CALS - Getting Started with DocuSign (eSignatures)


DocuSign is an electronic signature service, which allows users to quickly and securely send documents, such as contracts, forms, or agreements for review and signature from any device. DocuSign replaces the process of printing a document and signing with pen and ink with completely digital equivalent.


Request a DocuSign account from the Service Catalog.
For assistance with what type of account would be best for your group, please submit a 4Help Ticket.


Supported File Formats

DOCUMENT​​ .doc, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .htm, .html, .msg, .pdf, .rtf, .txt, .wpd, .xps
IMAGE .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff
PRESENTATION​​ .pot, .potx, .pps, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx
SPREADSHEET .csv, .xls, .xlsm, .xlsx​
Note: Google file formats are only supported if you connect your Google Drive cloud storage to DocuSign.

File size limitations for an envelope
For best performance, DocuSign recommends restricting your file uploads to no more than 5 MB.

The 25 MB maximum file size limit refers to the maximum size of an individual file uploaded to an envelope.

For the completed PDF to be included with the completed email notification, the size cannot exceed 5MB. If the completed documents are larger than 5MB, the email provides a link to the documents on the DocuSign system.​


DocuSign Terminology
How to sign a document with DocuSign
How to Send a Document and Request a Signature

DocuSign Support:

DocuSign Terminology

Envelopes: A collection of documents (or a single document) used to collect information and signature(s).  This counts as one use of a license and can contain multiple signatures.

Templates: A form or document that can have pre-defined recipients and fields and can be used multiple times. 

Powerform: A unique URL that is linked to a specific template.  This link can be sent to people and allow them to complete the form and initiate the signing process.

Note: To create templates and powerforms your DocuSign account must be affiliated with a department.

How to sign a document with DocuSign

A video of the process: (1m00s)


How to Send a Document and Request a Signature  

A video of the process: (1m45s)

  1. Log into with your Virginia Tech email address.DocuSign Start Page
    You will be directed to VT Login; enter your PID and password and perform 2-factor authentication to complete the login.

  2. Drag a document or click Start -> Send an Envelope

  3. The Add Documents to the Envelope page will be loaded.Add documents and recipients
    1. Additional documents can be added if needed.

  4. Add Recipients to the Envelope
    1. Add the name and email address for people that need to sign it.

    2. Click on the Needs to Sign pulldown menu to set the appropriate action the recipient needs to perform.

    3. You can add as many recipients as needed and set a signing order.  If you set a signing order, DocuSign will automatically route the document to the recipients for you.

      A recipient does not need a DocuSign account or be affiliated with Virginia Tech to sign a document.

  5. Below the recipient information, the email subject and message to the recipients can be modified if desired.  It's useful to provide detailed information to the people that need to sign the document.  Click Next.

  6. You now need to add a Signature field to the document.
    1. From the panel on the left, drag the Signature icon onto the document and place it in the appropriate location.

    2. You can also add other fields such as Date Signed or Name if needed.

    3. If the document needs to be signed by more than one person, drag a second signature field onto the document. 
      1. On the panel to the right, under Recipient, pull down the menu to select the next person. 
      2. The signature block will change color to match the recipient selected.  Repeat this for each recipient and for any additional fields that were added.

        Add needed fields to document
  7. Use the Recipient Preview to review the document and field locations.
  8. When the document is ready, click on Send.

  9. Each recipient will be notified by email with instructions on how to sign the document.  Once the document is signed by all recipients, you and each recipient will receive an email of the completed document as a PDF.

    As the sender, you will also be able to download a copy of the document through the DocuSign website.