Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using digital signatures
Removing a signature
Once you’ve signed a document, the document is locked against further changes until the
signature is removed. Unlike document permissions, a digital signature can be removed
from a Word document by anyone with the appropriate version of Word. Once a signature
has been removed, however, it can only be signed again by the owner of the original
signing certiﬁcate. Hence, if I send you a signed ﬁ le and you remove my signature, you can
edit the ﬁle I sent you and make any changes you want. However, you will not be able to
restore my signature.
There are ways to make a forged signature look valid, and not everyone is sufficiently skeptical. Make sure you know
and trust the sender before you open a signed document.
When you open a signed document, the messages shown in Figure 11.5 appear at the
top of the document. You can click Edit Anyway if you want to make changes to
Messages tell you when a document you open has been marked as ﬁnal and signed.
To view and work with signatures in the document, click the View Signatures button in the
Message Bar, or choose File ➪ Info ➪ View Signatures. The Signatures pane opens at the right
side of the document window. To remove a signature, move your mouse pointer over it,
click the drop-down list arrow that appears, and click Remove Signature as shown in Figure
11.6. (Note that you also can view details about the signature.) At the prompt that asks
whether you want to remove the signature permanently, click Yes.
Don’t let the words “permanently” and “cannot be undone” in the Remove Signature
message box throw you. This simply means that you can’t remove someone’s signature, change
that $1,000 fee to $100,000, and then reafﬁx their signature. Once you remove someone’s
signature, only they can put it back.