SafeGuard Sign&Crypt for Office - The Secure Way for Digitally Signing and Encrypting your Documents

SafeGuard Sign&Crypt for Office is a generic tool for digitally signing and encrypting valuable documents. It is seamlessly integrated into Microsoft Windows Explorer, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. SafeGuard Sign&Crypt for Office gives you an easy to use solution for signing and encrypting any file or document.

The Challenge

Many documents which would normally require a signature in the paper office are, in the electronic world, used without a signature or are printed on paper for signing and storing. Finding a practical equivalent for a signature is a major obstacle in achieving the promise of an automated paperless office.

Governments have started to resolve the legal issues associated with the use of digital signatures. A good example of this is the adoption of laws permitting the use of legally valid digital signatures in both the European Union and the United States.

Utimaco Safeware is involved in the European Electronic Signature Standardization Initiative (EESSI) and continues to adapt SafeGuard Sign&Crypt for Office to meet the goals set out by this initiative. An important design goal of this product was to make it most accessible to people familiar with Microsoft for Office and Window Explorer.

The product

SafeGuard Sign&Crypt for Office is a software security tool for exchanging and storing sensitive information. It is a tool that helps you to achieve confidentiality, authenticity, integrity and nonrepudiation of your sensitive files, yet designed to be easily accesible to the user.

One of the key challenges faced by digital signature solutions for documents is to realise that what you see on the screen is merely an instantaneous representation of the document about to be signed. Even worse, the document could contain invisible dynamic content or macros, enabling the document to self-change its own content at any time! The same risk exists when verifying a signed document: Is what you see on the screen exactly the same the signatory saw when he signed it? With the advent of laws making digital signatures legally binding, it is paramount to guarantee the unambiguous relationship between the originally signed content and what is displayed or used for processing.

As long ago as 1995, Utimaco Safeware introduced the WYSIWYS (What You See Is What You Sign) concept. The secure viewer is a component that converts and displays documents as static images and eliminates any automatic document changes by active content or macros from taking effect. The secure viewer must therefore be designed and certified to work in a way that there is no difference between what you see and what you sign. The result is analogous to a signed piece of paper: A signed static representation of the document. This allows all involved parties to verify the viewed file and use the secure viewer to display the exact content of the data in the way the originator intended.

SafeGuard Sign&Crypt for Office is a "4 in 1" solution:

  • It is a an easy to use extension to the Microsoft Windows Explorer for encrypting and signing all kind of files.
  • It is conveniently integrated into Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel (plug-in).
  • It includes a secure viewer offering WYSIWYS (What You See Is What You Sign), preventing fraud while signing documents.
  • It provides a platform independent signature verifier to allow others to verify your signed documents.


SafeGuard Sign&Crypt for Office is compliant with important standards like S/MIME and uses standard X.509 v3 certificates. It makes further use of CRL, LDAP, PKCS#7, PKCS#11 and PKCS#12.

With SafeGuard Sign&Crypt for Office you can use your sensitive private keys from within software key files or from smartcards depending on the security level you need for your application. Our solution is open to many different cards and tokens.

SafeGuard Sign&Crypt for Office supports multiple key pairs (e.g. a signing key and an encryption key), multiple signatures, both co-signing and hierarchical/nested signing as well as a mixture of the two. Support for time stamping and OCSP is planned in the near future.

Thanks to the integration into Microsoft Windows Explorer, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, the security functionality is useable from within your office environment.

In today’s electronic environments, e.g. e-government, e-commerce, etc., it is extremely difficult to gain the necessary level of trust between the various parties. SafeGuard Sign&Crypt can enable this level of trust through smartcard enabled signing and secure viewing by preventing fraud. Furthermore, anyone can verify a signed document for its authenticity and integrity using the free, platform independent verifier.

Specifications for SafeGuard Sign&Crypt for Office

System requirements


PC system with Intel Pentium processor or compatible
CD-ROM drive required for installation on a single computer
When installed via network, alternative forms of distributing the software are possible.

Operating system

Microsoft Windows 2000
Microsoft Windows XP

Supported Office versions

Microsoft Office 2000
Microsoft Microsoft Office XP
Microsoft Microsoft Office 2003

Security features

Authentication/key management

RSA (up to 2048 bit)


RSA 512-2048 bit, AES 128 bit, IDEA 128 bit,
Triple-DES 112-168 bit, DES 56 bit,
RC2 40-128 bit, Square 128 bit, Safer 64 bit,
SHA-1, RIPEMD-160, MD5


S/MIME v2 (PKCS#7), LDAP v2, CRL v2, X.509 v3, PKCS#11, PKCS#12


Utimaco Safeware smartcards,
PKCS#11 smartcards/tokens,
PKCS#12 software tokens

Certification level
ITSEC E2 high for signature functions (version 2.0)


All other marks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

Specifications for SafeGuard Sign&Crypt Signature Verifier

System requirements


Platform independent

Operating system

Operating system independent Runs on any system supporting Java, such as Windows 2000, Linux, Sun Solaris, Macintosh etc.

Security features

Authentication/key management
RSA (up to 2048 bit)

Not applicable (signature verification only)

S/MIME v2 (PKCS#7), LDAP v2, CRL v2, X.509 v3

Not applicable

All other marks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.


SafeGuard Sign&Crypt for Office (PDF)

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