Add graphics (e.g. company logo & user photos from AD) to signatures

CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro allows you to insert various graphics into your disclaimers and signatures, including the logo of your company, marketing banners or even high-resolution user photos. Furthermore, thanks to the Force e-mail format functionality, your images will be included in the final message, no matter from which device the email is sent. This article is divided into several sections. Use the links below to find out more.

Overview: linked and embedded images

Graphics may be included either by targeting the remote resources on the Internet or as hidden attachments. The first option allows you to change images without using the Administration Panel (by replacing the remote resources), but your recipients may be prompted to download external content. In the table below you can find more information about the pros and cons of online and embedded images.

Online images
Downloaded directly from server
Embedded images
Included in every message
  • You can track who received your messages by analyzing web traffic
  • Images can be changed in existing signatures, without the need to use the Administration Panel
  • The size of the final message is always acceptable
  • Recipients are never prompted to download images
  • Images are immediately visible in a message
  • You can be sure that a message will look properly, even during a server failure
  • Recipients are often asked to download remote resources
  • Some filters may recognize your messages as SPAM
  • In the case of a server failure or weak Internet connection your images will not be displayed
  • The size of the final message might be too large
  • You cannot update images in messages that were sent

Configuring the Force email format action

  1. First, configure a new rule with the Insert signature or Insert disclaimer action.
  2. You can set conditions to decide which messages should be stamped with the signature.
  3. On the Actions tab insert the Force email format action and move it to the top of the list.


    The Force email format action enables you to convert all plain text messages (most often sent by mobile devices) to the HTML format. As the action is located at the top, it will be executed prior to Insert signatureInsert disclaimer or any further actions. Consequently, all signatures will be inserted in the HTML format.

  4. Finally, select the Insert signature or Insert disclaimer action and click Edit... to open the Editor.

Inserting graphics (e.g. a company logo)

On the top ribbon of the Editor you can find the Picture button, located in the Insert section (Fig. 1.). Click it.

Fig. 1. The Insert picture button.

The Insert picture window (Fig. 2.) allows you to choose the image from the following two locations:

  • internal (Local picture) - this option is recommended as images are always embedded in the final messages, so your recipients can easily view them without being prompted to download remote resources. However, adding multiple large images may result in an enormous size of the final message.
  • external (Online picture) - this option could be useful either if you want to change the media without entering the Administration Panel or to limit the size of your messages. However, various mail clients may ask the recipients to download external images or might even block a message.
Exchange Rules Pro - Insert picture window
Fig. 2. The Insert picture window.

The size section enables you to scale the image. If you want to scale the picture keeping the aspect ratio, provide only one dimension - the other one will be calculated automatically preserving the proper aspect ratio.


The PNG format of images is the most recommended one, as it offers professional appearance with high compression ratio and compatibility between various platforms.

To keep the text of your signature in line with the logo file, you can use the Table functionality. To do so, insert a table with e.g. one row and two columns and place the image and the rest of the content in separate cells (Fig. 3.).

Fig. 3. A signature containing a logo and other content inside separate cells.

Inserting user photos from Active Directory

One of the most important components of any signature is a high-resolution photo of the sender. CodeTwo Exchange Rules Pro allows you to insert users' pictures directly from your Active Directory.


You can easily upload your photos to Active Directory using our freeware application, CodeTwo Active Directory Photos. The program allows you to set high-resolution photos with just a few clicks. Moreover, you can enrich your experience while using other applications (like Microsoft Lync).

In order to insert a user photo, you may use the {Photo} placeholder available on the top ribbon of the Editor, under the Placeholder, Message sender information menu (Fig. 4.). You can keep the original dimensions of the photo or adjust them to fit the rest of your signature.

Fig. 4. Inserting the {Photo} placeholder into a signature.

Thanks to that, all messages stamped with your signature will contain the sender's photo in the location of the {Photo} placeholder. You can easily check how the final message will appear using the Preview feature available on the View ribbon inside the Editor (Fig. 5.).

Editor - Preview Signature with Photo
Fig. 5. Preview of the signature with a user photo.

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