How to Insert a PDF into PowerPoint (2 Ways)

Most people are familiar with PDF files. Adobe’s ubiquitous portable document format has become a very common way of sharing all sorts of documents.

Last week, a participant in one of our Microsoft PowerPoint training sessions asked me how to insert a PDF into PowerPoint.

You’ll be happy to hear that you can easily insert PDF into PowerPoint – and there are two ways to do it!

Method #1: Insert a PDF into PowerPoint as a Picture

The first method involves using the screen clipping tool to insert a specific part of a PDF into PowerPoint.

Here’s what you do.

  1. Open the PDF document then switch to PowerPoint.
  2. Select the slide that you want to add the PDF content to then click the Screenshot button in the Insert > Images group.
    Your PDF should be the first thumbnail under Available Windows in the panel that opens up.
  3. Click Screen Clipping below the thumbnails.
    PowerPoint minimizes revealing your PDF document.
  4. Drag to select the part of the PDF that you want and it instantly gets added to your PowerPoint slide as a picture.
Screen Clipping
Use Screen Clipping to select part of a PDF

Because the PDF is added to your PowerPoint presentation as a picture, you can’t edit the text in the image but you can resize or reposition it as required.

Method #2: Insert a PDF into PowerPoint as an Object

The second way to insert a PDF into PowerPoint involves embedding the PDF into a slide as an object.

Here is the process.

  1. Make sure the PDF file you want to add to your presentation isn’t open.
  2. Select the PowerPoint slide where you want to add the PDF then click the Object button from the Insert > Text group.
    The Insert Object dialog box appears.
  3. In the Insert Object dialog box, select Create from file then click the Browse button.
  4. Locate and select the PDF you want to insert into your presentation then click OK.
Insert Object dialog box
The Insert Object dialog box

After you insert the PDF, you may find it is smaller than you’d like it to be. You can configure an object action in your presentation so you can open the original PDF from your presentation.

Add an Object Action to Open and View an Embedded PDF

After you insert a PDF file as an object, you can configure action settings in PowerPoint to open the original file when you click it.

  1. In Normal view, click on the image or icon representing the embedded PDF.
  2. Click the Action button in the Insert > Links group.
    The Action Settings dialog box appears.
  3. Click to select Object action and verify that Open appears in the drop-down menu.
  4. Click OK.
Action Settings dialog box
The Action Settings dialog box

That’s it! You can now open the original file any time you click on the PDF (image or icon) during your presentation.

Will You Insert a PDF into PowerPoint?

I hope you’ve found this article useful. Will you insert a PDF into PowerPoint?

Both of these techniques are very easy to implement. Now that you know how to insert a PDF into PowerPoint, it proves that you can include content in almost any format in your presentations.

If you found this article useful, you might want to check out How to Embed a YouTube Video in PowerPoint.

See you next time!

By Michael Belfry

Working as a full-time training consultant, Michael provides Microsoft Office courses to government and private sector clients across Canada.