Editor

One of the major features of CodeTwo Exchange Rules is that it inserts personalized signatures, legal notes, disclaimers, promo banners, etc. to sent / received mail. For the program to add these actions, you need to create a rule that will include the Insert disclaimer and / or Insert signature action. Therefore, these actions need to use a template that must be composed in the Editor (Fig. 1.).

Editor - Itself
Fig. 1. The Editor.

The Editor is a standalone application that resembles Microsoft Word and can be used in a similar way. The window of the Editor comprises of several sections with the edit field in the center that is used to compose the content of the template.

By clicking the links below you will be navigated to the description of the most significant options available within the Editor:

Prior to adding a disclaimer / signature action to rule, open up the Editor window via the Edit button located in the properties pane of the added action (Fig. 2.).

Opening-editorER
Fig. 2. Opening the Editor.

Choosing the format of a signature / disclaimer template

The Editor tabs are located above the main toolbar (Fig. 3.). Switching the tabs allows you to edit and create the template in different message formats:

  • HTML
  • RTF
  • Plain Text
Editors-format-tabs
Fig. 3. The Editor tabs with HTML, RTF and Plain Text formats.

Please note that the number of options and layouts is different for different formats:

Editor - HTML toolbar
Fig. 4. HTML toolbar.
Editor - RTF ribbon
Fig. 5. RTF toolbar.
Editor - Plain Text toolbox
Fig. 6. Plain text toolbar.

The table below shows which options included in the Editor are available for the particular formats of the signature / disclaimer templates:

Editor's sections Template formats
HTML RTF PLAIN TEXT

Actions

  • Cut
  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Undo
  • Redo
  • Convert to RTF / /Plain Text
  • Cut
  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Undo
  • Redo
  • Convert to Plain Text
  • Cut
  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Undo
  • Redo
Template library
  • Template library
  • Template library
  • Template library
View
  • Source
  • Preview
  • Guidelines
  • Guidelines
  • Preview
  • Guidelines
  • Preview
Font
  • Font type
  • Font size
  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underline
  • Strikethrough
  • Clear formatting
  • Font color
  • Text highlight color
  • Font type
  • Font size
  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underline
  • Strikethrough
  • Clear formatting
  • Font color
  • Text highlight color

X Unavailable

Paragraph
  • Align left
  • Align center
  • Align right
  • Justify
  • Bulleted list
  • Numbered list
  • Decrease indent
  • Increase indent
  • Align left
  • Align center
  • Align right
  • Justify
  • Bulleted list
  • Numbered list
  • Decrease indent
  • Increase indent

X Unavailable

Insert
  • Picture (local / online)
  • Table
  • Social link
  • Placeholder
  • Hyperlink
  • Horizontal line
  • {rt} Remove Text tag
  • Special character
  • {rt} Remove Text tag
  • Placeholder
  • Social link
  • {rt} Remove Text tag
  • Placeholder
  • Social link
Email layout
  • Header
  • Signature / Disclaimer
  • Left banner
  • Right banner
  • Header
  • Signature / Disclaimer
  • Header
  • Signature / Disclaimer

Configuring the content of the signature / disclaimer templates

The toolbar consists of seven sections (Fig. 7.):

Editor - Ribbon
Fig. 7. The Editor's toolbar.

Important

Please note that the number of options and layouts in the toolbar depends on the selected tab.

Actions

The most important buttons within this section (Fig. 8.) are:

  • Save - upon editing a signature or disclaimer you need to use the Save button to update templates. Be aware that templates are saved only locally at this point. Any rules changes will be pushed to software services on your servers only after clicking Submit Changes button on the top menu ribbon of the Administration Panel. 
  • Convert - this feature enables conversion of templates from one format to another. Thanks to this feature you won't have to create templates for other formats from scratch but convert the existing ones with one click. Due to limitations of RTF and Plain Text formats, the conversion process may result in omitting several HTML elements like tables, images or text formatting.
Editor-Toolbar_Actions
Fig. 8. The Actions section in the toolbar.

The rest of options available here are quite similar to the standard MS Word type: you may undo and redo introduced changes, cut, copy and paste content. However, the signature content cannot be copied directly from the Microsoft Word application, due to set of additional and office-related HTML elements that are not official part of any HTML specification. Thus the final design may look distorted in various mail clients. 

Template library

This section consists of one button that enables you to use the following options:

  • Save as template... - you can save your work as a template for future use. You will be prompted to choose a folder and a name for your new template.
  • Load template... - load existing template from Template Library into the Editor. All content already existing in the Editor will be replaced.
  • Browse templates... - opens Template Library window that allows you to browse all existing templates
Editor - template library button
Fig. 9. The Template Library section.

Important

If you save your work to the Template Library, the program will automatically save changes for the signature/disclaimer itself and then store it in the desired Template Library folder.

Therefore, you may encounter a warning if signatures are missing for one or more of the formats available (HTML / RTF / Plain Text). If you cancel to create the missing formats, the program will save only the formats you have created.

View

The View section (Fig. 10.) consists of two buttons: Source and Show guidelines.

Editor-Toolbar_ViewSection
Fig. 10. The View section in the toolbar.
  • Source - enables modifying the source of the signature's content and configuring it via available options (Fig. 11.):
Editor - Source
Fig. 11. Source view of the message composition.
  • Preview - allows you to preview the signature / disclaimer in HTML, RTF and Plain Text formats of messages, along with personal information of any Active Directory user (Fig. 12.):
Editor - preview
Fig. 12. Preview of the final message with signature.
  • Guidelines - this option is marked by default and shows the borders and additional options of the message composition (Fig. 13.):
Editor-guidelinesON
Fig. 13. Show guidelines button marked.

Once unmarked, all the borders and additional options will disappear from the composition (Fig. 14.).

Editor-guidelinesOFF
Fig. 14. Show guidelines button unmarked.

Font

This section (Fig. 15.) allows you to format the text by changing font type, size, foreground and background color etc.

Editor-Toolbar__FontSection
Fig. 15. The Font section in the toolbar.

Tip

If you need to add superscript (e.g. 18th) or subscript (e.g. X1), you can use sup and sub HTML tags.

Paragraph

Within this section (Fig. 16.) you can decide about the layout of the entered content e.g. add bullet points, justify text, decide about spacing etc.

Editor-Toolbar__ParagraphSection
Fig. 16. The Paragraph section in the toolbar.
To change more advanced aspects, right click the paragraph and from the context menu select Paragraph properties. The following windows enables you to set the alignment, indentation and the spacing (Fig. 17.).
 
Editor-Toolbar_ParagraphProps
Fig. 17. The Paragraph properties window.

Tip

It is a good practice to always set the spacing for all paragraphs. Without setting these options, depending on which particular e-mail application is used, the paragraphs may be displayed with different spacing (e.g. in Microsoft Outlook) or even without any spacing (e.g. Outlook Web Access). 

Insert

This section (Fig. 18.) is used to insert objects into the content of a signature / disclaimer.

Editor-Toolbar__InsertSection
Fig. 18. The Insert section in the toolbar.

The options in this section let you insert the following items:

  • Hyperlink - via this button you can insert hyperlinks to the content of a signature / disclaimer. Additionally, this feature enables adding the display text and tooltip to selected URL addresses via its configuration window (Fig. 19.).
Editor-Hyperlink_Editor
Fig. 19. The hyperlink editor.
  • Picture - once you click this button, the Insert picture editor will open allowing to choose a picture either from the local library or the online resource. Additionally, you will be able to define the size of pictures (either with pixels or percent; also you might provide just one dimension, so the second one will be calculated respectively to keep the aspect ratio) (Fig. 20.):
Editor - pictrue
Fig. 20. Insert picture options.

Please study the table below to learn differences between online and local (embedded) images:

Online images
Downloaded directly from server
Embedded images
Included in every message
Advantages
  • You can track who received your messages by analyzing web traffic
  • Images can be changed in existing signatures, without touching the Administration Panel
  • Size of final message is always acceptable
  • Recipients never get prompted for downloading images
  • Images are immediately visible in a message
  • You can be sure that the message will look properly, even during a server failure
Disadvantages
  • Recipients are often asked to download remote resources
  • Some filters may recognize your messages as SPAM
  • In the case of server failure or weak Internet connection your images will not be displayed
  • Size of a final message might be too large
  • You cannot update images in messages that were sent
  • Social link - this function allows you to create a special kind of a hyperlink, which includes a label as well as a related image, and targets to one of social media networks (Fig. 21.). The URL of target is fully configurable and moreover may contain users' personal information (placeholders), thus the final link might refer to a particular employee's social profile. If you are about to add a link to social network like Facebook or Google+, please keep in mind, that you should put the username in the URL (it must not be the e-mail address). Mostly, this identifier can be obtained by opening the main profile page of the user. 
Editor - social link
Fig. 21. Insert social link options.
  • Table - this feature enables complex definition of tables. You will be able to add a table directly to the composition and define its size, layout and borders and furthermore, obtain a consistent appearance of the signature in various mail clients (Fig. 22.):
Editor-Insert_Table
Fig. 22. Adding a table.

Once the table is added you can modify its properties via the context menu. Just right-click on the chosen cell (Fig. 23.):

Editor-Table_Properties
Fig. 23. Tables' properties context menu.

For example, you can change the properties of:

  • Cell
Editor - cell properties
Fig. 24. Cell's properties.
  • Cell borders
Editor - cell borders
Fig. 25. Cell's borders.
  • Column
Editor - column properties
Fig. 26. Column's properties.
  • Row
Editor - row properties
Fig. 27. Row's properties.
  • Table itself
Editor - table properties
Fig. 28. Table's properties.
  • Table borders
Editor - table borders
Fig. 29. Table's borders
Size of particular rows and columns may be easily modified by simply dragging the borders using the mouse. In the context menu you may find also additional options to merge and split up the table cells as well.
 
  • Placeholder - this feature (Fig. 30.) enables adding Active Directory variables directly into the signature / disclaimer. Once you choose the particular placeholder, it will reserve a place within a signature / disclaimer template and fill it with a value specified in the attributes of the particular user's account in the Active Directory database after processing by the program.
Editor-Placeholder_Button
Fig. 30. Choosing placeholders to be inserted into the signature / disclaimer template.

To add a placeholder, you can either use the Placeholder button and choose one from the context menu or type it manually (in both available View types). Note that if you choose to type a placeholder manually, you must embrace it with {} brackets. Furthermore, once you insert the placeholder into the template, you will be able to adjust its properties by right-clicking the particular placeholder (Fig. 31.).

Editor-Placeholder_Props
Fig. 31. Opening the placeholder's properties.

Important

You cannot manually insert (by typing or copying) placeholders that require additional configuration in their properties, as they will not be recognized as the proper placeholders yet treated as the standard text. Therefore, you need to add them via the Placeholder button. However, once added, these placeholders are numbered so if you insert them and then delete, you will be able to type them manually as the Editor stores the action of adding the particular placeholders into the template based on their insertion order, e.g. you insert {Rotating image} placeholder into the template. In the Editor it looks like this: {Rotating image 1}. Next, you decide to delete it. After that, you change your mind and want to add it once again so you type it manually. As the program recognizes that this particular placeholder has already been used, it will be treated as the proper placeholder although inserted manually. On the other hand, any following placeholders of the same type will have to be inserted via the placeholder button, as their number will be different from the one previously used, e.g. {Rotating image 2}. The list below, shows the placeholders that cannot be inserted manually into the signature / disclaimer template:

  • Custom placeholders
  • {Rotating image}
  • {Rotating text}
  • {Message Date}
  • {Counter}
  • {Current Date/Time}
  • {QR Code image}

Tip

Apart from using the predefined set of placeholders, you may also use your own ones prior to defining them in the Custom placeholders section in Settings

Below is the table containing the list of all placeholders available in the program. Therefore, the table shows placeholders in terms of their type and availability in the particular message template formats.

Placeholder type Placeholder name Template format
Message sender {City} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Company} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Country} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Department} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Description} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Display name} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Email} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Email as link} HTML
{Fax} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{First name} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Home phone} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Initials} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{IP phone} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Last name} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Mobile} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Notes} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Office} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{P.O. Box} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Pager} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Phone} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Photo}* HTML
{Postal code} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{State} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Street} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Title} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Web page} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Web page as link}** HTML
{ExchAttr1} - {ExchAttr15} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
Custom placeholders HTML / RTF / Plain Text
Dynamic content {Rotating image}*** HTML / RTF
{Rotating text}*** HTML / RTF / Plain Text
Message properties {Recipient Address} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Message Subject} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Sending Server} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Message ID} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Message Date}**** HTML / RTF / Plain Text
Counters {Counter} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{Unique counter} HTML / RTF / Plain Text
Other {Current Date/Time}**** HTML / RTF / Plain Text
{QR Code image}***** HTML

*The {Photo} placeholder is used by the program to pull your users photos from Active Directory and insert them into emails. This placeholder also lets you customize the dimensions of AD photos. Once you add it in the editor, you can decide to insert photos in (Fig. 32.):

  • Original dimensions
  • Adjust the dimensions to a desirable size in pixels.

While adjusting the photo, either use one dimension (in such a way the program will scale the photo keeping the aspect ratio) or enter both dimensions (the program will scale the photo to selected values).

ER - Photo placeholder.
Fig. 32. Photo placeholder's configuration window.

** The {Web page as link} placeholder allows you to pull webpage address from your Active Directory and insert it as a valid hyperlink. The Web Address should be preceded by a proper protocol definition (like HTTP or HTTPS). In the case this is missing, the program will automatically append the HTTP protocol at the very beginning of the link.

***The {Rotating text} and {Rotating image} placeholders are used to include text or graphic from a desired folder. The content is changed in a random or sequential mode (depending on how you configured it), every time when a message is going through Exchange Server. To configure the placeholder, simply right click it and select Properties. There you can define the FolderPath from where the text / images should be pulled and the WorkingMode. To limit what extensions of files should be included in the process, use the FileMask. Moreover, in the case of {Rotating text}, you can also set the Formatting field to make the text e.g. uppercase or lowercase.

Exchange Rules - Rotating image
Fig. 33. The {Rotating image} configuration window.

**** You can customize the format of date and time in many different ways. For more information, please consult this article.

*****Once you choose to insert {QR Code image} placeholder, its configuration window will display (Fig. 34.). Thanks to this option, you will be able to generate QR code image directly within the program containing bare text value or inserting Active Directory variables.

Editor-QRCode
Fig. 34. QR Code placeholder's configuration window.

QR code image configuration window is divided into four sections:

  • Size of image - here you define the actual size of an image in pixels; this section additionally shows how many chars the image may contain.
  • Insert placeholder - instead of typing the placeholder manually, you can use this button to automatically insert desirable placeholder by choosing it from the provided list.
  • Text area - here you can type the text value that will be used to generate the image. Note if you automatically insert placeholders using the Insert placeholder button, they will also appear within this area. Furthermore, each placeholder's properties may be changed here by right-clicking it and choosing Placeholder properties. Additionally, once you save changes and open up the created image, the properties of a placeholder will be available only via Properties button.
  • Preview - shows how your QR code image will look like.

As some users may not have the attributes of the particular dynamic fields filled in Active Directory, it's worth to use the {rt} Remove Text tag to avoid adding the empty dynamic field to signatures / disclaimers (Fig. 35.).

Editor-RT_Tag
Fig. 35. Choosing Remove Text Tag.

Thanks to this solution, if such user's mail is processed by the program, the empty dynamic field will be removed along the empty line from the signature / disclaimer keeping the professional look of the sent mail. If you want to remove the specific empty dynamic fields from the signatures/disclaimers, embrace the chosen dynamic field with Remove Text Tags. Note that if you insert RT Tags at the beginning and at the end of the same row, the empty dynamic field will be removed but the empty space will remain. The example below shows how to insert the RT Tag to have the empty line removed along the dynamic content:

  • Regards,
    {First name} {Last name}
    {Company} {Department}
    Phone: {Phone}
    {RT} Mobile: {Mobile}
    {\RT} Email: {Email}
  • Regards,
    {First name} {Last name}
    {Company} {Department}
    Phone: {Phone}
    {RT} Mobile: [Mobile]{\RT}
    Email: {Email}

Email layout

The email layout pane is used to define the actual place where the header, disclaimer / signature or side banners will be added within the defined insert disclaimer / signature action (Fig. 36.).

Editor-LayoutOptions
Fig. 36. Email layout options in HTML format.

Info

Please note that the layout options are limited to the chosen format of the content. Therefore, side banners are available in HTML format only.

To add a layout, click its section within the toolbar. On the other hand, to remove a chosen layout unclick it in the toolbar or hit the X button in its right upper corner.

Editing/creating the content of signatures/disclaimers

Within each layout type you can compose the actual appearance and content of the signature / disclaimer and define options available in the toolbar for the chosen layout types.

Depending on the layout section chosen in the Email layout within the toolbar, you can also make use of the additional options. These options are available once hitting the ER - toothed gear button located in the right upper corner of each layout type (Fig. 37.).

Editor-LayoutAdditionalOptions
Fig. 37. Additional options for particular layout sections.

The additional options enable to define what action should be taken once the header / disclaimer / banner is already found in the message within the conversation (Fig. 38.). For Header, Disclaimer and Side Banners you may decide to:

  • Add new one - once previously added header / disclaimer / banner is found within a message in conversation, it will be added once again.
  • Remove old one - once previously added header / disclaimer / banner is found within a message in the conversation, the program will remove it and stamp the message with a new one (this option is unavailable with RTF format).
ER - Add/remove old signatures.
Fig. 38. Add/remove old banners from a message in the conversation.

As far as the Disclaimers and Headers are concerned, besides the above-mentioned options you may also define a place where they will be inserted within the conversation (Fig. 39.):

  • Right under the original reply message - the header or disclaimer will be added below the latest response in the conversation.
  • At the very bottom of the conversation - the header or disclaimer will be added  below all previous messages at the very end of the conversation.
ER - Defining a place for signature.
Fig. 39. Defining a place where a signature/disclaimer will be added within a conversation.

Another feature available for headers and signatures is the possibility to widen (Fig. 40.) or narrow (Fig. 41.) them if necessary. To do that, click the arrow ER - arrow button. buttons located on both sides of headers and signatures:

Editor-HeaderSignatureWiden
Fig. 40. Header and signature widen.
Editor-HeaderSignatureNarrowed
Fig. 41. Header and signature narrowed.

Additionally, while configuring signature you may change it into disclaimer (Fig. 42.) and the other way round (Fig. 43.) at any point using ER - change signature/disclaimer button button:

Editor-SignDisclSwitch
Fig. 42. Changing signature into disclaimer.
Editor-DisclSignSwitch
Fig. 43. Changing disclaimer into signature.

See next

Template library - this article describes the library that includes the ready-made signature / disclaimer templates that may be used straightaway instead of creating new templates from scratch.

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