The utilization of electronic signatures has become a fundamental requirement for companies engaged in the storage and administration of documents. In this article, you will learn what is an eSignature, types of eSignature are available, what is Google eSignature, features of Google eSignature and how to create an eSignature for Google Docs.
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What is an eSignature?
An electronic signature, often abbreviated as eSignature, is a digital representation of a person’s handwritten signature or a symbol of intent to agree to the content of a document or transaction. Esignatures serve as a way to legally and securely sign documents in digital form, eliminating the need for physical ink on paper. They are widely used for various types of agreements, contracts, and official documents in business, legal, and personal contexts.
Types of eSignature
Esignatures can take different forms, including:
- Typing a Name: This involves typing your name in a designated field, and that typed text is treated as your signature.
- Digital Image of a Signature: You can create a scanned image of your handwritten signature and insert it into the document.
- Mouse or Touchscreen Signature: Some platforms allow you to draw your signature using a mouse or touchscreen.
- Biometric Signatures: These involve capturing specific biometric data, such as the pressure applied while signing on a touchscreen or the angle of the stylus, to create a more authentic and secure digital signature.
- Cryptographic Signatures: These involve using cryptographic techniques to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the signed document. They are more advanced and secure than simple image-based signatures.
What is Google eSignature ?
Google has introduced an open beta version of its recently developed eSignature functionality within Google Workspace. This new feature will be exclusively accessible for both individual and diverse group accounts, focusing on Google Docs and Google Drive. You can add your electronic signature to a contract, offer letter or other agreements in a Google Doc directly from Google Workspace.
Latest news about Google eSignature?
Google recently introduce eSignature with the name of “DocuSign”. You can easily access eSignature from any point in your workflow, like Google Docs, Google Drive and Gmail.
Having previously been available in a restricted alpha release, the recently introduced functionality targets independent entrepreneurs and small enterprises, providing them with a convenient method to gather and monitor digital signatures directly within the document, eliminating the need for printing, manual signing, scanning, and emailing to obtain a signature.
In an official blog post unveiling this innovative addition, the company stated, “To enhance the efficiency of this process, we are seamlessly integrating the eSignature feature into Google Docs. This enables you to request and incorporate signatures into official contracts directly within the Google Docs platform.”
The concept is quite straightforward, without any unnecessary complexities. Essentially, it involves an electronic signature field that can be seamlessly incorporated into the document. Anticipated enhancements in the upcoming months may encompass features such as an audit trail report to monitor signatures within Google Docs files, the functionality to manage multiple signatories and share documents with individuals external to the Google Workspace environment. Additionally, there are plans to facilitate the capture of an electronic signature within a PDF version of the document.
In a similar vein, Box introduced a comparable capability called Box Sign back in 2021, while Dropbox acquired HelloSign in 2019; however, unlike Box and Google, Dropbox does not bundle this feature.
Alan Pelz-Sharpe, the founder and principal analyst at Deep Analysis with extensive coverage of the document management sector, interprets Google’s recent move as a strategic alignment with the market trends. By offering this feature at no charge, Google enables customers to seamlessly integrate it into their operational processes. Pelz-Sharpe commented, “The emergence of digital signatures as an included feature has been anticipated for some time. Box has already made it a standard offering, and now Google is following suit. It’s plausible that Dropbox and Microsoft will eventually follow suit, incorporating similar capabilities or providing alternatives to third-party solutions.”
The company plans to gradually introduce the new feature to individual users of Workspace without any associated costs within the upcoming 15 days. For users within various groups, participation can be initiated through Workspace administrators applying for access to the Beta version.
How to create an eSignature for Google Docs?
Looking to eSignature a Google Doc, here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Begin by accessing your Google Drive account. Create a new Google Doc or locate the specific document you intend to electronically sign or eSignature.
- Inside the open document, find the DocuSign eSignature icon located in the right menu navigation bar. Click on it. This action will prompt you to either log in to an existing DocuSign account or set up a new account, free of charge.
- Upon logging in or successfully creating your free DocuSign account, you’re all set to commence the signing process. You will then receive a prompt asking for permission to grant DocuSign access to your document. This access is necessary to upload the document onto DocuSign’s platform. Once you’re logged in, the document will seamlessly upload from Google Docs directly into DocuSign.
- Within DocuSign, proceed to include the recipients who are required either to sign the agreement or receive a copy. Click “Next” after you’ve added all the relevant recipients. Remember, you have the flexibility to add more recipients later, so there’s no need to worry about excluding anyone.
- Craft a personalized email message meant for the signers. Upon clicking “Next,” you will be redirected to DocuSign’s interface to review the list of signers and the attached message. At this stage, if necessary, you can further add more signers or recipients.
- To progress, click “Next” and incorporate the required fields into the agreement. You can effortlessly drag and drop various fields, such as a signature field, date field, text field, and more, directly onto the agreement. If there are multiple signers, adjust the necessary recipient designation located in the upper left-hand corner. After successfully adding all the essential fields, proceed by clicking “Send.”
- You will promptly receive a confirmation notification indicating that your document has been dispatched to the initial signer. Subsequently, you will be directed back to Google Docs, seamlessly concluding the process.
The increasing prevalence of electronic signatures, or eSignatures, has revolutionized the way companies handle document signing and administration. Throughout this article, we’ve explored the concept of eSignatures and their diverse forms, from simple typed names to more advanced cryptographic methods. We delved into the emergence of Google eSignature, a strategic move by Google to align with market trends and provide users with a seamless solution within Google Workspace.
The introduction of Google eSignature, also known as “DocuSign,” presents a game-changing feature for individuals and small enterprises alike. This addition allows users to gather and manage digital signatures directly within Google Docs, eliminating the traditional processes of printing, manual signing, scanning, and emailing. This innovation aligns with a broader industry shift towards efficient digital workflows.