How to Embed a File in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

If you’ve ever needed to embed a file in Excel, the process is simpler than you might think. Embedding a file means you can include a range of document types directly within your workbook, making it a powerful tool for presentations or collaboration. Here’s a quick guide: first, you insert an object, then you choose your file type and locate your file, finally, you decide how you’d like it displayed on your spreadsheet. Let’s dive deeper into each of these steps.

How to Embed a File in Excel

In this section, we will break down how to embed a file in Excel from start to finish. Following these steps will ensure that you can include various documents within your Excel workbook seamlessly.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Workbook

The first step is to open the Excel workbook where you want to embed the file.

Make sure the workbook is saved on your local computer or network drive. This ensures that any changes you make will not be lost.

Step 2: Click on the Insert Tab

Navigate to the ‘Insert’ tab located on the Ribbon at the top of the Excel window.

The Ribbon is that big toolbar at the top of Excel. The ‘Insert’ tab allows you to add different elements to your workbook, including charts, pictures, and objects.

Step 3: Choose the Object Option

Under the ‘Insert’ tab, click on the ‘Object’ button found in the ‘Text’ group.

The ‘Object’ button is usually represented by an icon that looks like a small box or square. This option allows you to embed other files into your Excel sheet.

Step 4: Select ‘Create From File’

In the Object dialog box that appears, select the ‘Create from File’ tab.

This option lets you browse your computer for the file you want to embed. It’s the easiest way to pull in existing documents like PDFs, Word files, and more.

Step 5: Browse and Select Your File

Click on the ‘Browse’ button, navigate to the file you want to embed, and select it.

Make sure to select the correct file and ensure that it’s not too large, as large files can slow down your Excel workbook.

Step 6: Decide How to Display the File

Choose either the ‘Display as Icon’ checkbox or leave it unchecked based on your preference. Click ‘OK’ to embed the file.

If you check ‘Display as Icon’, the file will appear as an icon that can be double-clicked to open. If not, it will show a preview of the file’s contents.

After completing these steps, your file will be embedded within the Excel workbook. You can now access and view the document directly from within Excel.

Tips for Embedding a File in Excel

  • File Size Matters: Larger files can slow down your workbook. Try to keep the embedded files as small as possible.
  • File Types: You can embed various types of files, including PDFs, Word documents, and images.
  • Security: Be cautious about embedding files that may contain sensitive information.
  • Backup: Always keep a backup of your original files in case something goes wrong.
  • Linking vs. Embedding: Sometimes it’s better to link to an external file rather than embedding it, especially for larger documents.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I update an embedded file?

To update an embedded file, double-click the icon or preview within Excel. Make your changes, save the file, and close it. The embedded version will automatically update.

Can I embed multiple files in one workbook?

Yes, you can embed multiple files in one workbook. Simply repeat the embedding steps for each file.

What file types can be embedded in Excel?

Excel supports embedding various file types including PDFs, Word documents, images, and even other Excel files.

Will an embedded file increase the size of my Excel workbook?

Yes, embedding files will increase the size of your Excel workbook. The increase depends on the size of the files you embed.

Can I remove an embedded file later?

Yes, you can remove an embedded file by clicking on it and pressing the ‘Delete’ key on your keyboard.

Summary of Steps

  1. Open your Excel workbook.
  2. Click on the Insert tab.
  3. Choose the Object option.
  4. Select ‘Create From File’.
  5. Browse and select your file.
  6. Decide how to display the file and click ‘OK’.


Embedding a file in Excel can make your workbook a central hub for all related documents and data, streamlining your workflow. Whether you are presenting data, sharing reports, or collaborating on projects, embedding files allows you to keep all necessary information in one place. It’s like having all your tools in a single toolbox, ready when you need them.

Remember to keep file sizes in check, consider the type of documents you are embedding, and always keep backups of your original files. If you found this guide helpful and want to learn more about other Excel features, keep exploring and experimenting. There’s a lot Excel can do, and mastering these features can make your work much more efficient. So go ahead, embed that file, and make your Excel workbook as comprehensive as possible!

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