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Signature Switch   Signature Switch - FAQ

Here's a list of frequently asked questions:
  1. I am able to retrieve the download but it will not install. Instead I get the same error message each time: "Signature Switch could not be installed because it is not compatible with Firefox". What's wrong?
  2. When I insert my signature all of its line-breaks and spaces are gone. What happened?
  3. What about the double-dashes/hyphens? Why are they always being added when I insert a signature?
  4. My signature doesn't get removed when it is placed before quoted text. Is that a bug?
  5. I want to place my signature at any desired position within the message. Could you please implement cursor-point-insertion to "Signature Switch"?
  6. After installing the extension I opened the dialog to customize the toolbar. Unfortunately I can't find the new toolbar-button. Where is it?
  7. I've created my signature using MS Word (and saved it as a .doc-file). Unfortunately the result isn't what I was expecting. Only strange characters get shown. What am I doing wrong?
  8. Does the file-extension (.txt, .sig, etc.) of the signature-file matter?
  9. I can't select my signatures from the dropdown button (anymore). They're set inactive. What's wrong?
  10. How can I make one of my signatures the default?
  11. Can "Signature Switch" choose a random signature for me whenever I start composing a new message?
  12. What does the keyboard shortcut "on/off" exactly do?
  13. Clicking on the toolbar-button doesn't insert my signature. I have to choose one from the dropdown-list. What's wrong?
  14. I'm using "Portable Thunderbird" on a USB-Stick; so the (absolute) paths to my signature-files are changing. What can I do?
  15. I've set a keyboard-shortcut for one of my signatures. The shortcut shows up in the context-menu but nothing happens when I use it.
  16. When I start writing a new mail my default signature (set via the account-options) appears for about two seconds and then it gets replaced with a signature I set up in "Signature Switch". After that the signature completely disappears. What's happening?
  17. How can I get a different random signature than the one that came up?
  18. I sometimes get an empty To:-field when replying to a mail. Is that a bug in your extension?
  19. The signature looks completely messed up when using Japanese characters. What can I do?
  20. When I add a signature to my mail it appears in light grey and not in the usual black. Why is that happening and what can I do against it?



I am able to retrieve the download but it will not install. Instead I get the same error message each time: "Signature Switch could not be installed because it is not compatible with Firefox". What's wrong?
Nothing. Read closely. :-)
"Signature Switch" is a Thunderbird-extension so it won't be installed within Firefox. Here's instructions on how to properly install Thunderbird extensions.

When I insert my signature all of its line-breaks and spaces are gone. What happened?
If you compose mails in HTML-style and insert plaintext-files as signatures then all line-breaks will be ignored. (Of course... it's HTML!)
You'll have to use the <br>-tag to do line-breaks.
The same thing with fixed font-width. Set the <pre>-tag around your signature to get a textual predefined signature.
Check this example: HTML-Signature

What about the double-dashes/hyphens? Why are they always being added when I insert a signature?
The double-dashes/hyphens indicate the beginning of the signature. They're part of the so called signature-separator ("-- \n"). Just as Thunderbird's native behaviour "Signature Switch" will check if that separator is present; if not it will be added. (check the Wikipedia-excerpt below)

My signature doesn't get removed when it is placed before quoted text. Is that a bug?
No it isn't. ;-)
If your Thunderbird is set to place the signature below your reply (above the quote) the removal won't work.That's because Thunderbird then doesn't insert the standard-delimiter ("-- \n") before the signature (for a good reason!). And that's what "Signature Switch" is looking for.
Some people might try to bypass that problem by manually adding the sig-delimiter to their signature file. But that will cause another problem.
The "-- \n" always marks the very end of a mail-message. "Signature Switch" assumes that any text placed below the signature-delimiter (including any quoted lines) is part of the signature. ... and therefore removes everything below the delimiter.
Besides... this option isn't recommended by Thunderbird itself! So please put your signature below your quotings. (check the Wikipedia-excerpt below)

I want to place my signature at any desired position within the message. Could you please implement cursor-point-insertion to "Signature Switch"?
Definitely no. Sorry. (And please don't ask me to reconsider.)
Due to the reasons explained for the previous question I can't offer you this. Besides... something like that wouldn't have anything to do with "signatures" anymore.
If you're looking for an easy way to paste predefined text please check out other extensions especially made for that purpose.

After installing the extension I opened the dialog to customize the toolbar. Unfortunately I can't find the new toolbar-button. Where is it?
You're probably trying to customize the main-window's toolbar. Open a new message and customize the toolbar in there.

I've created my signature using MS Word (and saved it as a .doc-file). Unfortunately the result isn't what I was expecting. Only strange characters get shown. What am I doing wrong?
Well... of course you can't use any proprietary file-format when adding signatures within Thunderbird. Only plaintext-files can be used. On Windows-systems try using Notepad or some other "real" text-editor.

Does the file-extension (.txt, .sig, etc.) of the signature-file matter?
No, it doesn't. Your signature-file can be named anything you like.

I can't select my signatures from the dropdown button (anymore). They're set inactive. What's wrong?
If "Signature Switch" can't find the specific file on your harddrive then the according menu-item will be disabled. Maybe you've entered a wrong filepath or deleted the file?!

How can I make one of my signatures the default?
Enter the options-dialog and click inside the "Default"-column.

Can "Signature Switch" choose a random signature for me whenever I start composing a new message?
Yes, it can. Simply create a fortune-cookie file and set it as default-signature.

What does the keyboard shortcut "on/off" exactly do?
Actually that's the same as clicking on the toolbar button. SignatureSwitch has its own kind of "clipboard". When there's a signature present in your mail and you perform a simple click on the toolbar-button (or select the "on/off"-context-entry) then the current signature will be removed and put into that clipboard. Another click simply re-inserts the signature that is currently stored in the clipboard. ... in other words: Signature on/off. ;-)

Clicking on the toolbar-button doesn't insert my signature. I have to choose one from the dropdown-list. What's wrong?
Absolutely nothing. ;-)
Clicking on the toolbar-button only removes (or re-inserts) an existing signature in your mail-body.
However, if you set up a default-signature and choose to "turn the signature off by default", you can use the button to (re-)insert your signature with a simple click on the toolbar-button.

I'm using "Portable Thunderbird" on a USB-Stick; so the (absolute) paths to my signature-files are changing. What can I do?
You can use directory-variables to reference to your signature-files.

I've set a keyboard-shortcut for one of my signatures. The shortcut shows up in the context-menu but nothing happens when I use it.
Your shortcut seems to be in conflict with an already existing shortcut. Another extension (or Thunderbird itself!) might already be using your combination.
So you should try to find another shortcut-key-combination which is likely to be still available.

When I start writing a new mail my default signature (set via the account-options) appears for about two seconds and then it gets replaced with a signature I set up in "Signature Switch". After that the signature completely disappears. What's happening?
Looks like you have chosen a default-signature within "Signature Switch" (which overrides the one set via account-options) and you have activated the option "switch signature off by default".

How can I get a different random signature than the one that came up?
Pick the signature again from the menu. If you're using random signatures, "Signature Switch" will randomly pick again. This is also a good way to test your signature after editing your signature file.

I sometimes get an empty To:-field when replying to a mail. Is that a bug in your extension?
Please check the hidden preferences; they might be the solution for that problem.

The signature looks completely messed up when using Japanese characters. What can I do?
The extension uses UTF-8 when loading the signature-file. This might not be a suitable encoding for Japanese characters. Try changing it to something like "Shift_JIS" by using the options-dialog.

When I add a signature to my mail it appears in light grey and not in the usual black. Why is that happening and what can I do against it?
That behaviour is absolutely normal. Thunderbird automatically detects the signature (by finding the signature-separator) and renders the sig-text in grey. Don't worry. That color-formatting doesn't get applied to your actual signature. It's just the way Thunderbird displays it.


Excerpt from Wikipedia's article about the signature block:

" ... The formatting of the sig block is prescribed somewhat more firmly: it should be displayed as plain text in a fixed-width font (no HTML, images, or other rich text), and must be delimited from the body of the message by a single line consisting of exactly two hyphens, followed by a space, followed by the end of line (i.e., "-- \n"). ... "

 
last update:  04.05.2014