Your boss has just emailed you an important document and you absolutely need to consult him to get your work going. The problem is that the attached file has the extension pdf.p7m: a format that you have never seen before and that not even your computer, alas, is able to handle.
Is this really your case? Then let me give you a hand and show you how open pdf.p7m file in a little while. As you will discover in the course of this guide, this type of file is nothing more than a PDF document to which a digital signature has been previously affixed: therefore, it is sufficient to have a special program or to consult a website designed for the purpose to analyze the signature and view the contents of the "original" file.
If it is your intention to manage these documents, then make yourself comfortable and proceed without hesitation with the reading of this guide of mine: I am sure that, at the end, you will be perfectly able to choose the most suitable tool for your case, thus bringing to finished the task the boss wanted to assign you. Good job!
What is a Pdf.p7m File
Before getting to the heart of the matter and understanding how to open pdf.p7m file, it is good to give you some more explanation regarding this particular extension.
A file p7m, in general, it is a real archive containing a document (in this case, in PDF) to which one has been affixed digital signature. If you had never heard of it, the digital signature is one of the authentication methods (legally recognized) of a digital document, as well as of everything that composes it, able to guarantee the authenticity of the sender and the integrity of the document. same.
You can compare the digital signature to a sort of wax seal affixed to a paper envelope containing typewritten sheets: thanks to this seal, you can be sure that the documents arrived in your hands have not been altered by third parties and that the sender is your own the owner of that type of seal. If you intend to deepen the subject and understand how to get a kit to digitally sign your documents, you can refer to my specific tutorial on how to digitally sign your documents.
In any case, due to the cryptographic signature applied to the documents, it is not possible to open this type of file with the "classic" PDF readers, but it is necessary to examine them in advance through a specific software (or website) that is able to decrypt, read and validate the digital signature, as well as to show the content of the document itself and allow it to be saved. Below, I therefore intend to show you the best solutions designed for the purpose.
Programs to Open Pdf.p7m Files
Contrary to what it might seem at first glance, open pdf.p7m file with the computer it is an extremely simple operation: just contact the right program. Below, therefore, I will list the most used software and compatible with the most popular desktop operating systems, Windows e MacOS.
The first program I intend to refer you for open pdf.p7m file è ArubaSign, a software capable of reading and viewing different types of documents protected by digital signature, in p7m format.
To use it, connected to this web page, click on the item Software di firma ArubaSign e pulsing sul pulsating Download the software corresponding to your operating system to immediately start downloading the installation package to your computer.
Once this operation is complete, launch the file you just downloaded: if you are on Windowspigia sui pulsanti Yes, OK e Yes, select the version of your operating system (32 o 64 bit), press the button twice forward and, to finish the installation and start the program, click on the buttons Install e end.
Stai using a Poppy, all you have to do is drag the ArubaSign icon into the folder Applications through the window shown on the screen, access the folder in question and, after double clicking on the ArubaSign icon, confirm the willingness to start it by clicking on the button apri.
Once the setup is complete, press the button Verifica located in the main interface of the program, drag the p7m document of your interest into the program window (or press the button Select documents to proceed via File Explorer / Finder), click on the document to open (eg. test.pdf) inside the box Select documents and finally press the button Open document, to view it through the most suitable program.
If, on the other hand, you intend to save a copy of the PDF document that is not digitally signed, press the button Save document and, using the File Explorer / Finder panel that is shown on the screen, choose the most suitable location in which to store it. Once this is done, you can open the PDF file using the program you prefer: if you don't know which one to rely on, I suggest you refer to my guide on how to open PDF, in which I have proposed a selection of the best software suitable for the purpose.
If, for some reason, the previous solution failed to satisfy you, I recommend that you give a chance to Dike: available both free of charge and upon purchase of a license (with prices starting from € 49 + VAT) For Windows, MacOS e Linux. This program allows you to read digitally signed documents in just a couple of clicks.
The paid version of the software provides the possibility of digitally signing and also reading signed files other than those marked with the p7m extension: for the purposes of this guide, however, the free version is more than sufficient. To download it, connected to its download page, identify the logo of your operating system (eg pennant to Windows and bitten apple to MacOS) e pigia sul pulsating Download in his correspondence.
Once you have downloaded the installation file on your computer (eg. Dike7-installer-windows.exe), launch it and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup. If you find yourself on Windows, then press the button forward, put the check mark next to the box for License Agreement Terms, presses the button twice again forward and, to complete the setup and start the program, click on the buttons Install, Yes e end.
For MacOSinstead, you have to drag the Dike icon into the folder Applications of the Mac using the appropriate window shown on the screen. Once this operation is complete, you must go to the aforementioned folder, double-click on the icon Dike e pigiare sul pulsating apri, to start the application.
Once Dike is launched, confirm that you want to update the CA database and skip the part relating to the questionnaire (you can safely close the confirmation message). Once this is done, move the mouse pointer over the button Verifica marked with a checkmark and click on your voice Verifica which appears immediately after.
At this point, select the p7m file to open using the Esplora File / Finderclick on your button Details to view the data relating to the certificate and, once the validity of the digital signature has been verified, press the button View to open the document it contains with the most suitable program (in this case a PDF reader). Easier done than said, isn't it?
Another software you can refer to for open pdf.p7m file è MnlSignVerifier: it acts in a rather similar way to the programs I have already told you about, it is completely free and is only available for the operating system Windows. If you are not satisfied with the solutions reported above, you can consider it as an alternative.
To use it, connected to its download page, click on the button Download Free and wait for the file (eg. MnlSignVerifier-setup_32bit) is completely downloaded to your computer. At this point, launch the installation program you just got, press the buttons Yes e forward, put the check mark next to the box I accept the terms of the license agreement, click the button seven times forward and finally, press the button end to conclude the setup.
At this point, start MnlSignVerifier by double clicking on the icon that has been created on the desktop, press the button Open File located at the top left and, using the panel displayed on the screen, select the document you are interested in viewing. Once the analysis is complete, you can consult the outcome of the verification relating to the digital signature directly from the program window; finally, to open the PDF document in the most suitable program, simply click on the button View document located at the bottom left.
Online Services to Open Pdf.p7m Files
You don't have the ability to install anything on the computer at your disposal, therefore, you're looking for a way to open p7m file without having to do it? Then this is the most suitable section for you: below, in fact, I intend to point out some online services, accessible from any computer browser, specifically designed to manage PDF documents, images and in general all files in p7m format to which it is a digital signature has been applied.
The first online service that allows you to "process" pdf.p7m files through the browser is PostCert: the website made available by Poste Italiane. To use it, connected to the PosteCert website of Poste Italiane, click on the button Choose file and choose, through the File Explorer / Finder window that opens, the pdf.p7m file to view.
Once the file is loaded, press the button Verify company to get the complete report on the analysis of the digital signature and click on the button Download File located at the bottom to download the PDF document to your computer. If you wish, you can also download the result of the verification of the digital signature: in this case, you have to press the button instead Download Report.
Were you unable to get the desired result through the service reported above? Then you can give the website of InfoCert: in addition to offering the software solution seen above, InfoCert provides users with an online service for verifying the digital signature and downloading the original documents protected by it.
To use it, first connected to its main page, click on the tab Verify digital signature placed at the bottom and then presses the button Choose File / Browse attached to the wording Select the file to check.
Once you have selected the file of your interest, press the button I accept and verify and wait a few seconds: if everything went well, a new panel should open containing the result relating to the analysis of the digital signature. To download a compressed archive (in zip format) containing the original PDF file, click on the button Salva origin located at the bottom of the panel.
If you need a hand to open the downloaded .zip file, you can freely consult my tutorial on programs to open ZIP files.
Other Useful Resources
If you have made it this far, it means that you have acquired all the skills necessary to open files in pdf.p7m format using the tools that I have reported to you during this tutorial.
You should know, however, that there are many other tools you can use to open the type of file in question and, in general, to check the status of the digital signature affixed to various types of documents. To know them all and, why not, try them, you can refer to the appropriate list available on the website of theAgency for Digital Italy. I advise you to take a look at it: it will surely come in handy!