Setting up HTML signatures on OSX

Lately, I had to deal with the OSX mail app while trying to install some HTML signatures. It’s surprising to see that in 2017, there’s still e-mail clients that don’t accept HTML signatures. Thunderbird lets you pick an HTML file and you’re done, but with OSX’s mail app, things can get a bit difficult.

 

First of all, you’ll have to create your html signature: Make it the way you like, insert images, etc… Once you’re done, head to your Mac and fire up the Mail app, here’s where things get tedious:

Create a blank signature: This will be a placeholder, we just want the app to create a certain hidden file that we will later edit and include the HTML in.

Once the signature is created, save it and completely close the mail app: I can’t stress this enough: The mail app must be closed and not opened until the whole process is finished

Next, fire up the terminal and navigate to

/Users/xxxxxxxx/Library/Mail/V3/MailData/Signatures

and find the latest created .mailsignature file.

Open this file:

open -a textEdit CC820FFC-0F10-4D9E-8637-3D823E865F43.mailsignature

Then, replace everything inside the <body> </body> tags for the content inside the same tags from the signature you want to use, then save and close.

Finally, there’s a catch: Once you open the mail app, it will restore your previous signature, so you will have to lock the archive to prevent it from any further changes:

Do this with:

chflags uchg CC820FFC-0F10-4D9E-8637-3D823E865F43.mailsignature

And you’re done!!!! – or are you?

Well, mainly, for newer versions of the system (I think 10.7 onwards) this would be the method, but on older versions, you would have to do a couple of things different:

First, you’d have to go to

/Users/xxxxxxxx/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Signatures

Note this time it’s V2 instead of V3.

Open your signature on Mac’s Safari and save it as a .webarchive file

Inside the Signatures folder you navigated to before, there would be a newly created .webarchive signatire: Yes, you guessed it right: You’ll have to replace this .webarchive file with the one you saved with Safari, keeping the filename and finally, lock it again so the mail app does’nt revert the changes:

chflags uchg CC820FFC-0F10-4D9E-8637-3D823E865F43.webarchive

 

After days banging my head trying to understand why any company would force their users to hop through these kind of loops in order to get a simple html signature, I only can come up with a thought: Why, oh, apple… why?!