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Disclaimer text being used as signature

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Disclaimer text being used as signature - 23.Feb.2012 8:00:02 AM   
julianking

 

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Joined: 28.Dec.2010
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I've been trying for awhile now to get some automated signatures into our email system. The method I've been trying to use has been well documented over the internet. Using transport rules in order to append a formatted disclaimer, being used as a signature.

The problem which I'm sure many of you know is that the default setting for the transport rule, will append the signature to the end of every reply, so you'll have this stack of signatures if you have replied a bunch of times, which is not ideal.

Has anyone come up with a way outside of the 3rd party stuff out there, because I've seen some of that and I'd just rather prefer not to go that route, because I don't really have a business case to do this outside of reducing the number of support calls I get that someone needs their signature fixed or whatever it may be. Is there any way to drop the disclaimer text into the reply in line rather than at the end of the message?
Post #: 1
RE: Disclaimer text being used as signature - 23.Feb.2012 8:19:47 AM   
zbnet

 

Posts: 1019
Joined: 25.Sep.2003
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
Not exactly what you asked for, but there is a solution of sorts. Add an exception to the transport rule, don't add the disclaimer text when there is already some text (from the disclaimer) already present in the message. That way, just the original disclaimer gets added, and if there is a ping-pong of email out and back in again just one dislaimer gets added to the thread (this is fine for legal reasons).

You can achieve a similar effect by having the disclaimer rule add a custom header as well as the disclaimer text, and make the rule exception for when the custom header is present. This is slightly less relaible as you have no juristiction on whether external mail systems strip your header - they shoulnd't, but as you have no control over them you can't enforce it.

There's nothing to stop you making a rule that uses both appraches (the transport rules support OR) - belt and braces!

(in reply to julianking)
Post #: 2
RE: Disclaimer text being used as signature - 23.Feb.2012 8:27:27 AM   
mark@mvps.org

 

Posts: 6811
Joined: 9.Jun.2004
From: Philadelphia PA
Status: offline
You are going to kick yourself.....

All you do is to put an exception in. You will have a combination of words on that signature/disclaimer that is unique or at least very unlikely to appear in the normal course of email. Copy that text and paste it in as an exception.

What will happen is that the rule will look at the message before it applies the disclaimer and it will find the text string that you have entered as the exception. Then it will skip to the next message.

_____________________________

Mark Arnold (Exchange MVP)
List Moderator

(in reply to julianking)
Post #: 3
RE: Disclaimer text being used as signature - 23.Feb.2012 9:28:00 AM   
julianking

 

Posts: 10
Joined: 28.Dec.2010
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I actually thought about that, but it was brought up that say we have 2 employees of the same department with the same disclaimer and there's some sort of hand-off with a client. Since that disclaimer text already exists, the contact information since I want to use this as siganture text, wouldn't ever be displayed by any additional employees within the company.

I was also trying to make an exception utilizing the same wildcards which would have worked, but apparently you can't use wildcard values in the exception like you can in the disclaimer text.

Here's what I'm attempting to use:

<html>
<body>
<table>
<tr>
<td align="left"><img alt="company URL" src="http://../CompanyLogo.png">
</td>
<td align="left">
<div style="font-size:11pt; color:#002F5F; font-family: Arial,sans-serif;">
%%displayname%% | %%title%% </br>
%%company%% | company URL</br>
%%PhoneNumber%% | %%Email%%</br>
</div>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
</table>
<div style="font-size:11pt; color:#BFBFBF; font-family: Arial,sans-serif;">
Disclaimer text, I'm not going to paste the entire block in here, to keep the text to a mininmum in here.
</div>
</body>
</html>

I took out some of the company specific stuff and replaced it with generalizations. In case you're wondering what sort of variable company URL is.

What I thought I would do is use an exception when the subject or message body contains something like %%displayname%% | %%title%%. But like I said it doesn't seem that I can use those wildcards as exceptions.

(in reply to mark@mvps.org)
Post #: 4
RE: Disclaimer text being used as signature - 23.Feb.2012 9:30:40 AM   
julianking

 

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Joined: 28.Dec.2010
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Also the exceptions would be a partial fix. Still retaining a signature in-line would be preferable.

(in reply to julianking)
Post #: 5
RE: Disclaimer text being used as signature - 23.Feb.2012 10:30:17 AM   
mark@mvps.org

 

Posts: 6811
Joined: 9.Jun.2004
From: Philadelphia PA
Status: offline
That's not Exchange's problem. All Exchange can do is to look at the whole body and search for that string of text before deciding whether to append or not. If you want to insert text right below each message end you need a non-Exchange solution.
Remember that body text is just that once a message has been sent and/or replied to. Exchange doesn't look into the message and cannot understand where your message ended, where the reply started and ended and where the reply to the reply etc. etc.

_____________________________

Mark Arnold (Exchange MVP)
List Moderator

(in reply to julianking)
Post #: 6
RE: Disclaimer text being used as signature - 23.Feb.2012 10:33:01 AM   
zbnet

 

Posts: 1019
Joined: 25.Sep.2003
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
There are a number of third-party products that implement specilised disclaimers in Exchange - there is a list here: http://www.msexchange.org/software/disclaimers/

Maybe one of those does what you want?

(in reply to mark@mvps.org)
Post #: 7
RE: Disclaimer text being used as signature - 23.Feb.2012 10:37:37 AM   
mark@mvps.org

 

Posts: 6811
Joined: 9.Jun.2004
From: Philadelphia PA
Status: offline
I don't know anyone who likes to have these autodefined signatures. Users like to have their own and even if there is some automatic thing that's appended after sending users still apply their own before sending.
It's solving a problem that doesn't exist. In fact, it's actually making a problem for no good cause.
My advice is not to bother. Apply a normal disclaimer message and maybe add in various personalized details but applying a user specific message in the way that's been pasted in is not something I would ever suggest a customer did.

_____________________________

Mark Arnold (Exchange MVP)
List Moderator

(in reply to zbnet)
Post #: 8
RE: Disclaimer text being used as signature - 23.Feb.2012 10:45:33 AM   
julianking

 

Posts: 10
Joined: 28.Dec.2010
Status: offline
Well, our company's Marketing department are Nazi's. We already use a script that used to be part of our logon script before it started causing problems.

It basically copies 3 separate files, 1 html, 1 rich text and one plain text into the from a network share into the signature storage location of Outlook. After the files are copied a powershell script runs that fills in all of the wild cards.

I mean it's a setup that currently works fine. The problem with doing it at the client level is we can't have it update the signature on logon. When the script runs, it has to open an instance of Outlook and/or Word in the background to generate the signature. The problem is we have some software that uses Office plug-ins (Lacerte and DMS by Intuit) that throw Normal.dot problem messages at the user since they both run at the same time. If I could somehow delay the plug-ins loading, that would fix the issue is my guess. But we still would have the problem of the way our setup currently works I could also see breaking easily down the road.

(in reply to mark@mvps.org)
Post #: 9
RE: Disclaimer text being used as signature - 23.Feb.2012 10:49:05 AM   
julianking

 

Posts: 10
Joined: 28.Dec.2010
Status: offline
Here is our powershell script we currently use to do signature generation.

###########################################################################"
# Adapted from:
# NAME: Set-OutlookSignature.ps1
# AUTHOR: Jan Egil Ring
#
###########################################################################"

#Custom variables
$CompanyName = 'Your Company Name'
$DomainName = 'Your Domain Name'
$SigVersion = '2.1' #When the version number are updated the local signature are re-created
$SigSource = "\\$DomainName\netlogon\sig_files\$CompanyName"
$ForceSignatureNew = '1' #When the signature are forced the signature are enforced as default signature for new messages the next time the script runs. 0 = no force, 1 = force
$ForceSignatureReplyForward = '1' #When the signature are forced the signature are enforced as default signature for reply/forward messages the next time the script runs. 0 = no force, 1 = force

#Environment variables
$AppData=(Get-Item env:appdata).value
$SigPath = '\Microsoft\Signatures'
$LocalSignaturePath = $AppData+$SigPath

#Get Active Directory information for current user
$UserName = $env:username
$Filter = "(&(objectCategory=User)(samAccountName=$UserName))"
$Searcher = New-Object System.DirectoryServices.DirectorySearcher
$Searcher.Filter = $Filter
$ADUserPath = $Searcher.FindOne()
$ADUser = $ADUserPath.GetDirectoryEntry()
$ADDisplayName = $ADUser.DisplayName
$ADEmailAddress = $ADUser.mail
$ADTitle = $ADUser.title
$ADTelePhoneNumber = $ADUser.TelephoneNumber
$ADDepartment = $ADUser.Department
$SubCompany = "Sub Company"


$Disclaimer1Text = " "
$Disclaimer2Text = "Disclaimer"

switch ($ADDepartment)
{
"Market Advisory"
{
$Disclaimer1Text = "Disclaimer"
$SubCompany = "Sub Company"

}
"Finance"
{
$Disclaimer1Text = "IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: The tax advice contained in this communication (including attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and that it cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed."
}
default
{
$Disclaimer1Text = " "
}
}



#Setting registry information for the current user
$CompanyRegPath = "HKCU:\Software\"+$CompanyName

if (Test-Path $CompanyRegPath)
{}
else
{New-Item -path "HKCU:\Software" -name $CompanyName}

if (Test-Path $CompanyRegPath'\Outlook Signature Settings')
{}
else
{New-Item -path $CompanyRegPath -name "Outlook Signature Settings"}

$ForcedSignatureNew = (Get-ItemProperty $CompanyRegPath'\Outlook Signature Settings').ForcedSignatureNew
$ForcedSignatureReplyForward = (Get-ItemProperty $CompanyRegPath'\Outlook Signature Settings').ForcedSignatureReplyForward
$SignatureVersion = (Get-ItemProperty $CompanyRegPath'\Outlook Signature Settings').SignatureVersion
Set-ItemProperty $CompanyRegPath'\Outlook Signature Settings' -name SignatureSourceFiles -Value $SigSource
$SignatureSourceFiles = (Get-ItemProperty $CompanyRegPath'\Outlook Signature Settings').SignatureSourceFiles


#Forcing signature for new messages if enabled
if ($ForcedSignatureNew -eq '1')
{
#Set company signature as default for New messages
$MSWord = New-Object -com word.application
$EmailOptions = $MSWord.EmailOptions
$EmailSignature = $EmailOptions.EmailSignature
$EmailSignatureEntries = $EmailSignature.EmailSignatureEntries
$EmailSignature.NewMessageSignature=$CompanyName
$MSWord.Quit()
}

#Forcing signature for reply/forward messages if enabled
if ($ForcedSignatureReplyForward -eq '1')
{
#Set company signature as default for Reply/Forward messages
$MSWord = New-Object -com word.application
$EmailOptions = $MSWord.EmailOptions
$EmailSignature = $EmailOptions.EmailSignature
$EmailSignatureEntries = $EmailSignature.EmailSignatureEntries
$EmailSignature.ReplyMessageSignature=$CompanyName
$MSWord.Quit()
}

#Copying signature sourcefiles and creating signature if signature-version are different from local version
#if ($SignatureVersion -eq $SigVersion){}
#else
#{
#Copy signature templates from domain to local Signature-folder
if (!(Test-Path -path $LocalSignaturePath))
{
New-Item $LocalSignaturePath -type directory
}
Copy-Item "$SignatureSourceFiles\*" $LocalSignaturePath -Recurse -Force


(Get-Content $LocalSignaturePath'\'$CompanyName'.rtf') | ForEach-Object {$_ -replace "DisplayName", $ADDisplayName -replace "Title", $ADTitle -replace "TelePhoneNumber", $ADTelePhoneNumber -replace "EmailAddress", $ADEmailAddress -replace "SubCompany", $SubCompany -replace "Disclaimer1", $Disclaimer1Text -replace "Disclaimer2", $Disclaimer2Text} | Set-Content $LocalSignaturePath'\'$CompanyName'.rtf'
(Get-Content $LocalSignaturePath'\'$CompanyName'.htm') | ForEach-Object {$_ -replace "DisplayName", $ADDisplayName -replace "Title", $ADTitle -replace "TelePhoneNumber", $ADTelePhoneNumber -replace "EmailAddress", $ADEmailAddress -replace "SubCompany", $SubCompany -replace "Disclaimer1", $Disclaimer1Text -replace "Disclaimer2", $Disclaimer2Text} | Set-Content $LocalSignaturePath'\'$CompanyName'.htm'
(Get-Content $LocalSignaturePath'\'$CompanyName'.txt') | Foreach-Object {$_ -replace "DisplayName", $ADDisplayName -replace "Title", $ADTitle -replace "TelePhoneNumber", $ADTelePhoneNumber -replace "EmailAddress", $ADEmailAddress -replace "SubCompany", $SubCompany -replace "Disclaimer1", $Disclaimer1Text -replace "Disclaimer2", $Disclaimer2Text} | Set-Content $LocalSignaturePath'\'$CompanyName'.txt'
#}


#Stamp registry-values for Outlook Signature Settings if they doesn`t match the initial script variables. Note that these will apply after the second script run when changes are made in the "Custom variables"-section.
if ($ForcedSignatureNew -eq $ForceSignatureNew){}
else
{Set-ItemProperty $CompanyRegPath'\Outlook Signature Settings' -name ForcedSignatureNew -Value $ForceSignatureNew}

if ($ForcedSignatureReplyForward -eq $ForceSignatureReplyForward){}
else
{Set-ItemProperty $CompanyRegPath'\Outlook Signature Settings' -name ForcedSignatureReplyForward -Value $ForceSignatureReplyForward}

if ($SignatureVersion -eq $SigVersion){}
else
{Set-ItemProperty $CompanyRegPath'\Outlook Signature Settings' -name SignatureVersion -Value $SigVersion}

(in reply to julianking)
Post #: 10
RE: Disclaimer text being used as signature - 23.Feb.2012 10:50:38 AM   
mark@mvps.org

 

Posts: 6811
Joined: 9.Jun.2004
From: Philadelphia PA
Status: offline
Oh Lordy!
That's painful.

_____________________________

Mark Arnold (Exchange MVP)
List Moderator

(in reply to julianking)
Post #: 11
RE: Disclaimer text being used as signature - 23.Feb.2012 11:00:27 AM   
julianking

 

Posts: 10
Joined: 28.Dec.2010
Status: offline
Yeah, we originally developed that script to eliminate the whole 'how do I create a signature' question that would arise. We had no intention of it containing the company logo, being set a specific company branded way or anything like that. We just wanted to automate the signature process.

Marketing got wind of what we were doing and it just went down hill from there.

(in reply to mark@mvps.org)
Post #: 12
RE: Disclaimer text being used as signature - 18.Jul.2014 3:39:53 PM   
Heath

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 18.Jul.2014
Status: offline
In reply to Mark Arnold's post

“I don't know anyone who likes to have these autodefined signatures. Users like to have their own and even if there is some automatic thing that's appended after sending users still apply their own before sending.
It's solving a problem that doesn't exist. In fact, it's actually making a problem for no good cause.
My advice is not to bother. Apply a normal disclaimer message and maybe add in various personalized details but applying a user specific message in the way that's been pasted in is not something I would ever suggest a customer did.

_____________________________

Mark Arnold (Exchange MVP)
List Moderator “

I'd agree that people don't like it, but that's not the point.

We have corporate policies in place to be sure that everyone has the same signature, and to look more professional. What kind of company would allow their employee free reign on their signatures. One company could have hundreds of variants if that was allowed, which to me does not look very professional at all.
It is a problem, and it does exist. I used to use a third party software called Exclaimer when we were hosting our own Exchange server, and we could get the software to insert the disclaimer/signature after the body of the reply message, and before the reply to separator, as written below.


{Original Message Above Reply Separator}

Name
Title
Toll Free
Business
Fax
Mobile
{Original Message Below Reply}

Now that we use exchange online, we stuck with the disclaimer going to the bottom of the page. If a reply to a message from someone that is a couple of pages long, it will add the disclaimer/signature at the very end, which makes it look like it originated from them. This should not be a hard fix for Microsoft, there is coding in the email to identify these separators.
Don’t be quick to dismiss other people’s issues, just because it doesn’t affect you.

Thank you,

(in reply to mark@mvps.org)
Post #: 13

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