Senders can create two types of signing experiences: guided and free-form. Guided signing allows the sender to place signature tags for their signers. Free-form signing allows the signer to place their own tags when signing a document.

Note: Free-form and Guided signing cannot be used on the same document. Similarly, Free-form signing is not available if Document Visibility is enabled on the account and set to require signers to sign a document to view it. For more information on document visibility, please review Using Document Visibility in an Envelope.

Guided Signing

Guided signing is the standard DocuSign signing experience in which fields are placed on a document that the signer is then prompted to fill in or sign (depending on the signing navigation settings).

Once a user has filled in all of the necessary fields, the “Confirm Signing” button is displayed on the left-hand side of the page. When a signer clicks “Confirm Signing,” the document is routed to the next signer or back to the sender, depending on the document’s routing order.

For more information, please review Adding Tags to a Document.

Free-Form Signing

Free-form signing occurs when no tags are placed on a document submitted via DocuSign. This means that the signer will be presented with a palette of signature options (Signature, Initial, Full Name, etc.) which can be applied to the document at will.

Signers may drag and drop fields onto the document, adjust their locations, and remove fields as needed. Once a field has been placed on the document, the signer is presented with a “Finish” option that routes it to the next recipient or back to the sender, depending on the document’s routing order.

Free-form signing also comes in handy when signing a document yourself (with free-form signing, there is no need to tag a document beforehand) and sending it to the receiving party.

For more information on Free-Form signing, please review the Free-Form Signing Guide.

Note: Regardless of the signing method chosen, signers always have the option to download a PDF copy of their signed document to print or retain in their records.