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How to Insert PDF in Google Sheets (The Complete Guide)

In today’s digital age, Google Sheets has become a powerful tool for managing and analyzing data. From tracking expenses to creating budgets and conducting surveys, its versatility knows no bounds. 

But what if you need to include a PDF document within your spreadsheet? Whether it’s a detailed report, an invoice, or a product catalog, your job might sometimes require you to insert PDF in Google Sheets to provide valuable context and enhance the information you share. 

This comprehensive guide will show you how to seamlessly insert PDF in Google Sheets, empowering you to unlock new possibilities and streamline your data management.

But before we jump into the nitty-gritty of today’s Google Sheets tutorial, let’s quickly look at some unique scenarios to give you a better perspective. 

Use Case/Scenario That Might Require You To Insert PDF to Google Sheets 

Let’s consider a common scenario to better understand the practical implications of adding PDFs to Google Sheets. Imagine you’re a project manager working on a construction project. Your spreadsheet contains vital information such as project milestones, budgets, and resource allocation. However, you also need to share detailed architectural drawings, specifications, and permit documents with your team.

Traditionally, you might have resorted to sharing these PDFs separately or using file-sharing platforms, creating a disjointed experience for your team members. But by incorporating the PDFs directly into your Google Sheets, you can maintain all the relevant data in one centralized location. This means your team can access the necessary files without switching between applications, making collaboration smoother and more efficient.

The following sections will delve into the precise steps required to seamlessly insert PDF in Google Sheets. Whether you’re a spreadsheet aficionado or a newcomer to the world of data management, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and skills to make your data truly comprehensive and visually engaging. So, let’s get started!

Why Should Anyone Insert PDF in Google Sheets?

Wondering why it’s such a big deal to insert PDF in Google Sheets? Well, we have put together a list of reasons why you might want to insert PDF in Google Sheets. Check them out below.

  1. Enhanced Data Visualization: Including PDFs within your spreadsheet allows you to present complex information in a visually appealing and comprehensive manner. You can provide supporting documents, charts, or diagrams alongside the corresponding data, making it easier for stakeholders to understand and analyze the information at hand.
  1. Centralized Data Management: By integrating PDFs directly into your Google Sheets, you can consolidate all relevant data in one place. This eliminates the need for separate file storage or sharing platforms, streamlining your workflow and ensuring that everyone accessing the spreadsheet has access to the accompanying PDF documents.
  1. Seamless Collaboration: Sharing a Google Sheets document with embedded PDFs allows for seamless collaboration within teams. Instead of separately sending PDF files or relying on external file-sharing tools, team members can access all the necessary information directly within the spreadsheet. This promotes efficient collaboration, as everyone can view, review, and comment on the data and PDFs in real time.
  1. Simplified Reporting: When generating reports or summaries using Google Sheets, including PDFs can add depth and context to the data being presented. For instance, you can attach PDFs containing supporting evidence, graphs, or supplementary information to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the findings or insights.
  1. Accessibility and Organization: Integrating PDFs into Google Sheets ensures easy access and organization of information. You can sort, filter, and search for specific data within the spreadsheet while the attached PDFs remain readily available alongside the relevant data points. This saves time and effort in locating and retrieving associated documents when needed.

Insert PDF in Google Sheets: Step-by-step guide 

Now that we have provided some context on why anyone might want to insert PDF in Google Sheets, it’s time we go over the step-by-step process, showing you how to add a PDF to Google Sheets. 

In this section, we will show you a simple and complicated method. So, let’s start with the easy method and take things up a notch. 

Let’s assume we have sample data as shown below: 

And we would like to upload invoice evidence, which is in PDF format. Instead of sending them separately to either your superiors or other team members, you can insert the invoice directly into Google Sheets. 

Here is how to go about it. 

Step 1: Open Google Drive

The first thing you want to do is go to Google Drive, which is super easy. 

Step 2: New > File Upload 

After gaining access to your Google Drive, navigate to the top left of your screen and click on New, then choose the option for File Upload. 

Step 3: Select the file you want to upload

After clicking on the File upload option, you should be redirected to your computer, where you’ll need to choose the file you want to upload. For our example, we already have our PDF format invoice downloaded to our computer, so let’s go ahead and upload that: 

Step 4: Open File

With our invoice now uploaded to Google Drive, we need to access it. So click on the newly uploaded file to open it. 

Here is what our file looks like after opening it. 

Step 5: Click Share and copy the link

If you look closely at the file you just opened, you’ll notice a three-dot Icon to the top right of your screen, click on it and select the option for Share. 

After choosing the option for Share, Google Drive should launch a small screen with some instructions, simply navigate down and select the option for copy link. 

Step 6: Open your Google Sheets File and write the name of the file to the cell

With the link to our PDF file now copied, head over to your original spreadsheet and select the cell where you want to insert the PDF. For our example, we will use cell B15. So click on that cell and write the name of the File you want to upload to the cell. 

Step 7: Insert Link

Now that we have selected the cell where we want to upload our PDF file and renamed it appropriately, we need to insert the link we copied earlier. To do that, head over to the Insert menu, locate the option for Link. 

With that option selected, simply paste the link you copied earlier. Google Sheets should automatically embed your PDF to that cell. 

Here is what ours looks like: 

Now, that’s how to insert PDF in Google Sheets. That wasn’t too hard, was it?

How to use FileDrop to add PDF to Google Sheets 

To insert PDF in Google Sheets using FileDrop, you first need to install the FileDrop add-on from the Google WorkSpace marketplace. For starters, add-ons are unique apps designed to improve the functionalities of Google Sheets or other Workspace apps like Google Docs, Google Forms and Google Slides. 

Here is how to install the add-on.

Step 1: Extension > Add-ons

To install the FileDrop add-on, navigate to the extension menu and click on the option for Add-ons

Step 2: Search for FileDrop and Install

Once the marketplace for add-on launches, head to the search menu and search for FileDrop. With the add-on loaded, click on it to install it. 

The video below provides better insight

Note: You’ll be required to grant permission to FileDrop. Google typically requires doing that for third-party add-ons. 

Step 3: Refresh Your Sheet

To be able to access the FileDrop add-on, we just installed, you need to refresh your spreadsheet. You can simply do that by pressing CTRL + R on your keyboard. 

Step 4: Launch FileDrop

After refreshing your spreadsheet, you’re set to launch the FileDrop add-on. Head over to the Extension menu, scroll all the way down to locate FileDrop and select the option for Start FileDrop: 

If you followed the steps exactly as we showed you, the FileDrop add-on should be launched to the extreme right of your spreadsheet. 

Here is what ours looks like: 

Step 5: Insert PDF

Now that we have successfully launched the FileDrop add-on, we can go ahead to upload our PDF. To do that, click the option to choose the file from FileDrop. This should take you straight to your computer, where you must select the file you want to upload. 

If you did everything exactly as we showed you, your spreadsheet should look something like this: 

Now, that’s how to insert PDF in Google Sheets using FileDrop. 

Final Thoughts

Inserting PDFs into Google Sheets offers numerous advantages for data management, collaboration, and information presentation. Incorporating PDFs directly within your spreadsheets can enhance data visualization, centralize information, streamline collaboration, simplify reporting, and improve accessibility and organization.

Today’s guide showed you two different ways to insert PDF in Google Sheets. Our guide also included screenshots and short video demos to simplify the entire process from start to finish.

With PDF integration, you can create comprehensive and visually engaging spreadsheets that provide a holistic view of your data. Whether you need to share detailed reports, invoices, product catalogs, or architectural drawings, embedding PDFs within Google Sheets ensures that all relevant information is conveniently accessible in one centralized location.

Imagine the efficiency gained when team members can access the necessary PDF documents without switching between applications or relying on external file-sharing platforms. Collaborative efforts become more streamlined and effective, promoting seamless communication and better decision-making.