New Feature: Add Images to Gmail Signatures with Google Drive

by Denise Hazime on January 8, 2015

Email signatures are necessary for your organization's brand identity, and graphics are a big part of making them look professional. Google has just released a new feature that allows you to add images to Gmail signatures directly from Google Drive.

Up until now, the only way to add an image to your Gmail signature, such as a company logo, was to use a link to the image which was usually uploaded to your website. This involved a bit more work for users than they were used to; most email clients allow you to easily add an image to an email signature. If the logo or desired image didn't already exist in the size that you wanted it for an email signature, web developers and graphic designers would have to get involved in the process.

Google has made this whole operation much easier by allowing you to use images from Google Drive for your Gmail signature. The new feature is accessible to anyone using Gmail. The process is very simple - upload the desired image to your Google Drive and follow the steps below to add it to your email signature.

Make sure that you aren't on 'Plain Text Mode' in your compose window or you won't have email signature formatting options available to you. To turn it off, hit your 'Compose' button and click on the arrow in the bottom right-hand corner. Once it's off, go back to your 'Settings' screen and you'll see your formatting options.

Once you've selected your images, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the settings page and hit 'Save Changes' the pictures are not automatically uploaded and this step is necessary.

To remove an unwanted image, load up your General Settings page, scroll down to the Email Signature box, and select the image. You will see the option to remove the image.

Where applicable, administrators need to enable external sharing of Drive files in order for this option to appear in Gmail where permissions are locked down. You can do this by selecting DriveSharing settings, Sharing options.

Multiple images can be added in this fashion, making it simple to include social networking icons, company logos, and more in your email signature.

If your organization just has the free version of Google Apps, signatures may not look uniform as each user has to create their own signature. You can create automatic, uniform company signatures with Google Apps for Work and Google Apps for Education and Business, although both methods do not yet support the Google Drive integration released for individual users.

Google Apps for Education and Business - Email Settings API

If your organization is running Google Apps for Education and Business, administrators can use the Email Settings API to update signatures for multiple users. This approach requires some XML coding and a guide to updating signatures is available here.

Google Apps for Work - Append Footer Setting

Google Apps for Work administrators can also use the Email Settings API as referenced above, but can also use the Append Footer Setting to create uniform signatures for the organization. This approach does not require any coding - it does require users to not choose the Plain Text option for sending emails that include graphics in the signatures.

If you are using Google Apps for Work, third-party email clients such as Outlook and Apple Mail will use the signature footer on outgoing emails, as long as users do not select plain text formatting.

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