Data Import Now Possible From PDF Documents For Office 365 Excel Users

The  number of Microsoft 365 users stands at over 200 million, and indeed, these numbers have been growing steadily (by around three million per month) since 2015. One of the reasons for  the platform’s huge success is its rolling release model, through which users can receive updates once per quarter, with minor and incremental updates being provided via streaming. New capabilities for tools such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint are constantly being offered, and the latest development is an update to the Get & Transform Data capabilities in Excel – PDF data connector.

Data From PDF Files Can Now Be Included In Excel Spreadsheets

Many identify  Excel as a spreadsheet tool that is ideal for numbers, but in fact, it is commonly used to create text grids or lists as well. In the past, users complained about not being able to import table data from Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files into their Excel spreadsheets. All that changed on August 5, 2020, when Microsoft announced the launch of a new FROM PDF connector that could be connected to PDF files, enabling data to be transported into Excel spreadsheets easily. In some scenarios, you may wish to import a range of pages from one or more PDF documents. If so, you can simply specify your Start and End pages in the  Power Query Editor’s M formula.

Easy To Use

To  import data from PDF files, you simply have to provide the file location, and a Navigator window will appear, displaying the list of pages and tables in the document you can import data from. You can browse through the PDF document and choose one or more elements to import. Just select the Load button to paste the data directly onto your Excel file, or transform the data so as to get it ready for analysis via the Power Query Editor.

The latter is a business intelligence tool that allows you to clean, transform and reshape data obtained from other sources and imported into your Excel file. You don’t need to know code to use it, since the editor records all your transformations and automatically converts them into M code (as Macro recorder does with VBA). You can use your own M code if you wish to, but this isn’t necessary.

Enabling PDF table imports has been one of the most requested features by Excel users. The fact that data can now be easily imported from PDF files reduces the need to manually insert data located in external tables. Microsoft’s Power Query Editor, meanwhile, allows users to prepare and transform data, including data found in multiple pages.

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Kamran Sharief

I write about technology, marketing and digital tips. In the past I've worked with Field Engineer, Marcom Arabia and You can reach me at

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