E-Signature Basics: How to Create and Use a Template in DocuSign

Discover how to create templates in DocuSign with this step-by-step guide. This article covers what templates are, how you use them and how to set up a DocuSign template. Templates are perfect for almost any DocuSign workflow that you do over and over again and can help you save time.

What are DocuSign templates?

Templates make it easier to send the same or similar documents frequently or send documents to the same group of people. Templates allow you to set recipients, roles and signing fields. You can use templates in some of the following ways:

  • When sending the same document to different recipients, e.g, sending a disclosure form
  • When sending the same recipients a different document, e.g, sending a report to your Board of Directors for their approval

Templates are flexible. A template can include multiple files, allowing you to send to one or more recipients, and can include the signing instructions. You can easily make changes to a template and customise your document.

What is the difference between a template and a document?

A document is a one-time send, whereas a template allows you to streamline the sending process when you frequently send the same or similar documents. You can add a named person to a template, but you can also define placeholder roles. This allows you to easily update recipient and signer details next time you send a document. 

If you’re using an electronic signature for the first time, you might want to check out other guides like how to sign a document electronically

How to create a DocuSign template?

Discover how to create a basic template with this simple step-by-step guide. 

  1. Log in to your DocuSign account and select ‘Templates’ from the menu
  2. From the Templates page, click ‘New’ and select ‘Create Template’’
  3. Enter a name and description for your template. The description should indicate what the template is to be used for
  4. You can add files to the template, by uploading from your desktop or the cloud
  5. Next, add recipient roles. Define the role of the recipient in the ‘role’ field, for example, ‘Sales Rep’, or ‘Applicant’. Set up a recipient role for everyone that will act on the document
  6. To add a bulk list of recipients, select the Import Bulk List option, and follow the regular procedure described in Send a Document Using Bulk Send
  7. Set a routing order for your document or add an authentication method, follow the regular procedure described in Add Recipients
  8. To define a standard message for your template, or to add private messages for individual recipients, follow the regular procedure described in Add Messages
  9. To save your template without adding fields, click ‘Other Actions’ and select ‘SAVE AND CLOSE’
  10. To set the signing fields for your document, click ‘NEXT’
  11. To add signing fields for each of your template recipients, follow the regular procedure described in Add Fields to Documents
  12. To finish your template, click SAVE AND CLOSE. Your template is saved and ready to use

Here are some frequently asked questions about DocuSign template creation:

How do I create a new document from a template in DocuSign?

  1. Home page: click the ‘NEW’ menu and select ‘Use a Template’.
  2. Documents page: click the ‘NEW’ menu and select ‘Use a Template’.
  3. Templates page: locate your template and click ‘USE’.

How do I edit a template?

You can edit any DocuSign template that you create and save. If you have access to templates other users have shared with you, you may be able to edit those too. When editing a template, if you decide you don't want to save your changes, you can easily discard the changes and leave the template in its original form.

  1. Go to the ‘Templates’ page and locate the template you wish to edit.
  2. Click the template title to select it and open the ‘Template Details’ view.
  3. Click ‘EDIT’ and edit the template. You can change any aspect of the template, including the template name, and the files, recipients, and recipient fields.

For more advanced information on DocuSign templates, take a look at this guide.

If you're not using eSignature, make sure to register now for your free trial or speak to an expert about eSignature or any of our DocuSign Agreement Cloud offerings.