Google Docs, which is part of Google Drive, provides a powerful and convenient way of creating, editing, and organizing all your documents online, including PDF files.
Aside from creating, emailing, and sharing PDF files right from Google Docs, it’s also possible to do the opposite — convert a PDF file into a Google Doc format for editing and sharing. Anybody can do it; it’s easy as pie. We’ll tell you the steps below, but first…
What is a PDF File?
PDF, the initialism for Portable Document Format, was created by Adobe Systems in the early ‘90s to create uniformity in document formatting across different computer platforms. The PDF file format has since become one of the most popular file formats around, thanks to its versatility.
Why Convert PDF Files to Google Docs
You will never know when, but there might come a time that a PDF file needs to be in a Google Doc format. For example, your employer might send you a sample invoice as a PDF and you need to make changes to it. Luckily, you can make quick updates using Google Docs.
Actually, when you upload a PDF file to Google Docs, it automatically converts that file to a Google Doc. There is no virtually no need for any special software or tools; the service has a built-in function. And Google Docs is compatible with any kind of platform, which means you can work with your PDF files in any device or web browser.
How to Convert a PDF File to a Google Doc
Before beginning the process of converting a PDF file over to Google Doc format, first, you have to make sure that every bit of information that you want to carry over is in place.
If you are converting a PDF lease agreement, for example, see to it that the agreement is filled out with all the important information first. And for that, you need a PDF editor, which is a dime-a-dozen on the internet.
After seeing everything is in place, you can now download the file in PDF format. It is now ready to be converted to Google Doc format.
Quickly Convert a PDF to Google Doc Format
The quickest way to convert any PDF file to Google Doc format is to do the process straight out of Google Drive. Follow these steps:
- Upload the file you want to convert by right-clicking inside any folder and choosing Upload Files.
- If the PDF file is already on Google Drive, simply right-click the file, choose Open With, then select Google Docs.
- Wait for Google Docs to convert your PDF file into Google Docs format.
It is important to take note that while all texts are imported correctly, you may find a slight imperfection in the formatting. Watch out for these common mistakes:
- Removed fields in fillable forms
- Bullet or numbered lists become paragraph blocks
- Removed indentation
- Simple spacing reverts to no space
- Double spacing becomes single spaced
If you, however, filled out the fields in the PDF document before converting it, the text in those fields will convert over fine. But this method of conversion is only recommended if you don’t mind messing up the formatting and just want to make your PDF document a Google Doc version.
How to Convert PDF to Google Doc With Proper Formatting
But who says there’s no workaround for this formatting mishap? In this method of conversion, we will take advantage of Microsoft Word’s more rigid and accurate process.
The process is this: PDF file gets converted to Word document, then Word document gets converted to Google Doc. You will find that the original formatting will be carried over as well.
Follow these steps:
- Launch Microsoft Word.
- From Word, go to the main menu, choose Open, and find the PDF file you want to convert.
- A popup window will appear, notifying you that the file needs to be converted from PDF format. Choose OK to continue.
- Once the conversion is done, you will find the document open in Word. Microsoft Word does a pretty good job retaining the original formatting, so this should be easy-peasy to bring over to Google Docs.
Note that you may need to choose to Enable Editing at the top of the Window so you can save your file to your PC in Word. Here are the steps:
- Select File, Save As, and save the Word document to your PC. You will see that the file will save with a docx extension.
- Now open your Google Drive and search through the folders where you want to save the converted PDF document. Right-click inside the folder and choose Upload files. Find the docx file you saved and click Open.
- This should bring the document into Google Drive as an MS Word file. Right-click the file, choose Open with then select Google Docs.
Now you have the Word document in Google Docs format. This file now has a better-formatted version of the original PDF file. Complete the conversion by clicking File then Save as Google Docs.
The .DOCX at the top of the file has now been removed and the document is stored as a full Google Doc. This method may need some additional steps, but if you really want the entire formatting included, this should be the method you should choose.
Other Ways to Convert PDF Files
There are several approaches you can employ to convert a PDF to Google Docs or Word. This decision will depend entirely on the tools at your disposal.
Here are some good options:
- Use online OCR services to convert PDF that’s quite difficult to convert into text format.
- Use online tools to extract text out of the PDF file and insert the text into your Google Doc, that is if you don’t care about formatting.
- You can use online tools to convert PDF to JPG and insert the converted file into Google Docs.
- Utilize desktop or online PDF converted tools to convert from PDF to Word.
There are lots of different options to convert PDFs to Google Docs. Choose one that you find the easiest to do.