How to Convert a PDF to Editable Google Doc and Doc to PDF

You may have been working on your history essay for weeks, and you’re finally ready to turn it in. Or you have downloaded a PDF publication, and you want to make some edits to it.

Now the questions start to arise. How to convert your file into the desired format? Trying to figure this out on your own can result in a lot of time wasted. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll walk away today knowing how to effortlessly convert your PDF file into a Google Doc (and vice versa). Writing a text document in Google Docs is an excellent choice because it allows you to do just that in seconds.

How to Convert a PDF File Into a Google Doc

PDF is one of the most widely used file formats on the web. Millions of books, publications, magazines, brochures, and booklets come in this format. Imagine having prepared all your documents, all set to start editing, but you’re stuck on how to convert it to a Google Doc so you can edit it. Just follow these simple steps.

Here are a few things you should know before we jump in:

  • Your PDF file shouldn’t be larger than 2Mb.
  • It works best if your document is written in Arial or Times New Roman.
  • If the images are not too sharp, the quality of each one may suffer post-conversion.
  • Your Doc should be oriented right side up. If not, make sure to rotate it.
  • If you don’t care about keeping the original file format, you’ll only need Google Drive and your PDF meant for conversion.
  • If you do care about keeping your PDF file formatting, you’ll also use Microsoft Office Word.

Convert a PDF File Into a Google Doc without Any Formatting

Using your Google Drive to convert a PDF file into a Google Doc is the fastest, most straightforward way. If you don’t mind losing your PDF file’s original formatting, you can have your Doc version ready in seconds.

Note that this editable conversion is only possible on a desktop. If you try these steps on your phone, it will convert your PDF to a read-only Word file, so you won’t be able to make any changes.

  1. Log into “Google Drive.”
  2. Upload the “PDF file”on your Google Drive. You can do so in two ways:
    • “Drag” the file onto your Drive’s home page.
    • Make a new folder, open it, right-click on it, and click on “Upload files.” Choose a PDF file you want to convert from your computer.
  3. Wait for the document to upload. You can follow the progress in the lower-right corner of your screen.
  4. When the PDF file uploads, “right-click” on it and choose “Open with.”
  5. Select “Google Docs.”
  6. Google Docs opens, and it starts converting your file. Depending on the PDF file size and type, this process might take a while.
  7. Once the file gets converted, it will appear as editable text on your Google Docs’ main screen, and you can then start working on it.

Google Docs does a great job if your PDF contains plain text. However, if there are tons of pictures, charts, or tables, you may get poor results with some parts not even converting.

Bonus tip: Notice that your converted file still has .pdf behind its name. That scenario occurs because Docs copied your original PDF file’s name. If you need to download your file when you finish editing, go to “File > Download as > Microsoft Word (.docx).”

Convert a PDF File Into Google Docs using Microsoft Word Formatting

Google Docs will do a great job if you don’t care about your original file’s formatting, but if you do, you’ll get little help from Microsoft Word. It may take a few extra steps to make a formatted Google Doc, but we’ll guide you through it.

  1. Launch “Microsoft Word” on your desktop.
  2. Go to “File -> Open.”
  3. Find the PDF file you want to convert.
  4. A pop-up window appears, telling you that your file will get converted into an editable Word document. Just click “Ok.”
  5. Wait a few moments until Word finishes the conversion. Your text will have the same spacing, font formatting, indentations, etc. However, if there are a lot of graphics in the original copy, it may not look the same in the converted version.
  6. Click “Enable Editing” at the top of your newly converted file.
  7. Head over to “File -> Save as,” and save the document on your computer as a “.docx” file.
  8. Go to your “Google Drive” and upload the “.docx” file. Drive will upload it as a Word file.
  9. Right-click on the file, click on “Open with,” and select “Google Docs.” Drive will now convert the Word file into Google Docs.
  10. When the document converts, go to “File -> Save as Google Docs.”

You have now converted your PDF file into Google Docs, keeping the original file format. It does take a bit longer to convert your files this way, but it’s worth it. Think of the time you’d lose having to manually format your document back to what it originally was.

How to Export a Google Doc to PDF

Exporting a Google Doc to PDF will only take a few seconds of your time. You can do so from your Google Docs menu, and you don’t need to use any additional software.

Export Google Doc as PDF via Download

  1. Sign in to “Google Docs” if you haven’t already, then open the “Doc file” you want to export.
  2. In the upper-right corner, click on “File.”
  3. Head over to “Download” and select “PDF download (.pdf)” from the drop options.

Google Docs will now download the file on your computer in your default location.

Export Google Doc as PDF via Email

  1. Go to “Google Docs” and open the file you want to export.
  2. Go to “File -> E-mail this file.”
  3. In the “E-mail this file” window, select “PDF.”
  4. Add the e-mail address you want to send your file to (sending to Swipe Tips in this example). You can also send yourself a copy by checking the box, although you are technically already doing that.
  5. Click “Send.”

Both ways are pretty simple and only take seconds of your time—no more wasting time browsing among the sea of software that will convert files for you. You are now in control of your work in every aspect, from writing to exporting.

In closing, there’s no doubt that PDFs are one of the most convenient formats for sharing information. Any device views the same file the same way. Nothing should stand in your way between creating and sharing a file. The detailed steps above give you several ways to easily export your PDFs into Google Docs files and vice versa.

PDF-to-Editable Google Doc Conversion FAQs

Why should you use Google Docs to convert and edit PDF files?

The answer to this question is quite simple. Using Google Docs is, by far, the fastest and most straightforward way to convert and edit PDF files. Literally converting a PDF file takes seconds.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of online software that offer the same service. Some of them, like,, and pdffiller, are pretty convenient, but they come at a price. With Google Docs, you don’t need to keep track of free trials. Also, as a Google product, “Docs” is one of the most reliable ways to convert your files.

How do you uninstall PDF files?

Maybe you have downloaded the wrong PDF file, or you don’t need to use one anymore. If so, you can remove the file from the stored location by right-clicking on the file and selecting the “Remove” or “Delete” option. Just remove the file from your “Recycle Bin” to thoroughly erase it from your computer.

How do you make a PDF document for free?

Exporting and converting files into PDF is completely free on Google Docs. All you need is a Google account.

You may be working with PDFs daily, and perhaps your work depends on them. In that case, you might want to consider purchasing an Adobe Acrobat subscription. It’s the best program available on the market to create, convert, and edit documents.

How do you change a PDF file into a Word document?

You can use one of several websites to change your PDF into Word, such as Adobe, PDF2DOC, or Smallpdf. Note that some apps/add-ons may only offer you a limited number of documents to convert, or they may turn your file into a non-editable Word document unless you subscribe to one of their plans. Google Docs software is entirely free and not limited, but it may alter the appearance of images or layout in some cases.

One thought on “How to Convert a PDF to Editable Google Doc and Doc to PDF”

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