How to Convert a PDF File Into a Google Doc

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 right 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 a matter of 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, including brochures and booklets come in this format. Imagine having prepared all your documents, all set to start editing, but you’re stuck on a technically – “How on Earth do I convert this?” 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 may suffer post-conversion.
  • Your document should be oriented right side up. If it’s oriented in any other way, 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 care about keeping your PDF file formatting, you’ll use Microsoft Office Word as well.

Convert a PDF File Into a Google Doc Without Formatting

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

Note that this 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 to it.

  1. Log into your Google Drive.
  2. Upload the PDF file you want to convert 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.
  5. Choose the “Open with…” option from the drop menu and select “Google Docs.”
  6. Google Docs will open, and it will start converting your file. This might take a while, depending on the PDF file size and type.
  7. Once the file is converted, it will appear as editable text on your Google Docs’ main screen, and you can then start working on it.

Google Docs will do a great job if your PDF contains plain text. However, if there are tons of pictures, charts, or tables, you may get a poor result to the point of some parts not even converting.

Bonus tip: Notice that your converted file still has .pdf behind its name. That’s only 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 a Google Doc With Formatting

Google Doc will do a great job if you don’t care about your original file’s format. However, if keeping formatting is essential to your work, you’ll get little help from using Docs. This is where Microsoft Word enters the stage. It may take a few extra steps to do this, 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 will appear telling you that your file will be converted into an editable Word document. Just click “Ok.”
  5. Wait a few moments until Word finishes the conversion.
  6. You will be able to see the result on the main page. 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.
  7. Click “Enable Editing” at the top of your newly converted file.
  8. Head over to “File” > “Save as”, and save the document on your computer as a “docx” file.
  9. Go to your Google Drive and upload the “docx” file. Drive will upload it as a Word file.
  10. Right-click on the file, click on “Open with” and select “Google Docs.” Drive will now convert the Word file into Google Docs.
  11. 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 all 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 Doc menu, and you don’t need to use any additional software. It’s super simple, and all you need to do is follow these steps:

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

Google Docs will now do all the work for you. The file will download on your computer in your default download location.

There’s another way to save your Google Doc as a PDF and send it to your e-mail:

  1. Go to Google Docs and open the document you want to export.
  2. Go to “File” > “E-mail as attachment.”
  3. In the “E-mail as attachment” window, select “PDF” under “Attach as.”
  4. Add an e-mail you want to send your file to. You can have the file delivered to your inbox.
  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.

Additional 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 simplest way to convert and edit PDF files. As you could see in the steps above, converting a PDF file literally takes seconds.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of online software that offer the same service. Some of them, like, 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” delivers as 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 simply remove the file from the stored location. You can do so by right-clicking on the file and selecting the “Remove” option. Just delete the file from your ”Recycle Bin” to remove it from your computer completely.

How Do You Make a PDF Document for Free?

If you follow the steps we explained earlier, you’ll get your answer. 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, edit, and practically anything else with PDF files.

How Do You Change PDF File Into Word Document?

Don’t waste time searching “How to convert a PDF file into a Word document”. We’ve got you covered. Just scroll up to the “Convert a PDF File into a Google Doc with Formatting” section of this article and follow Steps 1-8.

There are a few reliable websites you can use to change your PDF into Word even faster. You can try Adobe, PDF2DOC, or Smallpdf. Note that some of these may only offer you a limited number of documents to convert, or they may convert your file into a non-editable Word document unless you subscribe to one of their plans. Our advice is to stick to the steps we provided you in this article. Google Docs software is entirely free and not limited.

Converting PDFs Made Easy

There’s no doubt that PDFs are one of the most convenient formats for sharing useful information. Nothing should stand in your way between creating and sharing a file. That’s why we’ve provided you with detailed steps on how to easily export your PDFs into a Google Docs file and vice versa.

Do you care about keeping your PDF file’s original format when converting it? What way of converting a Word file into PDF works best for you? Let us know in the comments section below.

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