What is LibreOffice’s digital signature feature and how to use it?

What is LibreOffice's digital signature feature and how to use it?

Adding Digital Signatures to Your LibreOffice Documents

Digital Signature

In this modern age of hacks, scams, and identity theft, it’s always a good thing to help those you collaborate with to know that the document they’ve received is actually from you. Or maybe you simply need to send a document to someone and you want to be certain they can trust the document and the sender.

That’s why tools like LibreOffice include the ability to add a digital signature. Once you’ve added a digital signature to a document, a banner will appear, clearly indicating the document has been signed and even allowing the user to view the signature.

The only caveat to using this feature is that it can be tricky to set up. The primary reason for that is you need a certificate manager on your computer to make it work. For example, on Linux, you’ll want OpenPGP and Seahorse installed. On MacOS, you could use GPGTools, and on Windows, you could use Gpg4win. The process of using digital signatures for LibreOffice is the same across platforms, with the only variable being how you create your signing certificate.

How to Create a Signing Certificate

Before you can add a digital signature to your LibreOffice document, you’ll need to create a signing certificate. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Install OpenPGP and Seahorse

If you’re using Linux, you’ll need to install OpenPGP and Seahorse. Open a terminal window and issue the following command:

sudo apt-get install gpg seahorse -y

Make sure you have sudo privileges on your user account.

Step 2: Create Your GPG Key

After installing OpenPGP and Seahorse, you’ll need to create a GPG key. Open a terminal and run the following command:

gpg --gen-key

You’ll be prompted for your name, email address, and a password. Once you’ve provided the necessary information, your GPG key will be generated.

Note: For MacOS and Windows users, you should be able to generate your certificate using the graphical user interface provided by the certificate manager.

Step 3: Open a LibreOffice Document

Open LibreOffice on your computer and open the document you want to sign. If you’re creating a new document, make sure to save it before adding a digital signature.

Step 4: Open the Digital Signatures Tool

Click on the File menu in LibreOffice and select Digital Signatures > Digital Signatures. In the popup window, click “Sign Document.”

Make sure to click on “Sign Certificate” and not “Start Certificate Manager”.

Step 5: Select Your Certificate

In the next window, select the certificate you want to use. If you’ve generated multiple certificates, make sure to choose the correct one. You’ll be prompted for the password you set for the certificate during its creation. Once you’ve entered the password, you can close the Digital Signatures window.

Now, you can rest assured that your document has been digitally signed. Anyone who views the document can also view the associated certificate.

Adding a digital signature to your LibreOffice documents helps establish trust and authenticity. With just a few simple steps, you can ensure that your recipients can verify the document and the sender. Say goodbye to doubts about document integrity and confidently share your files with others.