How Do I Add A PDF To Claude AI? [2024]

Adding a PDF to Claude AI allows you to provide additional information and data that can help Claude understand a topic more deeply or provide more detailed and accurate responses. Whether you want Claude to summarize a long research paper, extract key information, or answer questions about the content, uploading a relevant PDF can enhance Claude’s knowledge

While Claude has an extensive general knowledge base from its training, subject-specific content can make a big difference. This article will walk through everything you need to know to successfully add a PDF to Claude AI.


Before uploading a PDF, it’s important to ensure a few key prerequisites are met:

  • Supported File Types – Claude accepts PDF files up to 25MB in size. Other file formats like Word docs, Excel sheets, images etc. are currently not supported.
  • Relevant, High-Quality PDFs – Any papers, reports, articles etc added should directly relate to the subject matter you want Claude to excel at. Well-researched, published academic papers and credible reports tend to work best.
  • Review Usage Rights – You’ll want to ensure any copyrighted materials you upload and use are done so in accordance with applicable laws and terms of use. Generally scholarly articles and published papers permit citations and extracts.

Uploading a PDF

Uploading PDFs to Claude is simple and can be done right within your conversation:

Initiate an Upload

  • Type “@document upload (file name)” to initiate the file upload process. Claude will provide a secure upload link.

Upload your PDF

  • Click the link and navigate to the PDF file you want Claude to ingest. Once selected, the file will begin uploading.

Check Upload Status

  • Claude will confirm once the file is successfully uploaded and processed. This usually takes just a few seconds.

Reference the Document

  • The PDF now can be referenced in your conversation by name to have Claude utilize the additional information it contains.

Key Tips for Adding PDFs

Here are some key tips to ensure the PDFs you add are valuable for Claude:

  • Highlight Relevant Sections – Use Adobe Acrobat’s highlight tool to indicate paragraphs and passages that are particularly useful. Claude will pay extra attention to highlighted areas.
  • Summarize the Key Points – Provide Claude with a brief high-level summary highlighting the key information, findings, conclusions etc that you want Claude to take away.
  • Ask Targeted Questions – Once uploaded, ask Claude content-specific questions about the document to evaluate its understanding. Provide feedback to reinforce key learnings.
  • Monitor Responses Over Time – You may observe Claude’s responses improving progressively as the added information permeates across its neural networks through continued learning.

Customizing Claude’s Knowledge

The ability to upload custom PDFs unlocks exciting possibilities to enhance Claude’s capabilities:

  • Supplement Domain Expertise – Claude has broad knowledge, uploading industry research, niche publications etc can make Claude an expert in specialized fields like law, medicine etc.
  • Stay Updated – Ensure Claude has access to the latest papers and breakthroughs by continually uploading new documents covering the latest discoveries and innovations.
  • Address Knowledge Gaps – Identify areas where Claude may be lacking details or providing inaccurate information and shore up its knowledge base with authoritative sources.
  • Develop a Unique Skillset – Carefully curate the custom content you provide to Claude to develop a distinctive skillset tailored to your specific needs. Claude’s flexibility lets you take its knowledge in almost any focused direction.

The options are nearly limitless—Claude encourages you to experiment with adding customized PDFs to complement its existing abilities. Follow the simple steps outlined above to get started. Please reach out for any guidance needed along the way.


Adding relevant, high-quality PDFs is an easy way to enhance Claude’s knowledge and equip it with specialized information tailored to your needs. Using the upload functionality, providing summaries, highlighting key details, asking targeted questions and continually optimizing the information Claude intakes will ensure maximum value.

With some customization, you can transform Claude from a general assistant to an industry or subject matter expert. We encourage you to augment its broad knowledge base with your own documents and monitor how Claude’s performance evolves over time as the new information permeates. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if any questions come up along your journey.


What types of PDFs should I upload?

Focus on uploading high-quality, published papers, reports, articles, etc that are directly relevant to the topics or domains you want Claude to excel at. Well-researched academic publications tend to work best.

What’s the best way to have Claude learn from the PDF?

Highlight key paragraphs you want Claude to focus on and provide a brief summary of the key information, conclusions, findings etc that you want Claude to take away. Also ask targeted questions about the document after upload.

How many PDFs can I upload?

There is no strict limit, however we recommend adding one research paper or report at a time. Adding too many different papers at once can overwhelm Claude.

How long does it take Claude to process an uploaded PDF?

Processing is quite fast – a 25-page paper only takes a few seconds. However, allowing time for Claude’s neural networks to properly integrate the information can take 12-24 hours.

Can I upload other file formats besides PDF?

Not at the moment. For now, Claude can only process PDF files up to 25MB in size. Support for additional formats like Word, Excel etc may be added later on.

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