We recently released a free update to fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition), our FileMaker solution for integrating with the DocuSign eSignature platform, that included support for AutoPlace. AutoPlace (also referred to as anchor tagging) is an advanced field action in DocuSign that adds fields near each occurrence of a given string in a template or document.
With a typical document you would need to specify where you wanted the DocuSign tabs (fields) to appear on the document, for example to capture a signature, initials, name or date. In the fmESignature Link file the setup for adding Template Tabs looks like this:
It can be somewhat fiddly while you work out the coordinates from the left and top of the page for each tab and can involve a bit of trial and error before you get the positioning right. This also means that your tabs are hardcoded into fixed positions on a specific page, which is fine for fixed length documents where these positions will never change.
If you’re working with a variable length document, such as the legal agreement where the length of the agreement could change depending on the number of included clauses, then you won’t be able to know in advance what page and what position to place the these tabs. Fortunately DocuSign has a solution to this problem called AutoPlace, which involves the use of hidden strings that won’t appear anywhere else in your document. The tab/field is then automatically placed in the position of your hidden text string.
This makes setting up Template Tabs in the fmESignature Link file much simpler: instead of working out the pixel positions from the left and top of your page you simply enter the matching string to look for like this:
If your agreement PDF is being generated from a FileMaker layout you simply place the corresponding string on the layout like this (I’ve changed the text colour to red to make it visible, but you would set this to the same colour as the background of your agreement which is typically white)
DocuSign then automatically place the specified tab at the position of the matching string, regardless of which page or where it appears on the final document. With AutoPlace you can have your templates setup for eSignature with DocuSign within minutes using the fmESignature Link (DocuSign Edition) solution.
We’ve added a support article that has all the details of using AutoPlace with fmESignature Link, along with a short video demonstrating the setup of this which you can watch below or on YouTube here.