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Last year in June, Google unveiled its plans to introduce eSignature support within Google Docs, aiming to enhance the document signing experience for Workspace users. The feature, which enables seamless native signing of contracts and letters, has now entered the beta testing stage for individual Workspace accounts.

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With the new eSignature feature, Google Docs introduces an intuitive drag-and-drop mechanism for swiftly signing various documents. At present, users can effortlessly incorporate their signature, name, and date using this system. Notably, when Google Docs files are shared via Gmail, users gain the convenience of directly signing documents within Gmail itself, eliminating the need to open the document separately in Google Docs.

Additionally, users now possess the capability to ask for signatures when sending files via Gmail. At this point, each document is limited to requesting a single signature. This option will be seamlessly integrated into Gmail whenever a Google Doc is attached to an email.

Furthermore, Google will offer a progress tracker that allows users to monitor both pending and completed signatures. Additionally, a convenient one-click function will be available to generate copies of signed contracts, subject to mutual agreement from all parties involved.

Upon successful eSignature completion for a Google Docs file, a secured PDF of the signed document will be sent to both parties via email. This move positions Google as a formidable contender against online contract platforms such as Concord, as it seamlessly incorporates robust eSignature capabilities into its existing ecosystem.

Google is actively developing additional enhancements for its eSignature functionality. Shortly, users will gain the ability to request multiple eSignatures within a single document. While currently limited to Gmail account holders, Google plans to extend this capability to users without Gmail accounts.

Presently, Google’s eSignature feature exclusively operates within Google Docs. However, the company’s upcoming plans involve expanding this functionality to allow signatures on PDF files stored within Google Drive.

The rollout of this feature is presently underway for beta testers within Google Workplace accounts. Eligible tiers for participation in the beta program include Workspace Essentials, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, Education Plus, the Teaching and Learning Upgrade, as well as Nonprofits customers, as detailed in Google’s official blog.

Google is set to welcome new applications for participation in its Workspace beta program. It’s important to note that eSignature functionality is currently exclusive to Google Docs paid users and is not available for free accounts. Google has expressed its intent to extend this feature to support businesses in achieving a more streamlined document signing process, though no specific timeline has been disclosed.

According to the company’s announcement, the eSignature feature will remain in the beta phase until the conclusion of this year. Following that, a phased rollout is planned, encompassing all Workspace accounts, including those associated with organizations. Should the implementation prove successful, Google Docs could potentially emerge as a prominent platform for online contracts, given its extensive user base.