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Forcing Signatures for outlook 2010 clients RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    We are in a situation where we must meet the following criteria:

    * Every new, forward or reply email must be populated with a tag (text) which can be deleted.
    * Standardised email signatures

    We've created a logon script which standardises the outlook signature, this is done in two steps detailed below. We use a hub transport rule which appends the user's "signature" (its called a disclaimer in Exchange) to the end of any email sent from the user's addresses which does not have "RE:" or "FW" in the subject line. We're using Exchange 2010 and Outlook 2010.

    The result the recipient should see is the tag (inserted as a outlook signature) followed by the "signature" (exchange transport rule disclaimer) i.e.

    Hi,

    This is my email body

    [Tag]

    [Signature]

    Step 1:
    First we mirror a directory which is simple a signature that contains the tag (text) that is required for every new messsage, but that can be deleted. This is mirrored to the default user's profile and replaces any existing signatures.

    @echo off
    set __COMPAT_LAYER=RunAsInvoker
    robocopy "\\[SERVER]\Signature"  "%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures" /mir
    cscript //nologo "\\[SERVER]\SetOutlookSettings.vbs"

    Step 2:
    The login script runs a VBscript (SetOutlookSettings.vbs), which puts in the required registry keys into the default outlook profile of the user's profile to ensure that the signature we've mirrored is used. This also removes the signature button from the email composer and greys out the signature options in File -> Options -> Signatures
    The script is run as the user and we've confirmed it works via the logon script.

    Dim oShell
    Dim RegDefaultProfile

    Set oShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    RegDefaultProfile = oShell.RegRead("HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\DefaultProfile")

    DefaultProfileKey = "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\" & RegDefaultProfile & "\9375CFF0413111d3B88A00104B2A6676\00000003\"
    MailSettingsKey = "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\MailSettings\"
    RegValue = "[Signaturename]"
    RegType = "REG_EXPAND_SZ"

    oShell.RegWrite MailSettingsKey & "NewSignature", RegValue, RegType
    oShell.RegWrite MailSettingsKey & "ReplySignature", RegValue, RegType
    oShell.RegWrite DefaultProfileKey & "New Signature", RegValue, RegType
    oShell.RegWrite DefaultProfileKey & "Reply-Forward Signature", RegValue, RegType

    Step 3: 
    The exchange transport rule. This is straight forward and working fine so i've ommited the rule since this post is large enough already. 

    The problem:
    Our problem is, even after applying the registry settings (via the logon script) and restarting, the outlook signature is not "set" (i.e. opening, replying to or forwarding a message does not insert the outlook signature).
    If we look at the signatures in outlook File -> Options -> Signatures and then open, reply to or forward an email the signature is there.

    Potential solution:
    I wonder if outlook messages use a template which I could update instead of forcing the outlook signature to be a specific signature and then prehaps disable signatures in outlook? Similar to normal.dotm
    Otherwise we may have to ask users to manually open the signatures window when the change has applied, which is far less than elegant.

    Would really appreciate any ideas and thoughts around this.

    Kind regards,

    Jason

    Thursday, May 9, 2013 4:23 AM

Answers

All replies

  • Outlook signatures have nothing to do with Exchange disclaimers.

    An Outlook signature is defined and runs at the user level.  It is a template created in the user profile and attached to the profile through the registry.  Exhange has nothing to do with its use.

    Constant rewriting of an Outlook signature in a login script can have may unexpected side effects.  I always recommend setting up the signature files as a one shot command by asking the user to run the script. With GPP there are ways to make this happen without user intervention.

    Once the template is hooked up we can then copy a new template in the login when needed.  This can be easily controlled via a registry entry.

    Post you issues in the Exchange site to see how to use a disclaimer.  Disclaimers and signatures address very different corporate requirements.  They are not interchangeable.  A disclaimer is not optional.  A signature is at the users discretion.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Thursday, May 9, 2013 4:53 AM
  • Hi Jason,

    Total shot in the dark:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/exchangesvrclients/thread/c7c7b372-cd75-4965-aa8f-cdcf2232b4a4

    I hate to say it, but you're probably better off posting in the Exchange or Outlook forums.

    • Marked as answer by IamMred Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:23 PM
    Thursday, May 9, 2013 4:58 AM
  • Hi Jrv,

    We're using the exchange disclaimer as a hacky way to easily append customised "disclaimers" to emails. These are formatted to our client's corporate format and the intention is that this removes signature responsibility from the user, they simple send emails and we can centrally manage the rest.

    That would be fine, except we need to have a text tag which is used for mail filtering and needs to be appended to every email, but removed depending on the recipients.

    Thats why we've gone down this path, but i'm more then happy to look at other ways to do this, especially if you have a script which customises a user's outlook signature with their AD attributes that we can apply and force by policy.

    Thursday, May 9, 2013 5:04 AM
    • Proposed as answer by jrv Thursday, May 9, 2013 5:13 AM
    • Marked as answer by IamMred Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:22 PM
    Thursday, May 9, 2013 5:06 AM
  • Hi Jrv,

    We're using the exchange disclaimer as a hacky way to easily append customised "disclaimers" to emails. These are formatted to our client's corporate format and the intention is that this removes signature responsibility from the user, they simple send emails and we can centrally manage the rest.

    That would be fine, except we need to have a text tag which is used for mail filtering and needs to be appended to every email, but removed depending on the recipients.

    Thats why we've gone down this path, but i'm more then happy to look at other ways to do this, especially if you have a script which customises a user's outlook signature with their AD attributes that we can apply and force by policy.

    The repository has numerous examples of deployable signatures that use AD attributes.  on Exchange 2010 you can add the signature using rules.  I see Mike has posted one of many links.

    Post in the Exchange forum for help with setting this up.  It does not require a script.

    The difference with the Outlook solution versus the Exchange solution is that the Outlook solution can be deleted but the Exchange solution cannot.  THe Exchange solution is a corporate level rule.

    The Exchange solution is only available for Exchange 2010 and later.  Since you are all 2010 you are in luck.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Thursday, May 9, 2013 5:13 AM