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How to Convert PDF to Google Docs

Aug 18 2023

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Whether you're a student needing to update an assignment, a professional tweaking a contract, or just someone looking to make changes to a PDF, knowing how to convert a PDF to Google Doc format is a must-have skill. 

Turning locked-down PDFs into editable documents within the Google Docs platform is useful for anyone who wants to edit, share, and collaborate on the same document online.

If you’re looking to work with PDF content within Google Docs, this post will guide you through the process with tips to help you edit, troubleshoot, and share those documents hassle-free.

How to Convert PDF to Google Docs 

To convert your PDF to Google Docs, you can use the platform directly. Follow these steps:

1. Upload the PDF file to your Google Drive.

2. Once the file is uploaded, right-click on it.

3. Select Open with > Google Docs.

Opening PDF files with Google Docs in Google Drive

Using the platform as a PDF to Google Docs converter will automatically transfer your PDF file into an editable Google Doc. As part of the conversion process, Google Docs attempts to extract and format the text in the same way as the original document.

However, this method can, at times, be inaccurate when it comes to complex formatting, images, or non-standard fonts. So be sure to review your results for any issues post-conversion as some formatting may need to be adjusted.

How to convert PDF to Google Doc without losing formatting

Because of the formatting issues that can occur, you may want to use the above method for PDF documents with simple and straightforward formatting.

If you have PDF content that’s more complex in structure or layout, you should first convert your PDF document to Word to avoid losing any formatting. Here’s how:

1. Open your PDF in Xodo’s free PDF to Word converter.

2. Click on Convert to start the conversion process.

MS Word document uploaded toXodo’s PDF to Word converter 

3. When prompted to save your converted file, save your file to your Google Drive. You can then open your converted document directly from within Google Docs.

Troubleshooting issues with PDF to Google Doc conversions

We all know that conversions won’t always go right the first time around. When you come across an obstacle when converting your PDF to Google Docs, try some of the quick troubleshooting tips below.

Trouble uploading PDF to Google Drive

You may face troubles in uploading your PDF files to Google Drive. This can be due to a slow internet connection or a file that's too large. Splitting your PDF into smaller files first or refreshing the page might solve this issue.

Problems in opening PDFs in Google Docs

Another issue may involve opening PDFs directly in Google Docs. This can be due to incompatible files or browser issues. For this issue, try logging into Google Docs in a different browser or updating to the current version of your browser.

Formatting issues post PDF conversion

Got formatting discrepancies after converting PDF to Google Docs? This might be due to the nature of the file or intricate layout and structure of the PDF. Simplifying and editing your PDF layout can help maintain the formatting accurately.

Missing data after conversion

In some cases, data might be missing after the conversion of PDF to Google Docs. This can happen if the data was in an unusual font or format that Google Docs can't process. In such cases, converting the data to a standard format before conversion might help. Follow the second conversion method mentioned above.

Google Docs fails to convert your PDF

Sometimes, Google Docs fails to convert the file altogether. This could be because the file is password protected, encrypted, or in a format incompatible with Google Docs. Ensuring the PDF is unprotected and in a compatible format will allow for a smooth conversion.

Working with Converted Files in Google Docs

Now that you have your PDF content in the Google Docs format, it becomes editable, which means you can use the platform as a Google Docs PDF editor and use any of the editing, sharing or saving features the platform has to offer.

Editing PDF content in Google Docs

To edit your converted PDF content, simply have the file opened in Google Docs and edit it as you normally would with any other Google Doc. You can add, delete, or modify the text or images, change the font style, size, and color, apply formatting styles like bold, italics, underline.

Editing a document in Google Docs

You can also insert tables, hyperlinks, comments, special characters and many other elements, letting you edit PDF content stored on Google Drive via Google Docs as needed.

The Google Docs toolbar provides all the necessary options for rich text editing.

Sharing converted PDF files in Google Docs

Google Docs also makes sharing and collaborating on files easy. After converting a PDF to Google Docs, click the "Share" button, located in the upper right corner of the document. You can then invite others to view, comment on, or edit the document by entering their email addresses.

Saving converted files in Google Docs

After you've finished editing the converted file, you can save it as a Google Docs file. If you wish to keep it in Google Docs, simply close the document, and it will automatically save to your Google Drive.

Connect your Google Docs workflow with Xodo

Knowing how to convert PDF to Google Docs is an easy way to integrate your existing online workflows with the power of Xodo.

You can tie Xodo into your Google Docs workflow by saving any documents you convert, edit or modify to your Google Drive directly. Xodo can also help step in when you need to convert your Google Docs to PDF again.

Xodo and all 30+ of its free PDF tools are available across multiple platforms and devices, such as the web, desktop, and mobile devices. So try them out today and improve how you work across different devices and platforms. 

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Reena Cruz

PDF Productivity Expert

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