How to create a Template with tags in a base document

Do you want to get the same contract electronically signed multiple times by different signers? In that case, it’s a hassle to add fields to the contract every time. Therefore, it’s possible to create a contract (template) in which the fields are automatically added. It takes a few minutes to create and test the template, but when done it makes working with SignRequest easier and faster.

SignRequest offers two ways to create a template:

  • Templates with tags in a base document
  • Templates within SignRequest

This help article shows you how to create a Template with tags in a base document.

To create a template of a document within SignRequest, click here.


Templates with tags in a base document

Template tags are a way in which you can add data to a base document in your chosen word-processing program (Word, Google Docs) that is automatically recognised by SignRequest.


 The above video shows how to create a template with tags in a base document. 

How to add tags to a base document

In this example, we use two signers, if fewer signers are added to the SignRequest by default these will not be shown. So to test and view all tags, we advise you to add at least 2 email addresses.
You can open the tag with " [[ " and close the tag with " ]] ". To create a text field use " t ", for a date field use " d " and for a signature field use " s ". Then, add a " | " and a number for every different user.



  • It is not possible to set the signing order within the template tags.  The signing order must be set in the document/ template prepare view.  (The number that appears within the template tag refers to the contact person in the document, not the signing order position).
  • You can change the size of the text, date and signature fields by adjusting the size of the font and adding spaces.
  • The font color of the tags should be made white, so they aren't visible in the contract. (If you select the text, ctrl all, they should be visible, or when using the latest Word & Office 365, temporarily change the color of the page to grey, so the white text is visible.)
  • You should keep a distance between the tags. Preferably an enter or a proper line-height. While making a template please be sure to test, before sending to contacts.
  • For the "Bulk send" feature you'll need to create a Template within SignRequest.

For Example:

Signer 0: this is the first person that needs to sign (including you).

Important: Signer "0" always refers to the Sender.  Even if the sender does not need to sign this document, you must still start with "1" for your signers.  


SignRequest Template Tags Example


Signer 1: this is the second person that needs to sign (including you).

SignRequest Template Tags Example


The result in SignRequest:

SignRequest Template Tags Example


Which tag is for which signer?

The numbers in the tags are used to make distinctions between the signers and group multiple tags (input fields) to one specific signer.

The template tags are assigned to the order at which the email addresses are added to the contact field and are not the same as the order of signing. This means that for example “s|1” can be the first or last signer depending on what you specified in the order of signing (if used of course).


More or fewer signers than tags?

This document has template tags for 3 signers. If you only add 2 signers then the last tags (in this example t|2, d|2 and s|2) will not be used. If you add more signers then tags then those signers will still be able to sign the document, but will not be directed to the locations in the document and have the ability to add text, dates and signatures wherever they want in the document.


Example 1: You need to sign yourself and have 2 external signers

In this case, you’ll be assigned to the t|0, d|0 and s|0 tags as by default the sender is always the first added email address. The t|1, d|1 and s|1 tags will be for the next added email address and the t|2, d|2 and s|2 tags will be for the other email address.


Example 2: You don’t need to sign yourself and have 2 external signers

In this case, the t|0, d|0 and s|0 tags will still be associated with the sender of the document, so do not use them here. The t|1, d|1 and s|1 tags will be for the next added email address and the t|2, d|2 and s|2 tags will be for the second signer.

Tip: to easily test documents with tags you don’t really need to send them out, after uploading and adding the email addresses you can easily view the result by clicking on “Prepare document”.


How to make a field optional or required

By default, the text fields and signature fields are required. The checkbox field can be skipped by default.

To make the text or date fields optional instead of required you can add “r:0” to the tags, as follows:

Text field: [[t|1|r:0]]
Date field: [[d|1|r:0]]

To make the checkbox fields mandatory, you can add “r:1” to the tags, as follows:

Checkbox field: [[c|1|r:1]]


How to add a name/description to the fields

You can also add a name to the fields by adding “n:examplename”. The name/description will replace the word “Text” in the placeholder field. See below↓↓

Text field: [[t|1|n:example name]]         - Required field
Text field: [[t|1|r:0|n:example name]]    - Optional field




Automatic pre-fill of a date field

By default, the date field will be pre-filled automatically with the date of signing. In some cases, however, this is not useful, for example with a date of birth. In that case, you can use "p:0" to prevent it from being pre-filled.

Date field: [[d|1|p:0]]


Add an ID to a field

You can add an ID to the fields by adding “id:examplename”. This ID can be used to export data in an excel file or by using the API to pre-fill or export these fields.

Text field: [[t|1|id:examplename]]


How to make a text field "multi-line"

By default, text fields are "single-line".  If you'd like the text field to support "multi-line" capacity, then you'll need to add "m:1" to your text field tags.  It should look as follows:

[[t|1|m:1|       id:contact_name]]


Start testing yourself

You can quickly test this feature with our example documents:

1. Basic example document

2. Advanced example document

These are shared Google Docs documents with example tags. If you have our Google Docs Add-on you can directly send a SignRequest!

If you don't have our Google Docs Add-on for electronic signatures, go to "Add-ons" in the Google Docs menu bar and install the Add-on for free. Then, go back to "Add-ons" and click "SignRequest".

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  • Will the tags work if I save the google doc as a pdf, and then bring the pdf into sign request?

  • Hi Karl,

    Yes. The recommended file format to use is a PDF, as the file is converted to a PDF when uploaded to SignRequest.

    If you change the template tags font to 'white', they will not appear on the document, but when uploaded to SignRequest, the tags will be identified, and placeholder fields will automatically be placed onto the document where the tags are positioned.

  • Hi Stu, 

    Templates with tags in a base document work like a charm. Is there a possibility to auto-connect it somehow with the first contact that needs to sign this by also taking his  e-mail from the form?

    [|                ]

    What kind of tag would I need to place on the document? in order to fill out the signer's e-mail and then signer? If I could solve this that could be an insanely great time saver. 

  • Hi Tadej,

    Unfortunately, it is not possible to 'prefill' tags or placeholder fields with an 'auto-populate' function using the signer's email address or name.

    It is possible to 'prefill' documents with data from another source (e.g. Google sheets) using our Zapier integration. -> How to Prefill a Document with External IDs via Zapier

  • Hi Stu,

    how to put a text tag next to a signature field? So all in one line.


  • Hi Karolin,

    Thanks for reaching out!

    "How to put a text tag next to a signature field? So, all in one line."

    For multiple tags to appear on the same line on a page, you can set it up like the example below. ↓

    Text field: [[t|1       ]]         Signature field:    [[s|1               ]]

    When setting the 'tags' text to 'white', the placeholders will appear as below when uploading the document to SignRequest.

    The size of the font for the 'tags', defines the height of the placeholder field, which determines the size of the inputs in the document.

    If you have any more questions, please feel free to reach out to

  • Hi Stu, 

    thanks for the feedback. Still it does not work. See picture.


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