I know that by using the text(rich) input field on an sObject, users can upload images if a <apex:textarea ... richText="true"> is available on a VisualForce page. Is there a way to enable users to upload PDFs, WORD, or other full fledged files?

The standard richtext editor does not allow anything other than images. From what I have been reading on Google, I understand that the ckeditor can be used to modify the richtext editor on Salesforce. This would allow a user to add a PDF or other file. Will SalesForce accept it?

Any other ideas on how to allow a user to upload non-image files to be stored in an sObject?

Thank you!

2 Answers 2


There are several mechanisms that allow you to upload files into SFDC. Rich Text Area is not the proper place where you should store these (I don't think its even possible either).

  1. Attachments
  2. Documents
  3. CRM Content
    • Allows large file sizes (up to 2GB). Allows for Versioning, Libraries, Metadata, etc.
    • Does not show up directly on a record layout, but you can use Visualforce to display this on a detail record with custom code to query metadata.
    • https://login.salesforce.com/help/doc/en/content_about.htm
  4. Chatter Documents
  • Thank you so much for the detailed answer, I will try it momentarily but I am now putting a fire .. Commented May 3, 2013 at 19:54
  • Hello, i am researching how to add pdf files to Content libraries via API. Curious if anyone here can point me to any documentation as my searching is not turning up anything useful beyond how to do it with Data Loader.
    – Steve__c
    Commented Jul 19, 2013 at 15:20

I agree with everything @CoryCowgill has posted.

I'd just like to add that technically, a WORD Document is essentially a Rich Text Format Document, so a copy/paste into a Rich Text Area Field should preserve most of a WORD Document's formatting. Note: newer features of MS WORD aren't fully supported by the Rich Text specification.

Images are supported in Rich Text Area Fields in part because they can be embedded in a Rich Text Format document.

A PDF is a PostScript formatted document. Postscript was originally developed as an output language for documents being sent to PostScript printers. For that reason, PDF documents are completely different "animals" so to speak. When WORD documents are printed to postscript using Acrobat Distiller, or some other software postscript RIP (Raster Image Processor), the resulting output can be saved as a PDF file. That's the essence of how PDF files are created.

Hope this helps shed some further light on the subject.

  • One note of caution regarding copy and paste from word, this can frequently exceed the size limit of the rich text field due to the fact the paste from word generates a massive amount of html and style tags. This can be pretty confusing when a couple paragraphs of text exceed the size limit of the rich text field. Commented May 4, 2013 at 18:57
  • Excellent point Ralph, esp with DOCX files! 99% of users don't use the new features added to WORD since Office 2003 and probably the prior version too. Microsoft would go bankrupt if they relied on the numerous upgrades I've never purchased. LOL!
    – crmprogdev
    Commented May 5, 2013 at 14:19

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