How to Convert a PDF to Google Doc Format

Edit your PDF easily once it's safely in Google Docs

Woman looking at a paper next to her laptop.

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Google Docs is a convenient and powerful way to create, edit, and organize all of your documents online, including PDF files.

Along with being able to create, email, and share PDF files right from Google Docs, you can also do the opposite. That is, you can convert a PDF file back into a Google Doc format for editing and sharing. Even better, it's super quick and easy to do.

Here's a closer look at how to convert and edit PDF files from within Google Docs and why it's a great choice for your PDF editing needs.

File formats including PDF
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What Is a PDF file?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. The PDF file format was created by Adobe Systems back in the early '90s as a way to create consistency in document formatting across different computers. Thanks to the power and versatility of PDF files, it's one of the most popular file formats around today.

Why Google Docs Is an Ideal Choice for Converting and Editing PDF Files

At times you may need to convert a PDF file back into a Google document so you can change and edit it. For example, maybe your employer sent you a sample invoice as a PDF file and you need to update it. Fortunately, this is very easy to do with Google Docs.

When you upload a PDF to Google Docs, it converts the file to a Google Doc automatically. You don't need any special tools or software to do it — the functionality is built right in. And, because Google Docs is compatible with any platform, you can work with your PDF files from any web browser or device. This makes Google Docs a great choice for working with PDF files.

How to Convert a PDF File to a Google Doc

  1. If you haven't already, log into your Google Docs account.

  2. Next, you'll need to upload your PDF file to your Google Docs account. To do this, go to the Open file picker icon on the right hand side. It looks like a little folder.

    Screenshot of google docs
  3. In the Open a file dialog box, go to the Upload tab. Then click the Select a file from your device to upload your PDF file.

    Open a file dialog box
  4. Next, select the PDF file you want to open from the file dialog.

    Opening a PDF file in Google Docs
  5. When you get to this screen, click the Open with Google Docs at the very top.

    Open file with Google Docs
  6. The file is now editable as a regular Google Doc. Viola!

    Rental Agreement is open as Google Doc
  7. You can now view and edit your file. And when you're done, you can download it in a variety of formats, including: docx, rtf, pdf, html, and more. You can also download, email, or send it to Google Drive it as a PDF file.

Converting a PDF to a Google Doc Is Easy and Simple

Google Docs does a solid job of converting PDFs, retaining the original text and formatting. Once you're inside the document, you can update the text, add graphics, or mix up the layout however you wish.

So, instead of having to buy extra PDF conversion software and learning how to use it, you can just use your existing Google Docs account. If you're just getting started with Google Docs, you can learn more about the features and functionality from Google.

There's also a Google Docs app you can use to access your files from anywhere using your mobile device. However you want to use it, Google Docs is a powerful tool that can help you work with PDFs and a lot more.