How to insert a PDF file into Excel

Excel offers a wealth of functions for organizing, manipulating and processing your data. One of these unique features is the ability to directly insert a PDF file into Excel. The good news is that it only takes a few simple steps. Here’s how.

Insert PDF into Excel

In the Excel file, go to the “Insert” tab and then click on the “Object” button.

insert object

In the object window that appears, switch to the “Create from file” tab and then click “Browse”.

Create from file

Browse to the location of your file, select the file, and then click Open.

Browse to the location of the PDF file

Back in the Object window, you’ll see the path to your PDF file. Now you need to tell Excel how you want the file to appear in the spreadsheet. There are different possibilities. If you choose “OK” in the “Object” window without any further action, the PDF file appears in Excel and displays the entire contents of the PDF.

PDF image

You can also check the box next to “Show as Icon” for a less intrusive option. This method, as the name suggests, involves inserting an icon that represents the contents of your file. Double-clicking the icon opens the file in your computer’s default PDF viewer.

show as icon

Another solution would be to enable the “Link to file” option. This option, like the others, allows you to place the content of your PDF file in Excel. The difference here is that it is linked to the source file, making it a living document. Any changes made to the source file will be reflected in your document.

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Also, remember that you can select “Link to file” and “Show as icon” options, which makes accessing a live document less intrusive.

When you have selected the option that suits you best, click OK.

Link to file option

Your PDF will now be inserted into Excel as an icon.

PDF icon in Excel

You will notice that after inserting, the PDF adopts the “Before Text” layout style and hover over the cells. If you want to anchor (and thus format) the PDF to a specific cell, right-click the icon and choose “Format Object” from the drop-down menu.

format object

The “Format object” window then appears. You can do various things there including changing the size, color, cropping, and even adding alt text to the object. But what interests us here is the positioning of the object.

First select the “Properties” tab. There you will find some options for positioning the object. Here, select “Move and enlarge with cells” and then click “OK”.

note : If you don’t want the symbol to appear in the printed version of the sheet, uncheck the Print Object check box.

Move and size with cells

Now any changes made to the cell, including hiding or resizing it, will also apply to the icon.

Resize the GIF object

Repeat these steps to insert multiple PDF files into your Excel spreadsheet.

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