How keep excel formula after converting to pdf

New Contributor

I want to convert a project report from excel to pdf. However I want to make provision to change some field which will result in changing of all the other linked field throughout the report (like excel sheet)

Please see the example here  

Please let me know how to do this.

7 Replies


A PDF file is like a printed version of the workbook. It does not, and cannot, contain formulas. So what you want is impossible.


Just in case, that's a comment on the site you mentioned


MS Excel is a very good file format when it comes to tabular data and mathematical calculation. But the problem with MS Excel is that you can not combine text with tabular data in a beautiful way. That’s why our project reports are based on editable PDF file format(YES, editable with automatic calculations like Excel) which will not only allow you to change the project report data as per your needs(like Excel) but also represent the whole report in a well formatted printable file.

@Hans Vogelaar 

Please visit the site I mentioned. They have done  it. IF it is impossible, how could they do it


It is possible to create a form with calculations in PDF (using Java or something like that), but you'd have to create it from scratch. As far as I know there is no way to convert an Excel workbook to PDF while retaining the formulas.


It can be done using Adobe Acrobat X or later I think

calculations in pdf though are limited to sum and product and some simple things, not as complicated as an excel sheet, please find the example attached.


First of all, when you convert a worksheet to PDF, there is basically no way to keep the Excel formulas, let alone to influence the other values.


You can convert it to PDF, but then you need editing software, with an Adobe Reader you can almost only read and fill in fields.


So you need a subscription such as Adobe Pro DC to be able to make changes in the PDF.

There are also some free tools on the internet, with less or more success.


There you can perform simple calculations in given commands / menus or write / convert a formula yourself in Javascript and I would recommend Adobe Lefecycle Designer.


Basically it is not recommended that a PDF behaves like an Excel file.

The greatest advantage of a PDF file, besides being usable on any computer and preventing text manipulation by the end user, is that there are no costs for the reader. In contrast to Excel, you can use many advantages, for example simple and fast formatting, but the biggest advantage is the enormous time savings that anyone could / can achieve with it.


My recommendation, two different pairs of shoes should not be put on at the same time.


Thank you for your patience and time.



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