What is document signing order, and how do I set it up?

Find out what signing order means when it comes to collecting signatures on a document, and learn how to turn it on or off in your digital workflow.

It’s easier than ever to request digital signatures with just a few clicks. When you’re about to hit send, though, you might wonder about signing order — an option available on many e-signature platforms. Let’s explore what this option means, when you might use it, and how to set it up as part of your digital workflow.

Choose when recipients sign “on the dotted line.”

When you’re preparing to send a document for signatures, you might occasionally need the recipients to sign it in a particular order. This workflow is known as sequential signing. In this instance, the sender determines the order of signing, and each recipient receives the email notification to sign the document only once the previous person completes the signing process.

Sequential signing is necessary for certain business applications, such as contract signing. For example, when finalizing a lease contract, the tenant must sign the lease before the landlord signs. A savvy real estate agent may create a digital workflow that automatically follows this particular signing order every time.

In other instances, the signing order may not matter. This type of flow is known as parallel signing, where the signature request arrives in the inbox of all recipients simultaneously, allowing them to sign in any order.

Easy steps for setting up your signing order.

If digital document signing is an integral part of your business, it’s helpful to use document signing software. That way, you can easily create fillable templates, request signatures, and track the signing process. You can also establish a signing order for any document. Here’s how to set up the signing order, for example, in Adobe Acrobat Sign:

  1. Open your document in Sign.
  2. Select Tools > Request E-signatures.
  3. In the Request E-signatures box, select More Options in the lower left-hand corner.
  4. Under Recipients, make sure the toggle is set to Complete in Order. This will create a sequential signing workflow.
  5. Enter the recipient email addresses in the order you want them to sign. The number to the left of their name will correspond with their signing order.
  6. If you need to sign the document after the recipients, click Add Me to add your email address.

The document signing order is now complete. From here, you can set additional options such as reminders or password protection, or finalize the document for sending.

Once all parties have signed, each recipient will receive a confirmation email with an attachment of the signed document.

Turn off signing order.

If you are sending a document where it doesn’t matter what order the recipients sign in, you may want to turn off the signing order. Otherwise, you may have recipients waiting unnecessarily for others to sign. To do this, simply change the toggle in the Request E-signatures box to Complete in Any Order. This will switch the signing sequence to parallel signing.

Take a moment to learn more about how to make your document signing easy and seamless. Discover everything that’s possible with Acrobat Sign today.