Google Docs and Drive Transform Business with New eSignature Feature
Google unveils eSignature in Docs & Drive, ending the need to switch apps for digital signatures. Expanded features on the horizon
Google is enhancing its Docs and Drive features by introducing native eSignature support. This move comes after a year of rigorous alpha testing, making the signing of digital documents more straightforward and efficient from within these platforms.
For those unfamiliar, eSignatures enable individuals to digitally sign documents without having to print, sign manually, and then scan or send. Popular platforms like Dropbox and Adobe Acrobat have offered this feature for some time. Google, despite its popularity in the digital workspace realm, has been a notable exception. This has often led users to juggle between different apps to digitally sign their documents, creating unnecessary hassle.
The New Feature
By June 2022, whispers began circulating that Google Docs would soon support eSignatures. A year later, the anticipated feature has become a reality. Users of the platform can now request both full signatures or just initials. For convenience, the 'date signed' will be auto-populated. Users can also track signature statuses and request multiple signatures using a single template document.
The feature is already accessible to all individual Google Workspace subscribers. There's no separate registration required; users can dive straight into experimenting with the new tool. Larger enterprise and education Workspace customers, including those in the Business Standard, Business Plus, and various Enterprise and Education tiers, can apply for a special closed beta testing. Google plans to review these applications and gradually roll out eSignature capabilities over the upcoming weeks.
Google has more enhancements in the pipeline for eSignatures. Later in the year, they aim to introduce an audit trail report for completed contracts. They'll also cater to collaboration needs by enabling users to request multiple signatures on a single document and expand the feature for non-Gmail account holders. Plus, support for signing PDFs in Drive is on the horizon.
There’s still some mystery surrounding the full public release date of eSignatures for all eligible Workspace customers. Additionally, it's unclear if this feature will eventually be available for free Google account holders. As more updates come in, we'll be sure to keep you informed.
In a nutshell, Google's integration of eSignature in Docs and Drive is a welcome move, promising seamless digital document handling for users worldwide.