Ways to Format an Email Signature


Email makes it easy to communicate with friends, family, colleagues and co-workers. You can add a signature line that appears at the end of every email that you send. Some email users prefer a professional and concise signature line for work. Others, such as college students or those using email for personal communication, prefer fun graphics and short, abbreviated messages.

Use Abbreviations and Punctuation

  • Format an email signature using abbreviations, punctuation and the commonly used signature delimiter. Abbreviations allow you to minimize your word count and keep the text plain. You can shorten common words such as "Thank you" and "I love you," using abbreviations such as "TY," "THX" or "ILU," "ILY," respectively. Use pipes (|) or colons (::) to format a heavy-worded signature and when possible start the signature with the commonly accepted signature delimiter (--), which will delineate your signature line and make it more apparent to email recipients.

Graphics and Design Elements

  • Add graphics and design elements in place of or in conjunction with words. Instead of writing, "Happy to see you!" use a graphic element such as a smiley face in place of the word, "happy," and a forward facing arrow or capital 'U' in place of the word "you." Adding a graphic or design will customize your signature line and add a unique twist to common salutations. Your signature line would read, ":) to see U."

Contact Information Limits

  • Minimize clutter. Busy students and professionals can bog down a signature line with multiple phone numbers and email addresses. For a simpler approach, choose the best contact information for you and remove the rest. If you must include two or more phone numbers, for example, label each number. Use a "c" for cell phone, "h" for home phone and "w" for work. Avoid including social networking sites and websites that some might view as inappropriate.

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  • Photo Credit email image by Hao Wang from Fotolia.com exclamation mark 2 image by chrisharvey from Fotolia.com Smiley face image by Marta Reimpell from Fotolia.com telephone image by Aditia Patria Warman from Fotolia.com
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