flippant responses for tossing aside valid answers that provoked my last response.

>Again, feel free to close as you wish.
>Unsubscribe.

I am sorry you felt my answers were flippant.  I continue to be grateful for all support given even if it doesn't help my issue or is unrelated.  But let's not do the childish thing of getting the last word in by saying "Unsubscribe"  Just do it, but don't make this a child thing.  That's not what EE is for.  At least not in the technical section.
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Expert Comment

by:faverta
ID: 20785858
Just so everyone knows... I experienced the same thing this week after restoring a user's office settings (using the Wizard).

I did the "Detect and Repair" (item 5 from post http://www.experts-exchange.com/Applications/MS_Office/Outlook/Q_21876346.html#16843756 ) with the "Discard my customized settings and restore default settings." optiong checked.

After the "Detect and Repair" completed, I was able to use the password picker again.

Cheers,
Fabio
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