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How to Open PDF in Excel? (5 Effective Ways)

It is impossible to directly open a PDF in an Excel file unlike Word due to their file type differences. While it natively does not support opening PDF in Excel, there are a few ways you can try by converting one file into another format that enables getting information from PDF to Excel.

This article shares comprehensive guides on the top 5 methods you can try to get information from a PDF document into an Excel spreadsheet.

Part 1. How to Open PDF in Excel Via Converting PDF to Excel?

The easiest way of opening a PDF document in an Excel spreadsheet is by using UPDF. UPDF allows you to Convert PDF document into an Excel file that will directly open in MS Excel. This method is the most helpful when you require all the data in a PDF document to be available in Excel file. When you convert your files with UPDF, you keep all the information and formatting.

One of the best parts about UPDF is that you can enjoy batch processing as well as individual file conversion when converting PDF to Excel. Download UPDF to effortlessly convert your PDFs into Excel.

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Step 1: Open UPDF on PC by using the desktop icon and open PDF here with "Open File" button. Click "Export PDF" and export your document as an Excel File. Click "Save as" and follow the on-screen steps of saving your converted Excel file on PC.

open pdf in excel save as

Step 2: Open converted Excel file and copy all its contents that you want to include in original Excel file. Go to the original Excel spreadsheet and paste the contents. Right-click in the cell and click Pasting option of choice to paste the contents.

open pdf in excel paste option

You can even watch our detailed video guide on converting PDFs into Excel with UPDF here. UPDF is simply the best tool to work with PDF documents and you must download it and try its features for free. For a complete experience you may purchase UPDF Pro.

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Part 2. How to Open PDF in Excel Via Converting PDF to Images

Sometimes you don't want to include the whole PDF information in an Excel file and only showing some part of the PDF is essential. The best method to open that PDF in Excel is by using UPDF image conversion feature. With UPDF it is possible to convert your PDF documents into multiple image formats so you can use them anywhere you want with the following steps:

Step 1: Open PDF in UPDF by first opening UPDF software on PC and then hitting "Ctrl + O" keyboard combination. When PDF opens in Reader view you can click "Export PDF" > "Image" and select JPEG or PNG then save the PDF as image on your PC.

open pdf in excel pdf to image

Step 2: Open Excel spreadsheet, click "Insert" tab then select "Pictures" > "Place over Cells" > "This Device". Now you can browse for images in File Explorer, pop up window and open image. The image will be over cells so it can be resized and repositioned as per requirements.

open pdf in excel insert

Part 3. How to Open PDF in Excel Via Generating a Link

Excel is a comprehensive spreadsheet tool and when you add a PDF to it, you may lose the PDF content formatting due to the restrictions and conversion requirements of Excel. Sometimes you want to add complete PDF information while maintaining content and formatting integrity.

So, the best solution is that you can try generating a link to your PDF document with UPDF and then adding that link to the PDF document. It makes accessing the PDF document extremely easy since it can be opened anywhere with an internet connection.

Step 1: Download UPDF here. Double-click your UPDF icon to open it and click "File" > "Open" to find and open PDF from PC. Click "Share this file with others" > "Create" and wait as UPDF uploads and generates the link for your PDF. Once the link is available you can copy it.

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open pdf in excel create link

Step 2: Open Excel spreadsheet and click a cell to select it. Now you can press "Ctrl + V" to paste that link in Excel. Whenever you need to open the PDF file in Excel, you can click the link and PDF will be fetched in your browser through UPDF Cloud.

open pdf in excel paste link

Part 4. How to Open PDF in Excel for Free Via Inserting as an Object

If you want to use the native method of opening PDFs in Excel, then you need to insert that PDF as an object. The process is slightly complex as compared to other options, but it gets the job done and you can enjoy opening your PDF documents in Excel files offline on any device on the same OS. Below are the steps on how you can open your PDF in Excel by inserting it as an object in the spreadsheet.

Step 1: Open Excel spreadsheet and click "Insert" tab from top then click "Object" in Text section. It is essential to use MS Excel offline application on your PC to access this feature since it is not available in web version.

open pdf in excel insert object

Step 2: Click "Create from File" > "Browse" and open the PDF then click "OK." Doing so will embed your PDF file as an object in the Excel spreadsheet. You can rename that object, change its icon, etc. for customization requirements. Now whenever you click that object, the PDF will open in Excel.

open pdf in excel browse

Part 5. How to Open PDF in Excel Free Via Screenshots and Paste

Are you looking for a method that is free as well as easy? The screenshot and paste method will save the day for you since you don't need any additional tool for it to work and everything here is extremely easy. For this method you open the PDF on your PC and take a screenshot of the information using the built-in screenshot tool. That screenshot can be pasted in Excel spreadsheet to include the information.

Step 1: Right-click PDF icon and click "Open With" Select Microsoft Edge from the list to open your PDF document in browser. Hit "Windows + Shift + S" keyboard combination to open snipping tool and take a screenshot of the PDF. You may select between the whole screen, whole window, or selective area screenshot.

open pdf in excel screenshot

Step 2: After you take the screenshot, go to Excel spreadsheet, click somewhere, and press "Ctrl + V". It will automatically paste that screenshot over cells so you can resize and reposition it easily.

open pdf in excel paste screenshot

Part 6. FAQS About Open PDF in Excel

Q1. Why can't I open an embedded PDF in Excel?

When you embed a PDF document in an Excel spreadsheet, it opens inside Excel, but sometimes it may fail to open. It is usually because of the security permissions for the PDF document that are unable to be accessed by Excel. Otherwise, this problem can be caused due to a software conflict between the PDF and the spreadsheet software Excel.

Q2. How to Open PDF in Excel on Mac?

The easiest way to open PDF in Excel on Mac is by using UPDF. If you want to open the whole PDF file in Excel, you can convert it to Excel format with UPDF or create and add its link in Excel. Otherwise, you can take screenshot of the PDF and insert it in Excel.

Q3. How to Open Embedded PDF in Excel on Mac?

When you have an Excel with a PDF embedded in it, you can click on the PDF icon on Excel to open it. However, it is very important that if you are using a Mac to embed the PDF, then the Excel file can only open embedded PDF in Excel on Mac and same for Windows. If you don't use the same OS for embedding and opening, this method won't work.


While you cannot directly open PDF in Excel, the methods we discussed here can surely help you open your PDF information in an Excel spreadsheet. UPDF is a vital tool for these methods since its sharing and converting capabilities make the process extremely simple. Download UPDF since it is the only tool you will ever require for all your PDF needs. Read more about the amazing features and capabilities of UPDF with this UPDF review from Techadvisor.

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