How do I add certificates for digital signatures

I'm trying to follow the directions at
and when I get to the step where I'm supposed to choose a certificate,
the list is empty.  Where is it looking?  How do I add a certificate?
11/13/2009 6:47:39 PM
word.vba.general 1023 articles. 1 followers. Follow

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On Fri, 13 Nov 2009 10:47:39 -0800 (PST), Chris Nelson
<> wrote:

>I'm trying to follow the directions at
>and when I get to the step where I'm supposed to choose a certificate,
>the list is empty.  Where is it looking?  How do I add a certificate?

I'm guessing you skipped over the "How?" item under step 1 and went
straight to the "Sign a macro project" item under step 2.

In the "How?" item it explains that there are several ways to get a
certificate -- from a commercial authority, from an in-house
certificate server (the "internal security administrator" option), or
by running Selfcert.exe. It's a little skimpy on details, though:

- Commercial certificate authorities charge and arm and two legs for
signing certificates, usually several hundred dollars per year. That's
OK for a company that's going to sell its software, but out of the
question for less profitable uses.

- An in-house certificate server needs to be certified itself by a
root authority, usually one of the commercial authorities. Once that's
done, the server can crank out a lot of certificates, which makes each
one cheaper, but you have to need a lot of certificates. That isn't
true for most of us.

- A self-cert is free, but it's really meant only for signing macros
that will be used only on your own computer. That kind of makes sense,
because it's too easy to lie and tell folks "trust me!" and then give
them something that will trash their files.

To see how it works, run Selfcert.exe, either with the shortcut at
Start > Programs > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office Tools > Digital
Certificate for VBA Projects, or by going to C:\Program
Files\Microsoft Office\Office12 and double-clicking the file. (If it
isn't there, rerun the Office setup from Control Panel > Add/Remove
Programs and choose to add Digital Certificate for VBA Projects (under
the Office Shared Features icon).

When you enter a name for the certificate, the program creates the
certificate and stores it in an encrypted location. (Commercial
certificates would be stored in the same place, but the method of
storing them is a bit different.) Now, when you open the digital
signature dialog in the VBA editor, you'll see the certificate with
the name you gave it, ready to apply.

Jay Freedman
Microsoft Word MVP        FAQ:
Email cannot be acknowledged; please post all follow-ups to the newsgroup so all may benefit.
11/14/2009 1:37:43 AM

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