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

Embedding a PDF in Excel might sound tricky, but it’s actually quite simple. Essentially, you’re inserting the PDF as an object into your Excel spreadsheet. This is useful if you want to attach extra documentation or reports directly within your Excel file. In a few easy steps, you can have your PDF embedded in no time!

How to Embed a PDF in Excel

Let’s break down the process of embedding a PDF in Excel, step by step. This guide will take you from having a separate PDF and Excel file to a combined document where the PDF is right in your Excel spreadsheet.

Step 1: Open Excel

Start by opening the Excel file where you want to embed the PDF.

Before you can embed anything, you need to have the Excel file open and ready. Make sure you’re in the right worksheet and cell where you’d like the PDF to appear. Also, keep the PDF file you want to embed handy.

Step 2: Insert Object

Click on the “Insert” tab in the Excel ribbon, then select “Object” from the Text group.

This is where the magic happens! The “Insert” tab is a powerhouse of functions, and the “Object” option lets you bring in external files. When you click “Object,” a box will appear giving you several options.

Step 3: Create from File

In the Object dialog box, click on “Create from File” tab and then click on “Browse.”

This step is crucial because you’re telling Excel where to find the PDF file. By selecting “Create from File,” you’re letting Excel know that the object (your PDF) is already created and just needs to be linked.

Step 4: Browse and Select PDF

Navigate to where your PDF file is stored, select it, and click “Insert.”

Find your PDF file in the browser window that pops up, click on it, and hit “Insert.” This action essentially links the PDF file to your Excel document.

Step 5: Display as Icon

Check the box labeled “Display as icon” if you want the PDF to appear as an icon. If not, it will show a preview.

Decide how you want the PDF to appear in your spreadsheet. If you choose to display it as an icon, it won’t take up much space and will be easily clickable. If you don’t check this box, Excel will show the first page of the PDF.

Step 6: Confirm and Finish

Click “OK” to complete the embedding process.

That’s it! After you click “OK,” your PDF will be embedded in your Excel spreadsheet. You can now move or resize the object as needed.

After completing these steps, your PDF will be part of your Excel file. You can double-click the embedded PDF to open it, making it easy to reference or share additional information directly within your spreadsheet.

Tips for Embedding a PDF in Excel

Here are some additional tips to make embedding a PDF in Excel even easier:

  • Make sure your PDF file is saved and closed before embedding it into Excel.
  • If you need to update the PDF, remove the old one and embed the new file to ensure the latest version is included.
  • Use the “Display as icon” option to save space on your worksheet and keep it looking clean.
  • Make a note of where you embed your PDF, especially in large Excel files, so you can quickly find it later.
  • Check the embedded PDF by opening it within Excel to ensure it works as expected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I edit the PDF after embedding it in Excel?

No, you cannot edit the PDF directly within Excel. You’ll need to edit the PDF in a separate program and re-embed it.

What if my PDF is too large?

If your PDF is too large, consider compressing the file before embedding it to keep your Excel file manageable.

Can I embed multiple PDFs in one Excel file?

Yes, you can embed multiple PDFs in a single Excel file. Just repeat the steps for each PDF you want to include.

Will embedding a PDF affect the Excel file size?

Yes, embedding a PDF will increase the file size of your Excel document because the PDF is stored within it.

Can I embed other types of files in Excel?

Absolutely! You can embed various types of files in Excel, such as Word documents, images, and PowerPoint presentations, using the same method.

Summary of Embedding a PDF in Excel

  1. Open Excel.
  2. Insert Object.
  3. Create from File.
  4. Browse and Select PDF.
  5. Display as Icon (optional).
  6. Confirm and Finish.


Embedding a PDF in Excel is a fantastic way to keep all your documents in one place. Whether you’re compiling a report, creating a presentation, or simply organizing your data, having everything in one file makes your job easier and more efficient.

With just a few clicks, you can transform your Excel spreadsheet into a comprehensive document that includes all the extra information you need. So next time you have a PDF to share alongside your data, remember these steps and make your Excel work for you. Happy embedding!

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