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Creating Digital Certificates Outside PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to create Digital Certificates outside PowerPoint 2010.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7






We have already explored how you can create a basic digital signature right within PowerPoint 2010, and how you can sign your presentation. Each signature is contained inside a digital certificate. Digital certificates, also known as digital IDs can either be self-signed (as explained in our Acquire or Create a Digital Signature in PowerPoint 2010 tutorial) or issued by Certificate Authority within an organization. These typically entail a Windows Server 2008 server computer that is running Active Directory Certificate Services. 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 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.

What we will discuss is how you can create more than one certificate outside PowerPoint, although PowerPoint lets you create a certificate, it does not let you create multiple certificates. To do that, you can create a digital certificate outside PowerPoint. Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Click the Start button and choose All Programs | Microsoft Office | Microsoft Office 2010 Tools | Digital Certificate for VBA Projects, highlighted in red in Figure 1.

    Digital Certificate for VBA Projects option to be selected
    Figure 1: Digital Certificate for VBA Projects option to be selected
  2. 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

    Within the Create Digital Certificate dialog box, type in the name of the certificate within Your certificate's name text box (highlighted in red in Figure 2 above). And click the OK button.
  3. This will open the SelfCert Success window, with a message indicating the successful creation of the certificate.

    SelfCert Success window
    Figure 3: SelfCert Success window
  4. Now, create more certificates as required. To ascertain if these certificates are available within PowerPoint, launch PowerPoint, and open any saved presentation. Access the File menu, and choose the Info option to get to Backstage view, as shown in Figure 4 below. Thereafter, select the Protect Presentation option to bring up a small drop-down menu (see Figure 4 again). From the drop-down menu, select the Add a Digital Signature option, highlighted in red in Figure 4 below.

    Add a Digital Signature option selected within the Protect Presentation drop-down menu
    Figure 4: Add a Digital Signature option selected within the Protect Presentation drop-down menu
  5. If you see a message window that introduces you to digital signatures (we discussed this topic in our Getting Started with Digital Signatures tutorial), click the OK button. If you do not see this message window, just continue to the next step.
  6. This brings up the Sign dialog box (see Figure 5). Click the Change button (highlighted in red in Figure 5).

    Sign dialog box
    Figure 5: Sign dialog box
  7. This opens the Windows Security window, as shown in Figure 6. Here you can see all the certificates listed, along with the ones you have just created.

    List of certificates within the Windows Security window
    Figure 6: List of certificates within the Windows Security window
  8. 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 2013 for Windows

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