Swap Out and Replace Underlying Documents for Templates

Andrew Hall
March 14, 2017
minute read
Swap Out and Replace Underlying Documents for Templates
icon tooltip

New look, same great product! HelloSign is now Dropbox Sign.

icon close

Templates are a great way to improve your efficiency when using Dropbox Sign's API. They enable you to skip the preparation phase for the documents that you use most frequently. Using templates means you cut down on redundant document formatting and automate the signing process even more. 

But what happens when the documents you’re sending get updated and your template needs to be modified? Until a recent release, this meant re-creating your template from scratch. 

We’re excited to share an API endpoint that will further-improve your template experience!

How to Swap Your Underlying Document

The update files endpoint for templates was introduced to make getting your templates up-to-date as simple as possible. Using this endpoint will allow you to replace (or swap out) the underlying documents of a template while maintaining the fields and formatting previously saved to the template. 

By reusing the Dropbox Sign overlay with the new version of your documents, updating your templates takes only a few minutes. All the fields you placed in the original template, as well as the assignment of those fields to specific Signer Roles, will be maintained and in the same locations on top of your new file. 

This feature is particularly valuable when you need to make small tweaks to a document. For example, when there's a minor update to a contract's terms of service, or a typo in a document is fixed.For long documents, this can mean a tremendous amount of time saved.

Enable the "Swap Underlying Documents" Endpoint

The template update files endpoint is available on any Dropbox Sign API plan

To use the endpoint, you’ll need to provide the new file that’s replacing the old one in the template. Rather than completely replacing the old template, a new template will be generated so that you have both versions available.You’ll need to ensure that your new file is at least as many pages long as your old file, and the orientation of the two files match. This ensures that any Dropbox Sign fields are still within the new file provided. 

If you need to make any final edits to your new template before use, such as repositioning any Dropbox Sign fields, you can do that through the template editing UI.

Why We Built the New Endpoint

This new endpoint was introduced because we’re always striving to make our users awesome.Through conversations with our customers, we discovered that templates often need to be replaced due to minor changes being made to the underlying documents. These changes could range from needing to use the current tax year version of a document to slight wording changes in contracts.What should have been an easy process to update those templates started consuming a lot of time. 

Since our goal at Dropbox Sign is to enable frictionless agreements, improving the ability to create those agreements was a no-brainer.Some of the documents that our customers send out can have hundreds of fields and could take hours to prepare. We’re excited to remove that hurdle in the process and to empower our customers.

How Our Customers Are Responding

Our customers have been extremely excited about this functionality, recognizing that it’s going to save them a substantial amount of time maintaining their templates. 

One customer used this endpoint to replace a 10 page, 100+ field document in their template, cutting out well over an hour of otherwise manual effort with a simple API call. 

“We use hundreds of embedded signature templates on our platform, and working on revisions had been a painstaking process of re-doing and re-coding up templates from scratch,” commented Juan Hernandez, Managing Director of CFX Markets. “The increased flexibility and power of this feature has significantly made our revision process easier!”

Interested in More?

We'd love for you to take Dropbox Sign's API for a spin. Check out our API documentation.    

Stay in the loop

Thank you!
Thank you for subscribing!

Lorem ipsum

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Lorem ipsum
icon arrow right