How to Make PDFs Editable with Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making PDFs editable with Google Docs is a simple process. Start by uploading the PDF to Google Drive, then right-click on the file and select “Open with,” followed by “Google Docs.” The PDF will then be converted to an editable Google Docs file. After editing, you can download the file back as a PDF.

After completing this action, you’ll have an editable version of your PDF that you can revise and customize as necessary. You can also share the Google Docs file with others for collaboration.


Have you ever received a PDF document that you needed to make changes to, but felt utterly helpless because, well, it’s a PDF? You’re not alone. PDFs are universally loved for their ability to maintain formatting across all devices, but that same feature makes them notoriously difficult to edit. Enter Google Docs, the free, web-based word processor from Google, which can be the lifeline you need in such situations.

Google Docs can convert PDF files into editable documents. This functionality is a game-changer for anyone who works with PDFs regularly—be it students, professionals, or even casual users. Whether it’s tweaking a resume, adjusting a contract, or filling out forms, making PDFs editable with Google Docs simplifies the process. The best part? All you need is a Google account and internet access. Let’s dive into the step-by-step tutorial to transform those pesky PDFs into friendly, editable documents.

Step by Step Tutorial on Making PDFs Editable with Google Docs

Before starting, ensure you have the PDF file you want to make editable saved on your computer or any device with internet access.

Step 1: Upload the PDF to Google Drive

Upload your PDF file to Google Drive by dragging and dropping the file into the drive or clicking the “New” button and then “File upload”.

Uploading the PDF to Google Drive is the first essential step in the process. It’s like laying the foundation before building a house. Make sure your internet connection is stable during the upload to avoid any interruptions.

Step 2: Open with Google Docs

Right-click on the uploaded PDF file in Google Drive, then select “Open with” and choose “Google Docs” from the dropdown menu.

When you open the PDF with Google Docs, Google’s magic starts to work. The software will automatically begin converting the PDF into a Google Docs file. It’s not quite Hogwarts-level wizardry, but it’s pretty close.

Step 3: Edit the Document

The PDF is now a Google Docs file, and you can edit the text, add images, change formatting—whatever you need to do.

Editing the document is where your creative input comes in. Google Docs offers a plethora of formatting tools at your disposal, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty and mold the document to your specifications.

Step 4: Download as PDF (if needed)

After making the desired changes, go to “File,” select “Download,” and then click “PDF Document” to save the editable document as a PDF again.

Downloading the document as a PDF is like taking a photo of your masterpiece. You’ve made the changes, and now it’s time to save and share your work in its final form.


Easy SharingGoogle Docs allows for seamless sharing of documents with others, enabling collaboration and feedback.
Saves TimeThe process converts PDFs quickly, saving you time from manual data entry or searching for PDF editing software.
Maintains FormattingGoogle Docs does a fair job at maintaining the original formatting of the PDF, ensuring consistency in the document’s appearance.


Not FoolproofThe conversion isn’t always perfect, especially with more complex PDFs, and might require manual adjustments.
Requires InternetYou need a stable internet connection as the conversion process is done online.
Privacy ConcernsSensitive documents may not be suitable for editing on Google Docs due to privacy considerations of uploading to the cloud.

Additional Information

When working with Google Docs to make PDFs editable, remember that the cleaner and simpler the PDF, the smoother the conversion process will be. If you’re dealing with scanned documents or PDFs containing lots of images, the output might not be as clean, and you may need to do some extra editing. But don’t let that discourage you! With a little bit of patience, you can whip that document into shape.

Another handy tip: Google Docs automatically saves your progress. So, if your internet connection is lost or you need to step away, you can pick up right where you left off without losing any changes. Plus, you can access your documents from any device—talk about convenience!

Using Google Docs as a PDF editor might not be perfect for every scenario, but it’s a powerful tool to have in your digital toolbox. Whether you’re a student, professional, or just someone who needs to make a quick edit, Google Docs can help you tackle those PDFs without breaking a sweat.


  1. Upload the PDF to Google Drive.
  2. Open the uploaded PDF with Google Docs.
  3. Edit the document as needed.
  4. Download the edited file as a PDF, if required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does converting a PDF to a Google Doc change the formatting?

It can, especially with more complex PDFs. However, Google Docs does a decent job of maintaining the original formatting most of the time.

Can I convert a scanned PDF document into an editable Google Doc?

Yes, but the accuracy of the text recognition can vary. You might have to do some manual corrections.

Is it possible to convert a PDF to a Google Doc on a mobile device?

Yes, you can use the Google Drive app to upload and convert PDFs to editable Google Docs files on mobile devices.

What if I need to convert multiple PDFs at once?

Currently, Google Docs doesn’t support batch conversions. You’ll need to convert each PDF one at a time.

Are there any privacy risks involved in converting PDFs with Google Docs?

Since conversion requires uploading to Google Drive, consider the sensitivity of the document’s content. For highly confidential documents, you may want to use offline PDF editing software.


Making PDFs editable with Google Docs is a nifty trick that can save you time and frustration. It’s a straightforward process that even a tech novice can master. Of course, like any tool, it has its limitations, but for most everyday tasks, it’s a handy solution.

The next time you’re faced with a daunting, uneditable PDF, remember this guide and take control of your documents with confidence. And remember, always keep your Google Docs skills sharpened—you never know when you’ll need to perform some PDF wizardry!