Customize your email message in Outlook.com

Customize a new email message in Outlook.com by using the many options Outlook offers. No matter what type of message—personal or business —you're writing, you can always find a way to add your unique style.

You can add an attachment or an image (a picture, texture, or graphic), change fonts, insert a list, a signature, and more.

Choose your version for instructions

The instructions are slightly different depending on whether or not you're using the Outlook.com beta. Choose which version of Outlook.com you're using to see the troubleshooting steps that apply to you.

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

A screenshot of the top left corner of the Outlook.com beta mailbox

See Instructions for the Outlook.com beta.

A screenshot of the top left corner of the classic Outlook.com mailbox

See Instructions for classic Outlook.com.

Instructions for the Outlook.com beta

To start writing a new email message, sign in to Outlook.com and then choose New message Screenshot shows the New message button in Outlook.com. .

You can set the level of importance for a message so that recipients can see the indicator in their Inbox before they open it. Setting the level of importance also lets recipients sort their messages by importance.

To change the importance of your message, choose the three dots at the top of the new message you're writing Choose this icon to set the importance level of your message , and then choose Set importance. You can choose High, Normal, or Low.

  1. Choose the Attach icon Click this icon to attach a file to your message at the bottom of the email message box.

  2. Select whether you want to attach a file from Computer or from Cloud locations.

  3. Navigate to the location of the file, select the file, and then choose Open.

If you want to add an image that displays in the body of your email, you can add an inline image.

  1. Choose Insert pictures inline Choose this icon to add an image to your email message next to Send at the bottom of the email message box.

  2. Browse to the location of the picture file on your computer, select the file, and then choose Open.

Emoticons, also known as emoji, are graphics that convey an emotion. You can add a variety of emoticons to your messages. You can also choose from popular GIFs to add to your messages.

  • To insert an emoticon, choose the Emoji icon Choose this icon to add an emoticon in your email message at the bottom of the email message, scroll to Popular emojis, and then select an emoticon.

  • To insert a GIF, choose the Emoji icon Choose this icon to add an emoticon in your email message at the bottom of the email message, scroll to Popular GIFs, and then select a GIF.

Note: Not all email programs display emoticons in the same way. An emoticon that is colorful on one client might be translated into its symbols in another. For example, Choose this icon to add an emoticon in your email message might show up in the recipient's message as :-).

You can give your email message some flair by changing the text font, size, color, and style.

  1. Choose Show formatting options Screenshot of the Show formatting options button next to Send at the bottom of the email message box. The formatting ribbon appears.

  2. Choose Font, and select the font you prefer to write in. You can also change the font size, font color, make the text bold, or underline, or italicize, or even highlight part of your email message.

You can use bulleted or numbered lists to show steps, action items, or key takeaways in your email message.

  • To add a bulleted list in your email message, choose Show formatting options Screenshot of the Show formatting options button next to Send at the bottom of the email message and then select Bullets Click this to add a bulleted list in your email message .

  • To add a numbered list in your email message, choose Show formatting options Screenshot of the Show formatting options button next to Send at the bottom of the email message and then select Numbering Click this icon to add a numbered list in your email message .

For more ways to customize your email messages, see Customize actions on your messages in Outlook.com.

Create an email signature that appears at the end of your email messages.

  1. Choose Settings Settings on the top right corner, and then select View full settings.

  2. In Settings, select Mail > Personalization.

  3. In the text box, type your email signature. You can change the font, size, color, and the appearance of your signature from the options available in the ribbon on top of the text box.

  4. If you want to include your signature in new messages only, select the check box next to Automatically include my signature on new messages I compose. If you want to add your signature to the messages you forward or reply to, then select Automatically include my signature on messages I forward or reply to. If you prefer both options, select both the check boxes.

  5. Choose Save when done. Your email signature will now appear on new messages, or on your replies, or on both depending on your selection.

Instructions for classic Outlook.com

To start writing a new email, sign in to Outlook.com and then choose New Use the new email icon to create a new email message .

You can set the level of importance for a message so that recipients can see the indicator in their Inbox before they open it. Setting the level of importance also lets recipients sort their messages by importance.

To change the importance of your message, choose the three dots at the top of the new message you're writing Choose this icon to set the importance level of your message , and then choose Set importance. You can choose High, Normal, or Low.

  1. Choose the Attach icon Click this icon to attach a file to your message at the bottom of the email message box.

  2. Select whether you want to attach a file from your Computer or Cloud locations.

  3. Browse to the location of the file, select the file, and then choose Open.

  4. If you want to share the file with the recipients of your email so that everyone can work on the file together, select Upload and attach as a OneDrive file. Otherwise, select Attach as a copy.

If you want to add an image that displays in the body of your email, you can add an inline image.

  1. Choose Insert pictures inline Choose this icon to add an image to your email message next to Send at the bottom of the email message box.

  2. Navigate to the location of the picture file on your computer or on OneDrive, and then choose Open.

    Tip: In addition to your own pictures, you can also choose from images provided via Bing. Select Bing image search and then select an image from the categories shown or type a search word or phrase in the Search box. When you find an image you like, select it and then click Insert.

Emoticons, also known as emoji, are graphics that convey an emotion. You can add a variety of emoticons to your messages.

To insert an emoticon, choose the Emoji icon Choose this icon to add an emoticon in your email message at the bottom of the email message and select an emoticon.

Note: Not all email programs display emoticons in the same way. An emoticon that is colorful on one client might be translated into its symbols in another. For example, Choose this icon to add an emoticon in your email message might show up in the recipient's message as :-).

You can give your email message some flair by changing the text font, size, color, and style.

  1. Choose the Formatting options Choose this icon to change the font, size, color, and do more next to Send at the bottom of the email message box. The formatting ribbon appears.

  2. Choose Font, and select the font you prefer to write in. You can also change the font size, font color, make the text bold, or underline, or italicize, or even highlight part of your email message.

You can use bulleted or numbered lists to show steps, action items, or key takeaways in your email message.

  • To add a bulleted list in your email message, choose Bullets Click this to add a bulleted list in your email message .

  • To add a numbered list in your email message, choose Numbering Click this icon to add a numbered list in your email message .

Insert a table to add structured information in rows and columns in your email message.

  1. Choose More Expand the arrow to see more formatting options at the end of the ribbon to expand other options.

  2. Choose Insert table. Drag to select the number of rows and columns you want. Or, you can click Insert table and then, instead of dragging, click Insert table, and in the Insert table dialog box, specify the number of columns and rows and then click OK.

Create an email signature that appears at the end of your email messages.

  1. Choose Settings Settings on the top right corner, and then select Options.

  2. In the list of Options, under Layout, choose Email signature.

  3. If you want to include your signature in new messages only, select the check box next to Automatically include my signature on new messages I compose. If you want to add your signature to the messages you forward or reply to, then select Automatically include my signature on messages I forward or reply to. If you prefer both options, select both the check boxes.

  4. In the text box write your email signature. You can change the font, size, color, and the appearance of your signature from the options available in the ribbon on top of the text box. You can also add an image.

  5. Choose Save when done. Your email signature will now appear on new messages, or on your replies, or on both depending on your selection.

Still need help?

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See Also

Create, reply to, or forward email messages in Outlook.com

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