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Signature with Internet image and hyperlink

I have a picture of myself located on the Internet which I want to add to my Signature. As I will regularly replace this picture with a newer one, I want it to automatically update in my Signature as well.

In addition, I want the image to point to my Facebook website when people click on it.

How can I set up such a dynamic signature image in Outlook?

Signature buttonCreating an Outlook signature with an image or picture located on the Internet requires changing Outlook’s behavior on how to deal with linked images and also adding the image in a specific way.

Once the image is inserted, you can use the Signature Editor to turn the image into a hyperlink to any website.

Set Outlook to link to pictures instead of embedding them

The first step is to change Outlook’s behavior on how to deal with linked pictures. By default Outlook will embed them with the message, but this would mean that your picture would be a reflection of when you created the message instead of when the the recipient is reading (or even re-reading) your message.

Depending on how often you change your picture, this might be a non-issue but it would also mean that the picture gets added each time and thus making each message quite a bit larger. In several cases this could also result in your picture being added as an attachment and/or show the message with a paperclip icon.
These are all things that you should want to avoid; if not for you, then definitely for the recipient’s sake.

In Outlook 2003 and previous you can change this behavior via;
Tools-> Options…-> tab Mail Format-> button Internet Format-> option: When an HTML message contains pictures located on the Internet , send a copy of the pictures instead of the reference to their location.

In Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013, this can behavior can only be changed via the Registry.

Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\<version>\Outlook\Options\Mail
Value name; Send Pictures With Document
Value: 0

Note 1: The default for Outlook 2013 is already to link to the pictures instead of embedding them so there is no need to set this value.

Note 2: For more info about this registry key see; Where did “HTML options” go in Outlook 2007/2010?

Insert image as link

When inserting the image into your signature, you must again make sure that the image is linked. If you do not do this, then the current image will be downloaded and saved within your signature and wouldn’t update when you change it on-line.

  • Outlook 2003
    1. Right click in the Signature Editor (do not use Advanced Edit) and choose; Insert Image…
    2. Type the Internet address (URL) to the image in full when prompted for the Picture Source.
    3. Click OK
  • Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
    1. Click on the Picture icon in the Signature Editor icon - Insert Picture
    2. As the file name, type the Internet address (URL) to the image in full.
    3. Instead of clicking on Insert, click on the little down arrow on the Insert button and choose; Link to File

Use "Link to File" to insert an Internet image in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 (click on image to enlarge)
Link to an image instead of inserting it in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010
(click on image to enlarge)

Create a hyperlink

Once the image has been added, you can make it clickable and point it to a website via the the Hyperlink function.

  • Outlook 2003
    Right click on the inserted image and choose; Edit Hyperlink
  • Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
    Select the image and click on the Hyperlink icon icon - Insert Hyperlink

Note: For more information about using images in Signatures, see the guide; Using images in Signatures

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