How to embed a PDF document in an email message

Embed your Portable Document Format, or PDF files, in your e-mail message instead of attaching them. This is particularly useful if you are sending an e-mail to a recipient who does not download attachments and simply needs the information in the file. Files using the PDF file extension save the format defined by the file creator. You view them using the Adobe Reader, which is free to download. But if you're in a hurry, and just need to send the file contents to your recipient, embed the file rather than attaching it.

Open your PDF file by double-clicking it.

View the information. The file uses different software depending on what application your computer associates with files that use the extension PDF. For example, the file may open using the Preview if you're using a Mac. If you're using Windows, the default application is typically Adobe Reader, which is free to download.

Select the content you need to embed in your e-mail. This can include images, text or a combination of both. Select "Edit," and then "Copy." To copy the entire file, select "Edit," and then "Select All" to highlight the contents of the entire file. Choose "Edit," and then "Copy."

Open your e-mail program and open a new message. Enter the "To:" address and a "Subject" entry. Write your greeting and any introductory information for the recipient.

Select "Edit," and then "Paste" to copy the information from the file with the PDF file extension into the body of your e-mail.


If you don't have Adobe Reader installed, download the software at no cost (full link in Resources).

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Reader
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About the Author

Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.