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How to Add a PDF File to an Excel Sheet

You had previously used Word, one of the well-known Microsoft programs that supports a wide range of file types, to insert a PDF file. But have you ever wanted to know how to put a PDF into an Excel spreadsheet?

Portable Document Format (PDF) is designed to store, share, and access documents and images without altering the data, regardless of the software used.

You may now use Excel to organize and work with data by adding a PDF file to a spreadsheet. Additionally, you can import data straight into your spreadsheet from the PDF. However, in order to open your documents, you might need a PDF reader if you export an Excel spreadsheet as a PDF file.

PDF file

We will take you through the quick and easy process of adding a PDF and link to an Excel document. To begin with, though, consider this: when should I integrate a PDF file into an Excel spreadsheet?

When to use Excel to open a PDF

I bet you are wondering how useful a PDF is in relation to Excel. Because it is so simple to view and share, PDF files are here to stay. Additionally, it keeps the document’s size and format intact. There are a few perfect circumstances listed below when you can integrate a PDF file into Excel:

  • Report preparation: The main purpose of Excel is to generate charts or tables that require less text in the Excel Workbook. Instead of inputting data directly onto the Excel worksheet, attaching a separate PDF allows for a detailed explanation of your document, especially useful for lengthy reports requiring both numerical data and additional information.
  • Keeping all of your sources in one document: It is a good idea to keep all of your references in one document when writing a long report. By not having to minimize your Excel workbook when looking for sources elsewhere, you are able to save time.
  • Product Catalog Creation: To include additional information about a product, insert a PDF into Excel and use that file to create a product catalogue.
  • When presenting the complete worksheet: Copying and pasting a portion of the PDF file into an Excel workbook is a simple process. Nevertheless, you must import the PDF file into Excel along with copies of the scanned receipts if the entire workbook is needed.
  • Concentrating on important details: By inserting a PDF file, you can restrict your attention to the Excel Worksheet’s most important details. When necessary, you can consult the supplementary remarks or data contained in the embedded PDF file.

Detailed Instructions for Adding a PDF File to Excel

  • Open the Excel Spreadsheet where you want the PDF file to be embedded. This procedure is applicable to all other Microsoft Office file formats.
  • Next, select the “Insert” tab located in the Ribbon Menu’s left column.
  • Find the Text group command on the far right, then choose Object.
  • Click “Create New” and choose Adobe Acrobat Document from the list when the Object Dialogue Box displays.
  • Press OK. The Excel worksheet displays the first page of the PDF you have selected.
  • Nevertheless, you can click the “Display as icon” box if you would for the PDF content to be invisible. Please be aware that only the first page gets inserted using this method. Rather, the entire object—including several PDF pages—is embedded.

PDF file

  • Lastly, click OK after choosing the desired PDF file from the menu. You can move the document around the spreadsheet to suit your preferences by dragging its icon.
  • Repeat these steps to add more PDF files to your spreadsheet.

But be aware that adding an item to the worksheet makes the source file larger. Thus, if you want to minimize the size of your file, the “Link to File” option is the ideal one to utilize.

How to Use the “Link to File” Option to Insert a PDF File into Excel

Alternatively, you may incorporate a file insert link instead of inserting the entire object. The “Link to File”  feature integrates the content from your PDF document directly into Excel. With this choice, a link to the source file is created, turning your workbook into a live report. 

As a result, any modifications made to the original file will be mirrored in the Excel document. Nevertheless, the Excel workbook and the Object must be kept in the same location in order for you to link the file. After you insert a PDF into Excel, you can quickly and easily rename your document by following these steps:

  1. Launch the spreadsheet of your choice.
  2. To insert the object, click the workbook cell you want to use.
  3. Next, select “Object” from the Text group on the “Insert” menu.
  4. In the dialog box for the object, select “Create from File.”
  5. Check the box labeled “Link to File.”
  6. (Optional) To protect the content of your PDF, check the “Display as Icon” box.
  7. Next, select the PDF file to be linked by clicking on Browse, and then click Insert.
  8. In the end, select “OK”. The Excel Workbook displays the PDF file as an icon.

PDF file

How to Use Excel 2013 to Insert a PDF

To insert PDF into Excel 2013, simply follow the steps outlined above. It’s worth noting that these instructions are not exclusive to Excel 2013 but also in other versions of Excel. 

How to Modify the Excel PDF File Inserted

The inability of the PDF file to filter or sort using the cells is one of its drawbacks. The good news is that you may resize your freshly inserted PDF file in Excel so that it fills the cells. This is the method.

  • After inserting the PDF file, right-click on it.
  • Select “Format Object” from the menu drop-down menu.
  • The dialogue window labeled “Format Object” then appears. Select “Properties.”
  • Choose “Move and Size with Cells” from the available choices.
  • To change the file to your liking, click OK.

The same approach applies to the PDF file if you wish to filter or conceal cells.

How to Use Excel to Review Your Image

Once your PDF has been inserted into Excel, follow these easy steps to check your image:

  • In the Excel workbook, right-click the image and choose “Acrobat Document Object.”
  • Select “Open.” A new Adobe Window emerges when you open the PDF file.
  • Afterwards, simply click on the “Save” option located on the Quick Access Toolbar to preserve any modifications made
  • Your Excel spreadsheet has the attached PDF as an attachment.

Ways to Rename the PDF Inserted

Nevertheless, a PDF that is embedded into Excel is given the generic name “Adobe Acrobat Document.” If you would want to rename your document, just follow the instructions listed below:

  • To open the PDF file in your Excel workbook, right-click on it.
  • From the drop-down menu, choose “Acrobat Document Object” and then “Convert.”
  • Click “Change Icon” after checking the “Display as Icon” box.
  • A Dialog Box with a Change Icon displays. Enter the name you would like for the PDF file in the Caption field.
  • To save the necessary adjustments, click OK. the necessary changes.
Inserting a PDF into Excel is simple. Because you do not have to input as much content on your Excel spreadsheet, embedding a PDF saves time. Nevertheless, you can use the “Link to File” option to make your source file smaller. Additionally, confirm that the recipient has the PDF reader software required to edit or view the attached PDF file.


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