How to Open a PDF in Google Docs? Find the Solutions Here!

Convert PDFs to Editable Word before importing on Google Docs!

  • Grab AcePDF and access it. Afterward, hit the "Batch Process" from the menu.
  • Later, select "OCR" and import your PDF. Then, modify the output settings.
  • Finally, click the "Recognize" button to convert it. Once done, import the file to Google Docs.
feature open pdf in google docs

Google Docs is the future of document collaboration. With the ability to open and edit PDF files within its familiar interface, Google Docs has been the go-to tool for seamless word processing. You can use it for real-time collaboration while taking a major step ahead. No more annoying formatting issues or unmanageable workarounds. With this ground-breaking function, you can quickly access your PDFs, read them precisely as they are, and make the necessary adjustments without using other software or conversion tools. Furthermore, the ease and effectiveness of using Google Docs for your PDFs will unquestionably improve your workflow and increase your productivity. Whether you're a student working on research papers, a business expert handling contracts, or anybody in between, you can take advantage of it! In this post, we examine how you can open PDF in Google Docs and offer advice on how to get the most out of it. Besides, we have other tools meant for editing PDFs that we highly recommend. Start reading now to know more!

Navigation of Contents

What is Google Docs and Its Compatibility for PDFs?

Users may create, edit, and organize documents, spreadsheets, and presentations using Google Docs, a robust online application by Google. It is a cloud-based platform that makes it simple for many users to collaborate and gives them access to documents, including PDFs. Also, it is popular for personal and professional use since it has real-time editing, commenting, and suggestion mode capabilities. Various templates and add-ons are available to boost productivity and improve efficiency. Furthermore, many users can see and modify the same PDF simultaneously, making it perfect for group work. Then, you can edit PDF online Google Docs. For instance, you can adjust the alignment, and spacing, add highlights, annotations, and more. To use it, find the following details below on how to open a PDF in Google Docs.

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The Importance of Opening PDFs in Google Docs

In particular, viewing PDF content in an editable format and improving collaboration and sharing opportunities are two significant advantages of opening PDFs in Google Docs. For people and groups who need to work with PDFs more actively and collaboratively, it's a workable solution. Let's explore these benefits in greater detail:

  • Accessing PDF content in an editable format. A PDF file is changed into an editable Google Docs format (such as .docx) when you open it in Google Docs. This conversion lets you change the PDF's text, pictures, and basic formatting. Moreover, learning how to open PDF file in Google Docs is especially helpful if you need to alter a PDF document you received or want to extract certain data from a PDF and utilize it in your work. Unlike PDF viewers, Google Docs offers a more adaptable and user-friendly interface for making changes.
  • Enhancing collaboration and sharing options. The collaborative nature of Google Docs makes it possible for numerous users to edit the same document simultaneously. You can quickly share the editable document with others once you open a PDF in Google Docs and convert it to a Google Docs format. As a result, teams can easily collaborate in real time, make changes, provide comments, and suggest revisions. Collaboration and sharing are made simpler because participants can open the file through a web browser without installing any particular software.

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Effective Way to Open PDF File in Google Docs

Here is a walkthrough on opening PDFs in Google Docs. Read and follow it carefully to have a successful result. Without further ado, let's begin!

Step 1 Upload the PDF on Google Drive

First, log in with your Google Drive account on your computer’s web browser. Once done, go to the upper-left corner and hit the “New” button. Then, select “New folder” from the menu and hit “Create” to create a new folder where you can upload your PDFs in one place. After that, simply drag and drop the file into your created folder to import it.

hit new and new folder, name folder and hit create

Step 2 Open PDF to Google Docs

Once the PDF is in the folder, right-click on it and click the “Open with” button to access a list of menus. After that, select “Google Docs” from the options, and Google Docs will automatically convert the PDF file to editable Word format. Then, the document will be opened on Google Docs.

open pdf in google docs by right-click file, select open with and google docs

Step 3 Edit the File on Google Docs

Next, edit PDF in Google Docs using the different editing tools on the upper menu. You can hit the “Edit” tab if you want to modify the text settings of your PDF. On the other hand, you can select the “Tools” button to insert other details, like images, tables, charts, emoji, equations, and more. Moreover, ensure to review your file after making changes.

start editing pdf in google docs

Step 4 Keep the Edited PDF

After reviewing the document and wanting to save the output, hit the “File” button on the top-left section and pick the “Download” button from the list menu. Then, pick the “PDF Document (.pdf)” from the list of output formats to save the finished file in PDF. That’s how to open PDF in Google Docs.

hit file, select download and click pdf document

Recommended Alternative of Google Docs PDF Editor

1. PDF Simpli

PDF Simpli is a versatile online PDF editor you can use if you don’t have an account yet to open PDF in Google Sheets or Docs. It is a good alternative as it offers amazing features to open, edit and organize your PDF files. For instance, the tool allows you to edit your PDF file by adding or replacing text, images, email, annotations, and more. Also, you can use its “Redact” feature to hide private details on your file. Moreover, you can enhance your PDF by inserting calendars, fields, check boxes, and others, perfect for organizing the details of the file. To have an idea of how to use PDF Simpli in editing your PDF documents, make sure to follow the tips beneath.

User Guide:

  • Launch the website of PDF Simpli and select “Edit PDF” from the available tools to access the upload options. Afterward, hit the “Upload PDF to Edit” and look for your needed PDF document. You can also get the PDF from OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox, depending on where the PDF file is located.
  • Add the PDF file to the online PDF editor and wait for it to appear. Next, edit the PDF file depending on your requirements. You can use the tools on the top menu or hit the “More Tools” button on the right to launch other editing features.
  • Once the editing process is complete, navigate to the “Convert” button on the top-right corner and select “PDF.” Also, you can rename the edited PDF to locate it easily. Finally, hit the “Download” tab to store the file on your device.

pdf simpli interface

2. PDF2Go Online PDF Editor

PDF2Go Online PDF Editor is a Chrome extension tool that can help you view and modify PDF documents. This web-based PDF editor has impressive features and tools to level up your editing experiences without installing software. Moreover, you can zoom in and out specific parts, add annotations, highlight essential text, and more. Besides, you can modify the text with a customizable font style, color, background, and size. Also, the tool lets you compress, merge, split, and sort PDF files to organize them. Apart from that, you can use it to convert your PDFs to other formats, including JPG, Excel, Word, or plain text. Check the walkthrough of PDF Online PDF Editor below to know how it works.

User Guide:

  • Access PDF2Go Online PDF Editor on Google Web Store and hit the “Add to Chrome” button on the right side to add the tool to your extensions. Once done, hit the “puzzle” icon on the top-right section of your address bar and click the tool.
  • Then, hit the “Edit PDF” button from the options. Afterward, the editing feature will appear in another window. Later, drop your PDF file into the editor and wait until it appears. Now, move to the lower section to find your editing materials.
  • Once you’ve finished editing your PDF document, tick “Save as” on the top-right corner and hit “Save” to keep the edited PDF file. Also, you can “Cloud Upload” on the window that will appear to save and view PDF in Google Docs or Dropbox.

pdf2go online pdf editor extension interface

Tips and Tricks for Working with PDFs in Google Docs

1. Applying Formatting and Styling to PDF Contents

When compared to dealing with Google Docs native files, formatting and styling PDF content directly through Google Docs is quite limited. When dealing with PDFs, a few methods and tips will help you get the most out of Google Docs. Check them out below to enhance your editing process after knowing how to open PDF with Google Docs.

  • Basic Text Formatting. Once the PDF has been converted to Google Docs, you can use basic text formatting, such as modifying font styles, sizes, and colors. Additionally, you can change the alignment, bold or italicize text, and make numbered or bulleted lists.
  • Paragraph and Line Spacing. You can change the paragraph and line spacing in Google Docs. Choose the desired text, then select "Format" and "Line spacing," where you can choose from predetermined possibilities or alter the spacing.
  • Headers and Subheadings. Use several heading styles (Heading 1, 2, etc.) to arrange and organize the document's content. This helps create a table of contents and gives your content a hierarchical order.
  • Adding Images and Graphics. You can still add photos to the document even if Google Docs does not handle sophisticated graphics, vector-based images, and PDF viewers. Select "Image" from the "Insert" menu to upload and insert images into your document.

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2. Optimizing OCR for PDFs Better Conversion

You can use offline software before you import PDF into Google Docs for a better conversion result. With that, AcePDF is the recommended app. What makes it more amazing than Google Docs is its ability to run an OCR process to PDFs without affecting the formatting and layout of the file. So rest assured that your output file is the same as the source, even if you convert scanned PDF to text, PPT, HTML, and other formats. Furthermore, the tool has a dedicated OCR feature with two recognition modes, which you can’t acquire on Google Docs. The “Standard Mode” offers a fast conversion process. Meanwhile, its “Enhanced Mode” provides a more accurate result, although the process may take a while. To use it, read the instructions below.

Try it for Free

Step 1 Install the PDF OCR Tool

Find the “Download” icons shown above, and make sure to grab the one that is appropriate to your computer OS. Then, run it to save the installer. Once the installer is saved, hit on it to access the installation setup box. Follow the guide on the setup box to acquire AcePDF fully. Afterward, launch it and move to the following process below.

acepdf main interface

Step 2 Import PDF and Initiate OCR

Next, select "Batch Process" from the left menu and tick "Batch Process." After that, pick "OCR" from the options and drop the PDF file into the OCR panel. You can also import and convert more PDF files at once by clicking "+ Add file." Then, hit "Recognize" to start the process after choosing your desired recognition mode, output folder, languages, and output format.

hit batch process and ocr, import file, adjust settings and hit recognize

Step 3 Check and View the Converted File

The converted file will be kept in the designated output folder once the conversion process is complete. Go to that folder and look for the Word document with the filename "OCR." That indicates that OCR technology was used to convert the file. Then, right-click the file and choose "Open with," then select your preferred app to open it. But if you want to import it on Google Docs, you can follow the exact steps in section three of this post.

locate file, right-click and select open with, open the file

Troubleshooting Tips for Working with PDFs in Google Docs

Troubleshooting PDF conversion errors and dealing with complex PDFs in Google Docs can sometimes be challenging. Google Docs' PDF conversion capabilities may only handle some content perfectly. Luckily, here are some tips to help you address common issues. Also, you can visit this page to learn more about different tips on how you can insert PDFs into Google Docs without any issues.

  • Text Recognition Errors. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Google Docs uses technology to transform scanned PDFs into text that can be edited. OCR might only sometimes be correct, which could cause mistakes in the converted text. You can fix this by manually amending the text in Google Docs to remove the errors.
  • Complex Formatting Issues. It's possible that complicated PDF conversions with sophisticated layouts, numerous columns, or unique fonts won't work flawlessly. You can resolve this by making the formatting simpler before converting to Google Docs or by manually modifying the layout in Google Docs after conversion.
  • Graphical Elements. Google Docs might not support complex graphics, vector images, or interactive PDF elements and may cause you to be unable to open PDF. If accuracy is crucial, consider adopting different software or tools focusing on managing graphic content.
  • File Size and Processing Time. Complex PDFs can be huge, and lengthy documents may require a longer conversion time. This may not be practical for large PDFs and can lengthen processing time. So, make sure to optimize your PDFs before processing them to ensure that you can convert, edit, and open them easily.

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