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How to Make PDFs Editable With Google Docs

This wikiHow teaches you how to convert a PDF file into an editable document by using Google Docs through Google Drive. While this method will allow you to edit the PDF's text, keep in mind that Google Docs' chosen formatting may jumble or alter the PDF. Additionally, Google Docs cannot recognize photos in PDFs, meaning that any photos in the PDF will be lost during the conversion.


  1. 1
    Open Google Drive. Go to in your browser. This will open your Google Drive page if you're logged into a Google account.
    • If you aren't logged into a Google account, click the blue Go to Google Drive button if prompted, then enter your email address and password.
  2. 2
    Click NEW. It's a blue button in the top-left corner of the Drive page. A drop-down menu will appear.
    • If the PDF file that you want to edit is already in Google Docs, skip ahead to the "Select your PDF" step.
  3. 3
    Click File upload. This option is near the top of the NEW drop-down menu. Clicking it opens a new File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) window.
  4. 4
    Select your PDF file. Click the PDF file that you want to upload to Drive. If the PDF file is in a different folder than the one that opens, click the PDF's folder on the left side of the window first.
  5. 5
    Click Open. It's in the bottom-right corner of the window. The PDF will begin uploading to Google Drive.
  6. 6
    Wait for the PDF to upload. It shouldn't take more than a few seconds for your PDF to finish uploading.
  7. 7
    Close the notification window. In the lower, right corner of the page, you should see a small window with the phrase "1 upload complete" at the top of it. Click the X in the top-right corner of this window to close it.
  8. 8
    Select your PDF. In the main Google Drive window, find the PDF file that you just uploaded and click it to select it.
  9. 9
    Click . It's in the white banner in the upper-right side of the Google Drive page. A drop-down menu will appear.
  10. 10
    Select Open with. This option is near the top of the drop-down menu. Doing so will prompt a pop-out menu.
  11. 11
    Click Google Docs. It's in the pop-out menu. Your PDF will open in Google Docs in a new tab, at which point you're free to edit its text as you please.[1]
    • You can save the edited version of your document as a new PDF by clicking File in the upper-left side of the Docs page, selecting Download as in the drop-down menu, and clicking PDF document in the pop-out menu.
  12. 12
    Download the Google Docs version of the PDF. If you want to edit the PDF on your computer using Microsoft Word, do the following:
    • Click File in the upper-left side of the Docs page.
    • Select Download as
    • Click Microsoft Word

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • I have a .pdf doc in Google Drive and I want to edit it. How can I do that?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Convert that PDF file to a Word document to edit it. Copy all the content of the PDF file into a document, then save it as a new PDF for future use.
    Thanks! 6 31
  • I edited a PDF using DocHub. How do I save the edited file in Drive? It autosaves but it's autosaved on DocHub not in Drive?
  • I converted a PDF outline on to a DOC, but the outline did not show up. The document it converted into was blank when I opened it. How do I fix this?
  • How do I transfer PDF files to google docs on a tablet?
  • When I opened it in docs, the pictures didn't transfer. How can I get it to?
  • How do I send numbered pages within a pdf?
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Quick Summary

1. Open Google Drive.
2. Click NEW and select File upload.
3. Select the PDF and click Open.
4. Open the PDF in Google Drive.
5. Click the menu.
6. Select Open With.
7. Click Google Docs.
8. Edit the document.
9. Click File and select Download as.
10. Click Microsoft Word (.docx).


  • While there are PDF-to-Word apps that you can install for Google Drive, none of them will allow you to convert the PDF's images and formatting into a Word document.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • You cannot convert a PDF to a document in Google Drive and Google Docs on mobile.[2]
    0 Helpful?  0

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About This Article

Tested By:
wikiHow Technology Team

This version of How to Make PDFs Editable With Google Docs was reviewed on January 18, 2018.

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Categories: Google Applications

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