How to Insert PDF Files Into PowerPoint Presentations

PDF in PowerPoint Presentation
A PDF can add detail to your PowerPoint Presentation.

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Adding a PDF to your PowerPoint slideshow can help create a richer presentation experience. You can use a few different methods to insert PDF into PowerPoint slides. 

Learning how to insert a PDF into PowerPoint in various ways enables you to choose the method that best suits your needs in PowerPoint 2016, PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2010, PowerPoint 2007, and PowerPoint 2003. There are a couple of options for PowerPoint for Mac, as well. You cannot insert or edit PDF files in PowerPoint Online, although they will display in this format if inserted using a different version.

Insert a PDF as an Object on a PowerPoint Slide

Insert a PDF as an Object on a PowerPoint Slide
Insert a PDF as an Object on a PowerPoint Slide.

Before you begin, make sure the PDF file is not open on your computer.

  1. Open the PowerPoint slide where you want to insert the PDF.
  2. Go to the Insert tab or menu and select Object.
  3. Select Create from File and click the Browse button.
  4. Navigate to the PDF file you want, click on it to select it and click OK.
  5. Click OK on the Insert Object dialog box.

The first page of the PDF is displayed on the slide and the PDF file becomes part of the presentation file.You can open it by double-clicking the image of the first page while in Normal view.

Open the PDF During a Slideshow

Open the PDF During a Slideshow
Open the PDF During a Slideshow.

If you want to be able to open the PDF file during a presentation, attach an action to the image.

  1. Open the slide with the PDF object inserted in Normal view.
  2. Click on the image or icon for the PDF file to select it.
  3. Go to the Insert tab or menu and select Action.
  4. Select the Mouse Click tab if you want to open the PDF with a click. Select the Mouse Over tab if you want it to open when you point to the PDF.
  5. Select Object Action and click on Open.

Insert a PDF into PowerPoint as a Picture

Insert a PDF into PowerPoint as a Picture
Insert a PDF into PowerPoint as a Picture.

If you only want to view the content of one page of a PDF file, you can add it to a PowerPoint slide as an image. This feature is only available in PowerPoint 2013 and 2016.

  1. Open the PDF file.
  2. Open PowerPoint and go to the slide where you want to insert the PDF as a picture.
  3. Go to the Insert tab and select Screenshot. All of your available windows are presented, including the PDF file you have open.
  4. Click on the PDF file under Available Windows to add it to the slide as an image.

Insert Text and Graphics from a PDF to PowerPoint

Another way to add a specific section of a PDF to PowerPoint is using Adobe Acrobat Reader. These steps apply to PowerPoint 2010, 2007 and 2003 using Adobe Reader version 7.

To insert text from a PDF file:

  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Reader.
  2. Go to the Tools menu, point to Basic and click Select.
  3. Select the text you want to copy.
  4. Go to the Edit menu and click Copy.
  5. Open PowerPoint and click on the slide where you want to insert the PDF text.
  6. Click Paste on the Home menu or press Ctrl-V.

To insert a graphic from a PDF file:

  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Reader.
  2. Go to the Tools menu, point to Basic and click Snapshot Tool.
  3. Hold down the mouse button and drag a rectangle around the graphic you want to insert into PowerPoint. You will see a message informing you that the selection has been copied to your clipboard.
  4. Open PowerPoint and click on the slide where you want to insert the PDF graphic.
  5. Click Paste on the Home menu or press Ctrl-V.

Import PDF into PowerPoint for Mac

If you attempt to insert a PDF into PowerPoint as an object in PowerPoint for Mac, you may receive an error message stating that the file type is not supported or the file is not available. This is because object linking and embedding is not fully implemented in Mac Office applications. 

You can insert text and graphics from a PDF in PowerPoint for Mac using the same steps provided above. 

Another option is to link to a PDF file.

  1. Make sure the PFD you want to use is saved to the same location as your presentation.
  2. Go to the slide where you want to add a link to the PDF.
  3. Select the text, image or shape to which you want to link the PDF file.
  4. Click Insert, select Hyperlink and choose Web Page or File.
  5. Click Browse, navigate to the location of the PDF to select it and click OK.

You can open the hyperlink during the presentation to display the PDF file.

Import PDF into Web-Based PowerPoint (Office 365)

As mentioned, you cannot insert or edit PDF files in PowerPoint Online. However, they are displayed as expected when created in another version of PowerPoint.