PDF stands for Portable Document Format which was developed by Adobe Systems to maintain a consistent document format across different platforms.
If you have used Microsoft Word or other word editors, you probably have realized that most times, when a document is sent from one computer to another, the formatting of the document tends to distort depending on the settings of the word editor. PDF provides a means to safely send files without worrying about the format distorting when your boss or client opens the document.
Google Docs is a powerful tool provided by Google for conveniently managing all your documents online. It provides rich functionalities which include live collaborative document editing, converting word documents to PDF, converting PDF to word documents – which we will focus on below, and many others. There are times when PDF documents are sent to you and you need to modify the content of the document, say, add to a list or maybe edit an invoice; and just adding comments to the document with your PDF reader won’t look professional.
It’s time to worry no more. The steps below will walk you through the process of converting your PDF files to Google Docs. It is straight forward and easy to do.
Converting Your PDF file to a Google Docs Using Google Docs
Google Docs has an inbuilt functionality that automatically converts your PDF files to Google Docs document when a PDF document is uploaded to Google Docs. The major advantage of using Google Docs is that it is compatible with all devices. All you need is a browser to access your online Google Docs account. Your Google Docs account is the same as your Gmail Account. One account on Google is an account for all Google services, from email to YouTube to Google Drive, and Maps.
Prepare Your Doc
To ensure better results when your PDF document is converted to Google Docs, look out for the following:
- Documents should be oriented normally, in the usual reading orientation. It should not be rotated right or left or mirrored. If it is rotated or mirrored, please rotate it to the normal position before converting or the converted Google Document may not be correct.
- It will be great if the images in the PDF document are sharp with good contrast. If they are blurry, the results won’t be too good.
- Not all fonts are supported on Google Docs, so your document will be better off if the PDF is in Arial or Times New Roman or any of the common fonts.
If you are not already signed into your Google Docs account, click here to sign in. Fill in your Gmail details and sign in.
You now need to upload your PDF document to Google Docs. To do this, click on the file picker, which looks like a folder, shown in the image below. A new window will open.
In the new window that opens, select Upload.
You can either drag and drop the file into the window or click “Select a file from your device” to navigate to your file location. Select the file and click Open.
The document will upload and open as shown below. On top of the document, click on “Open with Google Docs”. The PDF document will then be converted and opened in a new tab.
Yes! You have done it. Your document is now converted to Google Docs and can be edited as you wish. You can change the format, insert tables, customize and do much more.
You have now learned how to convert a PDF document into a Google Doc. It is easy. Google Docs saves you the stress of buying or installing additional software for converting PDF to Google Docs. After editing, you can easily save the file in any document format of your choice e.g. PDF, txt, epub, rtf, Microsoft Word, HTML, zip. Simply go to File Menu, and in the drop-down menu, point your cursor at Download.
A flier will pop out and select the document format of your choice. Your document will be downloaded in the chosen format to your computer.
It should be noted that converting a PDF document to Google Docs is a complex process, and while Google Docs will always strive to retain the format of the PDF document, sometimes there are changes especially if the PDF document contains tables, forms, check-boxes, and images. When PDFs are converted to text files, Google Docs can only import features and code that it supports.
If your PDF contains tables, background images, formatting, fonts, or other features that are coded differently from Docs or contain features that currently aren’t available in Docs, they won’t be converted properly.