SuisseID Digital passport and signature

Steps to your SuisseID

SuisseID owners

Installation: Linux - SwissSigner

To install the SwissSigner Software follow the above instructions of the installation of the SuisseID Software. When this has been completed successfully, you can install the SwissSigner directly from the SwissSign Repository using the package manager of your Linux distribution:

Debian / Ubuntu

Graphical version: use the Software Center (Gnome) or Add/Remove programs (KDE)

command line: apt-get install swisssigner


Graphical version: use YaST

command line: zypper in swisssigner


Graphical version: PackageKit

command line: yum install swisssigner

To use SuisseID with SwissSigner please ensure the following:


  • The once-only initialisation of your SuisseID has been successfully carried out
  • The certificate carrier (USB reader, SwissStick or Card) is actively connected to the computer
  • The SuisseID software and the SwissSigner software have been installed


Two main goals are pursued with the digital signature/certification:

1. Integrity (inalterability)
The digital signature of documents guarantees that a document has not been changed since the time the signature was attached. If there are subsequent changes the signature will be displayed as «invalid» on the document.

2. Statement of will (legally binding)
A digital signature can also be used for a (legally binding) statement of will (content commitment). The «legal quality» of the digital signature varies according to which signature certificate is used (advanced, qualified) and in the case of qualified certificates is on a par with the manual signature according to the Swiss Signature Act ZertES.

The meaning and purpose of “certification” are described at the end of these instructions.

Step-by-step instructions: SwissSigner single signature

1. Start the SwissSigner software

2. Open the corresponding document

Option A: Open the file using the symbol «Folder» (Fig.1) and locate the appropriate document

Option B: Open a file from your Home screen

Option C: Drag documents with drag & drop into the SwissSigner

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Fig. 1

Opening image files (JPEG, BMP...) automatically initiates conversion into PDF.

3. In the bar click on the symbol «Sign» and with the left mouse button draw a field at the intended place for the signature (Fig. 2) and then click on the green symbol «Sign»

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Fig. 2

 You are now asked to enter your personal PIN (Fig. 3)

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fig. 3

4. Now you have the choice of entering the location and reason as well as setting the language for the text in the watermark of the signature (Fig. 4)

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Fig. 4

It is also possible to put a signature image in the watermark.

5. In the next step you can define where to save and the name of your signed PDF (Fig. 5)

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Fig. 5

6. If it is a qualified signature you are explicitly asked again to enter your personal PIN (Fig. 6)

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Fig. 6

7. When signing the PDF document is:


  • cleaned of active contents
  • provided with a digital signature


If there is a connection with the SwissSign online services:


  • provided with revocation checks and a time stamp


8. SwissSigner automatically checks the created signature and its characteristics. The details can be displayed by double clicking on the signature (Fig. 7).

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Fig. 7

9. It is also possible to send directly via an e-mail client or send confidentially via IncaMail (Fig. 8)

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Fig. 8

Instructions: SwissSigner multiple signatures

Put as many signature fields as you need (analogous to the single signature), put your signature in one of the fields.

Now the document can be signed by other persons (Fig. 9).

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Fig. 9

Instructions: SwissSigner signatures - special case certification

A PDF document can be visibly or non-visibly certified after completion. This means the author has no content commitment for the document but ensures that the content is not changed after he has worked on it.

In some cases the author of a document is not the person releasing the document who signs it. Examples:


  • Assistant draws up a contract for her supervisor
  • Web forms which have to be filled in – and otherwise remain unchanged – are made available on the homepage.


With the visible or non-visible certification only the form and signature fields can be filled in by third parties. The document is still displayed as “unchanged”.

For certification please proceed as follows:

Variant 1
Please click on Sign / Special / Multi-signature (Fig. 10):

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Fig. 10

The next step is to place a field for the certification and another field for the countersignature.

Then click «certify » (Fig. 11)

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Fig. 11

For the other steps proceed according to the «Instructions: SwissSigner single signature».

Instructions: Checking signatures with SwissSigner

When opening a document containing signatures these are automatically checked.

If everything is in order a green bar appears (Fig. 12.)

To receive a more detailed report click on Document / «Validate...», then optionally on «Save validation report...»

The following features are part of the check:


  • Issuer of the certificate
  • Validity of the certificate when signed
  • Changes to the content
  • Active components which could influence the display


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Fig. 12

The following examples show invalid signatures:

The document was changed after it was signed. (Fig. 13)

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Fig. 13

Validation could not be carried out. (Fig. 14)

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Fig. 14

A signature was made with a revoked certificate. (Fig. 15)

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Fig. 15


Further info and FAQ

More information
FAQ SwissSigner

SuisseID is a registered trademark of SwissSign AG.