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Save Visio drawing with embedded object as a PDF, and have the object clickable

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Hey Ken:

   Okay, here’s another odd one out on the edge of Visio.

   I have a Visio drawing with an embedded file: a spreadsheet, a Word document, whatever.  Doesn’t matter what kind of file; I can be flexible about it.  Double-click on the embedded file in Visio and it opens no problem.  However, when I save the drawing as a PDF, the embedded file is just an icon.  Clicking on it does nothing.

   The question is: How can I save a Visio diagram as a PDF and still have the embedded object clickable and openable?  My research so far indicates it can’t be done.

   Yes, I could use a PDF editor and manually add the embedded file in post-production, but you know me – hate to have too many keystrokes or too much trouble.  And the Visio in question already has a dozen embedded files, and I’m expecting to add more.

   Yes, I could hyperlink to the embedded document rather than embed it, but I expect the final PDF to be distributed far and wide.  That means I’d need to distribute over a dozen files (clunky) or store the embedded files in some central location (don’t have one everyone can access).

   Any suggestions?

   - Ken

May be a little bit naive, but Nikolay  published some days ago a SVG publishing tool. Wouldn't this be a solution?

Hey Ken:

   No, Nikolay’s tool is not an option, sorry to say.  HTML saved from Visio tends to be HUGE, which makes it very difficult if not impossible to e-mail, even when zipped.  And my drawings tend to be huge in the first place, even in native Visio.  Plus, embedding a dozen+ files would only make things worse.  Apparently I’m my own worst enemy. 

   Thanks for the thought, though.

   - Ken

So, can I call you Ken Luthor, son of Lex.    ;D.  ::)

This might be a pdf issue.  When you think about it, an Excel table / worksheet in Visio must leverage certain Excel features.  Basically, it pushes into Excel (Excel Object model) to invoke Excel window & editing features.  I don't think a pdf has that ability.  Just a guess.

But, you might want to check Excel forums re embedding worksheet into pdf, and perhaps external pdf generating apps.


You may think about attaching embedded files to pdf. I attached a sample .vsd file with an embedded excel file.

AttachToPdf macro in the visio exports the embedded excel file to the same path with visio file, then saves the visio file as pdf, then attaches exported excel file to the generated pdf file.

References to Acrobat and Excel are needed in vba.

If the exported excel file is empty, you need to double click on the embedded excel file, then click on visio again to refresh the excel  before running the macro.

More info on adobe acrobat can be found on following links;


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