Microsoft Office - Quick Parts and Formulas not displaying expected results

Issue

When using Microsoft Office data 'merge' fields like Microsoft Word Quick Parts or Excel formulas/functions that pull data from a particular system or the file itself, the returned data in the signed PDF is not matching what was uploaded or expected.

Examples:
  • Using the Excel functions:
    • NOW()
  • Using the Word Quick Parts:
    • Time
    • Date
    • FileName
    • FileLocation

Cause

When uploading documents to DocuSign, the actual file itself is not transferred to our system but a copy is made. That copy is processed through a server and converted to a PDF for signing before eventually being completed and returned to the sender of the DocuSign envelope. Word Quick Parts and Excel functions that pull system or file data is not considered static content. The content changes any time the file is opened based on the file data itself and system on which the file exists. DocuSign renames a file to a unique file name for tracking purposes while processing the envelope (hence the FileName not staying the same) as well as stores it on a server while processing (FileLocation being changed). These servers must contain an accurate date and time to function properly which causes any file using the Excel function NOW() or the Word Quick Parts Date or Time to be the date and time of the server the file was processed through.

Solution

If you wish for content to remain unchanged on a document being sent through DocuSign, it is necessary to not use a Quick Part or formula that may possibly change based on the file name, location, or system on which it is stored. Please hand type (hard-code) the content you wish to exist within the document.

Example:
  • Instead of using NOW() in Excel, type "01/01/2018 6:30 am"
  • Instead of inserting the Quick Part FileName in Word, type "MyFileName.docx"

Alternatively, you can also "lock" the fields before the document is sent through DocuSign. When using Word, you the keyboard short cut Ctrl + F11 (on Windows) and Command + F11(on Mac) to lock the field to their values and send the saved document through DocuSign. You should verify the shortcut with the version of MS Word you are using to make sure its correct.

Example:
  • Open document in MS Word
  • Press Ctrl + F11
  • Save document
  • Send it through DocuSign