Getting Started with Papersign


This guide is for the eSignature product, Papersign. Check out Paperform's Getting Started Guide if you're looking to learn how to build web forms.

Papersign is an eSignature product from the creators of Paperform. With it, you can easily create and edit documents to collect digital signatures and other information. In this guide, you'll learn how to:

  • Upload PDFs and add fillable fields.
  • Create new pages or entire documents from scratch.
  • Add details for multiple signers and designate a signing order.
  • Request signatures, monitor progress, and send reminders.
  • Copy a previous document to save time, or set up a new document to serve as a template for future documents, including fields and placeholders for signer roles.

For any questions about compliance, security, or the difference between Papersign and Paperform, please refer to the Papersign FAQ.

Setting up a new document

Create or upload a document

When you first log in to Papersign, you'll arrive at the Dashboard.

The Dashboard is where you can manage all your drafts, pending signature requests, and signed documents. We'll go over more on that later. For now, let's start by creating your first Papersign document.

You can either create a document from scratch or choose to upload a PDF from your computer. However, you're not limited to choosing one or the other. You can always add blank pages or upload a PDF page later, combining both page types into a single document.

To create a document:

  1. Click the "New Document" button on the top-right of the dashboard to create a draft document.

    The "New Document" button is highlighted at the top-right of the Papersign Dashboard.
  2. Choose either “Create in Papersign” to start a document from scratch or “Upload PDF” to use a PDF file from your computer.

    New document set up screen with options to create an original document, copy an existing document, or upload a PDF.


  • If you have a .doc or similar file type, you'll want to start by opening the file in a word processor like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Save a copy of it as a PDF, and then upload that file to Papersign.
  • Password-protected PDFs cannot be opened in Papersign. Remove the password before uploading.
  • We don't currently enforce file size limits for PDF uploads.

Initial settings

Next, you'll be able to enter a document name and signer details, as well as toggle document settings. These preferences can be changed later, so don't worry about getting it just right. We'll go into more detail about signers and settings later in this guide.

For now, name your document and enter any signer information, then click “Skip to Editor”.

New document initial set up page with options to name the document and add signer details.

Working with PDFs

Adding fillable fields

This section is for uploaded PDFs. If you selected "Create in Papersign," you can skip to the section, Working with editable pages.

On your PDF, you'll need to designate the spaces for each participant to fill out and/or sign. These spaces are called “fields” and can be placed anywhere on the document. Each field must be assigned to a signer, and each signer needs at least one field assigned to them before the document can be sent out. Papersign currently offers five types of fields.

Let’s start by adding a Text field, which allows a signer to type an answer into the document.

To add a field:

  1. Click anywhere on the document to open a dropdown of available options.

    Highlighted dropdown selector with various Field options in the Papersign editor.
  2. Select “Text”, then select a Signer to assign the field to.

    Signer selector dropdown highlighted in the Papersign editor.
  3. To move it to position, click and drag the center of the field.

  4. To resize the field, click and drag the bottom-right corner.

Now, try adding different field types, such as Date and Signature.

Configuring fields

Click on a field to view its configuration settings on the right side of the screen. The settings will vary by field type, but always include:

  • Set the field as “required”.
  • Change the signer.

See the full list of Papersign field types and configuration settings.

Adding read-only text

You may want to add static text that signers can't edit:

  1. Click anywhere on the page to access the dropdown selector.

  2. Select the "Text Block" option under "Content."

    Highlighted dropdown selector with the "Text Block" option in the Papersign editor.
  3. Type the desired text and/or use “answer piping” as described in its own section, below.

  4. As with fields, position the block by clicking and dragging from the center.

  5. Adjust the width by clicking and dragging the bottom-right corner of the block.

Unlike fields, resizing a text block only affects its width—the height is determined by its contents. Use the Enter key to add new lines, or select the block to view formatting options on the right side of the page.

Working with editable pages

Typing on a blank page

Creating a page from scratch allows you to use Papersign like a word processor—just point, click, and start typing. You can highlight any text to bring up the formatting bar, which you can use to create headings, lists, and links, change the alignment, or apply text decoration.

Type directly on an editable page like a word processor and highlight text to bring up the formatting bar.

Adding fields

On original/editable pages, fillable fields appear in line with plain text. Each field must be assigned to a signer, and each signer needs at least one field assigned to them before the document can be sent out.

There are two ways to add a field:

  • Click the + icon to the left of the current line to select a field type.
  • Or, use a slash command by typing a forward slash / followed by the name of the field you're looking for. Then, press Enter.

To change the length of a field, click and drag the bottom-right corner of the container.

Slash Commands

Slash commands aren't just for fillable fields; you can use them to select any content from the dropdown selector, such as /headings, /tables, /images, and more!

Using a slash command to select a Text field.

Once you get the hang of it, using slash commands lets you type and add content seamlessly, without missing a beat.

Let's add a Text field using it's slash command:

  1. Type /text, then press Enter.
  2. Then, use the up/down arrow keys to select the signer, then press Enter.

Signer Attributes

Access the Signers menu

Now you've added fillable fields to your PDF or editable pages, let's review "Signers". Before you can send a document, all signers must have a name and email address.

The Signers menu is located on the right side of the Papersign editor.

To modify a signer's details:

  1. Click "Signers" on the right sidebar to view the document's signers.
  2. Click on a signer's name to open up their details and add the required information.

Adding custom attributes

If you have additional information for a signer, like their job title, or company, you can add these to pre-fill text fields later on. You can also create "Custom attributes" to add information specific to that signer.

Custom attributes link additional information to a signer.

To add a custom attribute:

  1. Click “Add Attribute +”.
  2. Enter a “Label”, think of this as the category of information.
  3. Enter a “Value”, the piece of information visible in the document.

An attribute value can be added manually, as above, and it can also be automated using the Paperform x Papersign integration.

Connected Attributes (Pre-filling Fields)

To streamline the signing process, you can have the participant’s information pre-filled into Text fields. This is useful when a signer must fill in the same information in multiple parts of the document.

When using connected attributes, the signer will see their information already entered when they open the document. Any changes made to one connected attribute will be applied to all fields with the same attribute.

Connected attributes used to send information into a Papersign field.

To add a connected attribute:

  1. Select the desired Text field to open its configuration page.
  2. Click “Connected attribute” and choose from the list of attributes available for that signer.
  3. If a value exists for that attribute, it will appear on the document.

Learn how to set up your own Papersign Templates using connected attributes.

Answer Piping

To prevent a signer from changing certain attributes, you can use answer piping to insert an attribute as read-only text.

How you pipe an answer depends on whether you are working with an uploaded PDF or an original/editable page.

  • For uploaded PDFs, first create a Text Block as described in Working with PDFs.
  • On an original/editable page, place the cursor wherever you would like to pipe the attribute.


  1. Type two open curly braces {{ to see a dropdown of available content.

  2. To make a selection, either:

    • Continue typing the attribute label and hit the Enter key.
    • Or, click the attribute label you would like to use.


So far, we’ve covered fields and signer attributes. What if you want to add information not associated with a signer? This is where variables come in.

Variables are similar to attributes, except they are not linked to a specific signer. You can use them to store information that you might need to modify later, like the date or cost of a service.

Variables menu highlighted on the right side of the Papersign editor.

See how variables are used to set up Papersign templates.

To add a document variable:

  1. Open the "Variables" menu on the right sidebar.
  2. Click the "Add variable" button, and configure the variable just as you would a custom signer attribute.

Variables are inserted using answer piping, described in the section above.

Styling your document

Access the Theme menu

At this point, you may want to style your document to match your company's brand. In this guide, we will cover the basics of the "Theme" menu, as it is a quick way to apply changes to headings, body text, fields, and header/footer text.

The "Theme" menu is highlighted on the right of the Papersign editor.

Let’s try changing the font of your fields so they stand out:

  1. Select the "Theme" menu on the right sidebar.
  2. From the first dropdown, select “Fields”.
  3. From the “Font Family” dropdown, choose a different font.
  4. Then, click on the “Color” box and pick a different color.

To undo, hit Ctrl + Z or Cmd + Z a number of times as required.

Papersign Style Guide

Check out our Papersign Style Guide for the full rundown on how to:

  • Customize the font, size, and color for all text.
  • Add headers and footers to original/editable pages.
  • Add and edit images.

Previewing your document

Access the Preview

While drafting your document, you can view how it looks and behaves from the point of view of each signer. Any changes or responses made in preview mode won’t be saved, so it's a good way to test out the full signing flow for all parties.

Highlighted eye icon beside the "Send" button on the Papersign Dashboard.

To preview the document:

  1. Click the eye icon in the top-right corner of the page.
  2. Choose which signer you’d like to view the document as by clicking the "View for" dropdown.

Test your document's behavior

For each signer, try to click each field to fill them manually, or click the “Start” button to be guided through the signing flow. Signers may interact with the document in either of these ways, so it's important to know that they both work as intended.

Papersign document preview with the "View for" dropdown and "Start" button highlighted.

Before sending your document

Configure the Signing Order

The signing order refers to the sequence in which participants are invited to complete the document. This is indicated by the numbers beside each signer's name in the “Signers” menu.

The document can be signed in a set order, in any order, or by ordered groups.

The signing order can be set by clicking and dragging.

Sign in order

By default, the document is sent to each signer one by one in the specified order. The next signer is notified only after the preceding signer has completed their part.

To set a specific order, click and drag the names to sort them into sequence. Each signer should have a number beside their name.

Sign in any order

You have the option to send the document to all parties simultaneously. They are notified at the same time and can sign the document in any order.

To set this up, click the dropdown menu and choose “Sign in any order”. The signers should all be contained in a single group, numbered 1.

Custom order

You can organize signers into groups and set a specific order for the groups. Within each group, the signers can sign the document in any sequence.

There are two ways to create signing groups:

  • Manually drag one name on top of another and put them in the same group.
  • Or, select “Sign in any order” to make one large group, and divide it into smaller groups by clicking "--split--" when it appears as you hover over the space between two names.

Signers in the same group will be indicated with the same number.

Document settings

While editing a document, you can find "Settings" from the hamburger menu in the top-right corner of the page. These are the same settings prompted when the document was created.

Papersign document settings are found by clicking the hamburger menu on the top right corner.

There are five settings that you can toggle on and off:

  • Require signers to verify their email address before viewing the document.
  • Allow signers to nominate someone else to sign instead of them.
  • Include a certificate of authenticity at the end of the finalized document.
  • Enable automatic reminders.
  • Require consent to conduct business electronically.
Papersign document settings page.

Certificate of Authenticity

Once a document reaches “Completed” status, a Signature Certificate is appended to the bottom of your Papersign document with the following information for all participants:

  • Email address
  • IP Address
  • Sent At Time
  • Sent Method
  • Viewed At Time
  • Viewed Method
  • Signed At Time
  • Consented At Time - Included only if “Require consent to conduct business electronically” is toggled on.

Automatic Reminders

By default, a pending document will send an automatic reminder after 7 days and follow-up reminders every 7 days after that. The initial duration and follow-up duration can be changed in the dropdown menus.

Consent Agreement

If "Require consent to conduct business electronically" is toggled on, all signers will be required to acknowledge a consent agreement before they can view and sign the document. You can use Papersign's default consent agreement as is, make edits, or replace the entire agreement to your preference.

Toggling off the "Require consent..." setting will reset the Consent Agreement back to default and you will lose any changes made.

Sending the document

Final review

When you're happy with your setup and ready to request signatures, click the "Send" button in the top-right corner.

In order to send a document, each signer must have:

  • A name
  • A valid email address
  • At least one field assigned to them

If you have any signers that don't meet these requirements, or if you don't have any signers at all, you will see an error message explaining the issue.

If the signer requirements are met, a final pop-up will appear to confirm the signature requests.

Final confirmation page before sending a Papersign document.

This gives you a chance to double-check the names and emails of all signers, and update the signing order. You will also see the following expandable menus with more options:

Configured behavior

Review the document's behavior settings. Use the toggle switches beside each setting according to your preferences.

Document expiration

Set a limit on the time available to complete the request. The expiration date and time must be at least 30 minutes in the future. This can also be changed at any point after the document has been sent.


Add a personal message that appears in the body of the signature request email for all signers. If you would like additional parties to receive a copy of the completed document, you can also add up to five forwarding emails. (Please note that a copy will always be sent to the Papersign account owner, as well as all signers, so you don't need to add any of those email addresses here.)

In addition to delivering a personalized email message to the recipients of the document, you have the flexibility to specify the sender's email address. If a "from user" is designated, the email notification will display this information as the sender. The sender's email address must be a user within the Team of the primary Papersign account and can be selected from the dropdown menu in the "From" field of the modal. If no "from user" is set, the details of the person sending the document (rather than the document's creator) will be used. This feature allows email customization to reflect the correct sender, enhancing the recipient's experience and clarifying the document's source.

Automatic reminders

Configure automatic reminder emails for anyone who hasn't yet signed after a specified amount of time. By default, reminders are sent every 7 days, so make sure to toggle this setting off if you don't want this to happen automatically. This setting can be updated after the document is sent, and you can also manually send a reminder to the current signer(s) at any time.


For you as a signer

If the Dashboard is your center for all things related to document creation, you can think of the Inbox as your hub as a signer.

From the Dashboard, you can get to the Inbox either with the "Inbox" button in the bottom-left corner or by clicking "Requires Action" at the top.

Inbox and Required Action buttons highlighted on the Papersign Dashboard.

Here, you can sign any documents that you’ve been invited to, or download any completed documents which you have participated in.

Learn more about how to use Papersign as a signer in our Signers’ Guide.

Leveling Up

Next Steps

Great work, you made it!

As you can guess, we’ve only just covered the basics of what you can accomplish with Papersign.

Next up, if you’d like to continue learning, you might consider:

Our Help Center and YouTube Channel have great resources for learning more about Papersign. If you get stuck, you can always reach out to our Support Team via the chat widget at the bottom right of the screen, or email us at