how to: iDevice Email Signature

Do you use an image in your primary email signature? Whether as a company branding statement or a bit of smart-ass personalisation, an image in your signature can add impact to your message.
It’s usually an easy personalisation in desktop email clients, and in my Galaxy S6 Edge mobile client it’s a breeze to do also. So the emails sent from my desktop and my phone have identical signatures. Sophisticated, that’s a good term for this level of presentation.

Email Sig & that’s a good thing too, says Megabyte, who is so geek it megahertz.

Our iDevices so often lag behind in simple functionality like this. Apple then looks to the Jailbreak community or advances in Android for inspiration & innovation, introduces said function in the next iOS iteration & claims it as their very own original patented concept.

At present, there’s no documented method to add an image to your iDevice signature at all. The only option offered is plain text.

If you don’t want a signature at all, for God’s sake remove the default “Sent from my iPhone” boast, that’s just tacky.

I, being the inquisitive sort (this streak has got me into trouble before), have had a bit of a play with the signature function.

First up I tried simple HTML coding <img src=””>, a method that works in many email clients, rendering the image in your email.  But not on my iPad. All I got was exactly what I typed, no code rendering at all. It’s like I’m using Notepad. Except if I type a web address, it becomes clickable. So a hidden href tag operates but not any others – well, not img anyway.

Next up I found that you can paste copied text in there. Select some text, copy it, paste into Settings/Mail, Contacts, Calendars/Signature. But that’s not much chop, you can simply type your own copy in there. It’s a start though – now we’ve got two methods of entry (type & paste) and we know it’ll take at least one html tag.

Next up the obvious move, copy an image, try pasting that in the Signature. Not even. iOS recognises it as not text and simply pastes the previous lot of text stored in the clipboard. Stink. Defeated? Nah uh, there’s more than 1 way to skin a [email protected]

The thought process – This iOS app is trained to accept what it recognises as text. So it wants to see the first and last characters of any entry as plain text. But what about in between those characters? Hmmm… Let’s wrap an image in text.

Send yourself an email with your signature image in the body and some text above & below – just a few words is all you need. Open your self-sent email on your iPad/iPhone then press down at the start of the text so the Copy/Select/Select All/Paste options are visible. Choose Select & drag the little blue selector from the start of the text above the image to the end of the text below it – make sure the selection includes the image.

Now available options read Cut/Copy/Paste/BIU/Define/Share… So press Copy then navigate back to Settings/Mail, Contacts, Calendars/Signature. Select the Signature slot, press in there until your Copy/Select/Select All/Paste options are visible, now hit Paste.

Boom! Payday. Yup, the .jpg Signature is accepted. Now you can remove that supposedly mandatory text, leaving just the image or you can enter the text you want, either above or below the pasted image.

There, you’ve just applied a minor (but kinda useful) hack to your boring old iDevice. This method is confirmed as working in the default mail client in iOS 8.4, 9.0 & 9.1 – I have no reason to think it’ll be any different in any other version. It does not however, work in the popular Outlook iOS app.

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