How to Attach Files to PDFs in Adobe Acrobat

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This tutorial shows how to attach files to PDFs in Adobe Acrobat.

Hello, my name is Erin.

I’m a professional copy editor who shares writing tips for the real world on this channel

and on my blog at

Today’s tutorial shows how to attach files to PDFs in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

The steps are the same in Acrobat Standard DC and will be similar in older versions of the software.

You can attach a variety of files to PDFs, including other PDFs, Microsoft Word files,

Excel files, images, or video files.

Note, however, that your reader must have the appropriate software to open the file.

The benefit of attaching a file to a PDF, as opposed to using an external link,

is that the attachment will travel with the PDF if you move it to a different location

such as a different folder or different server.

We also look at how to open an attachment, how to delete an attachment,

and how to add a description to an attachment.

Please note that Adobe’s free PDF software, Acrobat Reader, doesn’t have a tool for creating links.

If you need to create links but don’t have access to Acrobat, create the document with the links in Microsoft Word

and then convert the Word file to a PDF.

If you are planning to email your PDF with attachments to someone else, please see the information at the end of this tutorial

about a complication between emailed PDF attachments and anti-virus software.

To attach a file to a PDF, begin by selecting the Tools tab.

Then, select the Edit PDF button in the Tools pane.

Next, select the More button in the Edit PDF toolbar.

Followed by Attach File from the drop-down menu.

Now, navigate to and then select the file you want to attach in the Add Files dialog box.

Then, select the Open button.

Your attachment will appear in the Attachments panel.

Note that once the Attachments panel is open,

you can also use the Add Attachment button to attach additional files.

Now we’re going open an attachment.

These steps are for Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader.

If your Attachments panel isn’t open,

select the Attachments Panel button, which looks like the paper clip.

Then, select the attachment in the Attachments panel.

Followed by the Open Attachment button.

If you are opening an attachment other than a PDF, choose an option from the Open File dialog box.

Most users will just want to choose “Open this file.”

Then, select the OK button.

The appropriate software will open to allow you to view the attachment.

In my case, that is Microsoft Word.

If you open a PDF attachment, you won’t see the previous dialog box.

Instead, the PDF will automatically open in a separate tab in Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader.

Now we’re going to delete an attachment.

To begin, select the attachment in the Attachments panel.

Then, select the Delete button.

Next, select the Yes button in the dialog box asking

if you are sure you want to delete the attachment.

The attachment will be removed from the Attachments panel immediately.

You can add a description to help your readers understand the purpose of the attachment

before they open the file.

To begin, right-click the attachment in the Attachments panel.

Next, select Edit Description from the shortcut menu.

Enter a description in the Edit Attachment Description dialog box.

And then select the OK button.

Your description will appear in the Description section of the Attachments panel.

You will probably have to expand the panel by dragging the border to the right to see the Description section.

After you are finished adding or deleting an attachment or adding a description,

be sure to save your PDF to save your changes.

Please note that some anti-virus software will remove attachments from emailed PDFs.

So, if you email a PDF with attachments to someone else, all they will see is the main PDF.

They won’t see the attachments.

Although this process is reversible on the recipient’s end,

you may want to avoid the problem altogether by placing your PDF with attachments in accessible cloud storage,

such as Dropbox, and then emailing a link to the PDF in the cloud storage

rather than emailing the PDF itself.

If you are interested in creating an in-text link to a specific page view in an attachment,

please watch my other video titled “How to Create In-Text Links to Attached PDFs in Adobe Acrobat.”

And don’t miss my other Adobe Acrobat videos including how to create external links to websites,

how to create internal links within the same document,

and three ways to create bookmarks in PDFs, all of which are linked below.

The companion blog post for this video listing all the steps we just performed appears on, which is also linked below.

Feel free to leave me a comment if there’s a specific topic related to Adobe Acrobat

or Microsoft Word that you would like me to talk about in the future.

And please subscribe to my channel and give this video a thumbs-up if you found it helpful.

Thank you so much for watching!