Create Documents to Send for Signature Using Adobe InDesign

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Adobe InDesign is an extremely powerful page design and layout software that allows you to create rich content for print, tablet, EPUB, and other publishing media. But did you know you can also create PDF forms or documents using Adobe InDesign CC that have electronic signature fields?

As a Adobe Creative Cloud member, you have access to Adobe InDesign CC, which allows you to create rich interactive PDF forms or documents using the Forms and Buttons palette. Then, your InDesign document can be exported as a PDF, where you can use Send for Signature in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC*.

The following instructions show you how to prepare a form with signature fields using InDesign and seamlessly send it out for signature in Acrobat DC.

What You Will Need

  • Creative Cloud Complete Membership
  • Subscription to Acrobat Std or Pro DC or Adobe Document Cloud eSign services
  • Adobe InDesign CC

Add a Signature Field for eSign Services Using Forms and Buttons Palette

Before we get started, the Creating Forms with Text Tags is a great resource to learn how to really add intelligent form fields to your documents. What’s more, it also allows you to add this intelligence to many different types of documents (i.e., Word or InDesign) so all you have to do is simply upload the document to Adobe eSign services or Send for Signature in Acrobat DC.

To get started, do the following:

  1. Open your form inside of InDesign.
  2. Using the Rectangle tool, create a rectangle where you would like your form field located.
  3. Select the rectangle object you just created using the   Selection Tool.
  4. Go to Window > Interactive > Forms and Buttons.
  5. Under Type in the Buttons and Forms palette, select Text Field.
  6. Under Name, choose the name of the field based on what type of field you would like to place in there. (For more details see below).

Based on how you the name the field, you can create a variety of different parameters such as validation, signature field, etc. Below are a few examples. For a full list of different fields, see the Creating Adobe EchoSign Forms with Text Tags documentation.

Field Name Description
Sig_es_:signer:signature A signature field assigned to the signer.
Int_es_:signer:initials An initials field assigned to the first signer.
Dte_es_:signer:date A read-only field containing the date of signature.
Em_es_:signer:email A read-only field containing the signer’s email address.

Export Document

Once you have placed all of the fields successfully in your document, you need to export that document as an Interactive PDF:

  1. In InDesign, go to File > Export.
  2. Under Format, choose Adobe PDF (Interactive).
  3. Click Save.
  4. Under Forms and Media, make sure that Include All is selected.
  5. Click OK.

Send Document for Signature using Acrobat

Now that you have created an interactive PDF document, you can now send the document out for signature using Acrobat DC if you have a subscription.

  1. Open the PDF inside of Adobe Acrobat DC.
  2. Click on Tools.
  3. Click on Send for Signature.
  4. Click Ready to Send.
  5. Enter your recipient info and message information.
  6. Click Send.

Your signer will now receive a copy of the document for them to sign complete with signature fields.

You can now create a seamless signing experience for forms and documents created using Adobe InDesign CC and sent for signature using Adobe Acrobat DC.

*Acrobat Pro DC with Document Cloud services is included with these Creative Cloud plans for individuals: Creative Cloud for Individuals Complete; Creative Cloud for Business Complete; and Creative Cloud for Students and Teachers Complete

Adobe Acrobat DC, Adobe Sign, Learn

Posted on 09-17-2015


  • By kelly - 9:56 AM on May 3, 2016   Reply

    Does the student/teacher edition allow one to create fillable forms? Not just fill out forms, but create them.


    • By Document Cloud Team - 1:04 PM on May 3, 2016   Reply

      Hi Kelly,

      The education version of Acrobat DC is exactly the same as the regular version. So, you can create fillable forms. Note that you need Acrobat and not just the free Reader.


  • By Melissa Southard - 3:06 PM on June 14, 2016   Reply

    In your instructions, you state “open” your form inside InDesign. I have not created a form using ID. I have pdf’s that I would like to add a signature field to that would allow the end user to use their finger or a stylus to sign with. Is this something ID can do?

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