This question has been asked so many times but I have not seen a single working answer anywhere.

This code works and is not dependant on the unreliable .InvokeVerb or the .Verb Verb:=xlPrimary method.

Note: This will only work for pdf files. If there is a mix of embedded files then this will not work.


Basic Preparations:

1. Let’s say our Excel File C:\Users\routs\Desktop\Sample.xlsx has 2 Pdf Files embedded as shown below.

2. For testing purpose, we will create a temp folder on our desktop C:\Users\routs\Desktop\Temp.



1. The Excel file is essentially just a .zip file
2. Excel saves the oleObjects in the \xl\embeddings\ folder. If you rename the Excel file to zip and open it in say Winzip, you can see the following

3. If you extract the bin files and rename it to pdf then you will be able to open the pdf in Microsoft Edge but not in any other pdf viewer. To make it compatible with any other pdf viewer, we will have to do some Binary reading and editing.

4. If you open the bin file in any Hex Editor, you will see the below. I used the online hex editor

We have to delete everything before the word %PDF

We will try and find the 8 bit unsigned values of %PDF… Or more specifically of %, P, D and F

If you scroll down in the hex editor, you will get those four values

Value of %

Value of P

Value of D

Value of F



    Option Explicit
    Const TmpPath As String = "C:\Users\routs\Desktop\Temp"
    Const ExcelFile As String = "C:\Users\routs\Desktop\Sample.xlsx"
    Const ZipName As String = "C:\Users\routs\Desktop\"
    Sub ExtractPDF()
        Dim tmpPdf As String
        Dim oApp As Object
        Dim i As Long
        '~~> Deleting any previously created files. This is
        '~~> usually helpful from 2nd run onwards
        On Error Resume Next
        Kill ZipName
        Kill TmpPath & "\*.*"
        On Error GoTo 0
        '~~> Copy and rename the Excel file as zip file
        FileCopy ExcelFile, ZipName
        Set oApp = CreateObject("Shell.Application")
        '~~> Extract the bin file from xl\embeddings\
        For i = 1 To oApp.Namespace(ZipName).items.Count
            oApp.Namespace(TmpPath).CopyHere oApp.Namespace(ZipName).items.Item("xl\embeddings\oleObject" & i & ".bin")
            tmpPdf = TmpPath & "\oleObject" & i & ".bin"
            '~~> Read and Edit the Bin File
            If Dir(tmpPdf) <> "" Then ReadAndWriteExtractedBinFile tmpPdf
        Next i
        MsgBox "Done"
    End Sub
    '~~> Read and ReWrite Bin File
    Sub ReadAndWriteExtractedBinFile(s As String)
        Dim intFileNum As Long, bytTemp As Byte
        Dim MyAr() As Long, NewAr() As Long
        Dim fileName As String
        Dim i As Long, j As Long, k As Long
        j = 1
        intFileNum = FreeFile
        '~~> Open the bing file
        Open s For Binary Access Read As intFileNum
        '~~> Get the number of lines in the bin file
        Do While Not EOF(intFileNum)
            Get intFileNum, , bytTemp
            j = j + 1
        '~~> Create an array to store the filtered results of the bin file
        '~~> We will use this to recreate the bin file
        ReDim MyAr(1 To j)
        j = 1
        '~~> Go to first record
        If EOF(intFileNum) Then Seek intFileNum, 1
        '~~> Store the contents of bin file in an array
        Do While Not EOF(intFileNum)
            Get intFileNum, , bytTemp
            MyAr(j) = bytTemp
            j = j + 1
        Close intFileNum
        '~~> Check for the #PDF and Filter out rest of the data
        For i = LBound(MyAr) To UBound(MyAr)
            If i = UBound(MyAr) - 4 Then Exit For
            If Val(MyAr(i)) = 37 And Val(MyAr(i + 1)) = 80 And _
            Val(MyAr(i + 2)) = 68 And Val(MyAr(i + 3)) = 70 Then
                ReDim NewAr(1 To j - i + 2)
                k = 1
                For j = i To UBound(MyAr)
                    NewAr(k) = MyAr(j)
                    k = k + 1
                Next j
                Exit For
            End If
        Next i
        intFileNum = FreeFile
        '~~> Decide on the new name of the pdf file
        '~~> Format(Now, "ddmmyyhhmmss")  This method will awlays ensure that
        '~~> you will get a unique filename
        fileName = TmpPath & "\" & Format(Now, "ddmmyyhhmmss") & ".pdf"
        '~~> Write the new binary file
        Open fileName For Binary Lock Read Write As #intFileNum
        For i = LBound(NewAr) To UBound(NewAr)
            Put #intFileNum, , CByte(NewAr(i))
        Next i
        Close #intFileNum
    End Sub