May 5, 2011

Sparrow Mail Signature Workaround for Mac

Sparrow Mail workaround for embedding html image signatures into emails:

STEP 1 Image Creation

  1. Open up an image editor of your choice.
  2. compose signature image, I would incorporate text too, so that you are effectively pointing to a full image file, keeps it consistent cross browser and platform.
  3. Save image as PNG to desktop (or JPEG etc. PNG better re transparency)
  4. Go to preferred online image repository (I use Imageshack – free)

So now you have the image signature you want to embed into your post online, in the cloud. Essentially you will be sending an embed link in the body of your email.

STEP 2 XHTML file creation to Web Archive

1. Back on your computer, open up your preferred HTML (XHTML) editor (Although I have in the past extensively used Dreamweaver, I am now using BlueGriffon, which is free for the Mac and Crossplatform too).

  1. Go back to your Imageshack (cloud based image repository)  file
  2. find the “embed” code 
  3. copy it to your clipboard
  4. go back to your html editor
  5. start a new page
  6. click on “SOURCE’ view
  7. paste the html code from your clipboard
  8. Save this file to your desktop as “x_X_X_x.xhtml
  9. Click on (now this is where Safari on a Mac comes in useful) you xhtml file
  10. It will open in your browser (in my case safari)


You may want to point to your own website and clean up the page so you only have your image, this can be done in your editor, I am assuming you know enough HTML to know what code to change, contact me if your not sure)

So you have the image in your Safari browser, you then want to save the page to your desktop as a .webarchive file. This will capture the code and make sure it is embeddable in the next step. (go to File/Save As/ [format] Webarchive – Save to desktop.)

STEP 3 The workaround for getting the signature to your Sparrow Mail Accounts

  1. This is where it gets a bit painful..:) and given above you may have lost the will to live and stabbed your eyes out, bare with though it does work. There are examples of this route around and although pretty ugly it does work, I’ll try to keep it simple and step by step. This is for Mac Users from here on in, good luck you PC’ers I am sure there are similar work arounds for you.
  2. Open up MAC Mail
  3. Go to Mail/Preferences
  4. Click on Signatures Tab
  5. Here you will see a plus sign at the bottom of the box (above which will have the signatures you have been using perhaps), before adding the new signature you want to use in Sparrow Mail, you now have to go to the signatures folder. This can be found at Home/Library/Mail/Signatures, you should find this using finder, open up the folder and you will see (depending on how many previous signatures) a list of *.webarchive files.
  6. Now, Keeping the folder open, go back to the *.webarchive file on your desktop, and the signatures pane ready in Mac Mail.
  7. In the signatures pane, click the + button for a new signature, now look at the Finder window showing you the *.webarchive files, when you save the signature (by exiting the pane) you will see a new *.webarchive file appear. 
  8. CLOSE MAC MAIL (Important)
  9. Click on and save the name of the file that was created in the Signature folder
  10. Copy the name to your clipboard.
  11. move the file from the signatures folder to the bin
  12. go back to the signature.webarchive file on your desktop, click on it to edit its name
  13. Paste the clipboard title to this file
  14. You should now have the file you want as a signature on your desktop, with the name of the file you created in Mac Mail.
  16. Go back to Mac Mail and open it
  17. Go Back to signatures from your Mail/Preferences/Signatures tab
  18. You should now have the signature you created, BEWARE it looks like it hasn’t worked, yep you have that pesky blue box with a question mark. 
  19. NOW COPY THIS BLUE QUESTION MARK to your clipboard.
  20. Go back to Sparrow Mail
  21. Go to Preferences
  22. Go to signatures
  23. Paste from your clip board, and as Mr Ben used to say “As if by magic” your image will appear, hey presto off you go with your cloud based linked file embedded in your emails, this does work……

Phew! Notes of caution: I am using an Apple Mac running on OSX 10.6.7 which is the latest OS for the MAC, I used Mac Mail, BlueGriffon, Sparrow Mail, I used Pixelmator to build the initial image (remember to keep the file small! and pref. a PNG) I use Imageshack to host the images. 

Although all the other posts and recommendations ‘sort of’ work, they in actuality often don’t. This version is in effect sending, as I have previously stated an embed link in your mail to a cloud hosted image, not on you own computer or server, so the image will arrive with your addressee, it may take a little time for it to resolve in their mail app, depending on the cloud service you use and the size of the image being served.

Happy mailing!

you can contact me through digigaia@me.com