Complete Guide: Collect Signatures on Documents Through Gravity Forms

CosmicGiant  •    —   6 min read Gravity Forms signature

If you’re working with important documents, like contracts, permission agreements, applications, or other legal documents, the Gravity Forms signature field is a great way to capture signers’ electronic signatures. It enables you to create a more binding agreement without changing your web design, directly from your WordPress forms!

Gravity Forms signature

However, if you’re looking to create signed documents, the Gravity Forms Signature add-on is not enough by itself. This is because all that the digital signature image does is sit inside your WordPress dashboard.

A much better approach is to take that signature information and use it to create a signed PDF document. That way, you can

Below, you’ll learn exactly how to set this up using Gravity Forms WordPress plugin and the Fillable PDFs WordPress plugin.

You’ll start with a front-end form that includes the Gravity Forms signature field:

A form with Gravity Forms signature field

Then, you’ll be able to use the signature information from that form submission to create a signed PDF document:

Gravity Forms signature in real PDF document

What You Need to Add Real Signatures to PDF Documents with Gravity Forms

If you want to add a Gravity Forms e-signature to PDF documents, you’ll need a few tools and WordPress plugins.

  1. The WordPress Gravity Forms plugin (from RocketGenius)
  2. The Gravity Forms signature add-on, available on the Elite license
  3. The Fillable PDF’s plugin

Why the Gravity Forms Signature Add-on isn’t enough

The Gravity Forms Signature Add-on will let you add a Gravity Forms signature field to your end-user forms, capture signature information as it is drawn, and convert the image to a PNG to be stored on your server. However, it won’t let you create a signed PDF document.

To take an end-user’s electronic signature and turn it into a PDF document, you’ll also need the Fillable PDFs plugin.

Fillable PDFs lets you take some or all of the electronic signature information from a form submission, including an end-user’s real signature, and insert it into your own PDF template while retaining the styling of your PDF.

The Fillable PDFs plugin gives you the power to quickly and easily map Gravity Forms fields to PDF fields, and generate Gravity Forms forms from your existing PDFs. And because it runs on Gravity Forms, it works in all the ways a Gravity Forms form should – giving you the opportunity to use advanced conditional logic, attach PDFs to notifications, populate image choices, and more.

So let’s look at how to use Fillable PDFs and Gravity Forms to capture signatures on forms and instantly create PDFs from them…

Gravity Forms Signature Tutorial: Creating a Signed PDF Document

Make sure to install RocketGenius Gravity Forms, the Gravity Forms Signature add-on, and the Fillable PDFs plugin before getting started. You’ll also need to use an up-to-date browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari so you can avoid adding extra browser signature plugins. This is also true for touchpad and touchscreen devices using Android or webOS.

1. Create a Fillable PDF Template for Your Signed Document

To get started, you need to create a PDF template that will include a user’s e-signature and other signer information.

To do this, you can create a regular PDF document with fillable fields for a user’s e-signature and other field values. You have a few options for creating a PDF with fillable fields:

  1. Adobe Acrobat
  2. JotForm
  3. PDFescape

Here’s a basic contract in JotForm. In addition to the name and address field values, it also includes two fillable fields for:

Creating a fillable pdf with signature field - basic form

Once you have your PDF document, go to Forms → Fillable PDFs → Templates → Add New to upload it as a fillable PDF template on your WordPress website:

Add PDF template

2. Create a Form That Includes the Gravity Forms Signature Field

Next, create the front-end WordPress form with Gravity Forms.

Make sure that your WordPress form includes the Gravity Forms signature field, as well as field values for any additional e-signature information that you want to collect and/or include in your signed PDF document:

Create form with Gravity Forms signature field

Feel free to include conditional logic if needed.

With the Fillable PDFs plugin Professional license, you can also automatically create a WordPress form based on the fillable fields in your PDF document.

3. Map Form Fields and Set Up Notifications

Next, we’ll set up the workflow that will let us fill in PDFs from our new form.

In the Gravity Forms editor on your WordPress website, go to Settings and select Fillable PDFs from the dropdown menu:

Access fillable pdf settings

Click Add New to create a new Fillable PDFs feed. Then, select your template from the dropdown and click Open Mapper to map your Gravity form fields to the fields in the PDF document:

Open PDF mapper

To map field values with your PDF, all you do is click on the fillable PDF field on the front-end live preview and select the associated field from Gravity Forms:

Map fields to PDF

To add the signature image/signature information, make sure to select the Signature field. And you can also automatically add the Entry Date to the date field from the form meta:

Add signature information

And that’s it! Your Gravity form is ready to go.

You can also attach your signed PDF document to any Gravity Forms email notifications that you’ve created, which lets you deliver the signed document to the signer, a web server, or a site admin:

Setting up email notifications for your signed PDF

How the Gravity Forms Signature Field Works on Different Devices

The great thing about the method in the tutorial is that it will allow you to capture signatures across all devices and browsers.

The RocketGenius Gravity Forms signature box will work in Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Safari, without requiring any special browser plugins.

It will also work on desktops, tablets, or mobile phones, including Android, iOS, and webOS. For touchscreen devices and touchpads, end-users will have the option to use the signature box with their fingers or a stylus.

Start Creating Signed PDF Documents Today

The Gravity Forms Signature add-on helps you collect e-signatures from your form plugin. But it doesn’t let you use that e-signature to create a signed PDF document, which is a much better approach when you’re dealing with contracts, applications, or other documents where a binding electronic signature is required. That’s where Fillable PDFs comes in.

Here’s an example of the kind of signed PDF you’ll be able to create with the Gravity Forms plugin:

Gravity Forms signature in real PDF document

To add the Gravity Forms signature field to a signed PDF document, you need the Fillable PDFs plugin from CosmicGiant.

Purchase Fillable PDFs and start including e-signatures in PDF documents today.

But that’s not all! To make collecting digital signatures through Gravity Forms even easier, CosmicGiant is now producing Legal Signing. This plugin adds a significant amount of features aimed at making it a complete WordPress eSignature solution.

These include:

Get notified for the Legal Signing plugin launch by leaving your email address here.