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[Solved] Add, Attach or Insert A File in Excel 2013/2016 in 3 Easy Steps

By | November 20, 2017

This article will show you how to easily add/attach file like PDF, Word or any other to Excel 2013/2016 spreadsheet.

  1. Go to INSERT tab

    Insert Tab in Excel

    Click to enlarge

  2. Click Object button

    Maximized Excel window

    Click to enlarge

    or in case of smaller Excel 2013 window or any size Excel 2016 window:

    Smaller Excel window

    Click to enlarge

  3. Click Create from file and browse for the file.

    Object window in Excel

    Click to enlarge

Checking Link to file will cause file not to be attached to Excel file – only linked to a location on a local disk.
This means that link will be broken (it will not be possible to open attached file) if you delete attached file or send the Excel document to someone who does not have attached document at the same location on disk as you.

This method attaches whole object not only first page for example whole Word or multi page PDF document.
First page might be shown as a preview, but when you double click the attached object then entire document will be open and available to the user.
I recommend to add a text/information at the top of the spreadsheet like “Notice: Double-click attached documents to see full content.”

Further reading

57 thoughts on “[Solved] Add, Attach or Insert A File in Excel 2013/2016 in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Queen of Harts

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

  2. Kurt

    Is there a way to embed and have viewable a multi page document into Excel?

  3. Anonymous

    how do you edit the text that is in the box when you add an object?

      1. jon

        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

        1. jon

          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!

          1. Mithun

            but after that the PDF logo/icon get removed, once we add it

  4. Joyce

    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.

  5. Anonymous

    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.

  6. Anonymous

    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.

  7. Svnoi Waya

    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?

    1. Sebastian Expert Post author

      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.

      1. Svnoi Waya


        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.

  8. Lisa

    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?

    1. Sebastian Expert Post author

      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.

  9. John Bosco

    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

  10. Mark Lai

    Thank you so much. Your teaching method is quite effective.

  11. Pradipta Saha

    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.


      1. Anonymous

        I m inserting an object in MS 2013, the object is an excel sheet.
        After I insert it, a window comes up named as Drawing tools, and in order to complete the process and save it I will have to close the excel file where I m attaching the object (excel file).

  12. Ian Oloo

    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.

  13. Mary

    Thank you!!
    It’s very confusing to have to go into Text first, then look for the Object, so this really helped!

  14. Paula

    You’re a star thank you. I knew I could do this, but have struggled for days.
    Thanks very much

  15. John

    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?


  16. murugan

    how to insert a word file into excel worksheet guide me to insert the word document

  17. Jeremy Weible

    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.

  18. hari mohan sharma

    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 ??

  19. hari mohan sharma

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


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