Before you begin using your Adobe Acrobat Sign account, there are some suggested steps to get your account set up and customized for your company’s use. This article provides an overview of the core features of branding, security settings, users, and templates to get you up and running.
Keep in mind there are plenty of additional options and settings to explore that aren’t covered here. The knowledge base is an excellent resource for getting information on the many settings found in Acrobat Sign.
Now sit back, log in, and let’s get you e-signing!
This section will go over the suggested steps for initially setting up your account.
Like backing up your computer or phone, it’s a good idea to keep copies of your signed agreements. Instead of downloading the agreements one by one from the Manage page, the External Archive can send a copy of signed agreements to an alternate email address, an Evernote account or a Box account.
Log in as an Account Admin, and navigate to: Account > Account Settings > External Archive
To have copies of your account’s agreements send to an alternate email address, enter that email address into the Send an extra copy… field and click the Save button.
It is possible to have more than one email address in the archive field. Just separate each email address with a comma.
To have a copy sent to either Evernote or Box, click the corresponding click here link and specific instructions will pop-up in a new window.
Adding your company branding is an excellent way to customize Acrobat Sign for the users in your account, as well as your signers.
In this section you set the company name and a hostname for your account. These may seem basic, but they will personalize your account.
These two settings are Account wide and cannot be adjusted at the Group level
Log in as an Account Admin and navigate to: Account > Account Settings > Account Setup
The value you enter into this field is automatically populated into the Company Name field for your users when they are created in the account.
By default, Acrobat Sign permits users to edit their personal settings, and this includes the Company Name value for their individual users.
If you would like to update the Company Name value in the profile of all users in your account:
All user profiles will adopt the value in the Company Name field as the Company value in their user profiles
Checking Set company name for all users in account is a one-time replace action for all users in your account.
Once the page is saved, all of the users are updated, and the checkmark is cleared to allow the action to be triggered again if needed (as users still have the authority to change their Company Name values).
Setting the hostname for your account changes the URL your users login to and the URL where agreements are hosted for your signers.
The result is a customized URL with your hostname.
Log in as an Account Admin and navigate to: Account > Account Settings > Account Setup > Upload Logo.
Click the Upload button and navigate to the image you want to use. Keep in mind, images of the stated dimensions (60 pixels tall and 200 pixels wide) work the best.
Once you’ve chosen an image, the logo will be displayed to the right of the Upload button:
If you need to change the logo at any time, click the Clear button and the logo will be removed.
Get your branding into your Agreement emails by setting a custom image for the header and/or footer of the email template.
Additionally, you can provide an optional Account wide plain text footer for marketing, legal information or any other content you want distributed with your Agreement notifications.
Customized email templates are available to the enterprise level of service.
To add or edit your existing header/footers:
Navigate to: Account > Account Settings > Email Settings then Header & Footer Images
At the top of the page is the plain text footer. This footer is Account wide, and cannot be overridden at the Group level.
This text will be displayed below the page footer image and message content of the Agreement
By checking the Allow users to have their own email footers box, you allow each user to optionally include their own personalized footer, much like a signature file in email.
This user footer is in addition to the global footer, and any image footer that may be applied.
Users can set their individual footers by:
This option is only visible after the Account admin enables the setting
The user footer is inserted between the footer image and the global text footer:
The default email header mirrors the header you see if you log into your
Acrobat Sign account. It will contain either the default Acrobat Sign logo, or the logo you have uploaded for your account/group.
The email image header will always be at the very top of the email content.
The default footer image is empty. If you insert a footer image, it will display at the bottom of the email.
Both the email header and footer images are 600 x 200px graphics (png, jpg or gif).
To install either image:
Click on Upload button, navigate to the image you want to upload and select it.
Once uploaded, the graphic will appear to the right of the button.
You can remove the image by clicking the Clear button at any time.
Below is an example of a fully branded email:
Email header and footer images can also be set at the group level (which will override the account-level images).
Account, user, and document security is Acrobat Sign’s number one concern. Therefore, we provide several security options at the account level. We suggest reviewing the settings in this section and deciding which will work the best for your use case.
If your company has a federated login solution, Acrobat Sign does provide SAML 2 options for user authentication.
Configuring SAML requires that you claim your domain names.
Acrobat Sign SAML settings can be found by navigating to: Account > Account Settings > SAML Settings
Authentication to the Acrobat Sign app has multiple settings available so you can configure the security criteria to match your company policy regarding access.
User access security settings can be configured by navigating to: Account > Account Settings > Security Settings
You can either allow or deny users in your account the ability to log in to Acrobat Sign by authenticating through other services. It is recommended that you disable either (or both) of these settings if they are not used to keep the log in process to a single simple option for users.
Enable this setting to enable the Remember Me setting when authentication to Acrobat Sign. This setting remembers the authentication to the service (on the local system) for the time frame selected.
The options under Login Password Policy set whether users should be required to change their password after a number of months, whether a previous password can be used as their new password, and how many log in attempts can be made before their userID is locked.
This setting allows you to adjust the strength or difficulty of the login password set by users in your account.
This option allows authentication to the Acrobat Sign application only when the request is coming from the specified IP addresses.
If your users are signing documents, this option requires them to log in to Acrobat Sign before they can apply their signature. This ensures the individual signing is either the user or someone with the user’s credentials.
This section pertains to the security controls that are in effect while an Agreement is going through the signature process. These settings can be found by navigating to: Account > Account Settings > Security Settings
This setting defines the type of encryption applied to the document once it has been sent through Acrobat Sign. This encryption ensures the document can be opened but cannot be edited. Each version of the encryption is compatible with different versions of Acrobat. The recommended option is 128-bit AES to ensure the document can be opened on most systems.
This setting applies to the Password Authentication option for recipients to access the document during the signature cycle. (Configured on the Send page when initially sending the agreement)
The setting limits how many attempts the recipient has to enter the correct password. Once this limit is exceeded, the Agreement is irrevocably canceled.
This setting applies to Agreement Signing passwords, Agreement PDF Encryption, and Identity Report Encryption.
The feature allows you to adjust the strength or difficulty of the password your users need to enter.
The password this setting governs is embedded in the PDF, and not stored in the Acrobat Sign system. If it is lost, there is no option to recover it.
This option controls the Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) option for recipients on the Send page.
This limit dictates how many attempts the signer has to pass the KBA in order to access the document. Once the limit is exceeded the agreement is canceled. The difficulty of the KBA is also set here.
KBA requires a social security number, so is only viable for recipients in the US.
These settings govern the PDF security of Agreements that have completed the signature cycle, and are fully executed.
Find this setting by navigating to: Account > Account Settings > Send Settings
This setting allows, forces or denies Senders the ability to set a password for the signed document. (This is different from the optional password to access an Agreement during the signing process)
If allowed or enforced, the Sender needs to supply the password, and communicate that password to any party that needs to review signed documents.
This password is embedded in the PDF, and not visible anywhere in the Acrobat Sign system. If you choose to use a password to lock access to the signed document, ensure you have a method in place to understand what those passwords are and retrieve them as needed.
You can enable or disable the option for a userID to share the content of their user account to another userID.
Find this setting by navigating to: Account > Account Settings > Security Settings
Account sharing allows one user to view (only) all of the Agreement content of another user. This is great for managers that need to review the progress of their direct reports.
All shares that are created are one direction, there is no assumed reverse direction share that takes place.
If Account Sharing is enabled, the recommended option is to allow a user to ask to view another user’s account.
For enterprise level customers that need to have a more “hands on” type of sharing that allows direct manipulation of agreements and library templates, Technical Support can enable Advanced Sharing.
Advanced Sharing is a one-way door. Once it is enabled, it changes the relationships of the shared objects in a way that cannot be reversed. For this reason, if you feel Advanced Sharing is important to your organization, it is recommended that you contact your Success Manager and have a trial account set up for you to test the functionality and verify it permits everything that you want to accomplish.
The settings in this section define the options available to a user when configuring an agreement, and what the default value for those options will be.
In general, the recommendation is to reduce the number of options for the Sender to choose from or configure. Where possible, set a strong default value, and remove the option to edit that value.
This chapter is broken into sections related to their effect on a transaction.
All of these settings can be found by navigating to: Account > Account Settings > Send Settings.
All of these settings can be configured at the group level to assure that each business unit can customize their sending and signing experience as needed.
“Recipients” is a term that refers to any userID included in the signature cycle, regardless to the assigned role. The following settings will define what types of roles those recipients can have, and what level of identity authentication you want to employ.
Depending on the level of service you have, you will have access to various "roles" that define what type of actions your recipients can perform in the Agreement. More details on the various role authorities can be found in the knowledge base.
It is recommended that you only enable the roles you know you will need to better streamline the Senders experience.
Recipient Groups function as one signer, but that signer is a group of identified individuals. All members are notified at one time, and once one of the group members applies their signature, the Agreement moves to the next signer.
Enable this option if you have a need to define a group of signers for one signing event.
Various methods of signer verification can be enabled for your users, with this setting. These methods are configured on the Send page as an element of the recipient record.
It is recommended that you only enable the verification methods(s) that your internal policy demands.
KBA and Phone authentication are metered authentication methods that incur an additional cost. It is advised that you only enable the authentication method(s) you have high confidence you will use.
This setting will define the default external recipient authentication method. Only options that have been enabled will be selectable in the drop-down list.
This option either allows or denies the Sender’s ability to change the default authentication method defined. Enable this option only if there are known situations where the Sender has need to elevate the verification process from the default.
Checking this setting allows Senders to set a different method of verification when agreements include recipients that are in your Acrobat Sign account.
The general recommendation is to leave the internal signatures as email verification, providing less authentication friction to your employees that may need to counter-sign a large number of Agreements per day. By also enabling the Signer Identity Verification feature (Security Settings), you can passively gain password verification without the signer having to explicitly authenticate multiple times.
Enabling Message Templates for your account, allows the user to choose one of the email messages, predefined by you. This can ensure the correct message and information gets to your signers.
To enable message templates, navigate to Account > Account Settings > Message Templates
Check the option to Enable message templates.
A link will be inserted at the top right of the message field (on the Send page) to allow selection of the template:
For enterprise level customers, templates are linked to the Recipients Language option on the Send page. This limits the number of templates to scroll through for multi-language business units, and ensures that a message in the correct language is included.
Either allow or deny users the ability to change the message template delivered to the Send page message field.
Enable this if you permit customizing Message content situationally.
There is a lot of variability in how customers attach files to their agreements, and that is rooted in how the documents are created, managed and version controlled.
Customers that have “ad hoc” files, content customized for each transaction, will likely need the ability to upload files from their local system. However, boilerplate templates that rarely change should ideally be served from one controlled source.
Reminders are emails sent to the recipients of documents when it is their turn to act. On a Daily or Weekly cycle, a reminder email is sent to the recipient, letting them know the agreement is still waiting for them.
Enabling default reminders will remove the option on the Send page for Senders to configure their own reminder, but still permits reminders to be configured on the Manage page.
In certain cases, you may want to expire or cancel documents that aren’t signed after a certain number of days.
Once an agreement has expired, it cannot be restarted or retrieved and will show up under the Canceled/Declined section of the Manage page.
Users are generally added to an account because they will either be sending out agreements or be group or account level admins. Users that will be signing agreements do not need to be added, unless you want to control their ability to sign with account level settings.
To review or manipulate the users in your account, Log in as an Account admin and navigate to: Account > Users
At the top of the User page, you will see a short summation of the number of licenses your account allows, and the number of active users consuming those licenses.
If this statement is missing, you have a site license, and can add an unlimited number of users.
The User page has three controls:
To create a single user:
Check the View Their Agreements option if you want to setup a share for this user to yours. This will give you visibility of all of the user’s agreements.
If you anticipate the need to collect telemetry on agreements as they are created and signed, it is strongly recommended that you leverage the View Their Agreements option when creating new userIDs.
The process to establish an account share after the userID is created is relatively cumbersome and requires agreement from the user.
You will be returned to the User page.
Click the Options icon and select Show All Users
By showing All Users (vs Only Active Users) you will see the new userID with a Created status.
Once the user sets their password, the userID will convert to an Active status.
Acrobat Sign users exist in one of five statuses:
Active – A fully enabled userID consuming one license.
Inactive – A fully disabled userID. Inactive users cannot access the Acrobat Sign application for any reason, including being a recipient to other agreements.
Created – A userID that has been created by an Admin, but has not yet set their password and activated the userID. Created users do not consume a license.
Unverified - A user that has changed their email address, but has not yet clicked the verification link that was sent to affirm the email change. The account is technically still Active, just locked until the email change is confirmed, so Unverified users consume a license and display in the Show Only Active Users filter
Pending – Pending userIDs are recipients. They have not been created by an admin, do not have passwords, and so they cannot log in. Pending users do not consume a license.
At any time, a Pending userID can be registered and converted to an Active status, and will have a full history of all of the Agreements they have ever been party to.
Sometimes the need to deactivate a user may arise. The individual could have left the company and you want to keep that user and related documents secure. As mentioned above, making a user inactive keeps anyone from logging in, sending or signing documents with that userID.
To convert a userID to Inactive:
Within the Deactivate User pop-up, you have the option to force a share of all agreements to yourself. This is useful if the user being deactivated has content that you may need to recover at a future date.
To complete the deactivation process, click the Yes button.
The userID will convert to the Inactive status and the password for the userID will be voided, making the userID completely inaccessible.
Reactivating a userID follows the same process as deactivation:
A green banner should appear indicating you have successfully reactivated the userID.
The reactivated userID converts to an Active status, but the password is expired for the user.
An email will automatically be sent to the user requesting that a new password be installed. Once the password is reset, the user will have full access to all of the historic content of the userID.
The user can also use the I forgot my password link on the log in page to reset the password.
There are four levels of authority in Acrobat Sign:
All users created individually will be basic Users.
If you need to elevate the authority of any userID, you can do so by:
Acrobat Sign does not limit the number of Admins (Account or Group) that can exist within an account. It's possible (but not generally recommended) to promote all userIDs within your account to the Account Admin level.
Creating Users in bulk is a process of defining all users in a CSV file, and then uploading that file to
Acrobat Sign creates all users and immediately sends them emails to set passwords and activate the userIDs.
It's worth pointing out that this process can also be used to edit the profile values for all of the users in your account.
For example, if you have changed your company name, you could export your full user list, edit the value in the Company column, save it, and then upload that CSV back to Acrobat Sign. All of the userIDs on your CSV will update their Company name values without having to involve the various users.
To create users in Bulk:
Three options exist:
Once the file is imported, Acrobat Sign generates all of the userIDs, and a green banner appears informing you of the number of users created.
Groups allow you to set specific settings for the users inside that group. This means, for example, your sales team can use Acrobat Sign differently than your accounting department.
To create a new Group:
The Groups page has two controls:
Once the Save button is clicked, the Group is created and will display in the Group list.
A group may be deleted from view by an account level admin.
To delete a group:
A list of deleted groups can be viewed by clicking the Options icon and selecting Show Only Deleted Groups:
Once your new group is created, the next step would be to add users to it. Acrobat Sign provides three methods, depending on how many users need to be moved:
To assign a single User to a Group:
The Create Users in Bulk feature can also be used to edit existing users.
This method tends to be better when you have multiple values you need to change in addition to just the Group setting, but if you are fully restructuring, bulk update may be the way to go.
To update your User Groups via Bulk Update:
Once the Import button is clicked, the users will be updated in the system with the new values on the CSV. A green banner will appear at the top of the page to indicate how many users were updated.
When you need to move multiple users to a new group, but the scope of the move isn't large enough to warrant using Bulk User Edit, the best option is to use the Assign Users to Group option within the Group settings.
To access the Assign Users to Group feature:
The Assign Users to this Group window will open, showing all of the Active Users that are not currently assigned to this group.
Account level Administrators have the authority to define the scope of the Group Administrators authority via three settings:
These settings are ubiquitous for all group admins, and offer no deeper granularity. If you disable the ability for Group Admins to add users, that will apply to all Group Admins within the Account.
To adjust the first two settings:
Log in as an Account Admin and navigate to Account > Account Settings > Global Settings > Group Admin Related Settings
Enabling Group Administrators can add new users to their groups will grant any Group Admin the authority to add any user to their group with all normal restrictions applied.
Normal restrictions include situations like:
Enabling Group Administrators can edit settings for their groups allows the Group admin to over-ride the Account level settings for their group.
To edit the What report data can group admins see? setting, navigate to Account > Account Settings > Report Settings
All groups will inherit the account level settings by default. However, it is possible to over-ride most of the account level settings at the group level. This is particularly valuable if you have select users in need of special recipient roles, recipient validation methods, or even unique branding.
Account admins will navigate to Account > Groups, and then double click the Group to open the group level settings, or single click the group and select Group Settings from the link options at the top of the list.
If Group level admins have been given the authority to change Group level settings, they only need to click the Group link at the top of the page to open the settings.
All of the settings presented to group admins are the same as the account level settings and function in the same way.
A library template is a reusable document object. Acrobat Sign supports two types of library templates: document templates and form field templates.
Instead of creating a new library document every time a document is updated, the same form field layer can be applied. Form field templates can be edited to facilitate changes in the arrangement of fields or field properties. Again, all the tools in the authoring environment are available when creating a form field template.
As a best practice, a single user (Document Administrator) should be responsible for creating and maintaining templates. Creating a Doc Admin userID eliminates confusion as to what templates to use and provides version control for your reusable documents.
We recommend using a distribution list or functional email for the Doc Admin user login. This allows you to control access to this Doc Admin login while at the same time allowing the responsibility to be shared as needed.
1. Click the Home tab. Then click Create a reusable template.
The Create a Library Template page displays:
2. In the Template Name field, enter a name for your template. This can be changed later if necessary.
3. Click the Browse button to navigate to the file on your local system to be used to create your reusable template. If you are creating a reusable document, this file and its content will be used. If you are creating a reusable form field layer, the content of the file will not be included in the template.
4. Select the appropriate Template Option, either Create as reusable document, Create as a reusable form field layer, or both.
5. Select the appropriate permissions option for sharing the template. When building and testing a new template, it is recommended that you set the permissions to just yourself, and then expand access once you are satisfied the document is working as intended.
Group permissions can only be granted to the group you are currently in. You cannot grant permissions to other groups.
6. Click the Preview or Add Fields button. The Authoring experience displays.
7. Place the required fields that are for the intended participants by dragging them from the form fields tabs and dropping them onto the document.
8. When you're done adding fields, click the Save button.
The template will now display under the Library Templates section of your Manage page. If you have shared the template with users in your group or in your organization by granting permission, the template now also displays in the Library Templates section of their Manage pages, and they can use it to send as often as they like.
Only the user who created the library template can edit it or delete it (unless the template is shared under advanced sharing rules)
The access permissions for any template can be edited by the creator of the template. To do so:
This will open the template in the Authoring environment.
At the top of the right rail, you will see Template Properties.
Click the Template Properties header to expand the section and you will see the available options:
You can only share a document to the Group your userID is a member of. If you are authenticated as an Account admin, make sure to move your userID to the correct group before changing the template properties from “Only Me” to “Any user in my group”.
The report feature lets you check on how your account is using Acrobat Sign. Build your own reports and gain complete visibility into your document signing process, while seeing how individual groups or users are doing.
To create a new report, navigate to the Reports page by clicking the Reports tab, then click on the Create a new report link.
When setting up a report, multiple parameters can be set to customize the results. All the parameters described below are available.
The creation date is the time frame you want the report to encompass. This can be one of the four predetermined time frames (this week, last week, this month, last month) or enter a custom date range.
This parameter lets you run the report on specific users or groups. One or more can be chosen for either, or you can run the report against all users in the account.
Specific documents can be chosen to include in the report with this option. The documents listed in this field are the library documents used throughout the account. Individual, one-off documents will not be listed here.
Specific documents can be chosen to include in the report with this option. The documents listed in this field are the library documents used throughout the account. Individual, one-off documents will not be listed here.
Enabling this parameter includes Mega Sign agreements in the resulting report
You can set thresholds for performance, using the Performance Goal view. The gauges reflecting performance are displayed in the resulting report.
By default, the benchmark parameter is disabled for reports. Click the report settings link to enable it.
Benchmarking provides an expanded method for keeping track of agreement progress and signing rates.
Each enabled option (by Date, Sender, Group, Form, Workflow, and Signature Type) provide a different type of graph on the report.
The parameters in this section are for altering the graphics on the resulting report. Changing these from the default parameters can speed up the report process.
Once you click the Run Report button, the report will be generated based on your parameters. There are multiple actions you can take with your report.
Clicking this link is like refreshing the page. The new report will include recent transactions and activity.
Saving the report allows you to run this report again in the future.
Sharing allows you to send the report results to someone else. You just need to enter their email address and a message.
Setting a schedule for this report will run it with the same parameters at the frequency you define.
Clicking this link will prompt you to open or save a .CSV file. CSV files can be opened in Excel and all transaction information for the agreements in the report, will be categorized in the various columns.
Clicking this link will open a printer-friendly version of the report.
This link will open and permit editing of the configured parameters for the report.