Signature problems with Outlook Express

Posted on 2007-10-05
Last Modified: 2008-07-05

We have formatted html signatures (includes an image)  that get automatically are attached and sent with our emails in Outlook Express.  Some users have re-ocurring problems.  The signature disappears for no apparent reason and they have to set it up again or the text portion appears with  a broken image. (image box with red 'x' mark.)



Question by:geist62
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    How are they automatically attached? Is there a script running on each PC? Is the image on a share, or the net?

    Expert Comment

    What version of Outlook Express are you using? What is the full path (location) of the image that you are using?

    Author Comment


    The htm file is located on our server.  When  I post the following url into a web-browser the image and text appear as they should (not when I send it thru Outlook Express)

    O:\Email\Email Footers\signature.htm

    Thanks for your help!

    Author Comment


    We're using MS Outlook Express 6.0.

    LVL 17

    Accepted Solution


    It's always nice to have a text/image combination on an email, specially a corporate email. Having said that, one must also consider that it is not very suitable to have an image in a signature when it comes to email.

    To start with when the signature's image is picked from within the network, OE may not always be able to access the network share. Had you considered embedding the image within OE? The internal path will not work for external email sent from your domain. When the email leaves the network and goes in to another domain, the receiving side may not allow for the image to be loaded and again cause the red x to appear. Text goes through because it is embedded in the email itself. This will happen even if the image is shared from a website that you own.

    Then if you come to an organization that only uses plain text email, they will not even know that you have an image on the signature to begin with.

    See if the shared image is in a location that can be accessed by all users. If it is, and as you had mentioned that when you direct your browser to that locale, the image is as it should be,  is there any application that will prevent OE from accessing the signature?

    You could also save the signature on each single pc, see whether the same issues persist.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    UPUL007 hit the nail on the head: to summarize his post:
    1. The image you are using, though it is HTML, is not necessarily being embedded in the message as a relative link. What that means is that if the recipient gets it as O:\Email\Email Footers\signature.htm that is an unresolvable link for them. Depending on the mail client in use at the other end they may or may not be shown a broken placeholder. If they see a broken placeholder, this creates an unprofessional image.
    2. The receiving mail system and/or clients may not be setup to display HTML; it's a security issue as HTML can have embedded scripting that could be malicious. Result is no signature.
    3. The size of the attachment may cause concern to receiving mail systems. While it is only 20K (or 10K, whatever) that receiving system may be receiving hundreds, if not thousands, of mail a day. If each one has a 10K attachment that adds up fast in terms of storage. The reverse is true as well; your client is saving this in Sent Items so you're soaking up your own disk space.

    Bottom line: Working on and resolving this issue is perhaps not what is important here. My suggestion would be to use a plain text signature with a link to your company URL. All receipients will see it regardless of their systerm or security settings, it won't soak up disk space on the sending or receiving systems and you won't experience the problem you're seeing now. Ex:
    John Smith, Regional Sales Manager, SE Region
    Acme Industrial Parts
    123-555-1212 vox
    123-555-1313 fax

    Author Comment

    Thanks for your advice everyone. I'll post my decision as soon as I consider your posts.


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