How to Convert a Google Doc to PDF

There are a few ways to convert a Google Doc into a PDF.

What To Know

  • To download: Open the document, and go to File > Download > PDF Document (.pdf).
  • To use email: Open the document and go to File > Email as attachment. Enter the address, convert (optional), and Send.
  • To save to Google Drive: Open the document and go to File > Print. Pick Save to Google Drive as the Destination, and Save.

This article explains how to use Google Docs to convert a document to a PDF file and save it to various places, like email and your Google Drive. The instructions in this article apply to the desktop version of Google Docs, which is accessed through a web browser.

How to Download a PDF Version of a Google Doc

  1. Log into Google Docs and open the document you wish to convert to PDF.

  2. Select File > Download > PDF Document (.pdf).

    Downloading Google Doc as pdf
  3. 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

  1. Log into Google Docs, and open the document you wish to convert to PDF.

  2. Select File > Email as attachment.

    Emailing a Google Doc as an attachment
  3. 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.

    Email as PDF options in Google Docs.
  4. 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

These instructions only work for Google Chrome.

  1. With the Google Doc open, select File > Print.

    Print Google Doc to save to Google Drive
  2. In the Destination field, select Save to Google Drive, then select Save.

    Print and save PDF to Google Drive
  3. The PDF will be saved to your Google Drive. You can view or share it directly from this location.

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 papers
  • School projects and research papers.

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.

  • How do I convert a PDF to a Google Doc?

    To convert a PDF to a Google Doc, log into Google Docs and select the Open file picker icon (looks like a folder). In the Open a File dialog, select the Upload tab and choose Select a file from your device > select Open with Google Docs and edit your file.

  • How do I convert a Google Doc to Word?

    To convert your Google Doc into a word file, open your file in Google Docs and select File > Download > Microsoft Word. The file will now have a .docx extension, and you can open and edit it in Word.

  • How do I convert a Word file to a Google Doc?

    To convert Word documents to Google Docs, go to Google Drive and log in. Select New > File Upload > select file > Open. In Google Drive, select the file > File > Save as Google Docs.

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