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Creating Digital Certificates Outside PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to create Digital Certificates outside PowerPoint 2013.

Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher

Each signature that you use to certify a document is contained inside a digital certificate. Digital certificates, also known as digital IDs can either be self-signed or issued by a Certificate Authority within an organization. Of course, the signing authority in both cases are within an organization -- either you do it yourself, or a central server allocates the certificates.

There is a drawback of using a self-signed or internally issued certificates as they are not trusted and are only useful if documents are exchanged with known people who are confident that you are the actual originator (or author) of the document. This may be good enough in some cases, but they are not an alternative to a certificate issued by a public Certificate Authority, such as VeriSign or Thawte. You can also buy Verisign, Thawte, or other certificates from a third-party certificate authority (CA). In this tutorial, we will not explore this aspect further.

Since PowerPoint 2013 does not allow you to create a digital signature right within PowerPoint, what we discuss here is how you can create certificates outside PowerPoint. Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Locate the "Selfcert.exe" file on your computer, which you can usually find in either of the following locations:

    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 2013\Office15\Selfcert.exe
    C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15\root\office15\Selfcert.exe
  2. Double-click the Selfcert.exe file, as shown in Figure 1, below.

    Selfcert.exe file
    Figure 1: Selfcert.exe file
  3. This opens the Create Digital Certificate dialog box, as shown in Figure 2, below.

    Create Digital Certificate dialog box
    Figure 2: Create Digital Certificate dialog box
  4. Within the Create Digital Certificate dialog box, type in the name of the certificate within Your certificate's name box as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3. And click the OK button.

    Name of the certificate typed in
    Figure 3: Name of the certificate typed in
  5. This will open the SelfCert Success window, with a message indicating the successful creation of the certificate, as shown in Figure 4.

    SelfCert Success window
    Figure 4: SelfCert Success window
  6. You can similarly create more certificates as required. To ascertain if these certificates are available within PowerPoint, launch PowerPoint 2013, and open any saved presentation. Access the File menu, and choose the Info Pane within the Backstage view, as shown in Figure 5 below. Thereafter, select the Protect Presentation option to bring up a small drop-down menu (see Figure 5 again). From the drop-down menu, select the Add a Digital Signature option, highlighted in red within Figure 5.

    Add a Digital Signature option selected
    Figure 5: Add a Digital Signature option selected
  7. This brings up the Sign dialog box (see Figure 6) where you can see the name of the certificate you just created, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 6. If you don't see the name of the certificate in that location, then just click the Change button (highlighted in red within Figure 6).

    Sign dialog box
    Figure 6: Sign dialog box
  8. This opens the Windows Security window, as shown in Figure 7. Here you can see all the certificates listed, along with the one you have just created, refer to Figure 7 again.

    List of certificates within the Windows Security window
    Figure 7: List of certificates within the Windows Security window
  9. For now press Cancel in both successive dialog boxes to get back to PowerPoint. We have now ascertained that all the signatures created outside PowerPoint are available to you so that you can digitally sign your presentations.

See Also: Creating Digital Certificates Outside PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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