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What You Need to Know About How and When to Send a PDF Via Text

Follow our step-by-step guide on how to attach a PDF file to a text message to enhance your SMS marketing and business texting.

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We love texts, but we’ll also be the first to admit that sometimes they just aren’t enough to get your message across.

Business owners often need to send things like invoices, tickets, quotes, schedules, and other documents that don’t fit neatly into 160 characters of SMS, or even the 1,600 characters of MMS.

That’s where PDFs come in.

A portable document format, or PDF, is the digital equivalent of handing someone a physical piece of paper. PDFs almost always include text, but they can also feature images and hyperlinks.

People who switch from email marketing to texting often worry that they’ll lose the ability to send PDFs. But did you know that you can text a PDF directly to a cell phone? 

Whether you’re using our mass texting service or one-on-one business texting, you can send your files in seconds, and it’s as easy as attaching them to an email.

We’ll walk you through all the methods of texting a PDF, as well as some instances where sending a PDF via text might come in handy.

How to Send a PDF via Text

The most important thing to remember when texting a PDF is that, similar to texting videos, your attachment can’t exceed 1 MB.

For most PDFs without too many pictures or pages, this limit shouldn’t be an issue. However, if your desired file does exceed that limit, free tools like Compress PDF can help. 

The advantage of sending a PDF file over a photo is that you can send your document as-is, with no distortion on the client’s end. It’s better to use an online PDF compression tool instead of sending your PDF as a JPEG.

Sending a PDF via Mass Texting

The beauty of texting your customers is that you get to choose whether to send messages to individual contacts or all of them at once. You can do the latter with mass texting.

Mass texting is a service that lets you send one message to tens, hundreds, or thousands of contacts at the same time. It’s an easy way to put your texts in front of your whole audience with just a few clicks.

If you’re using mass texting, you can opt to send PDFs as either SMS (short message service) or MMS (multimedia message), the difference being that MMS offers you 1600 characters instead of 160, and you can send media like GIFs, videos, and audio with this type of text.

How to Send a PDF With SMS

  1. Begin by logging in to your SimpleTexting dashboard and choosing Campaigns on the left-hand side. Make sure you select SMS as the message type.
  2. In your message box, select the image icon.
Example of using SMS to send a PDF

3. Select upload, and then choose and upload your desired PDF. You can also upload it by pasting in the URL. Once your PDF is added to your message, select it and press the blue include button.

Example of selecting the user’s desired PDF file

4. Your PDF will show up in your message as a link that, when clicked on, will redirect recipients to the document online.

How to Send a PDF via Text With MMS

The process of sending a PDF via text with MMS includes all the same steps as SMS, however, the end result isn’t a link, but a physical attachment within the message. 

When it’s clicked on, the PDF opens within the message and can be saved just like a photo.

  1. Begin by logging in to your SimpleTexting dashboard and starting a new campaign. Make sure you select MMS as the message type.
Example of using MMS to send a PDF file

2. In your message box, select the paperclip icon.

Example of including media in an MMS message

3. Select upload, then click and upload your desired PDF. You can also upload it by pasting in the URL. Once your PDF is added to your message, select it and press the blue include button.

Steps for how to upload users’ PDF files

4. Your PDF will show up directly in your message when clicked and will open without the need for internet connectivity.

Sending PDFs With One-On-One Business Texting

Unlike mass texting, with one-on-one business texting, you’re only messaging (you guessed it) one person. All of your one-on-one interactions live in your inbox.

  1. Open the inbox from the left-hand side of your login screen and either start a new message or open an existing thread.
  2. Select the paper clip icon below the message box.
Steps of how to send PDFs with one-on-one business texting

3. Select upload, then select and upload your desired PDF. You can also upload it by pasting in a URL. Once your PDF is in your message, select it and press the blue include button.

4. Your PDF will show up in your message as a link that, when clicked on, will send recipients to the document online.

Why Text a PDF?

We’ve gone through the how of texting a PDF, but why would someone want to send PDFs through text in the first place? 

Beyond the convenience of writing and sending them, texts get impressive open and response rates. It’s why thousands of organizations across the country have transitioned their communications to SMS.

Attaching a PDF to a text is just another way to tailor your business services to a mobile-based market and make sure your customers get the documents they need instantly.

Here are some great examples of the kinds of PDFs that customers would find helpful in a text message:

  • Tickets for concerts, travel, or other events
  • Brochures for a service or experience
  • Appointment summaries
  • Receipts
  • Report cards
  • Sales quotes
  • Schedules

This list barely scratches the surface 一 the possibilities are endless.

When To Send a PDF via Text (With Examples)

You know now that PDFs are the ideal tool for getting a lot of information across in a neat package. Here are a few examples to help you put them to work in your own business.

Monthly Reports

Hey team! I’ve attached our July web traffic report here. Please check it out ahead of our meeting on Thursday!

Invoice After a Service

Thank you for choosing New Day Home Services for your home repair needs. Please find today’s invoice attached, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Travel Itinerary

You’re ready to go! You can find the itinerary for your upcoming trip to Miami in this message. Let us know if you have any questions. Happy travels!


Thanks for reserving your table at Lulu’s Cafe! Take a look at our menu ahead of your visit.!

Frequently Asked Questions About Texting PDFs 

  1. How do I text a PDF on my phone?
    If you’re looking to text a PDF to your customers from your phone, just make sure your SMS provider offers a mobile app that allows you to add files to your campaigns or one-on-one conversations, just like you would on a laptop.

    Then, be sure you have your PDF downloaded and use the “add file” button on your SMS app of choice to attach it to your message.
  1. Can you send PDFs on iPhone?
    Yes, as long as your SMS platform’s mobile app is compatible with iOS! You can also add PDFs to texts in iMessage.
  1. How do I open a PDF in a text message?
    PDFs show up in text messages as either a clickable link or a physical attachment, depending on whether they’re sent in an SMS or MMS message.

    Opening a PDF from a text is as easy as clicking the link or the attachment.

The Wrap on Sending a PDF via Text

PDFs can help you avoid sending long, wordy texts or trusting important information to an email that may not get opened at all. They’re versatile, convenient, and reliable.

Now that you’re an expert on texting PDFs, your only limits are megabytes and your imagination.

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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