Is it Possible to Just Copy Paste a PDF Document onto the Body of an Email

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Email correspondence is very common today and is used for both personal as well as professional communication. While sending personal emails also require a fair bit of thought, professional communication needs to meet several other parameters to make the impact you desire.

When it comes to professional communication, the way the message is presented matters and this is where making use of a PDF document in the body of an email can make a big difference to your communication.

A PDF file (Portable Document Format) can be used for creating professional and secure documents that consist of images, graphics, video, and text. PDF files are versatile, universal, as well as accessible. The reason they work so well in professional communication is that the formatting and appearance of your content remains the same, making its contents viewable on any computing platform or operating system. Adobe Acrobat and PDF authorized programs can be used for such documents for the electronic transfer of documents.

Making use of PDF to email can be done easily by attaching the file of your choice to the body of the email just like you would in the case of any other document. Even text can be copied from the PDF file directly and formatted to add the contents of the PDF to email body. The situation is a little different if you want the recipient of your email to be able to see the PDF document in the body of the email as soon as they open it. In such cases, it is possible to still allow the recipient to view the PDF document if you embed PDF in Gmail. If the webmail or the receiver’s desktop email client supports images, which is usually the case, then the receiver will be able to view the contents of the PDF.

Here’s a guide on what you can do to embed PDF in Gmail.

Don’t waste your time trying to embed PDF in Gmail

Yup, you read that right. If you’re trying to embed PDF in Gmail as a whole file so that the receiver can access it just as they would through Adobe Acrobat, you’re wasting your time because this isn’t possible on Gmail. Earlier, this was an option. You could embed PDF in Gmail by clicking on Insert and then choosing Object before you navigated to the PDF file. However, this functionality is no longer supported on Gmail so don’t fret over trying to embed the full PDF file to the body of your email.

Apart from the fact that this is no longer possible on Gmail, doing this would also convert the PDF file into an image file of low resolution, making it difficult to view clearly. This definitely isn’t the way that you would want to share the document contents with the receiver of your email.

Just because you can’t embed PDF in Gmail as a whole file doesn’t mean you can’t add your PDF to email in other ways. It is possible to still communicate via email by sending a PDF file to your receiver either as an image or in the form of text. Read on to find out just how you can do that.

Embed PDF in Gmail as an image

The first thing you need to do is head over to your browser and make use of applications or websites that make it possible for you to convert your PDF file into an image file (JPEG). There are multiple options that will enable you to do this, including sites such as:

  • Zamzar
  • Convert.Neevia
  • YouConvertIt

You’ll also be able to do this via Adobe Acrobat if you have got the paid membership but not if you’re using the free program.

On the site of your choice, upload the PDF file for conversion and click on the JPEG output format. You will then have to wait for the PDF file to be converted into a JPEG image. This will save the PDF file as 1 image per page if the document consists of several pages.

Select the Download link provided to download the converted PDF file page and save the JPEG image or multiple images that have been converted on your computer.

Once the PDF file has been converted into JPEG images, you can embed PDF in Gmail in the form of pictures in the same way that you would insert images into your email. For Gmail, click on the Insert photo option and then navigate to the first page of the PDF file saved as an image and embed it into the body of your email. Since each page of the PDF document is saved as a separate JPEG image, the process will have to be repeated several times if you want to embed the full PDF in the body of the email.

Optimize your image to ensure clarity of display

Optimizing your image to ensure clarity of display will make it possible for the recipient of your email to get a clear idea of exactly what you’re trying to communicate through the PDF. Saving the width of the image as 800 pixels wide will offer the best resolution. This also happens to be the maximum width accepted by the system.

You should also pay attention to the format of the image when you’re trying to embed PDF in Gmail. The format chosen can have a significant impact on the clarity of the image. If the PDF file you want to convert into an image has a lot of text, saving it as a PNG file is a good idea. If however, the PDF file does not have a lot of text on it, converting it into a JPG format will work well.

There’s no point in embedding your PDF file as an image in the body of your email just for the sake of it if the recipient is unable to make sense of the information contained in it. Optimizing your image will make embedding it worth your and your recipient’s time.

Avoid delivery issues by including text

There may be problems in communication delivery if your image does not download immediately. To avoid such delivery issues, add text to your email. You can do this by chunking blocks together. Have a header block on top which contains text. You can also make it a point to include a closing or small message block at the end and a block for company information. These easy to add blocks will make email delivery a more successful effort.

Convert your PDF to email in the body

Another way to add a PDF to email is by converting the PDF document into a text file. This is a sensible option when you have a PDF document that is mostly text based and contains hyperlinks that you would like to include in the body of your email.

Converting your PDF document to text can be done through the use of Adobe Acrobat even if you’re making use of the free version of it. To do this, open the PDF document and navigate to the File section. Then, click on the Save as Text option on the menu.

There are also several online tools available that will allow you to convert your PDF document into text. Make use of a tool of your choice to upload your PDF document to the website and then download the text file once it has been converted.

Once you’ve done this, highlight the text you want to add and copy it from the converted file by clicking Ctrl+C or right click on the highlighted text and select Copy. Then, just open your Gmail and compose a message by pasting the copied content from the converted PDF document by clicking on Ctrl+V or right clicking and choosing the Paste option. That will allow you to add your PDF to email as text easily.

Most commonly used approach

Despite there being a way to embed PDF in Gmail, sending a PDF document as an attachment is still the most commonly used approach. This can be easily done by clicking the paper clip icon and selecting the PDF document you want to attach in the email. The receiver will then be able to see the attachment as well as the email message. While this is an easy and commonly used method, it doesn’t lend your email the same degree of professionalism that an embedded PDF to email offers. Another downside to just sending your PDF file as an attachment is that you will not be able to embed specific sections of the document at a particular location in the body of the email.


Make your emails grab the attention of your recipient by embedding relevant information from a PDF document in the body of the email. If you’ve always wondered how you can do that and attached entire PDF documents to your email simply because you didn’t know better, try out the steps explained above and send emails the way you want them to be.

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