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I use email for various purposes and depending on the role I’m in I would like to include contact information and specific links. Gmail has a built-in signature feature, but it only supports one signature per account. I don’t want to set up different accounts for each role I have, so I had to get creative.

There are browser specific plug-ins available that solve this problem. However these solutions limit users to one browser and one machine – signatures will not be available on every computer used.

If you have already enabled the “Canned Responses” feature in the labs, then the solution may be obvious. For those who have not stumbled across the feature, allow me to walk you through it:

Enable the Feature

There are many experimental features available to Gmail users. Go into settings and click on the Labs tab. Scroll down to Canned Responses and enable it. It’s that simple; the Canned Responses tool will now be seen just below the subject box when composing an email.

Create Signatures

1. Open a new email and create a signature using text, images, or hyperlinks.

2. Click on the Canned Responses tool and select new canned response from the drop down menu. It will prompt for a name.

3. Repeat this process for each separate signature needed.

Using Signatures

When composing an email simply click Canned Responses and select the name of the signature needed from the “insert” section of the drop down menu. Viola!

These signatures will be available on any computer that supports Gmail and labs.

How it Works

The canned responses are actually drafts of new emails. They will be returned from a search of Gmail as being in the Drafts label. Gmail knows to ignore them otherwise and they will not appear under the Drafts label if selected.

The Downside

There is no mobile support of this experimental feature.  Not only are the Canned Responses not available when composing an email in iOS or Android, but they will appear under the Drafts label on a mobile device.  Sometimes they appear to be blank drafts – and if they are deleted the signatures will be lost even on computers that do support Canned Responses.


Hopefully Google will incorporate the ability to use multiple signatures from one account in a future update of Gmail; until then I find this to be an adequate solution.  Give it a try and let us know in the comments how well it works for you.

E.B. Dean, AKA "Andy," is a stay-at-home father, blogger, freelance writer, graphic designer, photographer, and training coordinator for 12-step addiction recovery. He makes no apologies for his choice of Android powered tech. Andy currently lives near Atlanta, Georgia. [Learn More]

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