USPS offers free postmarking app for Word

Citizens and businesses now can use the Postal Service's electronic postmark capability to digitally sign and apply date and time stamps to Microsoft Word documents.

Postal officials today announced the downloadable software extension is free to individuals and costs a fee for business users.

Developed by USPS, Microsoft Corp. and AuthentiDate Inc. of New York, it works with Microsoft Office XP and Office 2003.

Nicholas Barranca, USPS vice president for product development, said the application has significant value 'by providing a level of security and trust to electronic correspondence.' He said the Postal Service believes the free software will attract more customers for the electronic postmark service, which began in April 2000.

To use the digital signing feature, users must have or obtain a digital certificate from a commercial provider and must create a USPS electronic postmark account.

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