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Acquire or Create a Digital Signature in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to acquire or create a digital signature in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher

You have already explored what a digital signature is, and how a digital signature can be important for use in PowerPoint presentations. To digitally sign a presentation, you need a digital certificate. In this tutorial, we will explore how you can both acquire or create a digital signature using PowerPoint 2013:

  1. Launch PowerPoint, and open any existing presentation that you want to add a digital signature to. If you made any changes to your slides, do save your presentation before you proceed further.
  2. Access the File menu, and choose the Info option to get to Backstage view, as shown in Figure 1 below. Thereafter, select the Protect Presentation option to bring up a small drop-down menu (see Figure 1 again). From the drop-down menu, select the Add a Digital Signature option, highlighted in red in Figure 1 below.

    Add a Digital Signature option selected
    Figure 1: Add a Digital Signature option selected
  3. If you don’t have a digital signature installed, you may see a message window shown in Figure 2, below. You can click the Yes button to learn how you get a digital signature. For now, though, click the No button. You can even shut down PowerPoint, as we explain how you can create a basic digital signature for free using tools provided as part of Microsoft Office.

    Do you want to get a digital signature?
    Figure 2: Do you want to get a digital signature?
  4. Now, access the folder where you installed Microsoft Office. This is usually C:\Program Files\MicrosoftOffice\Office15, but you could have installed it in another location. Within this folder, you will find a program called Selfcert.exe. Run this program.
  5. You will see the Create Digital Certificate dialog box shown in Figure 3, below.

    Create a digital certificate
    Figure 3: Create a digital certificate
  6. Provide a name for your certificate. For example, we called this certificate Gooseberry Gooks’ Certificate (see Figure 3). Click the OK button, and you will see a message window that says your certificate is created, as shown in Figure 4, below.

    Certificate Created
    Figure 4: Certificate Created
  7. Now, launch PowerPoint, open the presentation file that you want to sign with a certificate. Then, bring up the Info tab within Backstage view (see Figure 1, shown previously on this page). Next, choose the Protect Presentation | Add a Digital Signature option. You will see the Sign dialog box that you can see in Figure 5, below.

    Sign your presentation file
    Figure 5: Sign your presentation file

    Let us now explore the options within the Sign dialog box:

    Commitment Type

    Clicking this box reveals a drop-down list that shows options, as shown in Figure 6.

    Choose your commitment type
    Figure 6: Choose your commitment type

    None: Provides no commitment.

    Created and Approved this document: You confirm that you created and approved this presentation.

    Approved this document: You confirm you approved this presentation (someone else created this presentation).

    Created this document: You confirm you created this presentation.

    Purpose for signing this document

    You can type a small phrase or sentence about your purpose for creating this presentation.


    Clicking this button brings up the Additional Signing Information dialog box, that you see in Figure 7. You can type contact info within this dialog box.

    Add more details
    Figure 7: Add more details


    Click this button to bring up the Windows Security dialog box, as shown in Figure 8. If you have more than one digital signature, you can choose the signature you want to use.

    Choose a digital signature
    Figure 8: Choose a digital signature
  8. Once done, click OK to get back to the Sign dialog box and click the Sign button (see Figure 5, previously on this page).

    This action opens a Signature Confirmation window, as shown in Figure 9. Click OK to proceed.

    Sign dialog box
    Figure 9: Sign dialog box

See Also: Acquire or Create a Digital Signature in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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