how to electronically sign a document in office by many users

Posted on 2013-10-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-10-16
we are currently using sharepoint to approve documents (electronically sign them)
we want to move and manage our documents in network libraries on our storage.
i wondered how we can sign the documents electronically without a third party SW, and i heard that microsoft office has an option to create an electronicall signature
see link:

does anybody used it ? does it works ? how ?
Question by:sikadmin
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Assisted Solution

by:Paul Sauvé
Paul Sauvé earned 2000 total points
ID: 39574230
Please note that, as the Microsoft document says,
Note   If you digitally sign a document by using a digital certificate that you created, and then you share the digitally signed file, other people cannot verify the authenticity of your digital signature. Your digital signature can be authenticated only on the computer on which you created the digital signature.
You can make digital certificates for free using OpenSSL, but the process seems quite complicated!

Author Comment

ID: 39575871
So basically you say:
if i'm going down this path, i have to purchase/acquire for free a third party digital certificate..

I want to know know something more fundamental...
does anybody used this method ? is it available in office 2010/2013 ?
is it a valid way to have multiple people sign a document ?
and how ? how do i initiate this signature from inside office (where is the button) ?
LVL 33

Accepted Solution

Paul Sauvé earned 2000 total points
ID: 39577084
In fact, three new questions!

does anybody used this method ? is it available in office 2010/2013 ?
A bit vague, I don't use digital signatures. They are used to assure that no one has modified the document from the time the author signs the document and you receive it. I mentioned 2 methods, and both are available to in office 2010/2013 documents.

is it a valid way to have multiple people sign a document ?
and how ?

As you can see from the answer above, you can't use digital signatures from multiple people on the same document, only the author of the document can sign. For example you send a form to be filled out by someone, he fills out the form and adds his Digital signature. The digital signature assures that it is from the person that signed it AND it has not been subsequently modified.

how do i initiate this signature from inside office (where is the button) ?
In Word, Insert tab -> Text group -> Signature Line -> MS Office Signature Line

You may fins this article helpful: Washington Secretary of State Digital Signatures
Frequently Asked Questions about Digital Signatures
What is a digital signature?
A digital signature is a convenient, time-saving, and secure way of signing electronic documents.

What does a digital signature look like?
-------BEGIN SIGNATURE------
------END SIGNATURE------

What is an electronic document?
An electronic document is any document that is generated or stored on a computer, such as a letter, a contract, or a will. In addition, an electronic document can be an image, such as a blueprint, a survey plat, a drawing, or even a photograph. A digital signature can be used to sign these documents.

Does that mean that the authenticity of any electronic document can be verified by a digital signature?
Yes, but only if the document originally was "signed" using a digital signature program (software).

LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 39577103
I forgot to mention, digital signatures are NOT legally binding in ALL jurisdictions. Check with your legal department to find out what the status is where YOU work.

Author Comment

ID: 39578976
thank you very much !
you have been very helpfull

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