Excel is one of the most popular spreadsheet apps and allows us to efficiently create and edit spreadsheet files. Sometimes we need to insert PDFs, Word documents or other types of files into Excel for reference or other purposes. This article will show you how to insert PDF into Excel on Mac and Windows.
I have a lot of PDF files with maps (all in one folder) which I need to be able to show the maps on Excel by using a cell for the reference. ― A question from excelforum.com
Sometimes, we need to insert the tables, images or some text content of a PDF into Excel. There are 2 methods available.
Software like Cisdem PDF Converter OCR for Mac can do the above things with high efficiency. Cisdem PDF Converter OCR is an all-around tool to convert PDF to Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Keynote, text, EPUB, etc., OCR PDFs and images, extract images from PDFs, create PDFs from other files and do other cool things.
For example, to extract all the images on page 2-10 of PDF file A and the images on page 38 of PDF file B, just switch off the OCR button, separately select the PDF pages, and select the desired image format. Click the "Convert" button. The extracted images from a PDF file will be kept in an automatically created folder which is named after the PDF file. The images are named after the page numbers.
This can be helpful if you don’t want to insert PDF into Excel as an attachment but only need to insert PDF’s tables. It works for both native searchable PDFs and scanned/image-based PDFs. For example, to extract the tables on page 2 of a PDF file, just switch on the OCR button, select page, and select Excel as the output format. Click "Convert". You can easily copy the tables from the converted Excel file to your Excel workbook.
The layout and formatting will be kept, as you can tell from the comparison below.
This is especially useful if the PDF is scanned/image-based and not selectable. For example, to extract the text from a scanned PDF, just switch on the OCR button and select DOCX, DOC or TXT as the output format. Click "Convert". If the PDF file is in a foreign language such as Spanish, just select Spanish from the language list.
Above is how you can insert PDF contents into Excel with the help of Cisdem PDF Converter OCR for Mac. If you are a Windows PC user, you can use OmniPage to extract text, tables, and images from PDFs.
Instead of choosing to insert PDF into Excel as attachment, you can use the following steps to insert the selected PDF contents.
Microsoft Office allows you to easily insert PDF into Excel, be it a single-page or multiple-page PDF, as an attachment. To read or edit the inserted PDF, you will need a PDF reader or PDF editor installed on the computer.
Tip: If it’s a multiple-page PDF, people who read this Excel file may not know that they can access the rest of the pages by double-clicking. In a case like this, you can add a note to let them know.
1. The steps above only work when you embed PDF into Excel on a PC. The object-embedding feature of Microsoft Office for Mac is limited. As you can see from the screenshot below, PDF is not among the supported object types. But don’t worry. You can still insert PDF into Excel on Mac as image. This section of the article will show you how to do it.
2. If, instead of inserting the PDF file as an attachment, you want to insert the content (such as a table or some text) into Excel, just read on. The rest of the article will show you how to insert tables, text and images from PDFs (including scanned or image-based PDFs) into Excel.
If the inserted PDF appears as the preview of the first page, it will take a lot of space in a worksheet. The good news is you can insert PDF into Excel as an icon or a link. Below is how.
After you finish step 2 in the section above, you can find two options in the dialog box. One is Link to file, and the other is Display as icon.
If you select the checkbox Link to file, you will insert a hyperlink pointing to a location (where the PDF file is kept) on your local disk. In this case, the PDF file is not stored in the Excel workbook but on your computer’s internal disk. If you delete the PDF file on your computer later, or if the Excel workbook is opened on a different computer where the PDF file doesn’t exist, the link will be broken.
Mac users could have problems when they try to insert a PDF into Excel using the Insert Object feature. In this case, you can only insert PDF into Excel as image. There is currently no option to insert it as an attachment or display it as an icon.
If it’s a multi-page PDF, a dialog box will appear, asking you to select the specific page you need to insert. Select a page and click "Insert". To insert multiple PDF pages, just repeat the process.
Also, you can insert PDF into Excel as worksheet background on both Windows and Mac. Below is how.
When you insert PDF into Excel and display it as an icon, the icon will appear above the Excel cells. Its position won’t change as you add or remove cells above it. It won’t get hidden, sorted or filtered with the Excel cells. This can cause inconvenience sometimes. How do I insert a PDF file into an Excel cell and make it stick to the cell? The solution is easy.
When you insert PDF into Excel, you can choose to insert as it as an object and display it as an icon/link, or as images, or only insert the selected images, tables and text from the PDF. It all depends on your needs. After the PDF file or its content is inserted, you can conveniently use it for reference or for presentation use.
Rosa has worked in Mac software industry for more than eight years. She believes that the purpose of software is to make life better and work more productively. In addition to writing, Rosa is also an avid runner.