I posted this under the Adobe Sign forum but have not received any replies from Adobe in weeks, so trying here as well.
Hello, I have searched around looking for an answer to this issue and have in fact tried a few options on my own but am finding I need an official answer from Adobe.
We have been trying to migrate to using Sign in our now-remote environement and it has been helpful in many ways....except when it comes to contracts. When a contract is being reviewed, there are often many supporting documents that are required...Excel files, other PDFs, Word documents, jpegs, and so on.
I have tried text tags with prefill options and I have tried the 'add files' option when setting up for signature, but all that does is convert the files to PDFs and add them to the contract document to be signed. I find it hard to believe that Adobe would offer up Sign, a system with workflow for signatures for major contracts, but not offer something within that system for handling supporting documents. It has been very 'wonky' to have to create hundreds of new folders, send separate emails, etc, and then tell people that the actual signing piece will be done in Sign.
So I am asking if there is an option for handling supporting documents WITHIN Sign itself...folders, attachments, etc? First step would be being able to send files with Attachments. We already know that Adobe does this...but Sign converts the document to a Sign document and removes the attachments. So we are looking for another way to send in Sign with the attachments.
Text tags also have limits, so doing that option does not work for things like Excel files. We have seen posts mentioning this ability in the Enterprise versions, but then others say it is not the case there either. We do have a business account.
Next step would be true workflow, which would allow for supporting documents, not just the signature workflow.
Hoping someone can give us a 'hopeful' definitive answer.
Thank you for reaching out.
In Adobe Sign, there is an option to add the attachment field in the document. When adding fields in a document via Adobe Sign, under "More fields" select File attachment. If you wish to add the attachments yourself in the document, assign the field as Prefill.
The option to add an attachment field is available in the Adobe Sign small business, business, and enterprise plans.
We have checked that you are using the Adobe Sign enterprise plan.
Let us know if you are referring to something else or have any questions.
Thank you Meenakshi, but what you referring to has the same limitations I noted before. It does not allow for adding something like an Excel file or anything over 5mb in size. The user also does not know that until presented with the errors as you move through sign. Additionally, if you want to do prefill, you have to add an individual field for each attachment.
In a normal PDF, you do not have these limitations, and can attach many items to the PDF.
Our whole issue is around supporting documents for agreements. If Sign offered the ability to add true attachments, or a place to put such documents (such as a folder assigned to each document) that the users could access via the share function, that would be a huge help.
We do not understand why Adobe would create Sign, give it workflow, tell people it is great for getting contracts/POs/and documents signed, but then not offer up any way to include supporting documents. In fact, with Sign, they took away an already-existing option to add PDFs as attachments. Having to jump back and forth between systems, email about supporting documents/reference materials outside of Sign is really a clunky and inefficient system.
Is there a way for us to submit this as a feature request?
Thank you again!
++ Adding to the guidance MeenakshiNegi,
You may need to finalize all the signing process first, before adding additional file documents to the contract(s).
In the Adobe Sign User Guide, see the section Field types
Then scroll down to the "File Attachment" and "Hyperlink sections.
These two workflows are available to do what you're asking.
However, note in the "File attachment" Notes that it specifically disclaims:
And before that see this part :
Thanks so much, this is exactly our problem...we can do the options you noted but this is not true attachments. This is converting everything to PDF pages, then adding them to the documents. What we need are true attachments, or a way to share the supporting documents within Sign itself. Even the option to create a folder within Sign, attached to each agreement, where the user could upload any supporting docs/reference materials for the signes to review.
We have purchasing managers receiving hundreds of Sign requests each day. Sign works great for the actual sighning process, but we are finding that we cannot use it because of all the requried extra emailing about each item to be signed. there should be an option to put everything having to do wtih each Sign request in a folder within Sign, connected to their relative documents. So when a user opens Sign, they can click 'supporitng documents' and then see all the files related to that contract. Often this will be a spreadsheet, or presentation, or copies of emails, and so on.
Is there a way for us to request this as a feature for Adobe? They already offer the document cloud, but it is not linked to Sign at all.
In that case, and until Adobe figures out this one, I would use the Hyperlink feature in the contract, to include all the supporting documents of a contract in a Document Cloud folder or similar.
This way, the signees may be able to review original copies of all relative files while reading, reviewing and signing the contract, plus everything is accessible from their current session web browser.
Maybe this is not a full-fledged solution but it is worth giving it a try.
In the meanwhile, you can use the link below to submit a feature request directly to Adobe:
Thanks again, that is actually a great idea and I did give it a shot...but unfortunately, no joy yet again. I was hoping I could link to an internal network location, like you can do it MS Office. I tried the 'file' prefix as well but it will not work.
So I then tried your idea about linking to the document cloud, which would be perfect, I think...BUT the cloud only lets you uploard random files for sharing; there is no organization/grouping. One would need to create folders within the cloud, labeled for each project/contract/Sign document. Then, you should be able to share that folder, not just individual files (sharing 25 documents individually is inefficient). Do you know if I am missing something?
It is too bad, I really liked your idea/thought process, thank you. Thank you also for the link for the suggestions for features, I will try and use that as well.
So I did find out a way to add folders which was great....but it still will not allow me to hyperlink to the folders? So I then tried to share the entire folder, but there is no option for that either, only the option to share files individually. Again...unless I am missing something?
It seems like you're missing a few steps but no... In the Adobe Document Cloud there's no option to share an entire folder; this feature applies to individual files, and of course, that is unless I'm missing something too.
The ability to share a file in the Document Cloud space applies more to the Sharing and Reviewing PDFs online when using the Document Cloud. In which case, you can create as many folders as you want, and also upload as many files as you see fit in them, yet, the moment you select more than one file the "Share" icon disappears and also you won't be able to use the "Move" option to move files altogether to another location using this method.
However, you can achieve this workflow successfully with the Adobe Creative Cloud instead of the Document Cloud. In fact, It is very easy; creating a folder, opening the folder, uploading and syncing files in the newly created folder(s) is done quickly, and clicking on the "Share" icon immediately gives an option to get and share a hyperlink to that entire folder.
See here how it's done:
Thank you again, I did try that option and as you said, getting the hyperlink was easy. However, same issue every time I try to use that hyperlink in the hyperlink field in the PDF...it opens to a web browser but always errors out with this in the address line:
We have tested this with multiple users, on different computers, all within the same network but every time the same error. I am looking through settings but am not seeing anything related to this error. Do you know how to fix this?
Update....so I think the issue is not the link itself, but Sign itself. When I paste in the link to the hyperlink field, it seems to not stay there. Each time I re-open the field, it still shows only the 'https://', and when I click from there is when I get that error. So I tried it anyway and sent the file via Sign. The hyperlink field appears there, with my specified description, etc. But when I click it, it shows just that same https, no actual address. I attached a shot of what I see. You cannot click the 'Open Link' button either.
Another update, this one is discouraging....I found this support thread in the Adobe Support Community:
It seems to indicate that hyperlinks will NOT work with an Adobe Sign document?? This simply does not make sense, right? Why would there be an entire Adobe Cloud system, tied to Sign, with the ability to share via links, and THEN also the ability to add hyperlinks to a Sign document, but then not have them actually work? This has to either be a bug or a complete misstep by Adobe, as it defies common sense/logic. I am hoping someone will prove this incorrect!
Adobe Sign is a great tool, but Adobe has really seemed to overlook many needed functionalities in the workflow process. Back before they added workflow, that may have made sense (but even then, not fully) but when you try to make it a workflow system, it needs to have other functionalities, like the ability to actually work with its own systems, do you agree?
Again, I hope I am wrong, and that support thread is wrong!
Okay, so I have just kept plugging away at this and I found the problem. There is something wrong with the Sign code for the hyperlink box. I was able to get it to actually keep the hyperlink, but it is really inconsistent/problematic. Attached is a sample error that it gives me when I paste in the link to the cloud folder. I tried this both via the link generator and by copying the web address right from the browser.
You can see that it says that it does not have the https prefix...which is wrong of course. I then tried to copy and paste ONLY the address AFTER the https, thereby leaving in the auto-generated default https prefix. Still get that error. Even that error was inconsistent...I could close out of Sign, go back in, and then copy/paste again and would NOT get that error! However, when that happened, the link would not save...would go blank again. Augh.
Okay, so then I tried something simple...just added in www.google.com, typing it manually after the default https prefix. THEN it saved the link! So then I re-opened it and then pasted the folder link again...NOW it saves the link! It seems that the field settings box will not accept pasted data, at least not without first typing something in manually.
I was able to replicated this multiple times, on two different machines. I then asked another user to try this and they had the same thing happen. There is something wrong with this box that needs to be addressed; it took me a long time to get this figured out, I cannot hope to roll it out to non-technical users with its inconsistencies.
I would be happy to do a remote session directly with someone at Adobe to demonstrate these conditions...how can I get Adobe to look at this specific issue?
++ Edited reply, added additional comments.
I've been looking into everything you've posted.
It may take me a few more days before I reply back with something substantial .
In the meanwhile, I strongly recommend to review this old thread for additional insights:
There's been version updates of Acrobat in the past that have addressed issues with URI producing programs and Unicode character mappings.
The link above has links to other threads that discuss the same issue with the weblink creation tool.
Just like the first paragraph states in the lyrics of the "White Rabbit" song by Jefferson Airplane:
Don't fall down the rabbit hole too hard.
Take a break and enjoy some time off with family or friends. 🙄
In the meanwhile, I also strongly recommend to contact Adobe Sign support:
Or from the resources below:
FYI, the phone number comes up as 'we're sorry, this number is not yet in service'. No idea what that means, but it is not a working number.
Wish I could just edit replies, not have to reply all over again, but wanted to let you know that I read that whole thread about the URL handling, thanks. I do not think this is related, though, as this is within that Sign fields box. It does work as intended, opening the links fine...but only once it actually accepts/saves your URL. You cannot right-click to paste, only ctrl-V works...but as noted, it often just will not save the link, or it gives an error. Usually works once you type in the box, save the link, then go the paste route. I just cannot roll that out to over a thousand non-technical people as a solution.
Would you mind sending me a mock agreement with no sensitive information on it?
You can private message me if you prefer.
What I would do, in this case, is to open the source PDF agreement in Adobe Acrobat Pro, and use the weblink creation tool to embed that link onto the documebt, and then save the document.
Then test by clicking on that link while still working with Adobe Acrobat; it should immediately open the link in the default web browser.
Since we already suspect that the weblink creation feature is broken in Adobe Sign, If this method works in Acrobat, then your next test is to employ Adobe Sign normally to send this agreement for review and signatures.
The signees should be able to click on that link and have access to the folder that you've already shared in the Creative Cloud space.
Thanks, so I did try that and it does work, but it would not work for us in the actual work environment. I would be rolling this out to over a thousand users, many of whom are not technical. They are still working just to get the signature process going, let alone the workflow piece. Multiple users would need to be able to use this sharing/linking function and they would be changing them all the time. They would be new, up to 30 per day, all separate projects/contracts, so all different folders, all different links.
Where you have led me to so far actually does look perfect for that function! It seems to provide exactly what we need to have happen; it just looks like there is some issue with the actual box where you add the links. I would love for you to give it a shot yourself, see if you see the same issue. It was replicated now by 6 different users, all on different machines, two of which were Apple products. So it seems to be universal, but I do wonder if it is account-specfic (meaing just our organization).
I could send you a file, but honestly it should work on any file you were to try. Just try to copy and paste a hyperlink into the properties box, see if it works the way it should. I have made sure we are fully updated as well. We do have an Enterprise account, and as such, I have reached out to our CSM. No word back yet, so I will also try those contact options you provided.
If you do test it on your end, please let me know if it works for you.
Wanted to let you know as well that the feature request/bug report page does not actually have Adobe Sign as a product to select!
@Help531 I know this thread of yours is old, but I am having the exact same issue as you (need to include files in our contracts that should NOT be converted to .pdf, such as Word or Excel) and I'm beyond frustrated with Adobe Sign. I'm taking a chance that you MAY see this message from me and tell me how things ended up? Did you find a solution with Adobe Sign? Or did you go with another software entirely? 😉 Thanks!
Hi @Molly - BCHHS no, no solution has been found. I have since been made a system admin and have been talking directly with Adobe engineers, but the bottom line is that this is how they want it to work. It will flatten the file and make everything a pdf. It is completely useless for people trying to send real documents for review, like Excel files. The other problem we see is how Sign locks all fields once signed, even when using workflows. We often have people who do not know who the signors are down the line, so we tried workflows. However, at certain points in the flow, staff need to append something, like an accounting filing field, but they cannot because everything is completely locked. Very frustrating. We are exploring other software now, as Sign is just too limited.