Import PDF into PowerPivot

Import PDF into PowerPivot (or Excel)

As more and more data is shared in PDF documents we are increasingly getting questions of how to import PDF into PowerPivot  or, for that matter how to successfully import a PDF into an Excel file.

Related: Learn how to use PowerPivot

The quick answer is that this is still not practically possible to import a PDF from within Excel or PowerPivot (even though the technology exists as highlighted with the PDF to Excel download).

If you want to get data from a pdf into PowerPivot you need to go via Excel so we can focus on the PDF to Excel options.

The  problem-some options are

  • Copy/ Paste direct from the PDF into Excel- difficult to use unless the PDF is perfect and has a clear method of differentiating the columns. You end up spending hours cleaning up the data and sometimes it is easier just to type it in from scratch
  • Copy/ Paste direct from the PDF into Word (or other text program) and then move to Excel- Similar to the above option this may involve a bit of work to get right.

The only real solution (at the moment)

  • Use a PDF to Excel converter (the link is to the one we use but there are others). We are sure that this option will eventually become available in Excel but at the moment this seems to be as good as it gets (unless you want to buy the full PDF package).

There are free versions and paid for versions available.

If you spend any amount of time getting a PDF into Excel or PowerPivot we recommend you download one of these options. The time saving is significant and it is a safer way to perform the imports.

Hopefully the next versions of Excel will address this problem.