# About signing orders
If you want to have one or more documents signed, you will have to create a signing order. Recipients you add to a signing order will receive a notification by email or SMS with a link to the documents you've uploaded, and they will be able to sign electronically.
This page explains some of the concepts that you need to understand in order to create and manage singing orders, as well as a description of all the available features.
# Basic process
The basic process of creating a signing order looks like this:
- Add files to the signing order.
- Add recipients to the signing order.
- Configure the signing order and send it.
You can see a more detailed description of the process on Creating a signing order.
There are two types of files that can be attached to a signing order:
- Documents are files that you want to get signed.
- Attachments are files that you want signers to view, but not sign.
For example, if you're sending someone a mortgage contract, you might also want to attach a floor plan of the house for their convenience. In this case, you would upload the contract as a document and the floor plan as an attachment.
When you add files to a signing order (step 2), you will be asked if you want to upload them as documents or as attachments.
You may also want to make sure only you and the recipient can see the files, or just some of your colleagues, but not all of them. In step 2, you can set a signing order to private or restrict it to a specific group of users.
# File validation and repair
File validation and repair is turned on by default. This means that each PDF file you upload will be automatically checked to ensure that it can be packaged properly later on, after signatures have been obtained. For example, issues may arise if the uploaded PDF is password protected against editing, if it contains editable form fields, or if it does not conform to the PDF standard it claims to follow.
You don't need to do anything to validate the files you upload, as this is done automatically. If any issues are detected, you will see a warning prompting you to repair the file. When you click Repair, the Sign Portal will attempt to repair the file automatically. In the case of password-protected files, the password will be removed; if the file contains editable form fields, they will be flattened. Once the file has been repaired, we recommend that you download it and make sure that it still looks as it should.
The recipients of the signing order are people who will receive information about it. There are two types of recipients:
- Required signers are people who must sign the documents in the signing order. They will be the first to receive a notification about the signing order.
- Optional signers are people who don't necessarily have to sign the documents. They will be notified and asked to sign when required signers have already signed.
There are several configuration options for signers within a signing order (these options are available in step 3):
- Combine with handwritten: with this option, the signer has to provide their handwritten signature, in addition to the selected signing method.
- Require authentication: for additional security, you can make recipients authenticate before they can access the document. To authenticate, they have to enter a one-time password (OTP) that will be sent by SMS to their mobile phone. To be able to use this option, you have to enter the recipient's mobile phone number.
- Required signer: you can specify which signers are required and which are optional when you add them to the signing order. This setting can be combined with the configuration of the total number of signers for the signing order to deal with complex signing scenarios (see below for more details).
- Share signed document with signer: if you want to, you can automatically send the recipient a signed copy of the document after it has been signed. Recipients will have 14 days to download it.
- Set order of recipients: if this option is enabled, signers will be asked to sign one after the other, instead of all at once. The order of signing can be customised. Note that signers won't be notified about the signing order until the person before them on the list has signed.
# Signing order options
These options can be configured in step 4.
You can set an expiration date for the signing order, as well as configure periodic reminders for recipients and email notifications for yourself.
It is also possible to allow recipients to forward the signing order to someone else. This can happen in B2B contexts, where the person who receives a signing order is not always the one who has the relevant signing rights. Note that this functionality is only available on some plans.
For instance, if you're sending a quote to a company, you might send it to the person who contacted you, but this person might not be allowed to approve quotes. If forwarding is enabled, they will be able to send the signing order to the right person.
Additionally, you can specify the total number of signers for the signing order. This option, combined with individually setting each signer as required or optional, allows you to flexibly manage several different scenarios:
For example, imagine that you need to obtain just one signature for your document, but the document can be signed by two people, it doesn't matter who (for example, co-owners of a business). In a case like this, you would add both recipients to the signing order, set both of them as optional, and set the total number of signers to 1. This way, the signing order will be considered complete as soon as one of the recipients signs.
# Managing signing orders
You can manage signing orders from the main page of the Signicat Sign Portal. The following options are available (depending on the status of the signing order):
- Filter order by status (e.g. "waiting", "signed"): use the labels at the top of the table.
- Search orders: use the search field at the top right. Searches are carried out on titles, recipients and statuses.
- Edit drafts: signing orders that have not been sent yet can be edited by clicking on the pencil icon in their row.
- Delete orders: click on an order to view the delete button.
- Download orders: orders can be downloaded unsigned or signed (if recipients have signed them). Click on an order to view these options.