Use Text Tags to create form fields

Text Tags are used in document creation. When documents with tags are uploaded, those tags generate fields.

Field properties, such as roles, validations, and calculations, are set in the tag.


It's necessary to follow specific when using Text Tags. As long as you abide by these rules, your tags should generate all of your fields as expected.


You can use only certain fonts to create Tags. The Adobe Sign system only picks up Arial, Helvetica, and Times New Roman fonts consistently (the first three fonts listed below). If Adobe Sign doesn't pick up custom fonts, it doesn't generate fields.

Generally, Arial is the best option to use.


There are two rules for spacing when using Text Tags.

First, a Text tag cannot contain spaces, unless they are before the tag and after the opening curly curly brackets, or after the tag and before the closing curly curly brackets.

Second, text Tags cannot line break. If the tag continues from one line to the next, Adobe Sign doesn't pick up the tag and generate the field.

If the tag you're creating is too long to stay on one line, use Text Tag Shortening.

Create tags

The following approach goes through the process of creating a tag from start to finish. As properties and arguments are added, you'll find a definition and explanation.

Curly curly brackets

All Text Tags are contained in two opening and two closing curly curly brackets, as shown below. Treat them as the container for the tag itself. By just using the opening and closing sets of curly curly brackets, a basic field with no properties can be made.

Placing blank spaces between the curly curly brackets increases the width of the field, allowing for more information from the signer.

The font size of the curly curly brackets defines the height of the field. It also scales the font size of the data entered to fit appropriately. Of the two fields below, it first would be a smaller because of the font size. The second field would be taller and longer and data entered would show in a larger font.

Field Name

Naming the fields you're creating is important. By naming each field you can either take advantage of or avoid field pollination. This feature allows information to copy from one field to the next. Field pollination works within documents and across multiple documents.


Cross document pollination can be disabled by contacting

Identically named fields replicate the data entered in one field to all others with the same name. Both of the fields below would contain the same information entered into either.


Using field pollination can simplify the signing process for your recipients. For example, the signer would only need to enter their address once and it can be populated into other fields across the document.

Giving fields unique names keeps the information from copying one field to another.

Adobe Sign Identifier

The Adobe Sign Identifier instructs our system to look for the name and properties of the field. Without this the Adobe Sign system does not know how to read and interpret  different pieces of the tag.


Roles are the most important part of a Text Tag. Roles define which signer the fields are assigned to. When creating a document with Text Tags you don't set who specifically interacts with the document, but more so which signer. 


The signers are defined by the order the email addresses are entered into the "To:" field on the Send page. These different numerical signer roles need to be used for all signers, including yourself as the sender (depending on when you sign; first or last).

With this understanding the roles can be set in the document creation, if have an understanding of how you will be sending out your documents and who will get them in what order.


The Prefill role is used for fields you need to fill in before sending out the document. This is the opportunity to enter signer-specific information before it's sent off to them.


The Preview, position signatures or add form fields option needs to be checked to reach the Prefill stage.


Validations are used to either create Adobe Sign specific fields or require the data entered be in a specific format. These are used to ensure that you get the intended information from your signers. These are also used to make the Adobe Sign fields found in the Drag and Drop environment.

For our example tag, the :phone validation requires the signer enter their phone number in the (XXX) XXX-XXXX format or just as a string of ten numbers.

There are many different validations to use with Text Tags. Additional information on Validations.


Setting conditions for a field allows you to change its visibility based on the state of another field. This can create dynamically changing documents depending on the information provided by the signer.

In the example below our phone number field shows for the signer if they check the box above it. In this instance it's like asking for an alternate phone number.

When the box is not checked, there are no fields for the signer to interact with. When the signer checks the box, the phone field appears and the signer can enter their alternative phone number.

Additional information on Conditions.

Default Value

A default value for a text field can be specified through the tag. This is text that will appear in the field before the signer interacts with it. Default text can be used to guide the signer by letting them know what information you want entered.

When the signer accesses the document, they will see the text in the field and they can overwrite it to enter their information.


If the signer does not replace the information in the field, the document can be completed with the default text intact. This will also fulfill a required field flag, allowing the signer to leave the default text.


Tooltips are similar to default text, in they can help inform the signer of what information you're looking for, if it's not obvious on the form itself.

The difference is tooltips pop up when the signer hovers their mouse over the field.

Now when the signer hovers their cursor over this field they will see the tooltip you've set in the tag.

Field Masking

For fields that gather sensitive information like credit card or account numbers, we highly suggest using the mask property.

This replaces all data entered into the field with asterisks.

As the signer fills in the requested information, the content will still be visible to mitigate the chances for mistakes.

When the signer clicks out of the field, the information is replaced. These asterisks will also be visible on the resulting, completed document.


To retrieve the masked data, the send of the document will need to export the form data from either the Manage page or my running a Report.

Other Objects

Aside from text fields, you can make other objects using text tags. All fields available through the drag and drop environment can be made using text tags.


Checkboxes are used in "check all that apply" situations. Checkboxes can be made standard, required or checked by default.


Checkboxes can use field pollination, so be sure to uniquely name each checkbox.

Radio Buttons

Radio buttons should be used for "choose only one" situations. Radio buttons need to include at least two options and are grouped by giving them the same name. The actual option is set in the parenthesis after ":radio".

Drop-down menus provide a list of options for the signer to pick from. A drop-down only allows them to choose one option.

Attachment Fields


Attachment fields are available with business and enterprise service levels only

Attachment fields allow the signer to attach a file to the transaction. This file will be appended to the end of the completed document. The ":label" property of the tag allows you to enter informative text into the field, like default text.

Adobe logo

Sign in to your account