How to Attach PDF in Excel

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How to Attach PDF in Excel

In the realm of data management and documentation, Excel and PDF are two of the most commonly used formats. Excel is highly valued for its powerful data manipulation capabilities, while PDF is widely used for its ability to preserve document formatting across different devices and platforms.Combining these two can be extremely beneficial for a variety of professional and academic purposes. This article delves into the significance of attaching PDFs to Excel, provides a detailed step-by-step process ofhow to attach pdf in excel, and discusses the pros and cons associated with this practice.

Significance of Attaching PDFs in Excel

Attaching PDFs to Excel worksheets can enhance the utility and comprehensiveness of your documents. Here are some key reasons why this practice is significant:

  1. Enhanced Data Documentation:

By attaching PDFs, you can provide additional context, supporting documents, or detailed explanations that complement the data in your Excel sheet. This can include invoices, reports, research papers, or any relevant documentation.

  1. Improved Accessibility:

When all related documents are consolidated into a single Excel file, it becomes easier to access and reference them. This can save time and reduce the hassle of searching for separate files.

  1. Streamlined Communication:

For collaborative projects or when sharing data with stakeholders, having all necessary documents in one place ensures that everyone has access to the same information, thereby improving communication and reducing the risk of misunderstandings.

  1. Audit and Compliance:

Attaching supporting PDF documents directly to an Excel sheet can be particularly useful in fields where documentation is critical for audit and compliance purposes. It ensures that all necessary proof and records are readily available and organized.

  1. Enhanced Presentations:

For presentations and meetings, having PDFs attached to your Excel sheet allows you to present detailed reports, charts, or studies without needing to switch between multiple files, making your presentations more seamless and professional.

Step-by-Step Process of Attaching PDFs in Excel

Attaching a PDF to an Excel worksheet is a straightforward process. Below are detailed steps to accomplish this using Microsoft Excel.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Worksheet

Begin by opening the Excel workbook where you want to attach the PDF. Make sure you have the PDF file saved on your computer.

Step 2: Navigate to the Insert Tab

Click on the `Insert` tab in the Excel ribbon. This tab contains various options for adding elements to your worksheet.

Step 3: Select the Object Option

In the `Insert` tab, look for the `Text` group. Within this group, click on the `Object` button. This will open the Object dialog box.

Step 4: Choose to Create from File

In the Object dialog box, you will see two tabs: `Create New` and `Create from File`. Select the `Create from File` tab.

Step 5: Browse for Your PDF File

Click on the `Browse` button to open the file explorer. Navigate to the location where your PDF is saved, select the file, and click `Insert`.

Step 6: Link or Embed the PDF

After selecting the PDF, you have two options: `Link to file` or `Display as icon`.

Link to file: This option creates a link to the PDF file. If the PDF file is moved or deleted, the link will break.

Display as icon: This embeds the PDF within the Excel file and displays it as an icon. This option ensures that the PDF remains part of the Excel file, even if the original PDF is moved or deleted.

For most purposes, it is advisable to check the `Display as icon` option to keep the PDF embedded within the Excel file.

Step 7: Insert the PDF

After choosing your preferred option, click `OK`. The PDF will be inserted into your Excel sheet, and an icon representing the PDF file will appear.

Step 8: Resize and Position the PDF Icon

You can click and drag the corners of the PDF icon to resize it. Move it to the desired location within your worksheet.

Step 9: Save Your Excel Workbook

Finally, save your Excel workbook to ensure that the attached PDF is preserved.

Pros and Cons of Attaching PDFs in Excel

While attaching PDFs to Excel can be very beneficial, it also comes with some drawbacks. Let’s explore the pros and cons:


  1. Centralized Information:

By attaching PDFs, all related documents are stored in one place, making it easier to manage and retrieve information.

  1. Enhanced Detail and Context:

PDFs can provide detailed reports, images, and supplementary data that enhance the information presented in the Excel sheet.

  1. Improved Collaboration:

Sharing a single file that contains all necessary documents can simplify collaboration and ensure that all team members have access to the same information.

  1. Professional Presentations:

Combining data and documents into a single file makes presentations smoother and more professional, as you don’t need to switch between different files.

  1. Audit Trail:

For compliance and auditing purposes, having all documents attached in a single file ensures that all necessary records are maintained and easily accessible.


  1. File Size:

Attaching large PDFs can significantly increase the size of your Excel file, which may lead to performance issues or difficulties in sharing the file via email or cloud services.

  1. Compatibility Issues:

Not all versions of Excel or PDF viewers may support embedded PDFs, potentially causing issues when opening or sharing the file across different platforms or devices.

  1. Security Risks:

Embedding sensitive PDFs within Excel can pose security risks if the Excel file is shared without proper encryption or access controls.

  1. Editing Challenges:

If the attached PDF needs to be updated, you will need to re-attach the updated version, which can be cumbersome.

  1. Broken Links:

If you choose to link the PDF instead of embedding it, moving or renaming the PDF file can break the link, rendering the attachment useless.


  • Attaching PDFs to Excel sheets can significantly enhance the utility and professionalism of your documents, providing detailed context, improving accessibility, and streamlining communication.
  • However, it is essential to be aware of the potential drawbacks, such as increased file size and compatibility issues.
  • By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article on how to attach pdf in excel, you can easily attach PDFs to your Excel worksheets, leveraging the strengths of both formats to create comprehensive and effective documentation.

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