How do I create a SmartCard Digital Signature in Excel?

AFGPHXExcel used Ask the Experts™
I would like to double click a cell and have it insert a digital signature from a SmartCard. Is this possible?
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Cryptographic Engineer
I'm not aware offhand of any way to do this to an individual cell, usually you sign the entire file.  If you are trying to do this to a single cell, could you please explain why so we can see if there might be a different way of accomplishing what you are trying to do?

For signing the file, first save the worksheet, then follow these directions (directions may vary slightly for different versions of Office) :
Tools - Options - Security tab - Digital Signatures button - Add button - select your signing certificate - OK - (you probably want to keep the "Attach certificates" box checked) - OK - OK

If you have multiple certs listed, you can View Certificate to check them out to locate the desired certificate.

If you do not have a signing certificate then you could have Office create one for you, refer to the help files.  If you have your own CA then you could use one of these, too.  Note that the Office certs or internally issued certs are just for internal / testing use and are not legal signatures (they do not have "non-repudiation") - if you need a legal signature, go out to Verisign and you can get one for a couple dollars (note - any CA will need to validate your identity for a legal signing certificate) that you can stick onto your smartcard.  You could have a internal CA that could be used for a legal signature, but the costs, knowledge, auditing, and processes involved are usually restrictive unless it is a larger company.

Typically an email signing certificate will do (most CA vendors have a free email cert, but the free ones will not hold up as a legally binding certificate - you need to be validated and that validation process costs a few bucks), but if you have a specific requirement for a document signing certificate then a few companies like Versign offer that specific flavor, however note that there may be compatibility issues with some products, including possibly your smartcard middleware.

Typically the excel file may contain a number of records by rows.  Can we add signature to a particular row instead of the whole worksheet?

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