How to Embed a PDF Document in an Email Message

By David Wayne

Embedding a PDF in an email body lets your recipient to see the file immediately after opening the email rather than downloading it as an attachment. Microsoft Outlook includes the option to insert a PDF object in an email, and while this method only displays the PDF's first page, your recipient can view the whole file in Adobe Acrobat Reader by double-clicking the embedded object. After inserting a PDF in an email, you can resize and move it using Outlook's graphical editing tools.

Step 1

Open Microsoft Outlook and compose a message. Move the cursor where you want to embed a PDF object by clicking inside the email body, then press “Enter” once or twice to make room for the PDF.

Step 2

Select the “Insert” tab and click “Object” in the Text section. Click “Create From File,” choose “Browse” and locate the PDF you want to embed. Select the file and choose “Open” to insert it into your email.

Step 3

Drag the object handles to resize the PDF. The eight rectangular handles are located on each corner and side of the object. When you're satisfied with the object's size and placement, enter your recipient's email address in the To field and click “Send.”

Tips & Warnings

  • Use Outlook to attach a PDF to an email; attachments are more familiar to most people than embedded files that may or may not display correctly within their specific email clients. Embedding a PDF in an email sometimes works well for one-page PDFs, but you must ensure that your recipient knows to click the object to see any other pages. To attach a file to an email, select the “Message” tab and click “Attach File,” then select your PDF from the browser window and click “Insert.” Outlook lists the names of attached files in the Attached text box.
  • You can't edit a PDF's content after embedding the file in Outlook.
  • Information in this article applies to Microsoft Outlook 2013. Procedures may vary with other versions or products.