How to Embed a PDF in an Email

Most of the time, sending a PDF by email involves adding it as an attachment to the email. But what if you want to embed the PDF in the email? It can be tricky to make the pdf appear in the email correctly, but fortunately, we can help. This article will explain how to achieve that.

How to Embed a PDF in an Email

Insert the PDF to Embed It

In some email applications, you can embed a PDF in an email with the Insert function. This generally works on older email clients, so if this doesn’t work for you, continue reading for more embedding options.

  1. Open an email in your email client.
  2. Click on the “Insert” tab in your email.
  3. Select “Object.”
  4. Select what kind of object you want to insert from the drop-down menu. In this case, select “Adobe Acrobat Document.”
  5. Click “OK.”
  6. Navigate to the PDF that you want to embed.
  7. Click on the PDF and choose “Open” or “OK” to complete the action.
  8. Some email clients will give you a preview screen before continuing. You can then return to your email.

As previously stated, many new email platforms such as Outlook and Google no longer support this process. If your email does not allow it, or if the image that is embedded has poor resolution, continue reading for other ideas.

Embed the PDF in an Email as an Image

Another way to embed a PDF into an email is to convert the PDF to an image. For best results, you need to use a high-quality image converter. You can do this with apps like “Soda PDF” or on various websites such as If you have the paid version of Adobe Acrobat, it can help you accomplish this as well. Then proceed to insert your image, following the appropriate steps for your email below.

Embed Image with Gmail

  1. Create a message in Gmail.
  2. Click on the icon that looks like a picture of mountains to choose “Insert photo.”
  3. Navigate to your PDF image and select it.

Embed Image with Outlook

  1. Open an email in Outlook.
  2. Click on the icon that looks like a clip and attach your file.”
  3. Navigate to your PDF image and choose it.

Embed Image with Thunderbird

  1. Open and write a message in Thunderbird.
  2. Click on the icon that looks like a piece of paper with a corner turned down to insert something.
  3. Select “Image” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Browse to the PDF image you want to insert and select it.

The PDF will probably require being saved page by page, as each page is a separate image. This is a great workaround if your email doesn’t support inserting objects.

Embed a PDF as a Text File

If the PDF you want to embed is all text-based, you can convert it to a text file and embed that. Adobe Acrobat, either paid or free versions, can do this for you. Simply open the PDF file in Adobe and choose “Save as text” from the File menu. Then the PDF file can be copied as you would copy normal text and paste into the email.

Embed a PDF as HTML Code

Want to send out a newsletter or Christmas card by email? Embedding a PDF with HTML code is a great way to do this. Follow these steps to give this a try:

  1. Attach the PDF file to an email and send it to yourself.
  2. Open the email and scroll to the bottom.
  3. Click “View as HTML” to see the PDF file as HTML.
  4. Select the “View” menu.
  5. Choose “Source” or “Page Source.”
  6. This is the HTML code for your PDF. Select and copy this code.
  7. Open a new email message and paste the code into the body of the email.
  8. We recommend sending it first to yourself to be sure it is seen correctly.

You can also use many online tools to turn a PDF to HTML code and can copy and paste it as in the steps above. This is a great way to embed a PDF in an email.

Embed a PDF File with an App

A last resort to embed a PDF file in an email is to search for an app to do it. Websites such as advertise apps or services that can do all kinds of things with PDF documents, including embedding them in emails. Most of these will not be completely free, so if you can embed the PDF without the use of these tools it will save you a little cash. The app pdfFiller in particular does come with a 30 day free trial which might be helpful to you.

Attach a PDF to an Email

If you don’t really need to embed the PDF, and you just want to send it to someone else regardless of how it gets there, you can always send it as an attachment. To do this follow these steps:

  1. Open your email.
  2. Select the paperclip icon to add an attachment to the email.
  3. Navigate to the location in your browser where the PDF is saved.
  4. Select the PDF.
  5. Choose “Done” or “Insert” to complete the PDF attachment.
  6. Send the email as usual.

Attaching files to an email is easy if you don’t prefer embedding them for some outside reason. Most people are familiar with attachments, and this allows the recipient to easily download and view or change the file.

Why Would You Embed a PDF in an Email?

In most cases, it doesn’t matter how an attachment gets sent in an email as long as it makes it to the destination. So why would it be important to embed a PDF instead of attaching it?

The main benefit of embedding a file is that the recipient can see it as soon as they open the email. Unlike an attachment that must first be downloaded or viewed separately from the email, an embedded file’s content is visible within the email text body. This can be a helpful time saver and ensures the recipient doesn’t miss it.

Another reason it might be helpful to embed a file is if the addressee can’t download an attached file to view it on their computer. Someone working on a public computer may not want to view sensitive attachments as the computer might save them in the downloads folder. Viewing the content in the email solves this issue.

We all have been in the position where we sent an email … and completely forgot the attachment we meant to send. This can save you from this embarrassing situation by making sure you include the file as you type the email text.

A last reason to use the tool of embedding a pdf in an email is to grab the reader’s attention. It is much more interesting to see the content of a file immediately upon viewing the email than it is to have to wait to open an attachment.

Automatic PDF File Embedding

Sometimes, a change is made in your email client without your knowledge, and suddenly all of your attachments become embedded files. If this has happened to you, don’t worry, it’s an easy fix. When this happens, it’s generally because the email settings have been changed to “Rich Text.” When this happens, all attachments automatically are placed within the body of your email.

To fix the problem, open your email’s settings menu and look for the option to “Compose Messages” in a particular format. Change the format to “HTML” instead of “Rich Text.” Or, if you like the automatic embedding, you can purposefully set your composition format to “Rich Text” instead. Embedding PDF Files in Email

Thankfully there are many ways to send a PDF by email, even if you want to embed the PDF instead of attaching it. If appearance doesn’t matter to you and the file is small enough, attaching it to the email is sufficient. If you want the recipient to be wowed by your design, or the attachment is too large to send over a regular email client, embedding the pdf can solve these issues.

Did you use our article to help you embed a PDF file in an email? Tell us about it and why you chose to embed the file in the comments section below.

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