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Use forms and fields

Form fields have an important function for important documents and contracts: in addition to signature fields, data such as name, location, date, etc. are often required. In this tutorial, we will show you how you can 1) place form fields in sproof sign as a sender and assign them to your invited contacts and 2) fill in form fields quickly and easily as a recipient.
Hannah Nopp
Updated on 21.05.2024

References and further links:

Step by step introduction

Types of form fields

In sproof sign, a distinction is made between "General fields", "Predefined fields" and "Custom fields":

  • General fields: These are form fields which can be filled in by anyone who has access to the document. However, they can only be filled in until the first person signs the document. They are then saved on the document.
  • Predefined fields: These are fields whose content is already predefined to make it easier to fill in. For example, a name field should be filled with the name, a date field with the date, and so on. If you place predefined fields for yourself, the data will be filled in automatically if they are stored in your profile. This saves you time when preparing your document.
  • Custom fields: These fields have no predefined content and usually have to be configured by the sender. For example, if you place a selection field, you must specify the options that are available to the recipient.

List of all form fields

sproof sign offers you an extensive selection of form fields so that there are no limits when preparing your documents:

  1. Signature: Signature position where the document is signed with the full name
  2. Initials: Signature position where the initials of the name are signed
  3. Name: First name, surname or full name
  4. Email: Email address
  5. Organization: e.g. company, employer, etc.
  6. Address: Partial or full address
  7. Postal code: Postal code
  8. Country: Country information
  9. Date: Date
  10. Text (fixed): read-only text that is fixed on the document without having to sign the document
  11. Text: Text field that can be filled with any text
  12. Choosebox: A dropdown with one or more selection options, which must be specified by the sender
  13. Checkbox: Checkboxes are often used for multiple choice questions, or to give confirmation or accept conditions
  14. Radiobox: Radioboxes are often used for single-choice questions where people are asked to choose an answer from a group of answers
  15. Date field: Date

Placing and configuring form fields

This is how you can place and configure form fields in sproof sign:

  1. You will find a list of all available form fields in the right-hand sidebar. The sidebar looks different depending on whether you are placing fields for yourself or for your recipients.
  2. Drag & drop a field onto the document to place it there. You can select a field by clicking on it. To move a field, hold down the mouse button and drag it to another position.
  3. Once you have selected a field, an overlay appears directly above the field, which contains the following functions: Change assignment, Open field settings, Duplicate field, Reduce/enlarge font and Delete field.
  4. Click on the pencil icon to open the field settings in the right sidebar: Here you can, for example, change the assignment, mark the field as a mandatory field and make other settings that correspond to the field.

The preview

The preview represents a print preview, so to speak. It shows how the document will look when you download it at this point in time. This function is important because all form and signature fields except the "Text (fixed)" field are only fixed once a document has been signed. This means that they are NOT displayed in the preview before signing. You can use the preview to check which fields are already fixed on the document and which are not.

  1. In this example, you can see a read only text ("Text (fixed)"-field), a name field and a signature position.
  2. You can open the preview by clicking on the preview button in the top menu bar.
  1. The read-only text is visible on the document because it is fixed when the document is downloaded, regardless of a signature.
  2. The name field and the signature position are not displayed in the preview, as they are only fixed on the document once it has been signed.
  3. You can download the document as it is.
  4. Close the preview via the close button at the bottom or via the X-Icon at the top right

Noticebar and quick access

You have two options for going through and completing form fields on your document: Either directly on the document or via the so-called noticebar.

  1. The noticebar* shows for whom you are currently placing form fields, i.e. either 1) for yourself, 2) for a recipient or 3) unassigned (general) fields.
  2. The information in the brackets shows how many fields you have already placed for this person and how many of them have already been filled in. The check icon is gray until at least all mandatory fields have been filled in and the document can be signed.
  3. You can use the arrows to navigate quickly and easily through the fields for the respective person.
  4. The green button with the pencil icon opens the quick access.
  5. All form fields for the respective person are listed in the quick access and can be completed in one go. However, some fields, such as signature fields, must be checked directly on the document. You can use the icon to the right of a field to jump directly to the relevant field on the document.
  6. You can filter the fields to get a better overview of fields that have already been filled in and those that are still open.

Form fields in practice

There are five use cases for how you can use form fields:

  • You upload a document and place general form fields that can be filled in by anyone.
  • You upload a document and place form fields for yourself, which can be pre-filled.
  • You upload a document, add recipients and place assigned form fields for them.
  • You upload a document with existing form fields.
  • You receive a document and fill in the form fields placed on it.

These five use cases can also be combined and are described in more detail below.

Use case 1: Uploading a document and placing general form fields

As described under "Types of form fields", general fields are not assigned to anyone and can therefore be filled in by anyone. However, only until the first person signs the document, then they are fixed on the document. To place general fields, upload a document and select "Edit document" in the right-hand sidebar.

  1. Drag and drop general fields from the right sidebar onto the document.
  2. If necessary, make settings for the field. To do this, click on the pencil icon.
  3. The number of general fields is displayed in the noticebar. Use the arrows to navigate through the fields or fill them in directly in quick fill mode.

Always keep in mind that the general fields are written as soon as someone signs the document. So if you want to have the fields filled in by any recipient, either sign the document before you place the fields or only after one of your contacts has filled in the fields and signed the document.

Use case 2: Upload document and place form fields assigned to you

If you place form fields for yourself, upload a document and select "Sign yourself" in the right-hand sidebar.

  1. You will find the form fields in the third tab. It is important that you have previously selected a signature type and a signature style, otherwise you will not be able to place any fields on the document.
  2. Now drag and drop any number of form fields onto the document. As already described in the section "Types of form fields", predefined fields are already filled with your data, saving you time when filling in the fields. You can edit their content at any time.
  3. The number of fields set for you is displayed in the noticebar. Use the arrows to navigate through the fields or fill them in directly in quick fill mode.
  4. Then sign the document in order to record your signature and other form fields on the document.

If you wish, you can then invite contacts to sign. You can find out more about this in the next section "Use case 3: Upload document and place form fields for contacts".

Use case 3: Upload document and place form fields for contacts

To place form fields that are explicitly assigned to a specific recipient, upload a document and select "Recipients" in the right-hand sidebar. Add one or more contacts and define the signing order, roles, etc. if necessary. Click on "Next" to proceed to the next step. You can now place form fields for your recipients. Please note that at least one signature position must be set for all signing persons.

  1. In this selection field, you can see which recipient is currently selected. Click on the field to select another person from the list. You can also select "Anybody" if you want to place general fields.
  2. Now drag and drop any number of form fields for the selected person onto the document.
  3. The number of fields for the selected person is displayed in the notice bar. Use the arrows to navigate through the fields or fill them out directly for the respective person in quick fill mode.
  4. Then switch to the next person – either via the selection field at the top of the sidebar or via the button at the bottom.

Repeat this until you have placed the necessary form fields for all contacts. You can then set up your invitation.

Use case 4: Uploading a document with existing form fields

If you upload a document with existing form fields, they will be recognized by sproof sign and you can decide how to proceed:

  1. Take over fields: The form fields are adopted and placed on the document as general fields. They can be assigned to someone later or filled in directly.
  2. Save form data: If the form fields have already been completed in another tool (e.g. Adobe Acrobat Reader), you can save the entered data directly on the document. They can then no longer be edited.
  3. Delete form fields: All recognized fields and their content are removed from the document.

If you have selected option 1, the recognized form fields are placed on the document as general fields. You can fill them in yourself or assign them to someone. To do this, go to "Recipients" and invite contacts. If you click on "Next", you will be asked in the next step whether you want to assign the fields to someone. Select one of your recipients.

Tip: You can only assign all fields at once in this step. If you want to assign individual fields to someone else, first assign all fields to one person and then change the assignment of the corresponding fields directly on the document.

Use case 5: Receiving a document and filling in existing fields

If you have received a document from someone for signature, open it as usual via the link in the email or via your sproof dashboard and navigate to "Sign yourself".

  1. In the third tab of the sidebar, you will see a list of all the form fields relevant to you.
  2. In this example, general fields (grey), fields assigned to you (blue) and fields for other recipients (other colors, semi-transparent) are set. Mandatory fields assigned to you and general mandatory fields must be completed before you can sign the document.
  3. You can also see how many fields are set for you in the noticebar. Use the arrows to navigate through the fields and fill them in on the document or go to the quick fill mode to fill in the fields.
  4. Once you have completed all the required form fields, you can sign the document.