What's the required key usage/extended key usage for signing documents, eg.PDF, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc...

I am going to create a self-signed certificate that is needed to sign those documents. I wonder which key usage is required as there are many types that I can choose.

Note: I just need a self-signed certificate, not from trusted CAs.

  • Please be aware that accepted and required values may not only depend on technical definitions of options but also on profiles established by norms and legal contexts. Thus, also consider norms and laws applicable in the context of your signatures to be.
    – mkl
    Jul 2, 2021 at 16:14

2 Answers 2


You can use keyusage as "digitalSignature" only to create self-signed signing certificate for signing documents.

Additionally, you can add the following:

  1. keyUsage

    • nonRepudiation (Good to have, since CA add this in document signing certificate)
  2. extendedKeyUsage/EnhancedKeyUsage:

    • (Microsoft Document Signing)
    • 1.2.840.113583.1.1.5 (Adobe Authentic Documents Trust)

For more information, you can refer below URL:



You can use Microsoft proprietary Document Signing EKU: https://www.alvestrand.no/objectid/ For key usage you can use digitalSignature and optionally nonRepudiation.

Note: I just need a self-signed certificate, not from trusted CAs.

what is the point? The trust to your self-signed certificate must be established on every system where signature will be validated.

  • I'll just use a free Let's Encrypt certificate to sign documents as it is trusted and there is a digitalSignature usage there.
    – CHOO YJ
    Jul 1, 2021 at 7:19
  • I'm afraid, but Let's Encrypt doesn't offer code/document signing certificates. You can't use these certificates for document signing, you will have to use another (possibly) paid CA service.
    – Crypt32
    Jul 1, 2021 at 7:21

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