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.

 

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

Email notification inviting to sign the documents

Email notification leads the signatory to a space where signing request is located. People new to SignSpace will need to register in order to access document signing.

The space where the signing request is located

If you have many signing requests, there is a dedicated Signings view in 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 list of signing requests

In order to sign the documents signatories will have to strongly verify their identities electronically prior to signing 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.

Strong identity verification required once for signing documents on SignSpace

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

Menu for creating new message, signing request or task in a new space

Fill in the new signing request form. If you have more than one paid account, choose your account from the Account field. Signatories will have access to the created space and will be invited to sign the attached documents. The Other recipients field lists other users who will be notified about this signing request and will have access to the created space. The Subject of the signing request will also be used as the space title.

Empty signing request form for a signing request to be posted in 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 modal for 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 is posted in a new space

Create a signing request in an existing space

To create a signing request as a new activity in an existing space click the signing request link on the bottom reply bar.

Bottom reply bar in the space

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

Empty signing request form for a signing request to be posted in an existing space

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

Signing request posted in an existing space as a new activity

Reply with a signing request

To create a signing request as an inline reply, open the inline reply for a message.

Activated inline reply bar

Click the 3 dots icon on the right side of the inline reply and select Signing request in the menu.

Open context menu for creating a signing request as a reply to the message

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

Empty signing request form for a signing request to be posted as a reply to previous message

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

Signing request posted as a reply to the previous message

Sign a document

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

Email notification inviting to sign documents

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

Signing request posted in the space

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

"Read & sign" button next to the signatory's name

The document preview window will open.

Document preview 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 1 document now.

Last step with the button to start signing

If this is the first time you are signing documents on SignSpace, you will need to strongly verify your identity.

Strong identity verification notification when signing for the first time

To ensure trusted communication, SignSpace uses 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 screen for selecting mobile or bank ID for strong identity verification

Once you are back to SingSpace after verifying your identity, click the Sign 1 documents now button again to resume signing.

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

Notification about completed document signing

If you close this modal, you will be back in the space and see that the signing request status next to your name has changed to Signed.

Signing request in the space with updated signatory status

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.

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 the 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 the signing request

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

Context menu for setting the signing request on hold

Signing request is also put on hold if a signatory chooses a Cannot sign option when signing.

Button "Cannot sign" puts the signing request on hold

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 reopening the signing request which was on hold

View signed documents

Viewing signed PDF files

When all the signatories invited to a signing request sign a PDF file on SignSpace, a signature page is affixed to the end of the PDF file.

A completed signing request with PDF files looks like this.

A completed signing request with PDF files

If you mouse over one of the attached files, you can see that the file name has “_signed” in it. This means that the file has electronic signatures.

Mouseover view of the attached signed PDF file

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.

A link to download a zip archive with all the signed files

Viewing signed non PDF files

When all the signatories invited to a signing request sign 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).

A completed signing request with non PDF files

If you mouse over one of the zips, you can see that the zip name has “_signed” in it. This means that the zip contains the original file and the signature PDF file.

Mouseover view of the attached signed non-PDF file

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.

A link to download a zip archive with all the signed files

Verify a signed document

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.

A completed signing request with non PDF files

A 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.

The signature verification page for uploading files

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 result for the uploaded files