.SIG files are static -- once created, they don't change. Furthermore, Microsoft Outlook has no way to automatically generate .SIG files based on pre-existing information. For example, there's no native way to automatically derive your e-mail address and phone number from Active Directory and insert it into a Microsoft Outlook signature.
Adolsign (short for "Active Directory Outlook Signature") is a third-party utility that introduces this capability to Microsoft Outlook. It can take a template file, generate an Outlook signature from it, and populate that template with information from Active Directory.
Adolsign works from the command line, so it can be scripted to run at logon or on demand, as needed.
Microsoft Outlook must be installed for this program to work correctly, since the program determines the correct directory to place finished files from Microsoft Outlook's configuration.
The utility can accept a plaintext .file (.TXT), an HTML file (.HTM) or a rich-text format file (.RTF) as input. When run, it examines the input file for scan codes, or commonly-used fields in Active Directory.
For instance, the scan code field_fullname is replaced with the full name in the current user's AD record. Once finished, it places the resulting template, with the same file name, in Microsoft Outlook's signature directory.
The free trial version of the program only processes a small subset of the total possible Active Directory scan codes. The full version is $99, but can be licensed for that price for an unlimited number of users; this includes technical support and no usage limit.
About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter.
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This was first published in January 2006