If you have PDF documents that you prefer to have in text format in your Google Drive account, being able to convert PDF to Google Doc will allow you to do so.
However, converting PDF is not as easy as many people think. Of course, it’s easy to quickly convert a PDF file to a Google Doc file. However, what you like for convenience is priced in format and style, as you’ll see in the examples below.
Fortunately, there are solutions to keep the original format of the PDF document. Whether you opt for this approach depends on whether you are very interested in the format.
We also made a little video on your Youtube channel that you can see if you prefer to watch more than read:
Preparing to convert a PDF to Google Doc Format
Before converting a PDF file to Google Doc format, you want to make sure that all the information that is supposed to be part of the PDF document is in place.
For example, if you are converting a lease to a PDF, you must first complete the agreement with all relevant information. You can do this with any of your favorite PDF editors.
If you don’t have a PDF editor on your computer, the easiest way to do this is to use a free online PDF editing tool, such as SmallPDF.
Once you have filled in all the forms in the document, you can download the file in PDF format. It can now be converted to Google Doc format.
Quickly convert a PDF to Google Doc format
The fastest way to convert any PDF file directly to Google Doc format is to start the conversion process from within Google Drive.
- Upload the PDF file to your Google Drive account by right-clicking inside any folder and selecting Upload files.
- Once you’ve uploaded the PDF to Google Drive, you can right-click on the file and select it Open withand then select Google Docs.
- Google Docs will automatically convert your PDF document to Google Docs format.
What you will notice immediately is that although the text is imported correctly from most PDF documents, the format is rarely perfect.
The most common errors that occur during automatic conversion are:
- Double spacing becomes single spacing
- Simple spacing leaves no room again
- The bleeding is eliminated
- Numbered or bulleted lists become a paragraph
- The fields in the forms are removed
If you made sure to fill in the fields in the PDF document before conversion, the text of these fields will be converted correctly.
However, this automatic conversion approach is best used if you’re not really interested in the format and just want to transfer all the text from a PDF document to a Google document.
Convert a PDF to Google Doc Format with format
There is a way to fix this formatting error and take advantage of the most accurate Microsoft Word conversion process.
If you use Microsoft Word to convert PDF to a Microsoft Word document, you can convert it to a Google Doc document. The entire original format will be preserved and recovered.
- To do this, open Microsoft Word on your computer.
- From Word, select Open from the main menu and navigate to the PDF file you want to convert.
- You will see a pop-up window notifying you that the file needs to be converted from PDF format. Select Okay to continue.
- When you finish the conversion, you will see the document open in Word. Word does an excellent job keeping the original format in place. Unlike Google Docs, it usually includes spaced, indented, bold, and more.
You may need to select Enable editing at the top of the window to save the file to your PC in Word format.
- Select File, Save asand save the Word document to your PC. The file will be saved with a docx extension.
- Open a Google Drive account and go to the folder where you want to store the converted PDF file. Right-click the folder and select Upload files. Go to the docx file you saved and select Open.
- This will take the document to Google Drive as a Word file. Right-click the file and select Open withand select Google Docs.
This will convert the Word document to Google Docs format. As you can see, this recently converted file contains a much better formatted version of the original PDF document.
- To complete the conversion, select File and Save as Google Docs.
This will remove “.DOCX” at the top of the document and it will be stored as a complete Google document.
This approach may require a few additional steps, but if the format of the original PDF document is important to you, this is a good method to use this format.
Other ways to convert PDF documents
There are many other tools and approaches you can use to convert a PDF document to Word or Google Docs. The choice you make depends on the tools at your disposal.
As you can see, when you want to convert PDF to Google Docs, you have many great options available.