Frequently asked question

Can .pdf files be imported into ArcMap?

Last Published: January 20, 2022


The information in this article pertains to ArcGIS version 10.0. Later versions of ArcGIS may contain different functionality, as well as different names and locations for menus, commands and geoprocessing tools.

Yes, in layout view. A PDF can be inserted as a graphic layout element in the layout view. This can be done as follows:

  1. Ensure that the map is in layout view.
  2. Select Insert > Object > Create from File.
The Insert Object window displaying the Create from File window.
  1. Browse to the PDF file, and click OK.

The PDF is added to the layout as a graphic layout element.

Please note that if using Adobe Acrobat, a PDF can be opened in Acrobat, a graphic element in the PDF can be selected, copied and pasted into ArcMap in layout view.  This workflow is useful if only a particular element of the PDF is needed, such as a logo, textbox, etc.

A PDF cannot be inserted in data view without first converting the PDF to a raster/image format. This requires a separate graphics program to convert the PDF to an acceptable image format, such as TIFF, JPEG, BMP, etc.

Article ID:000011451

  • ArcMap

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