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Open a PDF using VBA in Excel

Posted by: admin March 7, 2020 Leave a comment


I’m trying to open all appropriate PDFs found in the same directory as my Excel workbook using VBA. I’ve added the Adobe Acrobat xx.x Type Library reference to the project. But when I try to create the .App object I get a “Run-time error ‘429’:” error.

What am I missing?

Here’s the code;

Sub ImportNames()
Dim BlrInfoFileList() As String, NbrOfFiles As Integer, FileNameStr As String
Dim X As Integer, pdfApp As AcroApp, pdfDoc As AcroAVDoc

'Find all of the Contact Information PDFs
FileNameStr = Dir(ThisWorkbook.Path & "\*Contact Information.pdf")
NbrOfFiles = 0
Do Until FileNameStr = ""
    NbrOfFiles = NbrOfFiles + 1
    ReDim Preserve BlrInfoFileList(NbrOfFiles)
    BlrInfoFileList(NbrOfFiles) = FileNameStr
    FileNameStr = Dir()

For X = 1 To NbrOfFiles
    FileNameStr = ThisWorkbook.Path & "\" & BlrInfoFileList(X)
    Set pdfApp = CreateObject("AcroExch.App")

    Set pdfDoc = CreateObject("AcroExch.AVDoc")
    pdfDoc.Open FileNameStr, vbNormalFocus

    SendKeys ("^a")
    SendKeys ("^c")
    SendKeys "%{F4}"

    ThisWorkbook.Sheets("Raw Data").Range("A1").Select
    SendKeys ("^v")
    Set pdfApp = Nothing
    Set pdfDoc = Nothing

    'Process Raw Data and Clear the sheet for the next PDF Document
Next X
End Sub
How to&Answers:

If it’s a matter of just opening PDF to send some keys to it then why not try this

Sub Sample()
    ActiveWorkbook.FollowHyperlink "C:\MyFile.pdf"
End Sub

I am assuming that you have some pdf reader installed.


Use Shell "program file path file path you want to open".


Shell "c:\windows\system32\mspaint.exe c:users\admin\x.jpg"


Hope this helps. I was able to open pdf files from all subfolders of a folder and copy content to the macro enabled workbook using shell as recommended above.Please see below the code .

Sub ConsolidateWorkbooksLTD()
Dim adobeReaderPath As String
Dim pathAndFileName As String
Dim shellPathName As String
Dim fso, subFldr, subFlodr
Dim FolderPath
Dim Filename As String
Dim Sheet As Worksheet
Dim ws As Worksheet
Dim HK As String
Dim s As String
Dim J As String
Dim diaFolder As FileDialog
Dim mFolder As String
Dim Basebk As Workbook
Dim Actbk As Workbook

Application.ScreenUpdating = False

Set Basebk = ThisWorkbook

' Open the file dialog
Set diaFolder = Application.FileDialog(msoFileDialogFolderPicker)
diaFolder.AllowMultiSelect = False
MsgBox diaFolder.SelectedItems(1) & "\"
mFolder = diaFolder.SelectedItems(1) & "\"
Set diaFolder = Nothing
Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set FolderPath = fso.GetFolder(mFolder)
For Each subFldr In FolderPath.SubFolders
subFlodr = subFldr & "\"
Filename = Dir(subFldr & "\*.csv*")
Do While Len(Filename) > 0
J = Filename
J = Left(J, Len(J) - 4) & ".pdf"
   Workbooks.Open Filename:=subFldr & "\" & Filename, ReadOnly:=True
   For Each Sheet In ActiveWorkbook.Sheets
   Set Actbk = ActiveWorkbook
   s = ActiveWorkbook.Name
   HK = Left(s, Len(s) - 4)
   If InStrRev(HK, "_S") <> 0 Then
   HK = Right(HK, Len(HK) - InStrRev(HK, "_S"))
   HK = Right(HK, Len(HK) - InStrRev(HK, "_L"))
   End If
   Sheet.Copy After:=ThisWorkbook.Sheets(1)
   ActiveSheet.Name = HK

   ' Open pdf file to copy SIC Decsription
   pathAndFileName = subFlodr & J
   adobeReaderPath = "C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe\Acrobat Reader DC\Reader\AcroRd32.exe"
   shellPathName = adobeReaderPath & " """ & pathAndFileName & """"
   Call Shell( _
    pathname:=shellPathName, _
    Application.Wait Now + TimeValue("0:00:2")

    SendKeys "%vpc"
    SendKeys "^a", True
    Application.Wait Now + TimeValue("00:00:2")

    ' send key to copy
     SendKeys "^c"
    ' wait 2 secs
     Application.Wait Now + TimeValue("00:00:2")
      ' activate this workook and paste the data
        Set ws = ThisWorkbook.Sheets(HK)

        Application.Wait Now + TimeValue("00:00:3")
        Application.CutCopyMode = False
        Application.Wait Now + TimeValue("00:00:3")
       Call Shell("TaskKill /F /IM AcroRd32.exe", vbHide)
       ' send key to close pdf file
        SendKeys "^q"
       Application.Wait Now + TimeValue("00:00:3")
 Next Sheet
 Workbooks(Filename).Close SaveAs = True
 Filename = Dir()
Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

I wrote the piece of code to copy from pdf and csv to the macro enabled workbook and you may need to fine tune as per your requirement

Hema Kasturi


In appreciation, I add a bit of code that I use to find the path to ADOBE

Private Declare Function FindExecutable Lib "shell32.dll" Alias "FindExecutableA" _
    (ByVal lpFile As String, _
     ByVal lpDirectory As String, _
     ByVal lpResult As String) As Long

and call this to find the applicable program name

Public Function GetFileAssociation(ByVal sFilepath As String) As String
Dim i               As Long
Dim E               As String
    GetFileAssociation = "File not found!"
    If Dir(sFilepath) = vbNullString Or sFilepath = vbNullString Then Exit Function
    GetFileAssociation = "No association found!"
    E = String(260, Chr(0))
    i = FindExecutable(sFilepath, vbNullString, E)
    If i > 32 Then GetFileAssociation = Left(E, InStr(E, Chr(0)) - 1)
End Function

Thank you for your code, which isn’t EXACTLY what I wanted, but can be adapted for me.


Here is a simplified version of this script to copy a pdf into a XL file.

Sub CopyOnePDFtoExcel()

    Dim ws As Worksheet
    Dim PDF_path As String

    PDF_path = "C:\Users\...\Documents\This-File.pdf"

    'open the pdf file
    ActiveWorkbook.FollowHyperlink PDF_path

    SendKeys "^a", True
    SendKeys "^c"

    Call Shell("TaskKill /F /IM AcroRd32.exe", vbHide)

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False

    Set ws = ThisWorkbook.Sheets("Sheet1")


    Application.ScreenUpdating = True

End Sub