Email Signatures


How to dress up
your Email page
by using the
Signature Box

Adding colors
Adding an image
Adding music or sounds



To change the appearance of your Webtv Email page you first need to find your Signature Box.
From your Mail List, click on Settings at the top of the list, then click on Signature on the next page.
A textarea box will appear on your screen where you enter your html codes. When you finish your entries click DONE at the bottom of the page, then return to your Mail List.

Go to your Write a Message page to view your signature. To make changes in your codes use your Recent button and click on the Signature Box there. When you click DONE at the bottom you will automatically go back to your Write a Message page. You won't see any change at this point..... YOU HAVE TO RELOAD THE PAGE to see the changes.


If you would prefer not to write your own html codes you can get a very nice premade signature at

Pandy8's Assorted Email Sigs

All you have to do is copy and paste the codes into your signature box.


The html codes for your signature are nearly the same as for a webpage so I won't repeat them here (see HTML for Webpages). The only difference is in your Email Signature you wont be using the <HEAD> or <TITLE> tags.
To just change the color of your background and text, your codes would be as simple as this:

<HTML>
<BODY BGCOLOR="BLACK" TEXT="WHITE">
</BODY>
</HTML>

This code will give you a black background and white text.


You can also use an image background by adding the BACKGROUND= element to the BODY tag.

<HTML>
<BODY BACKGROUND="image_url.gif" BGCOLOR="BLACK" TEXT="WHITE">
</BODY>
</HTML>

Replace the words - image_url.gif - with the URL of the background you want on your page.

This code will repeat the image you choose to cover the background of your email page.

Did you notice that I have both BGCOLOR and BACKGROUND in the <BODY> tag?
There is a reason for this even though the BACKGROUND will cover up the BGCOLOR. When writing a message, the background image will not appear where you type in the header and message text. This area will be the color of your BGCOLOR. The default colors for Webtv is a dark blue background with lite blue text so your background color will be dark blue without the BGCOLOR element in your body tag. If you are using a lite colored background image with dark text you may not be able to see what you are typing in this dark colored area. Select a bgcolor that most closely matches the color of your image background so that this textarea blends into your background and you can see what you type. Also remember to choose contrasting colors for your background and text to make your page easy to read.

Be sure to close any tags you have left open such as the <HTML> and the <BODY> tags at the bottom of your signature codes by adding a slash ( / ) just inside the tag. Html tags will usually be closed in the reverse order in which they are opened. </BODY> </HTML> should be the last html tags in your signature and in that order.


The rest of your signature is written just like a webpage and all codes will go between the opening <BODY> tag and the closing </BODY> tag. Anything you put here will appear on your email page below your message. You can write text that you want to appear on every email you send and you can use images, graphics and links.


ADDING AN IMAGE

NOTICE: Due to the increasing internet problems caused by "bandwidth and file theft" in the remote loading of images and music to MSN-TV signatures, I will no longer offer any personalized help with these practices beyond what appears on this page. If you use images or sound in your signature it must be linked to your own homepage or website files. Linking to to files on other sites amounts to nothing less than stealing from site owners and servers.

When adding an image to your signature you will probably want to center it on the page. This is done by using a <center> tag. This also requires using a </center> tag at the end of the area to be centered.

The image tag does not require a closing tag and looks like this:

<img src="http://www.techniguy.com/zone/example.gif">

When added to the signature, the codes will look like this:

<HTML>
<BODY BACKGROUND="image_url.gif" BGCOLOR="BLACK" TEXT="WHITE">
<center>
<img src="http://www.techniguy.com/zone/example.gif">
</center>
</BODY>
</HTML>

Replace the techniguy URL with the URL of the image you want on your page.

Don't forget to use the quote marks around the URL (web address) of the image.


ADDING MUSIC OR SOUND

NOTICE: Due to the increasing internet problems caused by "bandwidth and file theft" in the remote loading of images and music to MSN-TV signatures, I will no longer offer any personalized help with these practices beyond what appears on this page. If you use images or sound in your signature it must be linked to your own homepage or website files. Linking to to files on other sites amounts to nothing less than stealing from site owners and servers.

The MSN-TV browser will support both the <bgsound> and the <embed> tags for sound files and neither tag requires a closing tag. Both tags are written about the same so I will just use the embed tag in this example. The tag looks like this:

<embed src="http://www.techniguy.com/zone/annoying.midi">

The placement of the tag can be anywhere between the <html> and </html> tags just as long as it doesn't break into another tag. A favorite place for this tag would be right after the opening body tag, or just before the closing body or html tag. Added to the signature, the codes will look like this:

<HTML>
<BODY BACKGROUND="image_url.gif" BGCOLOR="BLACK" TEXT="WHITE">
<center>
<img src="http://www.techniguy.com/zone/example.gif">
</center>
<embed src="http://www.techniguy.com/zone/annoying.midi">
</BODY>
</HTML>

Replace the techniguy URL with the URL of the sound file you want on your page.

If adding sound to a premade signature like those found at PANDORASBOX8 ASSORTED EMAIL SIGS go to your signature box and follow the above instructions.


ABOUT USING IMAGES in your Email.....

There are a few things you should be aware of before putting image and sound tags in your email signature. The first thing is that they will slow down the loading of your messages for anyone recieving email from you. The more images you use the longer the page will take to load. A signature heavy with graphics will also cause delays in typing and navagation on the page and and it will seem slow and slugish. This is also true of your background image. Background images should have a file size of no more than about 10 Kb or they will cause slowing of you email page. Marquees will have the same slowing effect as images in your Email signature but to an even larger extent. Limit marquees to no more than one. Still GIF images are usually not too bad but the animated GIFs can be a real problem for page loading and navigaton. Again, check the file size and use them sparingly.

The other thing is the problem with REMOTE LOADING. In order to use an image or sound in your email signature it has to be "hot linked" to the image or sound file on someones website. This means that you will be stealing bandwidth from that server everytime your email page is loaded by you or anyone else. This is against the Terms of Service on most servers, and some have even blocked these files from being remote loaded. The same thing applies to sound files such as midies. RAM (Real Audio) files are also available on the web but when used in email signatures, will cause some older Classic boxes to crash when they load. Personally, I prefer not to use anything in my signature that has to be remote loaded.
If you choose to remote load images or audio files to your email page it should be done only from your own homepage files unless the site approves of your linking to their files. In most cases the files you choose to use should be transloaded to your own site directory. Linking to image and audio files may, and has resulted in site owners loosing their sites.

When building your email signature remember that email is for messages. Try to be considerate of your friends and don't keep them waiting too long for your page to load if you want them to read your messages.

If you have any questions or if I've overlooked something here feel free to click the HELP button at the top of the page and send me a note. Have fun with your email signature but please don't use it for a webpage. .



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1999/2000 All rights reserved.