How to Embed a PDF Document Inside an Excel Sheet

It often comes as a requirement to insert a PDF document into an Excel sheet. Like in the case for a list of projects in a company, we can attach the text and character data to Excel cells straight away. But what if want to attach the solution design of a particular project to its corresponding data row? Well, often people pause to think. Sometimes thinking also doesn’t work as the solution is not straightforward.

Dive into the article to learn how you can easily insert multiple PDF documents into an Excel sheet, that too, to very specific data rows.

Example Scenario

In the example shown in this article, we have a column named Product Category which lists an item name in each cell. Another column Product Specifications is supposed to be filled with the product catalogs of the respective product categories. The catalogs are in PDF format and for each product category, we have a different PDF. Let’s see how we can insert a PDF inside a cell to accomplish this task.

Section 1: How to Embed a PDF Document inside an Excel Sheet

Step 1: Firstly, click on the cell where you want to insert the PDF. As next, click on the INSERT tab at the top of the Excel window.


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Step 2: Now look at the right corner of the top ribbon under the INSERT tab. You should see a section containing Text Box, Header & Footer, and other related settings. Click on the icon to insert an Object as shown in the screenshot below.


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Step 3: On the Object window, click on the Create from File tab.

Use the Browse button to browse through your machine to find the PDF that you want to be inserted.

Now, check the checkbox corresponding to the option Display as icon.

Finally, hit the OK button.


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Step 4: That’s it. Your PDF is now successfully inserted into your Excel sheet. You can simply double click on the PDF file to open it.


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Section 2: How to Fix the Embedded PDF inside a Single Cell

If you reduce the height of the row, you can see that the PDF icon that you inserted doesn’t resize itself to accommodate inside its cell. Let’s now see how this issue can be tackled.


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Step 1: Firstly make sure that your PDF icon is perfectly inside its respective cell. For that, you can use the move and resize options.

To move the PDF icon, hover your mouse over it and you will see a cross-shaped icon. You can click on it and drag it to move the PDF icon.

To resize the PDF icon, click on the small hollow square icon present on the cell borders and then drag them inwards or outwards.


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Step 2: Once the icon is perfectly inside the cell, right click on it and then choose the Format Object option.


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Step 3: On the Format Object window, click on the Properties tab.

Select the radio button corresponding to the option Move and size with cells.

Hit the OK button once done.


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Step 5: Now if you resize the row height, you can see that the PDF icon also resizes itself along with.


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Section 3: How to Rename the Embedded PDF

Though everything looks perfect now, if you look at the name of the PDF that you inserted, you can see that it contains the whole file path. Well, it’s indeed a spoiler. Oh yes, let’s get it fixed too.

Step 1: Right click on the PDF icon, click on the option Acrobat Document Object and then click on the Convert option.


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Step 2: On the Convert window, click on the Change Icon button.


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Step 3: Under the Change Icon options, you can give any name to your PDF file under the Caption field.

Once done, hit the OK button.


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Step 4: That’s it. Your PDF is now perfectly inserted into your Excel sheet with a proper name. Enjoy!

You can repeat the same steps for inserting any number of PDFs into your Excel sheet.


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Please tell us in the comments section which method is your favorite. Thank you for reading.