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How to Insert PDF into Excel

Jun 23 2023

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MS Excel


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Calling all small business owners, accountants, or anyone who needs to run financial reports, do you need to source files in your reports? Now you can learn how to embed or insert a PDF into an Excel spreadsheet to save you time!

For instance, if you need to attach source information like product catalogs or present budget projections to your team, this way you can attach reference links and refer back to your original document.

How to embed a PDF into Excel as an Object

To embed a PDF into your spreadsheet, follow the steps below.

1. Open your Excel spreadsheet.

2. Click on the Insert menu.

3. Select the Object button from the Text section.

Accessing the Insert Object option in MS Excel

The Object window will pop up, asking you to choose the object you want to add.

4. Click on the Create New tab and from the list of object types, select Adobe Acrobat Document. Click on OK.

5. In the Open dialog, select the PDF from your computer and click on OK. 

Your PDF will open in your default PDF reader and the Excel file can also insert the file, displaying the first page on the spreadsheet. You can scale this image down and double click on it to open your PDF.

If you don’t want the first page displayed, put a checkmark in the Display as icon box in step 4 above and a PDF icon will be used in Excel instead.

How to Insert a PDF into Excel as a hyperlink

The other way to insert PDF into Excel is to insert it via a hyperlink. Unlike embedding your PDF, this method links to the source PDF file. Your linked PDF is a live document and any changes you make to it will be reflected. You can do this in two ways.

a) Using the Insert Object method

To insert a PDF as a linked object, follow the steps below.

1. Open your Excel spreadsheet and click on the Insert menu.

2. Select the Object button from the Text section.

3. In the Object window, click on the Create from file tab and from the list of object types, select Adobe Acrobat Document. Click on OK.

4. In the Open dialog, select the PDF from your computer and click on Insert.

5. Enable the Link to file option. Enable the Display as icon box if you want an icon to represent your file.

6. Click on OK.

Settings for inserting a PDF as a linked object in MS Excel

When you insert your PDF, it’ll automatically open in your PDF viewer. It will behave like any other object, which means you can move the PDF file to another position. 

b) Using the Insert Link method

To insert a PDF as hyperlinked text, follow the steps below.

1. In your spreadsheet, highlight the text you want to act as your hyperlink anchor text.

2. Click on the Insert menu and go to the Link button of the Links section.

3. Click on the Link button to select your PDF from your computer through the Edit Hyperlink dialog box.

Insert hyperlink dialog for customizing PDF hyperlinks in MS Excel

Or you can click on the dropdown arrow under the Link button to select your PDF from a list of your recently opened documents.

4. In the dialog, customize your hyperlink address and click on OK.

This method doesn’t open the PDF after you insert it, nor does it create a hyperlinked object. Using the Insert Link method can also make it easier if you have a few PDFs to insert as a hyperlink in Excel.

Use Xodo to get PDF data into Excel accurately

The above tips can help you with inserting PDF files in Excel. Need to transfer PDF data into Excel first?

You can use Xodo’s PDF to Excel converter to convert your PDF to Excel online for free, so you don’t have to manually copy and paste all the data from PDF. This tool helps you get the job done accurately and quickly. 

Want to try more tools? Our full Xodo suite of 30+ online PDF tools are aimed at taking care of advanced PDF tasks that go beyond PDF to Excel conversion. You can edit, annotate, merge or even split PDFs – Xodo can do it all. Round out your Excel productivity toolbox!

Try Xodo Pro For Free
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Reena Cruz

PDF Productivity Expert

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