Understanding Office 2003 SP2's Signature Settings

The behavior of the Group Policy setting Disable signature for replies and forwards has changed in Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2)—it now disables all controls related to signatures. Is there a way to keep the options for creating new signatures and setting the default signature for new messages?

SP2 attempts to implement the expected functionality to this policy setting, which had no effect in earlier versions of Microsoft Office Outlook 2003. But the Disable signature for replies and forwards setting might now do too much.

Figure 1 shows what the user will see after you open Group Policy Editor (GPE), navigate to User Configuration/Administrative Templates/ Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, then click Tools, Options, Mail Format, Signature, and apply this setting. (You can get the outlk11.adm administrative template from the Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit—ORK.) All signature options—not just the option for setting a reply and forward signature—are disabled. The only way to restore any option is to disable the policy. The Microsoft article "Description of the Outlook 2003 and Word 2003 post-Service Pack 1 hotfix package: April 28, 2005" (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=898076) claims that the disabling of all signature options is by design—even when you apply only the setting to disable reply and forward signatures.

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