DocHub Support

How do I send my PDF as a Sign Request?

Last Updated: Nov 09, 2017 11:54PM CST

DocHub is the perfect online tool for requesting e-signatures and inviting signers to fill out your PDF documents including PDF forms, applications, and any contract using our completely secure and easy-to-use website. We follow and adhere to the rules and intent of the US Federal ESIGN Act which defines electronic signatures to be just as legally binding as handwritten signatures on paper. The electronic record and signature laws of almost every other country are essentially identical to the ESIGN Act requirements and follow it almost exactly, so DocHub also meets the legal standards for electronic signatures around the world. 

When you send a Sign Request via DocHub, the signers aren't at all required to signup or create a DocHub account. They'll be able to instantly access, complete, and sign your PDF by simply clicking on the secure web link included in the email notification that all signers receive after a Sign Request is created. It is entirely free to signup for DocHub though, so none of them would be charged anyway if they did decide to create their own account. This convenience and simplicity is achieved by DocHub using an authentication token in the document URLs which is a long series of random characters that gets added to the end of the web address which makes it impossible for someone else to figure out by guessing. 


If you plan to send the same PDF as a Sign Request more than once and would like to keep reusing the document, we recommend that you create a template which will create a new copy of the file every time you send a Sign Request so that the original remains the same (and can be edited after sending one), but you can also create a Sign Request from a regular document if you have a unique contract that you don't plan to reuse with other signers. To learn more, see our article for What is the difference between a template and document?.

For all Sign Requests in DocHub, you'll need to first add at least one field and assign a role to it and any other fields. A role is needed for each person who needs to sign or initial or fill out the document, and each role needs to be assigned to at least one field. We recommend that you designate the necessary form fields as "required" to help ensure that your signer(s) definitely complete those fields before Finalizing the document.

 USING A TEMPLATE 
(For a reusable master document where a new copy and URL is made for each Sign Request) 
 
1.) Open or upload a Template.

2.) Click on  Edit Template  in the upper right.

 
3.) Select the type of field you want to add. - Choose from Text, Paragraph, Checkbox, Dropdown, Signature, Initials, and Date/Time fields in the vertical button layout of field types on the left side. Simply click the one you want to add to your document.  

4.) Click anywhere on your document to insert that field type - You can always move, resize, delete, and make other edits to any of your custom fields later on and add as many fields as you'd like. 

5.) 
Create a role for each signer. - By default, there will already be a Client role added and pre-created, and you can add more roles in the panel on the right side on the Role tab as well as edit the existing role names. A role is required for each person filling out your Sign Request, and since a template is meant to be a master copy and reused, the roles are generic and not specific to any particular person. You won't need to enter the person's email address and personalize each role until you are about to send it as a Sign Request. If you need to sign the document as well, then you can select an inserted Signature or Initials or Date/Time field on your document and check the box for "I need to sign this document" on the Role tab which will automatically add a role for you called "Sender". 

6.) Assign a role to each field. - Each field needs a role assigned to it, and we recommend making them "Required" field(s) so the signer(s) can't Finalize the document without completing the field(s). Each role also needs at least one field that it's assigned to fill on your PDF. To assign a role to a field, select the field on your document to make it the active field (or it will already be active if you just added the field to your document). Selecting a field will change the color of the horizontal bar above the field from orange (inactive) to blue (active). Then use the Assignee section in the right panel on the Fields tab to select a role or person to assign to the active field. You'll see a checkbox above the Assignee list to make it a Required field (recommended). To assign all fields to the Client or any other role in a single click, the Field and Role tabs have a button and dropdown menu at the bottom to Assign all unassigned fields on the document to one role. 

If you checked the box that you need to sign the document, be sure to assign yourself, the Sender, to any of your fields. All roles need to be assigned at least one field or you'll receive an error when trying to send it as a Sign Request.  Then, any fields that are unassigned cannot be filled out by anyone

7.) Send your document as a Sign Request. - Once you are done adding and assigning all fields and roles, you're now ready to click on 'Send as Sign Request' at the top of the right panel while in Edit mode or click on the File menu  button and hover your cursor over Send and click Sign Request.  A window will come up where you can enter an email address for each role (there will be a row for each role), and you'll see a couple options on each row including a checkbox for whether that person can annotate (use the Tool Bar to create new annotations to your document) and a checkbox that's auto-checked for whether they'll receive the finalized PDF copy (once the Sign Request has been completed and Finalized by all parties).

Once a Sign Request is sent, the signer(s) will receive a notification email with the Subject that begins with the words "ACTION NEEDED" followed by the title of your PDF, and both the Subject and Body of the email notification is fully customizable (see the section below about Customizing). The Sign Request will also be added to your Sent section and appear in the signer(s) Inbox (only if they already have a DocHub account or decide to create one).

Sending a template as a Sign Request will only create a copy of your template each time unlike a regular document which converts it and makes it somewhat final (explained below).

 USING A REGULAR DOCUMENT 
(For single use or unique contracts, agreements, or forms where the form is not reused)

 
To send a Sign Request for a regular document, you can follow the exact same steps as laid out above, but instead of creating and assigning generic roles to be assigned to specific individual(s) at the time of sending a new Sign Request, you assign each field to a specific person's email address. To open the Fields Manager, click on the Manage Fields  button on the left side of the Tool Bar to toggle it open or closed. The Role tab will be shown as the People tab instead in a regular document since you assign a specific person's email to each field instead of a generic role, and it's meant to be a Sign Request for specific individuals instead of a document that is used over and over for several signers and each having their own legally binding document. 

Since a regular document is not meant to be a master version where a new copy is made each time you request an e-signature, sending one as a Sign Request will convert the regular document into a single Rign Request and remove it from the Documents section and move it to your Sent section where you'll no longer be able to make any changes to the PDF. You can still make a copy of it by opening it and using the File menu  > Actions > Make a Copy, and you also have the option to convert a regular document into a template

 
 ALL SIGN REQUESTS 
(The details below apply to all Sign Requests sent via DocHub)
 
CUSTOMIZE YOUR EMAIL BEFORE SENDING TO YOUR SIGNER(S)
If you'd like to customize your message to add a personal touch and reword the default email format to your signer(s) and not use the one we've provided for you as a courtesy and convenience, you can easily do so in the final Send window before sending your document for e-signature. You'll see an Edit Message button in the window that comes up after choosing to Send as Sign Request which you can click on to edit the Subject and Body. This is a great way to help get the signer's attention in a way that only you know how. We plan to eventually add company branding to the Sign Request workflow to make it seem as if it came directly from your business and help retain its unique branding image. 

MANAGE AND AUDIT
Once you've sent a Sign Request, you'll be able to monitor the status of it and each of the signers in the Sent section of your Dashboard and on the Manage and Audit page for your document. You can also use the Document Actions menu or the Signer Actions menu on the Manage and Audit page to void or delete the document or to make changes to any of the signers and to resend a notification to any of the signers. 

For an overall status of each Sign Request, the 
Sent section will display a symbol to the left of each one you've sent indicating whether it's still In Progress (clock icon) or if it's been Finalized (green checkmark). By default, the list is sorted by Sent Date with the most recent documents at the top, but you can use the Sort drop-down menu in the upper right of your Sent list to order and group them by other criteria such as Status (i.e. In Progress or Finalized). 

To view a much more specific status for where the signer is at in the process of completing your document, you can hover your mouse cursor over the PDF document in your Sent section where you'll see each signer's email followed by a status label such as  Email ReadUnopened, or Modified. If the email could not be delivered to the recipient, the email will be followed by the label Email delivery failed which means the email bounced and was rejected by the recipient's mail server. There are several reasons why an email would bounce and be returned undelivered, but it's usually caused by simply entering an incorrect email address (i.e. a typo) or the signer may have given you the wrong contact information by accident.  If this happens to one of your Sign Requests, you can verify which email address was used and then Change the Email Address for the signer which will resend the Sign Request to the different email address and any form fields on the document will be reassigned to the new email address instead. This can be done on the Manage and Audit page which is explained next. 

Signer Actions Menu  
If you need to make changes to any of the signers or would like to send an email notification as a reminder to any of them, you can use the Signer Actions menus for each signer on the Manage and Audit page for your document. The button for Signer Actions will appear to the right of each signer that hasn't Finalized your document yet. To get there, you can open the document and click on the button to Manage and Audit on the right side of the banner at the top. Each signer will have a Signer Actions button to the right of it which will open a drop-down menu with the following choices:
  • Resend Email - this sends another notification email to each of the signer(s) and asks them to complete and sign the document as soon as possible. 
  • Change Email Address - This is mostly for when you accidentally entered the wrong email address and/or had a typo in the email address for that signer. This also also resends the ACTION NEEDED email with a secure link to the document but to the new email address instead.  
  • Destroy Signer - This removes the signer entirely from the Sign Request document where they can no longer complete the fields that were assigned to them since they will no longer be considered signers after you click this action. 

Document Actions Menu
Use the Document Actions button in the upper right corner of the Manage and Audit page to open a drop-down menu with options to Void Sign Request, Destroy Document, make a copy, or to Share or Send the document with anyone besides the signers. 


SEQUENTIAL SIGNING (aka SIGNING ORDER)
For all Sign Request, you have the option to designate a signing order for situations where a document requires multiple signatures and when you need the signing to happen in a specific sequence (For example, one person needs to fill out their fields before the other(s) are allowed fill out their fields or agree to the document and sign it).  Each signer must complete their fields and click on Finalize before the next signer(s) is notified to complete the document. Any signers that haven't been invited to the document yet will be labeled as  Waiting, and to see each signers status, you can hover your mouse cursor over the label in the upper left corner of your opened Sign Request which will reveal more information.

To create a Sign Request with a signing order, just choose to Send a Sign Request as you normally would, and in the Send window that opens up, you'll see a drop-down menu for Signing Order that's initially set to 'All at Once' which you can change to "One at a time' to enable sequential signing. You'll then see 3 horizontal lines appear to the left of each of the signers in the list which you can click and hold on the 3 lines to drag any of them up or down the numbered, sequential list. 

With Sequential Signing, once the initial signer Finalizes their fields (or annotations) of the document, the document then goes to the next person, and so on, until it reaches the final person in the Signing Order and the document is then Finalized by all parties and becomes a legally binding contract.

Since each person must Finalize the document before it goes to the next signer, if any signer in the sequence hasn't yet completed and Finalized the document, the other signers after them in the sequence will need to wait on that signer to Finalize before they get the email notification to complete and sign the document. If you, as a sender, would like to send another notification email to remind that signer to complete the document, you can click on the File menu while viewing the document and choose Manage Sign Request and then click on the Actions menu to the right of that signer and choose to Resend Email. 

FINALIZING A LEGALLY BINDING DOCUMENT
Once a Sign Request has been Finalized, it's now a legally binding document, and you'll receive an email with the finalized PDF attached as well as a finalized copy in your Sent box. The signer(s) will also be CC'd on the final email (unless you unchecked the box for the signer(s) to receive a final copy in the window when you sent the Sign Request).

In DocHub, the status labels for your finalized Sign Request will now show that it's been Finalized, and you'll see a green checkmark to the left of your signed document in your DocHub Sent section.

Before a signer can begin to fill out your document, they must "agree to use electronic records and signatures" which further backs up the legality of the contract, and DocHub also records all actions taken by all parties with a Sign Request. This detailed log includes a record of all annotation or signature events, IP addresses, geolocations, full names, email addresses, and more. This enhanced legal audit trail is explained more in our article about How legally binding are PDFs signed in DocHub?.

FREE VS. PRO PLANS
To view a side-by-side comparison about the limitations of a free account and a DocHub Pro account in regards to signing and sending documents and more, you can click on any of our pricing pages below:

DocHub Pro for individuals

https://dochub.com/pricing

DocHub Pro for Business
https://dochub.com/pricing/org

DocHub Pro for Academic
https://dochub.com/pricing/academic 
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