Whether you used our tool Signature.email, a different email signature generator, or created your email signature another way, it can often be surprising to notice that after sending out your emails to recipients, your text links are suddenly underlined. This can be frustrating after designing your email signature just how you wanted and wanting a cleaner look that doesn't include a bunch of underlines. Unfortunately, the answer isn't always clear about whether you can remove them. It can depend a lot which email program you are using, and sometimes even which email client you are sending to.
Can Signature.email remove underlines on links?
Every text link in our signatures always includes the standard "text-decoration:none" code that is meant to remove underlines from links, and it works in many email programs. Sadly, different email clients can choose to not follow our code instructions, the two biggest issues can be with Outlook and Gmail. These two apps can either ignore our instructions or remove it from the code. This can happen when you paste your signature into your email signature settings within your email application, or when someone receives an email and it is read by their email application. You can read more about your individual situation below.
Can you remove underlines in Outlook?
Unfortunately, it does not appear that it is possible to remove underlines from links in Outlook completely. Outlook seems to remove or ignore that code we include. On Outlook for PC it shows the underlines as soon as you paste the signature. On Outlook for Mac it appears to allow no underlines, but when you send out an email your recipients will receive the email with all text links underlined. Some users have tried to use the Outlook editing "Underline tool" to manually remove the underlines from links. This appears to work but as an email is sent from Outlook it forces the links to be underlined as before, so that when your recipients receive the email, it will still have underlines.
In Outlook, why are the underlines a different color than the text?
Another frustrating byproduct of Outlook's underlines is that the underline color can sometimes end up to be bright blue, which may not match the color of the text color that you choose for the link. This can happen in various situations when sending or receiving email in Outlook.
Can you remove underlines in Gmail?
The Gmail website does some funny things, and it may depend on which web browser you are currently using! Based on our testing it appears that the Gmail website will force underlines on links when you are using the Chrome web browser. It is possible to paste in a signature without underlined links using another browser such as Firefox. Mac users may be tempted to use the Safari browser, but that can come with its own set of issues (Safari only allows you to copy "Rich Text", and not "HTML Code", so much of the formatting of a signature is often lost).
Why would Outlook and Gmail Force underlines on links?
While Microsoft and Google have never given us an official reason why they force text links to be underlined, I believe they do this for a few reasons: The first is to help email readers. They want to make sure their readers understand what is a link and what is not. Since the beginning of the web underlined links are a common way to show that a piece of text is a link; colors can mean a variety of things, but underlines are almost always clear about their purpose. The second reason I believe is to help with security for large organizations. Spam and phishing emails are common problems these days, and attackers often use email to target less tech savvy users in an organization and trick them into clicking on something and possibly downloading something onto their computers in order to gain access to the system. Underlined links at the very least show the user that something will happen when they click the text and they should be aware of who is send the email and whether they trust that sender.
Is there anything we can do about link underlines?
Unfortunately there is not. Big companies like Microsoft and Google have made decisions about how their products should work and short of writing them and letting them know our opinion, we can't change how the programs work. We mention a few hacks in the specific paragraphs above, but they would rarely work on a company-wide basis. In general I think we need to accept that underlined links are not a bad thing, and while we may not love them visually they can have benefits as well.
Should you remove underlines on links?
Underlines are a common convention on the web that show something is clickable, they can have a helpful and good purpose in email. They are the clearest way to show the email reader that there is an action that can take place when the click on that text. Most of the time when we want to remove them it is because we want something to be more visually appealing, especially in an email signature where there can be a higher concentration of links sitting together. In the situations where you are able to remove the underlines on links in an email signature, it is still important to use color to make it clear that this is a link and that it is clickable.