Sometimes you may have a need to embed a PDF file within the Excel workbook. This could be the case when you are creating a catalog and want to embed product specific PDFs. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to insert a PDF file in an Excel Worksheet.

How to Embed a PDF File in an Excel Worksheet

Here are the steps to embed a PDF File in Excel:

Go to Insert tab and click on the Object icon in the Text group. This will open the Object dialog box. In the Object dialog box, select the ‘Create New’ tab and the select ‘Adobe Acrobat Document’ from the list. Note that you need to have Adobe Reader installed on your system for Adobe object to appear in the list. Check the option – ‘Display as icon’. Click OK. Select the PDF file that you want to embed and click on Open.

These steps would insert a PDF file in the worksheet. As soon as the PDF is inserted in the worksheet, it also gets opened by default. You can close the PDF file and continue to work with Excel. The PDF icon inserted using the above steps is an object (just like charts or shapes) and you can resize it and place it anywhere in the worksheet.

To insert multiple PDFs, follow the same steps (as shown above).

Fix the Embedded PDF File to a Cell

When you embed a PDF file in Excel, it is inserted as an object that sits above the worksheet cells. The position of the icon would not change if you change the cells below it. For example, when you place the icon within a cell, it would not move with the cells and would not get filtered, sorted, or hidden with the cells. As shown below, if you hide the cell that has the PDF file, it doesn’t hide the PDF.

To make sure it sticks to the cell:

Insert the file icon within the cell. If it doesn’t fit, either resize the icon or the cell so that the icon is within the cell. Right-click on the icon and select Format Object. (If you have multiple PDF files embedded, you can select all and then right-click and select the Format Object option.) In the Format Object dialog box, select Properties tab and select the option ‘Move and size with cells’ Click OK.

Now when you filter or sort/filter the cells, or hide the rows, the PDF object will do the same.

Renaming the Embedded PDF File

When you embed a PDF file in Excel, it gets a generic name such as “Adobe Acrobat Document”. You can change this name by following the below steps:

Right-click on the PDF object and select Convert option in the Acrobat Document Object.  In the Convert dialog box, click on the Change Icon button. In the Change Icon dialog box, change the caption to the name you want for the embedded PDF document. Click OK.

This will change the name of the embedded PDF file.

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