White Text Tags

Notarize support white text tags for the automatic application of signer and notary designations to documents added to Notarize transactions. White text tagging support is available in both the Business and Real Estate products.

High Level

  1. PDF documents are tagged with “white text” placeholders using the preferred syntax. This is actual text in white (invisible to the human eye against a white page, but visible to our platform).
  2. When a document is uploaded to the Notarize platform via API or UI, the platform locates white text placeholders and automatically adds the prescribed designations on top of those text tags for signers and/or a notary to complete the document.


  1. The key is to get access to “root” or “seed” templates used to create the customer-specific documents you will send out.

  2. Update your seed templates with white text designation markers, and then all of the customer-specific documents created from these will be tagged (you don’t want to tag every individual customer document).

  3. You can enable text tagging on a per doc level by specifying a value for text_tag_syntax in document objects. The possible values are standard and standard_hidden. Document processing happens asynchronously. Document processing_state is accessible in the document objects returned by the transaction retrieval endpoint. The possible values are pending, done, and failed. If any errors occurred during document processing, they will be listed in the document object processing_error field. To enable text tagging for documents uploaded from within the Notarize web app, you'll need the text tagging feature enabled in your Notarize account, which must be done by a Notarize employee.

  4. We are able to support text tagging with non-white text; this is useful if your document generation system would be able to add the text tags to documents more easily/in a more automated way if the text could be in black or other non-white font. You can enable this by specifying the standard_hidden syntax in api calls. This will cover the text tags with a white box so they will be hidden. Additionally, this feature can be enabled for your account so that it can be used for documents uploaded via the Notarize web app. Please reach out to [email protected] if this fits your use case and we will enable the feature for your account.


The syntax is supported by using both square brackets, [ ], and curly braces, { }. In other words, [sig|req|signer1] and {sig|req|signer1} will be read the same way by our system.

Preferred White Text Syntax

(syntax template in blue, three examples in red)






prescribes the type of designation to be placed.




text designation


date designation


signature designation


checkmark designation


initials designation (signer/witness only)


seal designation (notary only)


state designation (notary only)


county designation (notary only)


name designation (notary only)


expiry designation (notary only)


id designation (notary only)


prescribes whether the designation is required (req) or optional (noreq).

Note: today, we only support required designations. Optional designations are coming in the future.

*check designation is required if on a document set to e-sign and optional if signed in notary meeting. White text syntax will still be "req" regardless.




required designation *


prescribes who will fulfill the designation…a specific signer, specific witness, or the notary.




assigned to signer N (N can be up to whatever transaction type supports)


assigned to witness N (N can only be 1 or 2)


assigned to notary

Prescribing Size of Designations

The size of designations are prescribed by the space inside the square brackets of the white text placeholders. To make the designation box taller, increase font size. To make it wider, add spaces before the closing square bracket.

For Notary seals, we use the width of the brackets for both the width and the height, to create a square designation. Note: the minimum size of the Notary seals is 60x60px.

Height – is prescribed by the height of the square brackets used for white text placeholders.
Note: if the height is less than 6px, we will automatically set height to 10px. This is to handle very small text tags produced by some white text softwares.

Width – is prescribed by the width created by the two square brackets. You can add more width by adding spaces at the end of the tag: [sig|req|signer1 ] as opposed to [sig|req|signer1].

Small signature designation:

[sig|req|signer1 ]

Bigger signature designation:

[sig|req|signer1 ]

Note: while you can prescribe the size of a designation for all designation types, the resulting annotations may not conform to resizing, consistent with Notarize designation behavior.

  1. Signatures and Initials – annotations will fill to the maximum size within the
  2. Checkboxes – annotations will default to a 16px by 16px checkbox regardless of
    designation size.
  3. Text and Date - always default to 14px font size and the text can stretch beyond the dimensions of the designation.

Defining a Variable to Create a Short Designation

This is commonly needed for checkboxes or initials, where there is not enough space to write out a normal type|req|user white text placeholder. Concrete examples of this are shown in the Example White Text Document below.

Defining the variable:

The definition can be made anywhere in the document, and will apply to the rest of the document


Then, using the defined variable:


Common Errors

Here are some common error messages you may receive when adding a white text tagged document to a Notarize transaction:

  • [initial|req|notary] - the initial designation type is only available for signers and witness, not notaries. To resolve, please remove.

  • [name|req|signer2] - the name designation type is only available to notaries, not signers or witnesses. To resolve, please remove.

  • [date|req|singer3] - the user has been spelled "singer" rather than "signer". To fix, change the user to signer3, in this case.

  • [def:$text|text|req|signer1 - there is no end bracket on this tag. To resolve, please add an end bracket.

  • Text tag is too close to or overlapping with other text. This could prevent the tag from being detected as other characters could be mixed into the tag. To resolve, add a little extra space between the tag and other text.

  • If square brackets [ ] are not processing please try using curly braces { }.

For Further Assistance

For further assistance with implementing white text syntax to your seed files and documents, please reach out to [email protected]

Updated about a month ago

White Text Tags

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