Google Drive has revolutionized the industry with its free-to-use suite for making all kinds of online documents. So it’s no surprise that many users want to add a signature to Google Forms.
In this article, we’ll discuss a few ways to add an electronic signature in a Google form, along with any pros and cons. We’ll also show you how to ensure that any signatures you receive are legally binding, giving your documents far more validity.
Let’s get started.
Is it possible to add an electronic signature in Google Forms?
Google Forms doesn’t offer an option to add an electronic signature. They don’t even offer an add-on to the platform to sign documents.
There isn’t currently any native way to add an electronic signature in Google Forms or any other app on the platform, but you can still add a signature to your Google Forms document. And you can make sure those online signatures are legally binding.
Electronic signature software exists just for that. With online signing tools, you can collect signatures that generate a security certificate with enough data, like a timestamp and the signer’s IP address, to link a person to their signature.
These platforms also comply with multiple international regulations ensuring the signatures you may capture are valid in multiple countries around the world.
4 Workarounds to add a signature to Google Forms
Here are the 4 easiest ways to add an online signature to Google Forms:
1. Install a signature add-on for Google Forms
You can add a signature add-on for Google Forms by using the Google Workspace Marketplace.
- Step 1: Go to the menu at the top left corner of the screen and click Add-ons, then select Get Add-Ons to open the Google Workspace Marketplace.
- Step 2: Look for the “signature” query on the Google Workspace Marketplace and select one of the solutions presented. You want to find a solution that’s free, easy to use and provides legally binding online signing.
- Step 3: Install the add-on.
- Step 4: Once the add-on is installed, go to the menu at the top left corner, click on Add-ons, and select your e-signature add-on there.
- Step 5: Follow the instructions of the add-on to add signature fields to your Google Forms.
Here are the best parts of using an add-on to add signatures to Google Forms.
- May be a quick and easy temporary fix
- Allows you to collect signatures directly on your original document
- May get legally binding signatures
- It may allow you to sign documents like a Google Doc or a presentation
Here are the downsides of using add-ons for online signatures:
- It may be challenging to find a good free option
- There aren’t many good options to choose from
- Choosing poorly may result in losing valuable time repeating the process all over again
2. Use an electronic signature software
The easiest way to insert a signature in Google Forms is by enlisting the help of electronic signature tools. These tools allow you to recollect legally binding signatures on any document you may upload and handle all parts of the process for you.
Electronic signature software can also help you provide excellent customer service by guiding your customers through the process. They also make it easy even for someone who has never used electronic signature software.
- It may provide safer online signing than Google Forms
- Can guide your signees step by step
- It lets you handle and keep track of multiple documents
- Can allow you to request signatures in bulk
- Can integrate into the rest of your business software tools (e.g. Dropbox or G Docs)
- It can be used for documents from Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and even scanned documents
- You’ll have to download the Google Forms document and upload it into a different tool
- The most advanced options are rarely free
How to add an e-signature to Google Forms with Signaturely
Here’s how to add an electronic signature to Google Forms using Signaturely:
Signaturely is a free and easy-to-use online signature platform that allows you to get all the online signatures you need in just a few steps.
- Step 1: Convert your document to PDF by exporting it or by simply pressing Ctrl+P (Command+P on a Mac), and instead of selecting a printer, select “Save as PDF.
- Step 2: Open Signaturely and upload your new PDF file to the platform. Use the editor to add initials and signature fields to your document.
- Step 3: Once you’ve added all signature fields, you can add your signature and send the document to the rest of your signees, even specifying a certain signing order if needed.
- Step 4: Keep track of your documents within the platform, learn who has signed, and send email reminders to those who haven’t signed to speed up the process.
You can use Signaturely for free to start collecting signatures on all your documents. Or sign up for a business account with unlimited templates and signature requests right here.
3. Add a field for users to type in their initials
You may also add a field for users to sign by typing their full names or initials. Although this seems like the easiest option (and it is), you should know that this way of signing documents amounts to no more than just goodwill since this is not likely legally binding.
That’s why this option is better when used in casual forms and requests and not with any document of a legal matter.
Here’s how to do it:
- Step 1: Go to your Google Forms document, and select the plus sign from the side menu to add a new question.
- Step 2: Type something like, “Add your initials here to indicate you’ve read this form and agree with it” or “By selecting ‘Yes,’ you indicate you agree with these terms and conditions.”
- Step 3: As you’re typing, Google Forms will likely identify the question you’re writing, making it easy to select the kind of answer you expect.
- Step 4: Save the changes, and complete the Google Form to test and make sure it’s fully functional.
- Step 5: Send your online forms to your signees.
Here are the upsides of adding a signature field in Google Forms by asking the user to type their name:
- Very easy to do
- Simple and fast solution
- Allows users to “sign” directly on the form
Here are the downsides of only using a Google Forms field to collect a signature:
- This is not a legally-binding way to collect a signature
- Only good for very informal forms and not for any legal purposes
- It makes it harder to track multiple signatures or multiple documents
4. Add a field for users to upload an image file with a signature
Finally, you can use a field to ask users to take a photo of their signature and upload the image as a signature.
Here’s how to do it:
- Step 1: Add a “File upload” field to collect the images of your electronic signatures.
- Step 2: Add a title and description field where you tell your readers how to take a photo of their handwritten signature and use it to sign the form electronically.
- Step 3: Fill in the field with a one-sentence request, like “Upload an image of your signature.”
- Step 4: If you want to increase your security, you can also allow for specific file types, like “Drawing” and “Image,” and tweak the maximum number of files and their maximum size.
- Step 5: Save the changes, and complete the Google Form to test and make sure it’s fully functional.
- Step 6: Send your online forms to your signees.
Here are the pros of using forms to capture an image of a digital signature:
- Very easy to do
- Allows anyone to sign documents intuitively
Here are the downsides of using images as electronic signatures:
- It may not be as legally binding as using a signature extension or an online signing tool
- Although easy for you, it may be bothersome for your signers
- Not useful for any legal documents
You can electronically sign any Google Form when you know the workarounds. And although no Google document comes with an electronic signature feature, you can still electronically sign your Google Form with the right workaround, such as a tool like Signaturely.
Signaturely is a free application that allows you to add an e-signature field on any Google Docs document, spreadsheet, or form in just a few seconds.
Sign up for a free account with Signaturely today.