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Tabs

Tabs are very important in DocuSign – they are what links Recipients (people who need to sign documents) and Documents (things that people need to sign). Historically, Tabs were first used to indicate Signature location on a document, but as DocuSign has evolved, so have Tabs, and there are now several different types of tabs available for use.

Types of Tabs

Tabs can be grouped into a few categories:

Signature Tabs

These indicate that a particular recipient needs to sign a document at the specified location. This also includes the Initials Tab, and the Optional Initial and Optional Signature tabs.

Information Tabs

Probably the most common of these is the Date Signed Tab, which will stamp the date of signing on to a document. There are also Tabs that provide the recipients Full Name, Job Title, and Company, and there is a Tab that provides the DocuSign Envelope ID.

SecureField Tabs

DocuSign SecureFields are form fields that you can use to collect information from the recipients when they are signing the documents. SecureFields are available in the usual form data entry variants – textbox, select list, checkbox, etc.

Specifying Tab Location

So now that you have some tabs, how do you indicate where they should go on the documents? DocuSign has two ways to do this:

Fixed Tab Location

A Fixed Tab has it’s location specified by X and Y coordinates on the page. These coordinates are measured in pixels, using the Top Left corner of the document as the zero point. Of course you would also need to specify the Document and Page that the tab should be placed on. Fixed Tabs are most suited to documents that do not change – for example, a standard 1 page form that always requires a signature in the same location.

Anchor Tab

An Anchor Tab allows you to place a tab that is defined by its relative location to a string in the document’s text. For example, you specify that there should be a Signature Tab everywhere the phrase ‘Sign Here:’ is found in the document’s text. This is very useful when you are dealing with documents that may have additional content added to them – like a contract. A contract may have additional language inserted in it that ends up moving the signature locations, so now the signers will sign on page 3 instead of page 2. If you use Anchor Tabs, the Signature Tab will adjust to the new content.

Anchor Tabs are covered in more detail here.

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