Open a PDF in Google Docs in a minute

You can open a Word, Text, or PDF file using Google Docs. 

Unlike the Word file, you can’t open a PDF file using the Google Docs file opener. You must first use Google Docs to upload the file and open it using Docs.

However, you must use a web browser for this process. Docs app won’t be able to open the PDF file. 

Open a PDF file using Google Docs

  1. Open a web browser and go to the Google Drive website. 
  2. Click the + New button from the top left corner.Click on the New button
  3. Select File upload and open the PDF file from your computer. Select File Upload
  4. After uploading the file, double-click on the file name to preview it. Click on the PDF file name
  5. Click Open with Google Docs from the menu bar. Open a PDF with Google Docs
  6. It will open the PDF in a new tab and convert it to a Google Doc.

Once you have a Google Doc of your PDF, you can modify the Google Doc separately. Modifying it won’t affect the original PDF file. 

After making any changes to the document, you can save the document as a Word file or PDF file. 

Benefits of converting a PDF to Google Doc

Collaboration: Once you open the PDF as a Google Doc, you can invite others to view the content or edit alongside you. Editors can comment on specific issues, and you can resolve any issues.

Sending: You can share the Google Doc as a Word, PDF, or Text file directly from Google Docs. Click File from the menu and navigate to Email > Email this file. Enter the recipient’s email address and select the File type. Click Send to send the email. 

Converting: Google Docs already converted your PDF format to a .gdoc file. Go to File > Download and save the document as a Word, PDF, TXT, EPUB, etc. It saves the hustle of finding third-party tools to convert a PDF file. 

Publishing: You can publish your Google Docs to the web. Anyone with the link can view the document. Google Docs automatically check for document update every five minutes. If you change your Google Doc, the published post will also update after five minutes.

Signature: You can open the PDF file using Docs that requires your signature. Uploading your signature image and placing it on a document using the Drawing tool is easy. 

Tools: You can translate your PDF using Google Docs. It supports converting a document to multiple languages. Docs uses Google Translate to translate your document. 

Resources: If your PDF requires footnotes, MLA, or APA citation, Google Docs is the right tool. You can cite web resources easily on Google Docs. 

Issues of opening a PDF file using Google Docs

  1. Google Docs is ideal for opening PDF files without any structural content such as columns, tables, etc. Often Docs break the structure of the PDF file, and it looks messy.
  2. As it converts the PDF to Google Docs, all images might not load properly. In that case, you might have to upload the images manually. Click on the Insert image from the toolbar and choose images from your computer.
  3. You can’t open a password-protected PDF file using Google Docs. You must upload an unencrypted PDF. 
  4. Sometimes when you click Open with Google Docs the new tab may keep loading. You can refresh the tab; if it doesn’t work, close it and click on Open with Google Docs again. Open a PDF with Google Docs

If the purpose of opening a PDF file is to convert it to other file types, you don’t necessarily need Google Docs.

There are dozens of third-party tools to convert PDF files.

Click on Select PDF file

ILovePDF is my personal favorite tool for this purpose. Open a new tab, go to ilovepdf pdf to word converter, click on Select PDF file and upload the PDF from your computer.

Click on Convert to Word

Click Convert to Word

Download the Word file

Download the Word document to your computer. 

If you don’t have Word on your computer, then you can use Google Docs to open a PDF and make changes to it.

Staff Writer

Avishek Das is currently studying for his bachelor's degree, and spends hours doing assignments and making presentations. He loves word processors and presentation makers. 

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