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How To Use DocuSign and Create Electronic Signatures

by Hung Nguyen

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French, Indonesian, Italian and Portuguese.

A simple tutorial to help you get started with DocuSign—from creating an account to signing your documents digitally.

Many are shifting to electronic signing in this day and age, from students and teachers to business professionals and clients. It’s quick, it’s paperless, and it’s hassle-free. You no longer need to print out paperwork to posting it—and then there’s the waiting time for signatures. Electronic singing also omits the risk of document loss during the delivery period, lengthy identity verification processes, and the list goes on and on.

DocuSign is one of the leading companies that’s making an impact in the electronic signature industry. Aimed to make business easier for users, it caters to millions of users across the globe. And the process to create an electronic signature and sign a document with the platform is pretty simple.

How Does DocuSign Work?

  1. Create an account with DocuSign.

  2. Upload a document and create your signature.

  3. Place it onto the document before confirming.

  4. Alternatively, request a signature from another party.

  5. Remember to download your signed document.

how-to-use-docusign-tool interface

How to use DocuSign: As the UI states, drag and drop your file into the app to start.

How to Use DocuSign for Free


For starters, to get into the app itself—you have to create a DocuSign account and start its free trial. The trial lasts 30 days; a paid subscription is required after this period, should you wish to continue using DocuSign. Check out our guide on DocuSign pricing for more information on costs and benefits.

Once your account is set up and verified, you can simply head to the online application itself and start a signing process by dropping a document into the toolbox. DocuSign does a decent job at guiding users through the signing process, plus there is a dedicated support page should there be confusion regarding the tool itself.

I’m Looking For Another eSign Tool


Then hey, you’re on the right platform. Smallpdf is the most popular online PDF software on the internet. We offer almost two dozen tools for you to convert, compress, and of course—create digital signatures to sign your documents.

The flow is pretty similar to DocuSign: You upload your document, fill it out where necessary, create a signature, sign, and download it. Remember to check in with your local laws on the legality of electronic and digital signatures in your country.


How to create electronic signatures, just like DocuSign's.

On the flip side: If you want to request signatures from others—you can click ‘Add Signer’ on the right side of the navigation bar, enter the recipient’s email address, and send it off. We will then email all parties with links to sign the document on our platform, as well as download links to view and save the finished document. Either way, we will store any form you or your recipients upload—from images to Word docs—to the PDF format.

Since both platforms are browser-based, please feel free to access the document and sign electronically via your mobile device (we’ve ensured complete mobile optimization for our millions of users).

Elevated Document Signing


Once you upload and send documents for electronic signatures, we will enable free access to all recipients to access our platform.

But that’s not all—once the document is signed, there are heaps of other tools that both you and your colleagues can take advantage of using. You can compress your documents post-signing to bypass email file limitations, number pages, or even encrypt the document with a near-unbreakable password.

All tools are free for you to start using. If you create a free account with Smallpdf, you’ll get to unlock additional features, such as file storage and share features.

Types of Electronic Signatures


DocuSign’s electronic signatures come with audit trails, where you can validate and trace the signing process. The process to validate your digital signatures is relatively simple, and you can probably do so from your favorite PDF reader.

Suppose you opt to use Smallpdf instead, which offers equally secure digital signatures—plus access to our complete tool suite. We cater to 40+ million monthly users and are fully ISO/IEC 27001 and GDPR compliant. Your documents and signatures are safe in our hands.

And as they always say: The best way to decide on software purchases is to test them out. So, get a test document ready and hit the button below to create your free electronic signature right away. It’ll only take a minute or two.

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Senior Growth Marketing Manager