Document signing

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This section covers the following topics:

Document signing overview

Document signing happens in SignSpace spaces.

To start a document signing process, create a signing request. Signing request is an activity in a space where you attach files to be signed and invite signatories, to review the documents and sign them electronically. Signing request posted in a space looks like this:

Signing request posted in a space

You may create a signing request in different locations on a space depending on what you are trying to achieve:

  • You may start a new space by creating a signing request. If you would like to start a completely new collaboration by a signing request where only people who need to sign the document will have access, starting a new space with your signing request will suit best.
  • You may post a signing request as a separate activity in an existing space (in SignSpace it is also called a separate branch in a space). For instance, if you are creating one of multiple signing requests related to the same long-term contract, it might be more convenient to have all of those signing requests in one space. But you still want to have a bit of separation between each signing request. In such case, use a separate activity in an existing space to post one of many related signing requests.
  • You may reply to another activity in space with a signing request. For instance, if you have an ongoing discussion in an existing space with a long line of comments and you would like to finalize that discussion with a document signing, you can reply to the last comment with a signing request.
  • You may also create a signing request from an external business application via SignApace API. For more information about how to create signing requests via API see https://dev.signspace.com/

Once a signing request is created, signatories will receive email notifications to sign the documents.

Email notification to sign the documents

For existing SignSpace users email button View signing request leads the signatory to a space where signing request is located.

The space where signing request is located

Signatories new to SignSpace have a choice of registering to SignSpace or proceeding to sign without registration. Registering to SignSpace has a benefit of being able to follow the whole signing process and being able to discuss the documents with other users.

Signing request presentation for unregistered signatories

If you have many signing requests on SignSpace, there is a dedicated Signings view available from the top bar, which lists all the signing requests you have access to and provides a quick way to view each in a relevant space.

Dedicated Signings view with a signing request list

There are two signature levels on SignSpace. Creator of the signing request chooses the level relevant for each signing request.

If the Light level is selected, each signatory will be asked to identify herself/himself by means of email address verification either during SignSpace account registration or during signing by using a one-time security code that will be delivered to her/his email address.

If the Strong level is selected, signatory is required to identify herself/himself using strong electronic identification either during the signing event or earlier when applying for personal SignSpace advance electronic signing certificate. Strong electronic identification is carried out via the verification service by Signicat. Identity is verified via electronic IDs for Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. To verify their identities, signatories will need their bank or mobile electronic ID credentials.

When all the signatories sign a signing request, signed files become available in the space where the signing request was posted.

Complete signing request

The signed files are also automatically stored in SignSpace for 10 years. However for convenience users may also download the files. SignSpace also has a verification service at https://www.signspace.com/verification.html where signature validity and document integrity may be verified.

Create a new space with a signing request

To create a signing request in a new space, click + New button and choose Signing request.

+ New button with opened options

If you have more than one paid account, choose your account from the Account field. The Contract name field of the signing request will be used as the new space title. You may change the space title later if needed. Signatories will have access to the created space and will be invited to sign the attached documents. Use + Add recipients to open an input field and enter other users who will be notified about this signing request and will have access to the created space. Use + Add due date to indicate the deadline for completing the signing request. Attach files to be signed in the Files to sign area. In Identity verification method select the required signature level, which can be either Light (does not require strong electronic identification) or Strong (requires strong electronic identification). Fill in the rest of the form.

 

New signing request form for creating a new space

While you edit the form, signing requests are not saved as a draft, so if you click X or Discard you will be asked if you agree to discard unsaved changes.

Confirmation about discarding changes

After clicking Send, a new space will be created and the signing request will be posted in it as the first activity.

Signing request posted in a new space as the first activity

Create a signing request in an existing space

To create a signing request as a new activity in an existing space, click the three dots in the bottom reply bar and select the Signing request option in the context menu.

Menu for creating a signing request in an existing space

You will be presented with a signing request form. Fill in the form.

New signing request form for posting in existing space

This signing request will be posted as a separate activity in the current space.

Signing request posted as separate activity in existing space

Reply with a signing request

To create a signing request as an inline reply, activate the inline reply.

Icon activating inline reply bar for a message

Activated inline reply bar for a message

Click the 3 dots on the right side of the inline reply bar and select Signing request.

Menu for creating an new signing request as a reply to a message

You will be presented with a signing request form. Fill in the form and click Send.

New signing request form for posting as an inline reply

This signing request will be posted as an inline reply to the activity you selected.

Signing request posted as an inline reply

Identity verification options

There are two identity verification options on SignSpace. Creator of the signing request chooses the option required for each signing request.

Identity verification options for a signing request

If the Light level is selected it is enough for a signatory to be identified by means of email address verification:

  • For registered users, during SignSpace account registration
  • For unregistered users, who sign without registration, during signing by using a one-time security code that will be delivered to their email address.

The Light level is easier and faster for signing, however provides a lower assurance of signatories identity. Therefore for signatures, which require signatories identity to be verified strongly, there is another option called the Strong level.

If the Strong level is selected, signatory is required to identify herself/himself using strong electronic identification:

  • For registered users, during every signing event, if the SignSpace Key mobile app is not used for signing.
  • For registered users, only once, when applying for personal SignSpace advance electronic signing certificate through the SignSpace Key mobile app, if the SignSpace Key mobile app is used for signing.
  • For unregistered users, who sign without registration, during every signing.

Strong electronic identification is carried out via the verification service by Signicat. Identity is verified via electronic IDs for Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. To verify their identities, signatories will need their bank or mobile electronic ID credentials.

All signatures created in SignSpace complies with the eIDAS Regulation (Regulation (EU) N°910/2014). More information about signatures in https://resources.signspace.com/legal-compliance

Sign a document if you are a registered SignSpace user

When you are invited to sign a document, you will receive an email notification.

Email notification about a signing request

Follow the email link to SignSpace space where the signing request is located.

Signing request located in a space on SignSpace

To start the signing process, click Read & sign next to your name.

Read & sign button next to signatory name

The document preview window will open.

Document preview before signing documents

Read all the documents - there might be more than one document to review. For convenience, you can download documents for review. SignSpace allows to sign various file types and for some of the file types document preview might not be available. You will have to download such files for review on your computer. After reviewing all the documents, click the Proceed to sign button.

On the last step of document signing, click the button Sign 2 documents now.

Last step of the document signing

In this example a Light signature level was selected when creating the signing request so strong electronic identification is not required. As soon as SignSpace processes your request you will see the Signing complete information screen. Clicking Close will take you back to the space where the signing request is posted.

Notification about successful signing

You can see that the signing request status next to your name has changed to Signed.

Signing status updated next to signatory name

In case the Strong signature level is selected, when you click Sign 2 documents now the process will be different. For Strong signatures strong electronic identification is required. The most convenient way to handle this is to use SignSpace Key app for signing. If you are already using the app, you will receive a push notification to your mobile phone with the signing request. Press Sign button and provide your phone passcode or Touch ID to sign. As soon as SignSpace processes your request you will see the Signing complete information screen on your desktop.

Signing request on SignSpace Key app

If you are not yet using the SignSpace Key mobile app, you will see this screen, suggesting to install the app. Click Email me the app links link.

Introduction screen for starting to use SignSpace Key app

App install link will be emailed to your inbox. The desktop screen will change to these instructions.

Explanation how to install the app and what to do next

Open your email inbox on your mobile phone and install the app. As indicated in the instructions, after install you need to sign in to your SignSpace account in the mobile app. Then you need to carry out strong electronic identification. This is done through Signicat service and you only have to do it once. Identity is verified via electronic IDs for Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. To verify your identity, have your bank or mobile electronic ID credentials ready. Your app is ready for signing when you see this screen.

SignSpace Key app ready for use

When ready, on your desktop click Ready, send me the signing request button and a push notification with a signing request will be sent to your mobile phone.

Signing request on SignSpace Key app

Press Sign button and provide your phone passcode or Touch ID to sign. As soon as SignSpace processes your request you will see the Signing complete information screen on your desktop.

In case you are not using a smartphone or do not have access to it at the moment, you can continue signing using SignSpace web application. Use the link Continue signing using SignSpace web application. However in this case every time you need to sign for a Strong level, you will be asked to carry out strong electronic identification.

Notification about strong electronic identification for signing

Strong electronic identification is carried out via identity verification service by Signicat. Identity is verified via electronic IDs for Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. To verify your identity, have your bank or mobile electronic ID credentials ready.

Signicat strong electronic identification option selection

Once you are back to SignSpace after verifying your identity, click the Sign 2 documents now button again to resume signing.

You will see a notification that you completed the document signing.

Notification about successful signing

If you click Close, you will be back in the space where the signing request is posted.You can see that the signing request status next to your name has changed to Signed.

Signing status updated next to signatory name

Note! If you are not the last person to sign, the document attached to this signing request still does not show your electronic signature. If you view or download the document now, you will not see any signatures in it. The document signatures become visible only when all the signatories have signed. You will be informed by an email message when all the signatories finished signing and the documents with the electronic signatures are ready for downloading.

Sign a document without registration to SignSpace

Signatories new to SignSpace have a choice of registering to SignSpace or proceeding to sign without registration. Registering to SingSpace has a benefit of being able to follow the whole signing process and being able to discuss the documents with other team members. If you would like to proceed without registration click Proceed without SignSpace account.

Signing request presentation for unregistered signatories

In case the access to documents is protected by a security passcode, you will be asked to enter a passcode, which is sent to your email.

Passcode entry to access documents

Go to your inbox to get the passcode.

Emailed security passcode

After entering the passcode you will have access to the signing request files.

Document preview screen before signing

Read all the documents - there might be more than one document to review. For convenience, you can download documents for review. SignSpace allows to sign various file types and for some of the file types document preview might not be available. You will have to download such files for review on your computer. After reviewing all the documents, click the Proceed to sign button.

On the last step of document signing, click the button Sign 2 documents now.

Last step of document signing without registration

In case the Light signature level is set for the signing request, you will be asked to enter your name. Enter your official name - it will appear in document signatures.

Name entry fields for signing without registration

Click Sign now and you will see a notification that you completed the document signing.

Successful signing confirmation

In case the Strong signature level is set for the signing request, instead of entering your name you will be asked to carry out strong electronic identification. Strong electronic identification is carried out via identity verification service by Signicat. Identity is verified via electronic IDs for Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. To verify your identity, have your bank or mobile electronic ID credentials ready.

Signicat strong electronic identification option selection

Once you are back to SignSpace after verifying your identity, you will see a notification that you completed the document signing.

Edit signatories

If you are the author of a signing request you can change signatories in your posted signing request. Click Edit Signatories link at the bottom of the posted signing request.

Link to edit signatories on a posted signing request

Editable list of signatories will open.

Form for editing signatories

You can remove current signatories if they have not signed yet (it is not possible to remove a signatory, who already signed). You can also add new signatories. When done with the changes click the Save changes button and the new signatories will be invited to the signing request.

Put on hold, cancel or reopen a signing request

Signing request owner may cancel a signing request, which is no longer relevant. This option is available in the context menu of the signing request.

Context menu for canceling a signing request

Signing request owner may reopen a canceled signing request at any time. This option is available in the context menu of the signing request.

Context menu for reopening a canceled signing request

Any user may set a signing request on hold. This option is available in the context menu of the signing request.

Context menu for setting a signing request on hold

Signing request is also put on hold if a signatory chooses a Decline to sign option when signing.

Last step of signing process with the Decline to sign option

Signing request owner may reopen the signing request which is on hold or cancel it, if it is no longer relevant. These options are available in the context menu of the signing request.

Context menu for managing a signing request on hold

View signed documents

Viewing signed PDF files

When all the signatories have signed a PDF file on SignSpace, a signature page is affixed at the end of the PDF file.

A completed signing request with PDF files looks like this

Completed signing request with PDF files

For PDF files you can click the file attachment and preview the signed PDF file online (the signatures are in the last page of the document). You can also download each PDF file separately to your computer. Or you can click Download all files with signatures link and a zip archive with all the signed files will be downloaded to your computer.

Download all files with signatures link

Viewing signed non PDF files

When all the signatories have signed a non PDF file (e. g. Word, Powerpoint, Excel, image or video file) on SignSpace, a ZIP file is created. It contains both the original file and a PDF signature page.

A completed signing request with non PDF files looks like this (each signed file is zipped with its signature page).

Completed signing request with non PDF files

You cannot preview these zip archives online, but you can download each zip separately to your computer to view it. Or you can click Download all files with signatures link and one zip archive with all the original files and their PDF signature pages will be downloaded to your computer.

Download all files with signatures link

Verify signed documents

For the signed document verification to work properly, follow these steps precisely.

In a completed signing request click the Download all files with signatures link.

Completed signing request with non PDF files

One zip file will be downloaded to your computer. Unzip the file into a folder, but do not open any of the documents in it.

Note! If you open a file and save it again (even if you do not edit it), the file is considered changed, and signature verification will not work.

Go to https://www.signspace.com/verification.html verification page and upload all the unzipped files at once.

Signature verification file upload page

Note! It is important that all the files from the same signing request are uploaded even if you are trying to verify only one of the files. The files must be separate (not still in a zip).

When you upload all the files from a signing request as separate files, you will see the verification result:

Signature verification results example