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 form submitters’ signatures and create a more binding agreement.
However, if you’re looking to create signed documents, the Gravity Forms Signature add-on is not enough by itself because all that signature does is sit inside your WordPress dashboard.
A much better approach is to take that signature (and the rest of the entry data) and use it to create a signed PDF document. That way, you can…
- Have an actual signed document, rather than just a signature image sitting in your WordPress database.
- Automatically deliver a signed PDF document to the signer via email.
- Save the signed document outside your WordPress site as needed, like your local computer or Dropbox.
Below, you’ll learn exactly how to set this up using Gravity Forms and the Fillable PDFs plugin…
You’ll start with a form that includes the Gravity Forms signature field:
Then, you’ll be able to use the signature and data from that form to create a signed PDF document:
What You Need to Add Real Signatures to PDF Documents with Gravity Forms
If you want to add a Gravity Forms signature to PDF documents, you’ll need a few tools.
First, you’ll need the Gravity Forms WordPress plugin from Rocketgenius and the official Gravity Forms add-on for signatures, which is available on the Elite license. That will let you add a Gravity Forms signature field to your forms, but it won’t let you create a signed PDF document.
To take a 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 data from a form submission, including a user’s real signature, and insert it into your own PDF template while retaining the styling of your PDF.
Here’s how to use it…
Gravity Forms Signature Tutorial: Creating a Signed PDF Document
Make sure to install Gravity Forms, the Gravity Forms Signature add-on, and the Fillable PDFs plugin before getting started.
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 signature and other information.
To do this, you can create a regular PDF document with fillable fields for a user’s signature and other details. You have a few options for creating a PDF with fillable fields:
- Adobe Acrobat
Here’s a basic contract in JotForm. In addition to the name and address, it also includes two fillable fields for:
- Signature – will include the real signature from the Gravity Forms signature field.
- Date – will include the date that a person submits the form.
Once you have your PDF document, go to Forms → Fillable PDFs → Templates → Add New to upload it as a fillable 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 form includes the Gravity Forms signature field, as well as fields for any additional information that you want to collect and/or include in your signed PDF document:
Feel free to include conditional logic if needed.
With the Fillable PDFs plugin Professional license, you can also automatically create a form based on the fillable fields in your PDF document.
3. Map Form Fields and Set Up Notifications
In the Gravity Forms editor, go to Settings → Fillable PDFs:
Click Add New to create a new Fillable PDFs feed. Then, select your template from the drop-down and click Open Mapper to map your form fields to the fields in the PDF document:
To map field values with your PDF, all you do is click on the fillable PDF field on the live preview and select the associated field from Gravity Forms:
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:
And that’s it! Your form is ready to go.
If needed, 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 or a site admin:
How the Gravity Forms Signature Field Works on Different Devices
The great thing about the method in the tutorial is that it will work for all devices and browsers.
The Gravity Forms signature box will work in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, without requiring any special browser plugins.
It will also work on desktops, tablets, or mobile phones, including Android and iOS. For touchscreen devices and touch pads, end users will have the option to sign using their fingers or a stylus.
Start Creating Signed PDF Documents Today
The Gravity Forms Signature add-on helps you collect signatures from your form. But it doesn’t let you use that 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 signature is required.
Here’s an example of the kind of signed PDF you’ll be able to create:
To add the Gravity Forms signature field to a signed PDF document, you need the Fillable PDFs plugin from ForGravity.
Purchase Fillable PDFs today and start including e-signatures in PDF documents.