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Digital Signatures - How to confirm they are genuine

resolvedResolved · Medium Priority · Version 2016

Andrew has attended:
Excel Intermediate course
Excel Advanced course

Digital Signatures - How to confirm they are genuine

I am putting together a requisition form using Microsoft Excel. The form requires certain people sign it to confirm that the requisition request has the proper approvals. If I add a digital signature line, how can I be sure that the signature is authentic? I understand that this can be achieved through digital certificates.

The form needs to be in excel since it has some large drop down menus but in theory people could convert it to a pdf before getting it signed, if that would be easier.

RE: Digital Signatures - How to confirm they are genuine

Hi Andrew

Thanks for your question.

When someone adds their digital signature to an Excel document, Microsoft automatically creates a signing certificate which proves identity.

To view the signing certificate in a document which has been sent to you - double click on the signature, then click the View button. Here you can see the unique certificate code, and date and time stamp.

Microsoft provides the following assurances with its digital signatures:

Authenticity - The signer is confirmed as the signer.

Integrity - The content has not been changed or tampered with since it was digitally signed.

Non-repudiation - Proves to all parties the origin of the signed content. Repudiation refers to the act of a signer denying any association with the signed content.

Notarization - Signatures in Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, or Microsoft PowerPoint files, which are time stamped by a secure time-stamp server, under certain circumstances, have the validity of a notarization.

Hopefully this answers your question. Please let us know if you have any further queries.

Kind Regards,
Sarah
Microsoft Office Trainer

RE: Digital Signatures - How to confirm they are genuine

Hi,

Thank you for your response.

When I try this at work the person who signs the excel sheet gets a pop up that says "The certificate you selected cannot be verified. Please check your network connection. Do you want to use this certificate? (Y/N)"

Now I did not select any particular certificate so I don't know why I get this pop up.

Also when I try and save the document I am told that:

"Saving a copy of this workbook will remove all of the signatures in the copy. Do you want to continue (Y/N)?"

Which defeats the whole purpose of getting it signed anyway!

If you have any advice I would be grateful.

Best regards,

Andy

RE: Digital Signatures - How to confirm they are genuine

Hi Andrew,

About this below.


"The certificate you selected cannot be verified. Please check your network connection. Do you want to use this certificate? (Y/N)"

I have found a very good explanation if you follow the hyperlink below

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/all/the-certificate-you-selected-cannot-be-verified/4bb05f5c-9c56-4476-a914-37029321b267



and about:

"Saving a copy of this workbook will remove all of the signatures in the copy. Do you want to continue (Y/N)?"


The Excel file needs to be signed every time you have done changes. Do the changes and save the file and then sign it and close it.


Kind regards

Jens Bonde
Microsoft Office Specialist Trainer

Tel: 0207 987 3777
STL - https://www.stl-training.co.uk
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Thu 23 May 2019: Automatically marked as resolved.


 

Excel tip:

Make a quick copy of a worksheet

Hold down the Ctrl key, then click and drag on a sheet tab to make a copy of that sheet. Though this process usefully copies the formats of the original sheet, note that any Range Names you have on the original sheet will be duplicated too.

To make a copy of a worksheet's contents and formats without duplicating range names: (1) Ensure that you have a blank worksheet to paste to. (2) On the sheet to copy, click on the sheet selection square to the left of Column A's heading to select the whole sheet. (2) Copy the whole sheet. (3) Paste to the blank worksheet.



View all Excel hints and tips


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