Software & Apps Google Drive How to Convert a Google Doc to PDF There are a few ways to convert a Google Doc into a PDF. by Kat Aoki Freelance Contributor Kat Aoki has nearly 10 years worth of professional IT and troubleshooting experience. She currently writes digital content for technology companies in the U.S. and Australia. our editorial process LinkedIn Kat Aoki Updated on October 13, 2020 reviewed by Jon Fisher Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Jonathan Fisher is a CompTIA certified technologist with more than 6 years' experience writing for publications like TechNorms and Help Desk Geek. our review board Article reviewed on Sep 04, 2020 Jon Fisher Google Drive Docs Sheets Slides Tweet Share Email Google Docs is a powerful file sharing and collaboration tool. It supports a wide range of file types, including documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and web pages. But did you know that you can convert a Google Doc into a PDF file? Here's a closer look at PDF files and how you can save Google Docs in this common file format. The instructions in this article apply to the desktop version of Google Docs, which is accessed through a web browser. What Are the Benefits of a PDF file? PDF stands for Portable Document Format. The format was created by Adobe in the early 1990s as a way to share files without compromising a document's formatting. Before then, sharing files between computers could be problematic, as it was common for fonts, text sizes, and other settings to get lost or altered. PDF solves that problem. When someone opens a PDF file, it looks exactly how it did when it was saved. The formatting is locked into the document, preventing unwanted changes. People also like PDF because it allows for visual elements like clip art, digital images, and photographs. Others prefer it because it looks more polished and professional. The format uses internal compression, which means it uses less space than other file types, making it ideal for emailing, printing, and uploading documents to the web. In addition to preserving your formatting, PDFs remove unnecessary and distracting elements from digital documents, like margins and outlines. They also preserve document formatting when printed out. When Should You Use PDF? You should consider using the PDF format for any of the following documents: Legal forms, such as contracts, leases, and bills of sale.Invoices, resumes, cover letters, and online portfolios.Downloadable materials, such as ebooks, product manuals, or white papersSchool projects and research papers. 3 Ways to Create PDF Files in Google Docs There are a few ways to convert a Google Doc into a PDF file. You can download a PDF version of your Google Doc, email it, or save it directly to your Google Drive. How to Download a PDF Version of a Google Doc Use this method if you'd like to download a PDF version of your Google Document to your computer or mobile device. Log into Google Docs and open the document you wish to convert to PDF. Select File > Download > PDF Document (.pdf). Check your computer's download folder for the PDF you just created. You can access your downloaded PDF file here. If your browser is not setup to ask you where to save downloaded files, the file will automatically be placed in your Download folder. Otherwise, you will be prompted to choose a location and filename for the document, and then to press Save to save it. How to Email a PDF Version of a Google Doc Use this method if you want to send the converted PDF file to someone else, of if you'd like to have a copy of the PDF in your email inbox. Log into Google Docs, and open the document you wish to convert to PDF. Select File > Email as attachment. Enter the recipient's email address. Use your email address if you'd like to have the converted document delivered to your inbox. Enter a subject header, and, if you'd like, a message. Select Send. The recipient(s) will receive the PDF as an email attachment, which they can then download. How to Save a PDF Version of a Google Doc to Google Drive If you'd prefer to keep the converted PDF file in your Google Drive account or share it from that source, follow these steps: These instructions only work for Google Chrome. With the Google Doc open, select File > Print. In the Destination field, select Save to Google Drive, then select Save. The PDF will be saved to your Google Drive. You can view or share it directly from this location. More Options for Saving PDFs From Google Docs In addition to these methods for saving a Google Doc as a PDF, you can install third-party software, such as DriveConverter, which lets you download Google files into different formats, including PDF, JPG, and MP3.