How to Convert a PDF to Google Doc Format

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

Google Docs, which is part of Google Drive, is a free online word processor. It provides a convenient and powerful way to create, edit, and organize all your documents online, including PDF files.

In addition to creating, emailing, and sharing PDF files right from Google Docs, you can also do the opposite; convert a PDF file into a Google Doc format for editing and sharing. It's super quick and easy to do. Google Docs is an excellent 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. Adobe Systems created the PDF file format in the early '90s as a way to create consistency in document formatting across different computer platforms. Thanks to the power and versatility of PDF files, they are among the most popular file formats around.

Why Use Google Docs to Convert and Edit PDF Files

At times, you may need to convert a PDF file 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 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. Because Google Docs is compatible with any platform, you can work with your PDF files in any web browser or on any device.

How to Convert a PDF File to a Google Doc

  1. Log in to your Google Docs account.

  2. Select the Open file picker icon in the row of icons near the top of the screen. The icon looks like a folder.

    File picker
  3. Go to the Upload tab in the Open a file dialog box. Click the Select a file from your device to upload your PDF file or drag the file into the Drag a file here box.

    Upload as
  4. Open the file, then select Open with Google Docs at the top of the screen.

    open with docs
  5. Edit the file as needed in Google Docs.

Google Docs converts PDFs, while retaining the original text and formatting. Once you're in the document, you can update the text, add graphics, or rearrange the layout however you want.

When you finish with your edits, you can export or share the document in a variety of formats, including DOCX, RTF, PDF, and HTML. You can also download, email, or send it to Google Drive as a PDF file.

Google Docs has a 50 MB file size limit. Most PDFs are relatively small size, so this may not pose a problem.

Google Docs on the Go

One of the advantages of using Google Docs is that it is available from any device, anywhere you can access the internet.

If you frequently access Google Docs from a smartphone or tablet, download the Google Docs mobile app for iOS and Android devices from Google Play or the iOS App Store. With the app, you can create, edit, and collaborate on the go, just like you can in a browser.