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Home > PDF Reading Tips > Top 5 Ways to Open PDF in Excel Easily

Top 5 Ways to Open PDF in Excel Easily

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2024-05-22 13:36:15 • Filed to: PDF Reading Tips • Proven solutions

Can you open a PDF file in Excel? No. A PDF file can’t be directly opened in Excel since the PDF format is not supported by Excel. Luckily, there are several workarounds that enable you to open PDF in Excel. Read on and learn about all the methods to open PDF in Excel 2021/2019/2016/2013/2010/2007.

Method 1. How to Open PDF in Excel and Edit

The first method is to convert the PDF file to Excel format so that it can be opened in Excel. All you need is a PDF editor that can easily turn PDF into Excel.

Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor can not only edit PDF files, but convert PDF to editable Excel, Word, TXT, and more. With OCR support, it can convert scanned PDF to Excel files so that you can open and edit them in Excel.

Step 1. Load PDF

Open PDFelement and click on the "+" button on the Home screen. There you can select a PDF to open it.

open pdf in excel

Step 2. Convert PDF to Excel

Click the "To Excel" button in the "Convert" menu to start the conversion.

The system will immediately display a conversion window. You can select the folder where you want to save the converted file. Besides, you can also change some settings by clicking the "Settings" button. Click "Apply" and then "Save" when done. 

how to open pdf in excel

Step 3. Open PDF in Excel

After that, you can open the PDF file in excel directly.

how to open pdf file in excel

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Main features

  • It allows users to change PDF files to several types of file formats like PowerPoint, Excel, Images, Plain Texts, Word, among others.
  • It allows users to open and print PDF files effortlessly.
  • With the help of the OCR feature, users can edit and search for data within a scanned PDF file.
  • Allows users to create forms, fill forms and share them easily.
  • Users can use fillable forms to extract data with ease.
  • It allows users to share their documents via means like an email attachment.
  • Provides better document security with the help of passwords and permissions.
  • Creates a single PDF file from different file formats.
  • It provides a secure platform to edit text, images, and links on PDF files.
  • Users can collect reviews and add comments to texts in PDF files.

Video on How to Open PDF in Excel

Method 2. Open PDF File Attached in Excel

Although Microsoft Excel can't open a PDF file directly, you can attach a PDF file in an Excel spreadsheet as a hyperlink so that the PDF file will be opened from Excel whenever someone clicks the link.

Step 1. Add a PDF File to Excel

Right-click the cell that you want to attach the PDF, select Link (Hyperlink if you are using Excel 2010 or older.) Select Existing File or Web Page and choose the PDF file you want to open. Click OK to confirm.

Step 2. Open PDF File in Excel

Now to open the PDF file in Excel, just click the cell and the attached file will be opened.

open pdf in excel

Method 3. Open PDF File Embedded in Excel

There is another way to help you open PDF in excel that is inserting a PDF file in the excel file as an object.

Step 1. Open Excel

Open your target excel file first, then click the "Insert" > "Object" button.

open pdf in excel

Step 2. Insert PDF

Select the "Create from File" tab, then click the "Browse" button to select your target PDF file. And you can select the option of "Display as an Icon" in the excel file. When you want to open embedded PDF in excel, you can double click the PDF document, and it will be opened by your default PDF program directly.

how to open pdf in excel

Method 4. Open PDF in Excel (Office 365)

If you are an Office 365 user, you can easily open data from a PDF file in Excel. Here are the steps.

Step 1. Open an Excel sheet, go to Data > Get Data. In the dropout menu, select From File > PDF File.

Step 2. Select a PDF file you want to open and click Import. Then all pages and tables in the PDF file will be imported. Find the page or table you want to open in Excel and click Load to open the page in Excel.

open pdf in excel

Method 5. Open PDF in Excel with PDF Converter Pro

Wondershare PDF Converter Pro is the PDF tool we will use to open PDF in Excel. It can convert any format to PDF format and vice versa. It also has a simultaneous conversion to save you time. Both Windows and Mac versions work well. Below we will take the Windows version as an example and show you how to open PDF in Excel.

Step 1. Import PDF files

Launch Wondershare PDF Converter Pro on your Windows PC. It is fully compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. After launching, click "Add PDF Files" in the primary window to search your computer for the PDF files you want to open in Excel. After finding them, add them to this PDF application. To do more in a short time, I recommend you to add a list of PDF files for simultaneous conversion. Up to 200 PDF files are supported at the same time.

open pdf file in excel

Step 2. Set Advanced Preferences to PDF to Excel

Click the small "Advanced Setting" button on the top right corner of the primary window. In the newly populated window you can choose:

  • Each page into a single Excel sheet: retain the values without formatting or keep the values with formatting.
  • Combine all pages into a single Excel sheet.
how to open embedded pdf in excel

Step 3. Open PDF in Excel

Before you open PDF in Excel, you can select specific PDF pages or page ranges to open. Click the selected pages column in each PDF item bar. From here, you can choose PDF pages, or PDF page ranges that you will open. Click on "Convert" to see the PDF to Excel conversion. Then a small folder icon appears on each PDF item bar, click to open the output folder. And then, you can open these output documents with Microsoft Excel.

open embedded pdf in excel

FAQ: How to Fix Embedded PDF Documents Not Opening in Excel

When clicking on the attached PDF document in Excel, the file can't open and give you an error: Cannot start the source application for this object. If this is the problem you are having, here are 2 tips that may help you.

1. Change Protected View

Open the Excel file, click File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Protected View, and uncheck these options: Enable Protected View for Files originating from the Internet, Enable Protected View for Files located in potentially unsafe locations, Enable Protected View for Outlook attachments. Also, uncheck the option in Privacy -- Microsoft Office documents that are from or link to suspicious Web sites.

2. Update Your PDF Reader

Make sure your PDF reader is updated to the newest version. If this is still not working, install another PDF reader, such as Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor or Wondershare PDF Reader.

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author name

Elise Williams

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