How to Attach a PDF Document to an Excel Spreadsheet

By Tricia Goss

You can easily paste an Excel chart or an area of a spreadsheet into a Word document or other file. However, there are times when you need to present the entire worksheet or workbook, and also need the data from another document. For instance, you might need to scan receipts and attach the scanned document to an Excel expense report. If that data is in PDF form, you can attach that file to your Excel spreadsheet.

Step 1

Open or create an Excel spreadsheet that has the information you want to attach the PDF document to. Make any changes and save the spreadsheet.

Step 2

Click the area of your Excel spreadsheet where you want the PDF document attached. Click the "Insert" drop-down menu in Excel 2003 or earlier versions. In later versions of Excel, click "Insert" tab.

Step 3

Click "Object." Make sure you are on the "Create New" tab.

Step 4

Select "Adobe Acrobat Document" from the Object Type list. If you want to attach the entire PDF document as a viewable object on your spreadsheet, click "OK." If you want to insert an icon that will be a clickable link to the attached PDF document, select the "Display as Icon" check box and click "OK."

Step 5

Navigate to and select the PDF document you want to attach to your Excel spreadsheet. Click "Open." The PDF document will open in a separate window. Close it and you will be returned to to the spreadsheet with the PDF document -- or a link to it, depending on which you chose -- attached.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can drag the borders or corners of the PDF attachment to resize it.
  • If the PDF file is very large and you do not have much room on your Excel spreadsheet, use the icon instead. Users can click on the icon and view the PDF document as a full-sized file.