Adolsign - AD-enabled Dynamic Signatures for Microsoft Outlook

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Adolsign can scan signature templates in html, rtf or plain text format, replace scan codes with equivalent fields in Active Directory, and places processed templates into Microsoft Outlook's signature directory.

Adolsign - Dynamic Outlook signatures

Adolsign is capable of generating vCard files, as well as processing multiple signatures via group membership or values in AD. Marking one signature as Microsoft Outlook default is also possible. Adolsign can help you to create ready-to-install signature packages for distribution via e-mail, web-pages or other channels.

All the functionality above is available as a command-line utility with no setup, making deployment easy via login/startup scripts or software distribution systems.

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A signature template is an Outlook signature file with one exception: Fields you want to populate from Active Directory are represented by special scan codes recognizable by Adolsign.

Outlook supports three signature formats: HTML, rich text and plain text. Format type is configurable via mail format settings in Outlook (example below is from Outlook 2003):



You need only to create signature templates for the message format you use in Outlook. As an example, if your Outlook is configured to send messages in plain text, all you need is to create a template in plain text and save it with the .txt extension. Extensions .htm and .rtf are used for HTML and rich text signature templates respectively.

You can use any text editor to create plain text signatures (txt). Microsoft Word is the best tool for rich text based signatures (rtf). While Word is also a viable option for creating html signatures, it is too noisy! As an alternative, you may consider to use free html editors available.

Scan codes are special words recognizable by Adolsign. There is a one-to-one mapping between them and properties in Active Directory user objects. As an example the scan code field_firstname corresponds to the field First Name (or property FirstName) in Active Directory.

If you inject the scan code field_firstname into your signature template and run Adolsign for that template, Adolsign will replace field_firstname by the user's first name in Active Directory.

Adolsign supports following scan codes by default:

Scan code

Active Directory property
field_login SamAccountName
field_fullname FullName
field_firstname FirstName
field_lastname LastName
field_initials initials
field_othername OtherName
field_title Title
field_company Company
field_department Department
field_office OfficeLocations
field_telephone TelephoneNumber
field_homephone TelephoneHome
field_mobilephone TelephoneMobile
field_fax FaxNumber
field_email EmailAddress
field_street StreetAddress
field_pobox PostOfficeBox
field_city L
field_state St
field_postal postalCode
field_country Co
field_description Description
field_division Division
field_employeeid EmployeeID
field_homepage HomePage

Adolsign supports so-called conditional fields in where scan codes are treated conditionally. As an example, Adolsign can drop to use a scan code if the corresponding value in Active Directory does not exist or empty. See Conditional fields section for more information.

It is also possible to add new scan codes or change their names by Adolsign's configuration file adolsign.config.

Let's take a simple start (assuming that your Outlook is configured to send messages in plain text):

  • Create the signature template hello.txt with the content below:

field_firstname field_lastname
field_title, field_department

Tel: field_telephone
E-mail: field_email

  • Run Adolsign:

adolsign --signature hello

Adolsign will replace each scan code with the corresponding values in Active directory, generate the signature file hello.txt in the standard signatures directory.

  • When you start Outlook again, you will notice that the signature hello is ready to use.

Conditional fields are a convenient way to handle empty values. It is often desireable to drop leading or trailing texts in signatures if a field is not defined or empty in Active Directory. Adolsign supports eight directives in field definitions:


--prefix text Adds text in front of the field if it is not empty
--postfix text Adds text at the end of the field if it is not empty
--ignoreline Drops the whole line if the field is empty. NB! option ignoreline has limited support for html signatures (removes br / tag only) and rtf signatures (remove \par tag only).
--default text Use text as default if the field is empty
--case directive ... Use directive for case manipulation. Allowed directives are lowercase, uppercase, lowerfirst, upperfirst. Multiple directives are allowed and they will be processed in the specified order.
--anchor type Generate HTML code for dynamic links. As an example --anchor http creates an http link (no support for rtf-signatures!)
--format format Formats the value according to the format. As an example, --format "%s%s *** %s%s" produces 12 *** 34 for the value 1234.
--lookup lookup-table Checks if there is a section in the configuration file named lookup-table. If it exists, checks further if the field value (case-insensitive) does exist as a parameter in this section, replaces the field value by the parameter value.

Conditional directives can be defined by using the following syntax:

scancode( one or more conditional directives )scancode 



field_telephone( --prefix "Tel: " )field_telephone
Produces Tel: +11111111 if the telephone number is +11111111. Produces nothing if it is empty.



field_department( --prefix "Department: " --ignoreline )field_department
Produces Department: Sales if the department is Sales. Produces nothing and removes the whole line if it is empty.



field_homepage( --default "" --case lowercase )field_homepage
Converts the homepage to lowercase. Produces if the homepage is not defined.



field_title( --lookup Norwegian_titles )field_title

in the configuration file:


 Produces Sjef or Konsulent if title values in AD are manager or consultant respectively (case insensitive). Otherwise, the value itself is used.


 Configuration file enhances Adolsign's capabilities in following ways:

  • Support for multiple signatures with multiple attributes. You can also filter signatures based on group membership or values in AD. Examples: 
adolsign.config Description

Group=Domain Users
  • Process template files only if the user is member of Domain Users group. You can specify multiple groups. Adolsign will proceed if the user is member of at least one group.
  • Produce a Vcard
  • This signature is default for new and reply messages
  • Copy files corporate.png and corporate.css from the directory from where Adolsign is started.


  • Process only if AD-value for company name contains CompanyX. Comparisons are based on regular expressions and  case-sensitive. You can specify AD-fields multiple times, even the same attribute!
  • Don't produce a Vcard
  • This signature is not a default one for new and reply messages
  • Copy directory CX-images andCX.css from \\SRV\netlogon as well
  • Define lookup tables for value conversion. This capability allows you to replace values in Active Directory by values in lookup tables. A flexible way to support multi-language initials, titles and many more. Example:
field_title( --lookup Norwegian_titles )field_title

in the configuration file:



Produces Sjef or Konsulent if title values in AD are manager and consultant respectively (case insensitive). Otherwise, the value itself is used. 

  • Create or rename scan codes. Even if Adolsign comes with more than 20 scan codes, you may be interested to add new ones to get additional information from Active Directory.  A complete list of available attributes can be found here. Use Ldap-display-Name in the Adolsign configuration file.You can also rename scan codes themselves.


Adolsign - Create Active Directory aware Outlook Signatures


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Adolsign is a tool to create AD-aware Outlook signature files.

- Do you use Outlook ?
- Is your environment Active Directory enabled ?
- Do you want to offer your users mail signature templates according to your corporate design guidelines ?
- Do you want to produce vCards from Active Directory information?
- Do you want to create signature packages centrally and distribute them via distribution channels like e-mail or web-pages ?

If you answer yes to the questions above, you may benefit of Adolsign's functionality. Adolsign can scan signature templates in html, rtf or plain text format, replace scan codes with equivalent fields in Active Directory, and places processed templates into Outlook's signature directory. It is capable of generating vCard files, as well as processing multiple signatures based on group membership or values in AD-fields. Marking one signature as Outlook default is also possible. Adolsign can also create ready-to-install signature packages for distribution via e-mail, web-pages or other channels. All the functionalty above is available as a command-line utility, making deployment easy via login/startup scripts or software distribution systems.

How to install Adolsign?

Supported platforms are Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7/8/10 and Outlook 2000/2002/2003/2007/2010/2013/2016/2019. Adolsign comes as a ZIP file containing a directory structure. Adolsign executable is located at the bin directory. Simply unzip your downloaded copy and adolsign is ready to go !!


--signature signature

Outlook signature represented by three files signature.htm, signature.rtf or signature.txt. Adolsign searches those files for scan codes and replace them with equivalent fields from Active Directory. Following scan codes are supported by default (You can add new fields by using the configuration file):

 field_login, field_fullname, field_firstname, field_lastname,
 field_othername, field_title, field_company, field_department
 field_office, field_telephone, field_homephone, field_mobilephone,
 field_fax, field_email, field_street, field_pobox, field_city,
 field_postal, field_country,field_description, field_division,
 field_state, field_employeeid, field_homepage, field_initials

Generates a vCard which is attached to the signature generated.

--addfile file/directory

Copies extra file file/directory to the signatures directory directly or via an installer package. This option could be useful if you want to copy additional files like images. It can be specified multiple times.

--username name

Adolsign uses name for user name lookup instead of the name of the current user. Useful for offline package creation.


Make an installer package instead of copying signature files to Outlook signature directory. This option alows you to create signature packages offline and send them via e-mail or other distribution channels.


Make signature default for new and reply/forward messages.


Make signature default for new messages.


Make signature default for reply/forward messages.

--configfile configuration file path

Adolsign can be further customized by a configuration file, which allows you to specify signatures for groups and new active directory field mappings. In addition, you can specify lookup tables for conditional field mappings. By default, Adolsign searches for the file adolsign.config in the same directory as itself. You can use this switch to specify an alternative path.

--targetpath target path for signatures

Specify target directory for signatures. Even if Adolsign is capable of finding that directory itself, it may be necessary to specify it explicitly in some situations.

--packagename Package name

This option allows you to specify the name of the distribution package. By default, it is username_signature.exe. Use of full paths is recommended.


This option allows you to specify encoding of template files. The default is ISO-8859-1 (a.k.a ISO Latin-1). Using that option without a parameter will list all available encodings on your system. If your template files have characters which are not supported by ISO-8859-1, you may save them in UTF-8 format and use "--encoding utf8". A selected set of supported encodings:


Make sure that the default signatures are greyed out in Outlook


produce progress messages. Default is Off.


Produces this message.


NB! Contents of the configuration file adolsign.config will always be processed.

 adolsign --signature \\myserver\netlogon\mysign --vcard --addfile images-directory

adolsign will look for at least one of the files mysign.txt, mysign.rtf or mysign.htm in \\myserver\netlogon and create outlook signature mysign for the current user. Vcard file mysign.vcf will also be placed in the signatures directory and attached to the signature generated. In addition, contents of \\myserver\netlogon\images-directory will be copied.

 adolsign --signature corporate --vcard --username myuser --makepackage --addfile logo.gif --packagename c:\userpackages\user.exe

adolsign will look for at least one of the files corporate.txt, corporate.rtf or corporate.htm in the current directory, process them for user myuser and create a signature installer package named c:\userpackages\user.exe. The package will also contain vcard file myuser.vcf and the image file logo.gif from the current directory.

 adolsign --signature T:\templates\classic --default --encoding utf8

adolsign will look for at least one of the UTF-8 encoded template files classic.txt, classic.rtf or classic.htm in the directory T:\templates, and create outlook signature classic for the current user, which will also be marked as the default signature both for new and reply/forward messages.


ADOLSIGN website: e-mail:


Version 2.7.0, Jan 2019


changes from 2.6.6
 - Office 2019 support
changes from 2.6
 - New option --readonly to grey out default signatures in Outlook
 - Bugfix: Loading extra support for Unicode and Byte encodings
changes from 2.5
 - Office 2016 support
changes from 2.4
 - New option --encoding for specification of encoding of template files
changes from 2.3
 - Distribution packages can now set the distributed signature as default
 - New option --targetpath for explicit specification of target signatures directory
 - New option --packagename for explicit naming of distribution packages
changes from 2.2
 - Office 2013 support
 - Signatures are processed in the order they are specified in the configuration file, allowing prioritization
changes from 2.1
 - Builtin UTF8 support for Active Directory fields (Text and Html signatures only)
 - remove option --utf8
 - option anchor creates hyperlinks for rtf signatures as well
changes from 2.0
 - new conditional field directive '--lookup'
changes from 1.9
 - New configuration file format allowing to define multiple signatures with multiple attributes
 - Conditional processing based on field values in Active Directory (example - process template if company name in AD is 'My Company'
 - Support for recursive processing of extra files
 - Command line switches for default signatures don't take argument anymore. They applies only for the signatuure specified in command line.
 - Option --utf8 for explicit use of UTF-8 decoding/encoding during template processing
 - Treat anchor mailto properly without double slashes
 - Office 2010 support
changes from 1.8
 - new conditional field directive '--format'
 - new conditional field directive '--anchor'
 - %LOGONSERVER% variable is replaced by the logon server name in signature paths in the configuration file
 - Correct treatment of multiple signatures for one group
 - remove four digit random value from signature installer package names
 - Office 2007 support in signature installer packages
changes from 1.7
 - complete Outlook 2007 support
 - more flexible and powerful configuration file format, --configfile switch
 - customizable active directory field mappings
 - correct treatment of options replydefault/newdefault when only one of them is specified
 - improved check of domain group membership
 - add -default switch to conditional field handling
 - introducing basic support (remove *\par *) for ignoreline option for rtf singatures
 - add case switch with four options and multiple values (uppercase, lowercase, lowerfirst, upperfirst)
changes from 1.6
 - option *addfile* works for all modes
 - conditional field mappings
 - A new scan code: *field_initials* maps to Initials field in AD
 - Automatic vCard attachment to signature
 - Signature installer package name is extended with a 4-digit random number
 - Correct handling of signature files in the current directory
 - Outlook 2000 and 2002 support for default signatures
 - option *default* works without arguments
changes from 1.5
 - option *makepackage* for offline signature installer package creation
 - option *username* allows to specify other users instead of the current user.
 - option *addfile* allows you to add additional files to signature installer package
 - option *default* to specify a signature as default for both new and reply/forward messages
 - option *newdefault* to specify a signature as default for new messages
 - option *replydefault* to specify a signature as default for replay/forward messages
 - better documentation
 - some minor bug fixes
changes from 1.4
 - vCard support
 - Support for multiple signatures via domain group membership specified in the 'adolsign.config' file
 - A license file is required for full activation
 - Some minor bug fixes
Changes from 1.3
 - Can recognize signature directory names for localized Outlook versions.
Changes from 1.2
 - One new field : field_state
 - field_city maps correctly.
Changes from 1.1:
 - Four new fields: field_description, field_division, field_employeeid, field_homepage
 - Signature without a full path is assumed to exist in the start directory.
 - Scan codes without AD-equivalents are replaced by a blank string.

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