[Solved] Add, Attach or Insert a File in Excel in 3 Easy Steps

This article will show you how to easily add/attach file like PDF, Word or any other to Excel spreadsheet.

Applies to: , , , , ,

  1. Go to Insert tab

    Excel 2016/2019/365 - Home tab
    Excel 2016/2019/365 - Home tab
  2. Click Object button placed in Text group.

    Narrow window

    Insert Object button - narrow window
    Insert Object button - narrow window

    Medium width window

    Insert Object button - medium width window
    Insert Object button - medium width window

    Maximum width window

    Insert Object button - max width window
    Insert Object button - max width window
  3. Click Create from file and browse for the file.

    Object window in Excel
    Click to enlarge

77 thoughts on “[Solved] Add, Attach or Insert a File in Excel in 3 Easy Steps”

  1. I am having trouble inserting a PDF into Excel 365. I can find the Object Box in the text area but under the Object type it only list’s Word Documents not Adobe PDF. How do I get the Adobe into this list?

      • Hello Sebastian,

        I have followed the steps outlined above and inserted a PDF document into the excel file. I made sure the ‘link to file’ option was NOT selected. I sent the excel file with the embedded PDF to my colleague and they cannot open it. My understanding is that you can embed multiple types of files (word, PDF e.t.c) in an excel and the entire document gets added to the excel as if it were attachment. If I were to send this excel to my colleague, shouldn’t they be able to open the PDF and word files embedded within the excel?

  2. In my work book I want only a link or word to show. I want the person i am sending the workbook to to click the link or word and open the document.
    I have gone to “text” and “object” and linked my file. and not check the box that says “link to file”. I need this link to be placed in a specific cell on my spreadsheet.

    • “Link to file” does not make it to be shown as link. The note in the article says exactly what it does. What you can is to insert document as icon, then remove the icon. Excel does not allow to insert local file as link like internet link.
      As for placing file in a cell – go to file ‘format object’ -> ‘properties’ tag. This is where you configure how it should be shown like moved with cells, resized etc.

      • Can I see if my steps are correct?
        it is a little hard for me to try and explain but will do my best.
        I already have my workbook with tabs at the bottom. I already have a hyperlink in a cell pointed to a document that can NOT be seen by anyone that i send it to. Should I go ahead and delete this hyperlink?
        If so, what are my steps to accomplish being able to link different documents into different cells of my work book so the person I am sending it to can see it:

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  4. Hi! Thanks for the information, I did exactly and got it, the problem here is I’m sending the embedded file to an email unfortunately they can’t open it. How do I do it in such a way a third party can have access to the embedded file. Thanks

  5. Hi, I did it and it works, but my question is if I have to send the Excel file to another person. I tried but she was not able to open the file. Is there a way to do it? Thanks

  6. Means, put all the details on master file and printthe entire details from another sheet already gets that details. ??

  7. hi, every one
    i m just trying to attach two different excel sheet.in one file is master file in which all vendors data (name address invoice no amount )mention. another hand the format of the vendor (challan /bills format which hand over to finance for processed ). i want to connect master file data throw V lookup or merger on another sheet so u can easily print without fill up the fomat.. how it will work ??

  8. I can insert a PDF into my spreadsheet with no problems using the steps mentioned above. I found a way to embed it into a specific cell by resizing the cell so that the PDF icon fits inside then I right click on the PRD icon and chose format object – properties-move and size with cell. Then I can resize the cell and the PDF icon stays in it.

    The only problem is when I open the pdf to review it and then close it when I am done the icon is no longer in the cell. Basically I am keeping a log of orders I place. Each row represents an order. There are cells for the order number, the requestor, required delivery date etc. I want to have a cell where I can embed the quote and another where I can embed the signed receipt so that they stay on the same line as the corresponding order. Can anyone help me out. Thanks.

  9. I inserted several pdf documents into a single spreadsheet and placed them side by side separated by one cell. Each pdf is about 20 pages long. The first one opens fine and the complete file is displayed. The second file also opens but the third page of the pdf is missing. I have tried it several times and even replaced the original file with a new copy but still the same result. I can open the file from the source in my documents without a problem. Any idea what is going on here and how to solve? Is there a limit to the size of the objects that can be inserted into Excel 2016?


  10. Is there a VBA that can be used to embed two page Pdf document in excel. with out having to double click the attached object to view the entire document.

  11. Hi,
    Whenever I insert an excel via object, drawing tools opens order tos up and in order to saves the changes I need to close the excel/spreadsheet completely. I m using MS 2013.


  12. I am having Excel 2010 and one of the support team member was asking how to embed document in excel 2013. This helped me to guide her. Thanks

  13. The process worked perfectly, however, when I sort the excel file the objects do not sort (via flter) with the rows. Do I need to do something else to connect the object to the cell when sorting?

    • hi, select cell where you want to attach the file, then insert object.
      Right click attached object, select “Format Object” go to “Properties” tab. Make sure that any option with “Move” is selected.
      If you need further help I can make a step-by-step guide for this.

  14. How do I make a multi-page object printable? I have a 10-page pdf embedded that I can double-click on and scroll through, but is there a way to print those 10 pages in excel?

    • hi, there is no way to print attached object like you described.
      If it is quite simple pdf, try opening it in Word. It should make an editable version of it, then save and attach it as doc file in Excel. It might work.
      Other way would be to make screenshot of PDF pages and insert them into Excel as pictures for printing and pdf object for viewing on computer.

      • Thanks.

        What I ended up doing was opening up the document (Word, pdf, etc) and pasting it one page at a time in Excel using the Paste Special…Picture and them adjusting the image/margins/print area of the worksheets to create the most realistic looking documents.

        We had to produce notebooks with several documents made by several people in several different formats which needed to be combined into one massive document and printed. If only I could convince someone that an Adobe license would be cheaper than my wages… Then I could have just converted everything as it was given to me and combined it there.

        Thanks for your help, though.

  15. I did exactly as explained but this doesn’t work the excel file is inserted as a picture. When I double click on the inserted file I get a picture and “drawing tools” opens.

  16. So, Microsoft, in its infinite wisdom, decided the place to put an Insert Object command was underneath the Text item, even though inserting text is exactly what you are NOT doing when you insert an object.

    Not to mention, MSFT is still the only company on earth that I can think of that thinks pissing off its entire customer base every time they release a new product is somehow a good idea. Each release, just about the time I finally get used to the new places they put things…they change them all again.

  17. Thanks! But I am looking for a way to use macro to embed the files in a table format. Can anyone help?
    Thanks in advance.

      • The text that says “C\users\documents\project\finance\projectcharter.docx”. It just looks really bad, and that path is irrelevant as the document is embedded

        • To answer my own question, you have ONE chance to fix the caption – once imported you can not edit it…

          During the import, Check the “Display as icon” box, then at the bottom right corner click “Change icon” . There’ll be a “Caption” section in the window that pops up, and you can edit the file name here to be any text you want. Note that only the first few characters (3 lines) shows on the icon. So be short and sweet with your titles!

    • It was tricky not to see the full document at first but double click and there it appears. I had a multiple page PDF. Its there its just hidding!

  18. It was difficult to find as the graphic on the button had changed from 2010 version, but the article was very helpful. Thank you!

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