printable digital certificates


S

scroller

In my local government job I (and the people with whom I work) prepare staff
reports for the City Council; these staff reports are to be initialed or
signed by the department head, to indicate their review and approval of the
document, before being submitted to the Council. I like that the digital
certificate guarantees, so to speak, that the document has not been changed
since it was certified, and I like that a symbol (i.e., a red ribbon-looking
thing) appears on the electronic Word (2003) document to represent the
certification.

I'm wondering whether there is a way to have Word include a representation
of the digital certificate on the printed document as well. The ideal result
would be the insertion of the certifier's actual (digitized) signature so
that there's a conventional-looking signature representing the digital
certification. Any thoughts?
 
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J

Jay Freedman

You can scan the person's signature and save that picture as an AutoText or
AutoCorrect entry. It can then be inserted into a document.

However, that has nothing to do with the digital signature and signifies
nothing about the document's authenticity. Anyone who can get a copy of the
file can take the picture and do with it anything they like, including
printing it on other documents (such as checks). I'd advise against it.

--
Regards,
Jay Freedman
Microsoft Word MVP
Email cannot be acknowledged; please post all follow-ups to the newsgroup so
all may benefit.
 
S

scroller

I appreciate your point about the misuse of a scanned signature.

I guess I'm trying to get at whether it's possible to graphically represent
the digital certificate on the printed document. My idea about the scanned
signature was that it (or some other standard graphic) would perhaps be an
attribute of the digital certificate and appear on the printed document when
and only when the electronic document was endowed with a valid digital
certificate. The potential advantage, in my mind, of the digitized signature
in this application would be that this graphical representation of the
digital certificate would clearly indicate who had approved (i.e., certified)
the document and its content.

Does that make sense? Thanks for your help thus far.
 
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J

Jay Freedman

It sounds like a nice idea, but Word -- at least in the versions released so
far -- can't do it.

Anyone who wants to examine the specifics of the digital certificate can do
so by double-clicking the red-ribbon icon in the status bar and clicking the
View Certificate button in the digital signature dialog.

Another fly in the ointment -- unlikely to be addressed by Microsoft -- is
that the certificate itself doesn't say who signed the document, only to
whom (or to what company) the certificate was issued. There's no requirement
that they be the same person.
 

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