You can now use an electronic signature in a Google Doc

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Google Docs is a commonly widespread tool used by thousands of people every day. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Google Docs is super easy to work with and to understand. It also makes for a great collaboration tool too!

Originally, Google Docs was created to help you work with documents from writing to editing and beyond. But now times have changed and today there are many more actions we can take inside the tool. This is largely due to the Google marketplace.

What are Google add-ons?

A Google add-on is a way to add new features and functionality to Google Sheets, Docs, Slides, Forms, Gmail, etc. Most add-ons are developed by third parties and go through a rigorous Google selection and approval process. Basically, all add-ons run inside the Google tool you are using and look like additional menus, sidebars, and popovers that were already built-in.

Obviously, add-ons allow you to extend the value of your Google Docs investment by letting you do more while not having to open a new window. You can choose from a variety of Google docs add-on to format text or customize styles, set page sizes or add formatted code, and much more. Luckily, there is also the possibility to easily eSign documents in Google Docs.

eSignatures and digital signatures

To start, let’s define what eSignatures are, how they can be helpful in your Google account, and how to sign documents in Google Docs.

So, what are eSignatures? A signature is often used to prove one’s identity. Typically, signatures are captured by physically handwriting them with a pen and paper.

Now thanks to technology, we’ve moved from the dark ages into a time where collecting an eSignature on a document is more common, takes only seconds, and is actually an enjoyable experience.

To put it simply, an eSignature helps you to sign online documents. eSignatures can also be called digital signatures too. While they are basically the same thing, there are a couple of slight differences between the two.

A digital signature is a verified signature on a document that contains an encrypted algorithm with invisible digital codes. The encryption is the key difference between an electronic signature vs digital signature. Here you can find more info on how a digital signature works.

Are eSignatures legally-binding?

eSignatures are legal in the United States, Canada, Australia, and many other countries. Be advised though as electronic signatures are not yet legal worldwide.

Google Docs

‘It is highly likely that you’ve dealt with or used Google Docs at some point in your business ventures. Google and their products are one of the most recognized brands worldwide.

It is also known that Google Doc offers far fewer features than its biggest competitor, Microsoft Office, specifically Microsoft Word. And this is where Google add-ons take the stage and transform the tool into a powerful world-class word processor. There are a few hundred Google apps in the marketplace – giving you lots of options to choose from.

How do I add an eSignature in Google Docs?

PandaDoc is one of the tools that can help add eSignatures to Google Documents. The best part is, you won’t have to open new windows, tabs or apps to accomplish this. PandaDoc appears seamlessly in Google Docs to make your working experience much more pleasant.

In this post, we’ll highlight how to add an eSignature to your Google Docs:

To get started, use an existing Google Doc, upload a document from your hard drive or Dropbox, or just create a new one. Then click Add-ons > Get Add-ons.

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Search for “PandaDoc” or scroll down and look for the bright green Sign Docs box. Click on it and select free.

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Go back into your Google Doc and select Add-ons > PandaDoc > Send via PandaDoc. Now your PandaDoc add-on panel will appear on the right side of the screen. Select Connect to PandaDoc.

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Then, hit Authorize application in the window that pops up.

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Now you will find the PandaDoc add-on right inside your Google Docs everytime you open the app. Simply go to Add-ons > PandaDoc > Send via PandaDoc any time you’re ready to send a Google Doc for electronic signature and tracking!

See also: PandaDoc for eSignatures

How to send your Google Doc via PandaDoc

The PandaDoc add-on works the same as the PandaDoc app with two major exceptions:

  1. You obviously aren’t inside PandaDoc, instead you are working within your Google Doc.
  2. No dragging, no dropping. To use PandaDoc from within a Google Doc, all you need to do is place your cursor exactly where you want the Widget to land.

Then, click on the type of Widget — text field, signature, etc — and assign the recipient as usual.

When you are ready to Send a document, your Google Doc will be automatically converted into a PandaDoc, which means that your recipient can electronically sign it and you can track their interactions with your document.

Find out more details about the PandaDoc and Google Drive integration in this video:

PandaDoc add-on best practices

PandaDoc users cannot only just send Google Docs via PandaDoc and work with Google Docs signatures but you can also view the doc analytics. From now on, when you send a document via PandaDoc, you can see exactly how long your recipient looked at each section.

See also: Take the advantage of PandaDoc document analytics

This means that you can anticipate a prospect’s objections by analyzing where they spent most of their time on the document.
It’s important to take advantage of this feature by breaking up your doc into specific pages.

Here’s how: click Insert > Page Break and add a page break between important sections that you want deeper knowledge of what your client is thinking and looking at.

Integrate with Gmail before sending Google Docs via PandaDoc

Do you use Gmail? If yes, then save even more time by logging into your PandaDoc account and set up the contact sync between PandaDoc and your Gmail account. Go to Settings > Integrations then Click Connect Gmail.

The next pop up will ask you to accept the integration.

Finally, the green status bar will display, showing you the process of syncing your contacts from Gmail to PandaDoc. When the sync is finished, all your contacts will be inside PandaDoc. This means you can send your signed documents to your Gmail contacts via the PandaDoc Google add-on.

PandaDoc and Google Docs integration

Now you’re all set and can start sending, signing, and editing your PandaDoc documents right within the comfort of Google Docs. This is a small but yet another step toward a paperless, more organized process, where you can run your business and close deals from anywhere in the world.

Share your experience of using both tools in the comments below.

Originally published March 11, 2014, updated June 18, 2018

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