[Fixed!] Cannot Insert PDF into Excel (3 Reasons and Solutions)

Object Linking and Embedding or OLE is a technology from Microsoft which restricts many files from different companies to insert into Excel. However, we will show some methods to solve the problem of the topic of Cannot Insert Pdf into Excel so, follow the steps to make it happen.

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3 Reasons Why You Cannot Insert PDF into Excel and Their Solutions

Reason 1: Trying to Insert PDF File into a Password-Protected Workbook

In many cases, while going to edit something or add a pdf in a password-protected workbook, we get an error message. We are going through the details of the problem and its solutions in the following method.

As in the image, the workbook is password protected, the Link option is dimmed off so we cannot use the option to insert pdf in Excel.

Why People Cannot Insert PDF into Excel and Their Solutions


  • To solve this problem, we have to go through the following steps:

File tab >> Info section >> Protect Workbook menu >> Unprotect button

Why People Cannot Insert PDF into Excel and Their Solutions

  • After clicking on Unprotect, a pop-up named Unprotect Sheet will appear on the screen. In this pop-up, we will insert the password and then click on OK.

Pop-up of Unprotect Sheet

  • Now, to insert pdf we will do the followings: select a cell where you want to insert your pdf in this case the cell is C5 >> right-click on the mouse >> select Link.

To insert pdf we will do the followings

Read More: How to Insert PDF as Image in Excel (2 Simple Ways)

Similar Readings

Reason 2: Error in Inserting a PDF into Excel

  • Older versions of PDFs can show errors while inserted into Excel.
  • The PDF File may be Incomplete, Corrupt, or Damaged.
  • Administrative Security Policy of Your PC
  • Sometimes in the older version of Adobe and Office applications insertion errors can happen while the pdf file is open.


However, the recent collaboration between Adobe and Microsoft has enabled us to insert seamlessly pdf files into excel. So, I recommend upgrading your applications accordingly.

  • You can upgrade your Excel by following the steps: File >> Account >> Update Options >> Update Now.

Why People Cannot Insert PDF into Excel and Their Solutions

  • Pdf reader Adobe and Microsoft have made a collaboration and for this article, we have used Adobe Acrobat Reader DC for demonstration. So, now I am going to show the way to update Adobe reader. To do so go through the followings: Help >> Check for Updates.

In the Help menu, Check for Updates

Read More: How Do I Insert a Multiple Page PDF into Excel (2 Useful Methods)

Reason 3: Creating an Object from New File

Most of cases Excel users get errors after inserting a pdf in Excel due to the replacement of an Excel file from one location to another in the pc.


  • To avoid the previously described error, we can follow the steps:

Select a cell >> Insert >> Text >> Object.

Select Object in the Insert menu

  • A pop-up named Object will appear. At this moment, we will go through the following steps: Create from File>> Check the box Link to file >> Browse. 

Under Create from File, Check the box Link to file and select Browse

  • After pressing Browse, we will select our desired pdf file and then select Insert.

select our desired pdf file and then select Insert

  • Now, we will select OK in the Object pop-up.

select OK in the Object pop-up

Read More: How to Attach PDF File in Excel (3 Easy Ways)


Follow these steps and stages to understand the topic on cannot insert pdf into excel. You are welcome to download the workbook and use it for your own practice. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please leave them in the comments section of our blog ExcelDemy.

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Al Ikram Amit

Al Ikram Amit

Hi there. I am Amit, completed my study from BUET. Currently, i am working as an Excel & VBA Content Developer at ExcelDemy. Now you can see my articles in ExcelDemy blog.

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