Electronic Signature In Excel

Last updated at: 15/11/2018 08:12 AM

Electronic Signature In Excel

Electronic Signature In Excel

Electronic signature can be defined as the encryption and stamp of authentication on electronic information such as e-mails, macros, or other forms of electronic documents. In signing an excel sheet, there must be a signing certificate from a trusted certificate authority in place. It is well known that Microsoft's Office programs come with excellent options for creating and modifying documents as well as protecting those documents. Passwords and signatures lines can be added to safeguard the documents. When an electronic signature is added to an Excel document, the worksheet can no longer be modified without invalidating that signature.


Signing certificate 

To create an digital signature, there should be a signing certificate, which proves identity. When an electronically-signed macro or document is sent, its certificate and public key are sent together.


Certificate authority

Certificate authority can be likened to someone legally empowered to witness signatures and certify a document's validity as they are responsible for issuing electronic certificates and signing verify their validity.

Electronic Signature In Excel


What does an electronic signature in excel sheets guarantee?

 Authenticity of the worksheet

The signer is confirmed as the person who appended the excel worksheet.

 Integrity

This showcase how reliable, if tampered with or not, the worksheet is since it was electronically signed.

 There is a nonrepudiation of the excel document whatsoever might happen

 Notarization

There is validity of notarizations or certifications as the digital signature in a Microsoft office tool such as Excel are time stamped by a secure time-stamp server, under certain circumstances.

The signature to be used in the excel, just like in the other document tools like Ms word and PowerPoint, must satisfy the following criteria in order to fulfil the assurances stated above:

 The digital signature must be valid.

 There must be a working certificate associated with the electronic signature.

 The signer must be trusted. It should be noted that once an excel worksheet is signed with a valid time stamp, it becomes an excel worksheet with valid signatures.

Electronic Signature In Excel


What Signature lines are in Excel, and how they are created

One can view a signatures line as the traditional signature symbol or placeholder that is shown on printed documents. However, its working technique is different. Information about the intended signer can be specified when signatures line is inserted into an excel sheet. The signer can then do any of the following:

 Type a signature of choice, or

 An inked image of the signature is selected, or

 Write a new signature on the screen of the computer or mobile device that has the capability.

An digital signature is incorporated automatically, once the signer adds a visible form of a signature to the excel worksheet, to authenticate the identity. Having done this, the electronically signed document can no longer be modified hence becomes read-only.


Steps to Creating a signature line in an Excel sheet

Navigate to the excel program on the computer and start a new worksheet. Once created, place the pointer where the signature line is to be created. After that, Signature Line list is selected from the Insert tab that is embedded in the Text group of the ribbon group and then Microsoft Office Signature Line is should be clicked on. Now, in the Signature Setup dialog box, any notifications or information such as the signer’s full name, the signer’s titles, the signer’s email addresses if more than one and lastly, a call to action for the signer to see should be inserted right below the signature line. Next, select one box of the options either to give chance to signer to attach comments in the Sign dialog box that allows the signer type in the signing purpose or Show sign dates in signature line which displays the dates the documents were appended with signature. Repetition of this procedures is done to add more signatures and the Signature Message Bar is displayed if the excel document is unsigned, however the View Signature option is then clicked for the process completion and when the document is signed, there will be a visible representation of the digital signature added.



Removing electronic signatures from Word or Excel

When removing electronic signature from an excel document, the following procedures should be followed. The document in the excel format, containing the visible signature to be removed should be opened. Open up more options on the signature line by right-clicking on it. Then select the option that says Remove Signature and choose yes to confirm the operation.

An invisible electronic signature assures the authenticity, integrity, and origin of a document. Signatures button are normally situated at the base of the excel document.


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