How to Copy & Paste PDFs to Excel

By Foye Robinson

A PDF's content can be displayed in programs other than Adobe Reader, including Excel. Adobe Reader allows you to copy PDF content, with custom options for the copying method, which you can paste into an Excel document to illustrate a report. You can copy the entire PDF to your clipboard or use the Snapshot tool to marquee a smaller area. Pasting the PDF as an image allows you to preserve its formatting without modifying its contents. If you need to modify the PDF in Excel, you should paste it as editable data instead.

Copy to Clipboard as Image

Step 1

Open the PDF document you're copying in Adobe Reader.

Step 2

Select "Edit" and "Copy File to Clipboard" from the toolbar.

Step 3

Minimize Adobe Reader and skip to the "Paste PDF" section below.

Copy Selected Area as Image

Step 1

Click the Snapshot tool in the toolbar in Adobe Reader.

Step 2

Drag your mouse over the area you want to copy in the PDF. The selected area is highlighted.

Step 3

Click "OK" at the prompt, "The selected area has been copied."

Step 4

Minimize Adobe and skip to the "Paste PDF" section.

Copy as Editable Data

Step 1

Select "Edit" and "Select All" from the toolbar or highlight the data you want to copy.

Step 2

Select "Edit" and "Copy" from the toolbar.

Step 3

Minimize Adobe Reader and open the Excel worksheet.

Paste PDF

Step 1

Open a new or existing worksheet in Excel.

Step 2

Click the cell where you want the PDF to appear.

Step 3

Press "CTRL+V" to paste the PDF as an image or editable data.