Security

How to enable digital signatures in LibreOffice documents

If you've ever wondered how to add a digital signature to a LibreOffice document, Jack Wallen has all the details.

In today's world, security is no longer optional. You must make sure your data is safe from prying eyes. That means we all must use all of the tools available to us, to ensure the information we share with colleagues, friends, and family is not readily exposed to the world.

If you are one to create a lot of documents (be they text, spreadsheets, or presentations) you may or may not know that you can add a digital signature to those documents to help those you work with know that the document in question truly did originate from you. This is a good way to prevent others from forging documents on behalf of your identity.

But how do you do this? I'm going to show you how, with the help of LibreOffice and OpenPG. I'll be demonstrating on Elementary OS, but you can do this with any platform.

SEE: Cybersecurity strategy research: Common tactics, issues with implementation, and effectiveness (Tech Pro Research)

The first thing you must do is have LibreOffice, GnuPG, and Seahorse installed. You can install LibreOffice from your distribution app store. For GnuPG and Seahorse, issue the command sudo apt install gnupg2 seahorse. Once those are installed, open up LibreOffice and click File | Digital Signatures | Digital Signature. Click Start Certificate Manage and (if you haven't already generated a key) go through the process of creating a new GPG key. Once you've completed the creation of the key, go back to the Digital Signature window and click Sign Document. You can then select the newly created key and, once you've entered the key password, your document is signed.

That's all there is to adding digital signatures to LibreOffice documents. It's not a 100% solution for document security, but it's an addition you should be using.

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Image: Jack Wallen

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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