Digitally Signing Microsoft Office 365 Documents

Signed DocumentWith a Business Email, Client Authentication, and Document Signing Certificate from SSL.com, you can digitally sign your Microsoft Office documents to assure recipients that:

  • You are the authentic signer of the document.
  • The content of the document has not been altered since it was signed.

Document signatures in Microsoft Office can be either visible in the document or invisible. Word and Excel both support visible signatures. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint all support invisible signatures. Click the links below to view instructions on installing your certificate, creating visible and invisible signatures, and deleting signatures.

Note: The features described in this Guide are available only in the Windows version of Office 365. Office 365 for macOS does not currently support document signing.
Installing Your Document Signing Certificate

Installing Your Document Signing Certificate

Use the tabs below to see certificate installation instructions for Windows 7 and Windows 10:

Windows 7Windows 10

1. Double click the PFX file you downloaded from SSL.com. (See this how-to for information on ordering and retrieving your certificate if you haven’t already.)

 

2. The Certificate Import Wizard will appear. Click the Next button.

Certificate Import Wizard

 

3. The next screen is for specifying the file you want to import. Confirm that the PFX file you double-clicked is in the File Name field, then click the Next button.

File to Import

 

4. Enter the password you created when generating your PFX file, then click the Next button.

Enter password

 

5. Select Automatically select the certificate store based on the type of certificate, then click the Next button.

Select certificate store

 

6. Click the Finish button to import the certificate.

Finish

 

7. A dialog box will alert you that the certificate was successfully imported. Click the OK button to close it.

The import was successful

1. Double click the PFX file you downloaded from SSL.com. (See this how-to for information on ordering and retrieving your certificate if you haven’t already.)

Certificate file

 

2. The Certificate Import Wizard will appear. First, we must choose the Store Location. Since we are installing a certificate that validates your personal identity for document signing, it makes sense to select Current User. After making your selection, click the Next button.

Certificate Import Wizard

 

3. The next screen is for specifying the file you want to import. Confirm that the PFX file you double-clicked is in the File Name field, then click the Next button.

Specify File

 

4. Enter the password you created when generating your PFX file, then click the Next button.

 

5. Select Automatically select the certificate store based on the type of certificate , then click the Next button.

Select certificate store

 

6. Click the Finish button to import the certificate.

Finish

 

7. A dialog box will alert you that the certificate was successfully imported. Click the OK button to close it.

Click OK

Adding a Visible Signature Line to a Microsoft Word Document or Excel Workbook

Adding a Visible Signature Line to a Microsoft Word Document or Excel Workbook:

Note: The screenshots in this section are from Word, but the procedure in Excel is identical.

1. Place the cursor where you would like the signature to appear. Then, click the Add Signature Line drop-down menu, located in the Text group of the Insert toolbar and choose Microsoft Office Signature Line.

Add a signature line

Microsoft Office Signature Line

 

2. The Signature Setup dialog box will appear. Here you can specify the suggested signer’s name, title, and/or email address, and add instructions to the signer. The two checkboxes below the text field can be used to allow the signer to add a comments when signing and show the signing date in the signature line. Click OK when you have entered all of the information for the signature line.

Signature Setup

 

3. The new signature line will appear in the file with any name and/or title information entered in the previous step below it.

Signature line

 

4. To sign the document, right-click the signature line and select Sign from the menu.

Sign

 

5. The Sign dialog box will appear. For a printed signature, simply type your name to the right of the X as shown below. If you have an image of your handwritten signature, you can use that instead by clicking the Select Image… link and navigating to the image file. On tablet PCs you can also add a handwritten signature by using the inking feature.

Sign dialog box

 

6. Clicking the See additional information about what you are signing… link at the top of the dialog box will open a dialog box showing metadata that will be included in the signature.

See additional information

Additional Information

 

7. The certificate which will be used to sign the file is shown near the bottom of the dialog box. Clicking the Change button will open a dialog box for choosing from available certificates. In this case only one document-signing certificate is installed so only one choice is shown.

Change signing certificate

Signing certificates

 

8. Clicking the Details button will open a dialog box which can be used to add title and address information.

Add details

Additional Signing Information

 

9. If you checked Allow the signer to add comments in the Sign dialog when setting up the signature line, two additional fields will be present:

  • The Commitment Type drop-down lets you specify if you created and/or approved the document.
    Commitment TypeCommitment Type
  • The Purpose for signing this document text field allows you to explicitly specify the purpose for signing.
    Purpose

 

10. When all of your signing information is entered and correct, click the Sign button.

Sign button

 

11. A dialog box will appear confirming that the document has been signed. Click the OK button to close it.

Signature Confirmation

 

12. A message will appear at the top of the screen indicating that the document has been marked as final, and the signature line will be marked as signed at the bottom. If you chose to display the date with the signature it will be shown at the top right of the signature line.

Signed document

Important: editing a document after it has been signed will remove any existing signatures from it.

 

13. The Signatures button will also appear at the bottom of the document window. Clicking it will open a panel detailing document signatures on the right side of the screen.

Signatures buttonSignatures pane

 

14. When the signed document is opened in Word, users will be alerted that the document is signed.

This document contains valid signatures

Adding Invisible Signatures in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint

Adding Invisible Signatures in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint

Note: The screenshots in this section are from Word, but the procedure in Excel and PowerPoint is identical.

1. Click the File tab.

File tab

 

2. Select Info.

Info

 

3. Click Protect Document (Word), Protect Workbook (Excel), or Protect Presentation (PowerPoint), then select Add a Digital Signature from the menu.

Add a digital signature

 

4. The Sign dialog box will appear.

Sign dialog box

 

5. Clicking See additional information about what you are signing will open a dialog box showing metadata that will be included in the signature.

See additional information

Additional Information

 

6. The Commitment Type drop-down lets you specify if you created and/or approved the document.

Commitment Type

Commitment Type

 

7. The Purpose for signing this document text field allows you to explicitly specify the purpose for signing.

Purpose

 

8. The certificate which will be used to sign the file is shown near the bottom of the dialog box. Clicking the Change button will open a dialog box for choosing from available certificates. In this case only one document-signing certificate is installed so only one choice is shown.

Change signing certificate

Signing certificates

 

9. Clicking the Details button will open a dialog box which can be used to add title and address information.

Add details

Additional Signing Information

 

10. When all of your signing information is entered and correct, click the Sign button.

Sign button

 

11. A dialog box will appear confirming that the document has been signed. Click the OK button to close it.

Signature Confirmation

 

12. Messages that the document has been signed and marked as final will appear.

Signed and final document

 

Important: editing a document after it has been signed will remove any existing signatures from it.

 

13. The Signatures button will also appear at the bottom of the document window. Clicking it will open a panel detailing document signatures on the right side of the screen.

Signatures buttonSignatures pane

 

14. When the signed document is opened in Word, users will be alerted that the document is signed.

This document contains valid signatures

Removing Signatures

Removing Signatures

Removing a Visible Signature:

To remove a visible signature from a Word document or Excel workbook, simply right-click the signature line, choose Remove Signature from the menu, and confirm that you want to remove the signature in the dialog box that appears.

Remove Signature

 

Removing an Invisible Signature:

1. Click the Signatures button at the bottom of the window.

Signatures button

 

2. A pane showing the document’s signatures will appear on the right side of the window.

Signatures pane

 

3. Right-click the certificate you want to remove and choose Remove Signature from the menu, then confirm that you want to remove it.

Remove Signature

Confirm removal

 

4. A dialog box confirming that the signature has been removed will appear. Click OK to close the box.

Click OK

 

If you have any questions about using your certificate to sign documents, please do not hesitate to email us at Support@SSL.com, call 1-877-SSL-SECURE, or just click the chat link at the bottom right of this screen. And, as always, thank you for choosing SSL.com!