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Word 2007: Attaching Digital Signatures

Word 2007: Attaching Digital Signatures

In recent years, Digital Signatures have certainly gained a great deal of popularity. But, the topic is typically somewhat confusing to many.

Here’s the scoop – anybody can get a digital signature to attach to documents as a verification. But, you need to go through a Digital Certificate Authority to obtain your digital signature or it really won’t have any validity.

What makes a Digital Signature Valid?

     
  • Certificate – A Digital Signature must have a certificate issued by a certification authority that proves one’s identity and authenticity.
     
  •  
  • Valid Certificate Authority – This is the organization that issues digital certificates and keeps track of all assigned certificates. A Digital Signature must be issued by a valid certificate authority.
     

The plus side of Digital Signatures is they add an authenticity and integrity to anything you “sign.” And, you can use Digital Signatures to add both visible and invisible signature lines to your Word 2007 (and Excel 2007) documents.

About Signature Lines

Paperless office? We’re closer than you may think.

The Digital Signature capabilities in Word 2007 are very cool. You can actually insert a line that looks very much the Signature lines of old. And when a document with the Signature line inserted is sent electronically, the receiver can click the Signature line and attach Digital Signature.

Adding a Signature Line to a Document

     
  1. Place your pointer in the location in your document where you want to add a signature line
     
  2.  
  3.  Choose the Signature Line command in the Text group on the Insert tab
     
  4.  
  5. Choose Microsoft Office Signature Line…
     

Figure 77. Signature Setup Dialog Box

    4.       Complete the requested information in the Signature Setup Dialog Box

    5.       Click OK

 

 

Figure 78. Signature Example

Inserting a Signature

     
  1. Double-click a Signature Line
     

Figure 79. Sign Dialog Box

    2.       Either type your name in the box or click Select Image…

    3.       Click Sign

 

Figure 80. Signature Confirmation Dialog Box

    4.       Click OK

Removing a Signature

     
  1. Double-click an existing signature
     
  2.  
  3. Select the signer’s name in the Signatures Task Pane
     
  4.  
  5. Choose Remove Signature
     

Figure 81. Remove Signature Dialog Box

4.       Click Yes

Figure 82. Signature Removed Dialog Box

    5.       Click OK

Signing with an Invisible Signature

Instead of using the Signature Line, you can choose to create an invisible signature. Doing so prevents any further changes to a document and can be added in Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.

     
  1. Open the Office Menu
     
  2.  
  3. Click Prepare
     
  4.  
  5. Choose Add a Digital Signature
     

Figure 83. Invisible Signature Dialog Box

    4.       Type your purpose for signing

    5.       Click Sign