Section VIII - Personalization of Your Mail: The .signature File

What Is a .signature File, and Why Should I Use One?

In this day and age, electronic mail has invaded our lives almost as much as US Postal mail or the telephone. However, in contrast with the telephone, where moods can be projected by the tone of one's voice, and with US Postal mail, which can be written on letterhead, electronic mail can often seem impersonal and its origin vague. One automatic way to convey more information about you or your organization is to create a .signature file.

A .signature file appears at the end of your message. It is completely free form, so there isn't a set pattern or template that people use to create one. Often people include a full name, e-mail address, organization name, phone number, fax number, and sometimes a quote or disclaimer.

The only convention about .signature files is their length. It is considered general network etiquette to limit your signature files to four lines or less.

To create a signature file, use your favorite UNIX editor and create a file called .signature in your home directory. Remember to save the file in your home directory; if you save it somewhere else, it will not be attached to your messages.

Now, every time you create a message, the text from your .signature file will automatically appear in your message.

Here are some examples of .signature files:

--------------+ UM-SNRE: Student, Computer Consultant III, & SysAdmin
PGP on request| ITD/CSS Consultant, Short Asian with long hair :)
or via finger | WWW ->

Brian W. Spolarich "If life is a dream, then
UM ITD/US Consulting and Support Services we should be friends. After all, we are dreaming each
finger for PGP key. other."

|\ | |\/| David L. Miller (206) 685-6240
|/ |_ | | Software Engineer, Pine Development Team (206) 685-4045 (FAX)
University of Washington, Networks & Distributed Computing, JE-20
4545 15th Ave NE, Seattle WA 98105, USA

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