How to embed a PDF in Excel in 4 quick steps.

To insert PDF link into Excel, follow these simple steps:

1. Open your files. Open up the Excel spreadsheet that you want to place the link into and select Insert > Object.

2. Add your PDF. Click Create > Browse to locate the PDF you want to insert.

3. Check the display. Before clicking OK, check the boxes that says Link to file and Display as icon. Now right click on the PDF icon and select Format Object.

4. Embed your PDF. From this pop-up window, click Properties, then Move and size within cells.

Embedding and formatting a PDF in Excel.

While the above list outlines the basics of how to embed PDF in Excel, there are a few other options you can add on during this process to change how your PDF is displayed. Here, we’ll walk you through the process in more detail.

1. Before you embed PDF in Excel, you need to ensure the PDF you will be adding is closed. Once it is closed, open up the Excel document that you want to add the PDF to.

2. To bring up the window where we select the PDF, navigate to Insert > Object in the top menu on the Excel document.
3. Within the ‘Create New’ tab, click Create > Browse to locate the PDF you want to insert. Note: You need to have Adobe Acrobat downloaded onto your device in order to access this feature.

4. Select the PDF that you want to embed into your Excel file.

5. After selecting the file you want, you have the option to change the formatting before clicking 'OK'

6. To change the display of the icon within the Excel sheet, select ‘Change Icon’. Within this box, you can change the size and color of the icon and edit the name associated with the file.

7. Once done, select 'OK' on the bottom right.

3 ways inserting a PDF into Excel can improve your work.

There are many ways that embedding PDF in Excel can streamline your work.

  • Convenience. If the information in your spreadsheet links to a particular resource in a PDF format, embedding the PDF in Excel will save the viewer from needing to search for the relevant file.

    For example, if sending a bookkeeping Excel document to an accountant,attaching multiple PDF invoices to your spreadsheet can save time and reduce the number of files you need to send over.
  • To keep track of files. Many organisations need to keep an audit trail of when data was stored and updated. This can be done by embedding a PDF into Excel, then noting down the necessary information in the adjacent cells.
  • To include more information. Sometimes there may not be enough room in the spreadsheet to include all the information you need. Or there may also be images you want to include. By learning to embed PDF in Excel, you can easily include more info or visuals directly in your spreadsheet, which prevents the user from having to exit it and locate another document.


Find the answers to the most common questions about inserting PDF files into Excel.

I got an error message when trying to insert PDF into Excel. What can I do?

If you receive an error message when trying to insert PDF into Excel, it could be that the PDF settings are preventing it from being able to be embedded. This is an Adobe Reader feature that is designed to protect the integrity of the PDF.

Can others open the PDF that I embedded in Excel?

If you have followed the above steps, then the PDF will become part of the package of the saved Excel file. This means that others will be able to open the PDF document too. If you went to Insert > Object > Package, then this won’t be the case.

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