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Make Email Easier with Greasemonkey

greasemonkey-gmail.jpgI’m a fan of the email signature. It’s a great way to supply the people you talk to with your contact info, and once you set it you can forget it. One of my favorite things about desktop email programs (like Entourage) is the ability to have multiple signatures that you can select for the appropriate message. For example, the long signature with all your contact details isn’t necessary for inter-office mail. I even picked up the habit from my old employer to automatically add “Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns” to the signature used to interact with clients.

I use Gmail as my primary email tool and love everything about it. My favorite feature is the integration of multiple email accounts. The drawback has always been that Gmail only supports a single signature. This is a problem. My default email signature looks like this:

Justin Dickinson // [email protected]
visit AllMyLiesAreWishes, my personal blog:

That’s all well and good for the majority of my emails. But I also have the How I Met Your Mother blog and an email address associated with that. When I email those readers I don’t want to link back here to AMLAW and I want to have the correct info. The only thing to do is remember to delete the default sig before hitting send. For a long time this was how I did it. I’d occasionally forget and in general it seemed like there should be a better way.

I installed Greasemonkey this morning. When looking through the available scripts I found the Gmail HTML Signatures plugin. This script adds the exact functionality to Gmail that I’d been missing. Now when I write to friends or readers from Have You Met Ted it automatically adds the appropriate signature. It even works on replies and forwards. Awesome!

I don’t take advantage of the HTML part because I think that big, colorful, or image-ful signatures are almost always obnoxious. It is just nice that Gmail is finally smart enough to append the appropriate sig based on what account I’m emailing from. Check out the script, and for that matter Greasemonkey, today.

While we’re on the topic, any recommendations for other must-have Greasemonkey scripts?

Justin Dickinson



7 Responses to “Make Email Easier with Greasemonkey”

  1. Dan Says:

    The big plus of HTML signatures is that it allows you a bit of typographical polish. Maybe you’ll want to bold your name or italicize your preferred phone number. Or perhaps you could play with kerning, Mr. Letter-spacing: -1.

  2. Justin Dickinson Says:

    You could, but I like the sig to blend in. So you only notice it if you’re looking for it. I’ve seen some really bad, invasive signatures out there.

  3. Ryan Paugh Says:

    Thanks for this Justin. I’ve actually been looking for a similar plugin for awhile now. Great find.


  4. Michael Henreckson Says:

    Sweet! I need that. Just today I sent an email to someone and just put my name at the end and the recipient was like, “who are you?” If I’d had a signature for the project I was working on i wouldn’t have had that problem.

  5. Johnhaven Says:

    Justin - There’s a Gmail Macros script for Greasemonkey that gives you the OS X Quicksilver like abilities in Firefox when using Gmail. I used it constantly until my company blocked Gmail at work and I didn’t have as much of an opportunity to use it anymore. Check it out.

  6. Kirk Says:

    I have the exact same frustration with Gmail, which I otherwise love, and I was psyched to find this post. I didn’t realize until I clicked through that it was for Firefox. Is there something similar for IE?

  7. ali Says:


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