When you hand-write your name at the bottom of a regular letter, it's your way of personalizing it, letting the recipient know that it's really from you. But since it has typically been difficult or impossible to hand-write your name at the bottom of a message on a computer (until very recently, that is), many Internet message boards and email websites– including Gmail — use a feature known as "signatures" instead.
What are Signatures?
In place of your handwritten name, "signatures" allow you to personalize your emails by automatically writing something about yourself at the bottom of every email that you send. Things that people commonly put in their signatures include their name, their current job title and employer, a famous quote that they like, or their business contact information including addresses and phone numbers.
How to Set Up a Gmail Signature
Go to www.gmail.com in your web browser and log in (if you haven't already). When you get to your main "Inbox" window, click the settings button () button, and then select Settings in the drop-down menu that appears.
Scroll down in the General settings section (you should already be there; if not, click it in the menu across the top) until you get to the setting marked "Signature." Click the button beside the text box to enable your signature, and then click in the text box wherever you see a text cursor () appear and start typing to write what your signature is going to say. All of your Formatting Options are automatically displayed across the top of the text box, so you can click them to change your font, text size, text style, text color, text alignment, and so on.
P.S. If you ever want to disable your signature, come back to this screen and click the button beside "No Signature."
You can also include a picture as part of your signature; people who work for businesses sometimes do this to include their employer's logo. Open up your "Pictures" folder on your computer (or wherever else you store pictures and photos on your computer), find the picture that you want to be a part of your signature, and then click and drag it to the "Signature" text box, as shown in the screenshot below.
Once the picture is part of your signature, you can click on it, and then click one of the options that appears to resize it (if it's too big or too small), or get rid of it if you change your mind by clicking Remove.
When you're done, scroll to the very bottom of the screen and click Save Changes.
Now, whenever you compose an email with Gmail, your signature will automatically appear at the bottom. Try it out, and express yourself!
And that's how you set up a signature for your emails! If you want to learn some other great tricks, check out our Gmail course articles on labels, filters, or our next tutorial on templates.