How To Insert a PDF into a PowerPoint Presentation

PowerPoint is the go-to application for businesses looking to make professional presentations. Love them or hate them, slide presentations are still the most popular way of sharing data in a simple, attractive way. With newer versions of the application you can insert multiple media types into slides to enable sharing. Today I’m going to cover how to insert a PDF file into a PowerPoint presentation.

How To Insert a PDF into a PowerPoint Presentation

PDF files are ubiquitous as the file format is self-contained and has almost universal acceptance. As long as your application or browser plays nicely with them, using PDFs in presentations is just a matter of inserting it into a slide either as an image or an object. You can also add it as a slide show action.

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Insert a PDF File as an Image into a PowerPoint Presentation

The most popular way to use PDF media within a presentation is by using it as an image. This allows you to present the data on a page without having to include the PDF file as a while on that slide. You can always include it at the end as a download or reference link so it doesn’t get in the way.

  1. Open the PDF file on the page you want to feature in your presentation. Do not resize or modify it.
  2. Open your PowerPoint presentation on the page you want to insert the PDF within.
  3. On the Insert tab, select Screenshot then look for the PDF file to be inserted in Available Windows. If not there, choose the Screen Clipping option.
  4. Select the image by dragging the cursor over it. It will be automatically inserted into the slide. Move, resize or modify as needed.

Inserting a PDF as an image is a quick way to present flat data in a non-interactive fashion. It is ideal for presenting data contained within other documents that don’t need to be shared or otherwise manipulated.

If you want to do more with a PDF in PowerPoint, you will need to insert it as an object.

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Insert a PDF File as an Object into a PowerPoint Presentation

To insert a PDF file as an object into a PowerPoint presentation, you make it available to those you’re sharing the presentation with. It uses a similar set of steps to inserting as an image, but does something different as a result. Where this method differs is that you should not have the PDF file open when you do it.

  1. Open your PowerPoint presentation on the page you want to insert the PDF within.
  2. Select Insert and then Object.
  3. Next, select Create from file and navigate to the PDF file.
  4. When finished, select OK.

This will embed the PDF file into the slide you have selected. The file is compressed and therefore the quality of the file itself is reduced but will now open for anyone who selects the link.

Insert a PDF File as a Slide Show Action

If neither of those two methods work for your needs, you can also add a PDF file into a PowerPoint presentation as an action.

  1. Open your PowerPoint presentation on the page you want to insert the PDF within.
  2. Choose the image to be inserted by the hyperlink.
  3. Select Insert tab and click on Link within the Links section.
  4. Next, select Existing File or Web Page in the popup window. In the Look in section navigate to the file.
  5. Now, select the PDF file, then hit OK.

Now we can add the action to the object we created.

  1. Then, to insert an action in the object, select Action in the Insert tab.
  2. Choose Object action in the Action Settings window and select Open.
  3. Finally, select OK to insert it into the slide.

This method will insert a link to the PDF file that is triggered by clicking the mouse over the image. You can elect to choose to open the PDF file with mouse over if you prefer but it means it will happen every time you move your mouse across that link. Not ideal if you’re presenting to a business audience!

Save a PowerPoint as a PDF File

While we’re on the subject of PowerPoint and PDF files, did you know you can save a PowerPoint as a PDF? Neither did I until I saw it while creating screenshots for this tutorial. Here’s how.

  1. In PowerPoint, select the File tab.
  2. Select Export and then Create PDF/XPS Document.
  3. Give the file a name.
  4. Select Standard or Minimum size depending on what you’re going to use it for.
  5. Select Options to change the formatting if needed.
  6. Select Publish to save the file as a PDF.

Your PowerPoint should now be a PDF file and will retain much of its original form just in a different format. Ideal for emailing or sharing online. Useful huh?

One thought on “How To Insert a PDF into a PowerPoint Presentation”

xyr says:
i did the same but when i click the pdf file during slide show then its open in backward the presentation.

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