How to make your email signature accessible in Outlook - Windows

February 8, 2019

The following tutorial shows a way to create an accessible email signature in Outlook 2016 for Windows. This is a bit of a work around from some other methods. 

1. Create a new email and type (or paste) the text and images you want in your signature. I pasted mine from the Iowa State University email signature generator. Alternatively, you can insert an image from your computer into your new email. 

  • After your image is placed, Right Click on the image and Choose > Format Picture

 create a new blank email


2. Choose the icon that is third from the left to change the Alt Text. I changed mine to "Iowa State University logo" in the description only. You don't need to fill out a title. 

 alt text is displayed


3. Copy your signature and close the email without saving. Next, Click on the File button to the left of Home. 


Close the new email and choose File to the left of Home


4. Choose Options from the list on the left. 

Choose options


5. Choose Mail from the left side and then Choose > Signatures.

Choose mail


6. Create New, name your signature and then Paste your copied signature text and image into the body. 

paste in your copied signature


7. Your email signature is now pasted in and will retain the Alt Text you added in Step 2. Finally, I wanted to make sure I was within the Level AA WCAG 2.1 guidelines. I changed the text size to 12 points and removed the letters before the phone number, email address and web address. These letters will confuse a screen reader and text-to-speech software by reading the letters aloud.  I also chose to include my signature in replies and forwards. You can now click Ok. 

your email signature is now pasted

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