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How Can You Edit A PDF In Google Docs? Simple Methods To Try

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A PDF document always looks the same on any web browser or device, whether you are opening it on Android, iOS, Windows, or macOS.

It’s little wonder why most formal documents like legal contracts, whitepapers, ebooks, etc. are in PDF format.

So, what happens if you want to quickly make changes to a PDF document that is designed to be unchangeable?

The good news is that there are a wide variety of editing tools you can use to convert and modify your PDF file, but Google Docs is the most convenient of them all.

In this article, I will show you how you can edit a PDF in Google Docs, and why a third-party web application may be needed if your document is loaded with images, graphs, and other types of heavy formatting.

Can You Edit A PDF In Google Docs? Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the questions people are asking on search engines about editing PDF files in Google Docs:

Can Google Docs Make Editable PDFS?

To make your PDF file editable on Google Docs, upload it to your Google Drive, right-click on it, and then select Open With > Google Docs.

The file will then be converted to Google Doc format using Google’s built-in optical character recognition (OCR).

Does Google Docs Have A Free PDF Editor?

There is no PDF editor on Google’s word processor, and you must convert the file to Docs format before you can edit it.

A more direct option is to open the document in Google Drive with a third-party PDF Editor that lets you modify files in PDF format.

What Is Needed To Edit A PDF In Google Docs

Here are the resources and tools you will need to modify your PDF document using Google’s platforms:

  • A Google Account — you must open one to be able to access both Google Drive and Google Docs. Visit the Google Accounts website to set up your profile.
  • A PDF Editor — it’s more convenient to edit your PDF file directly on Google Drive using a third-party editor like Lumin PDF. Besides, it’s very difficult to convert PDF files with heavy formatting to DOCs format without losing some of your page elements.

How Can You Edit A PDF In Google Docs: Step-By-Step Instructions

Use the following process to modify your PDF document using Google Docs and Google Drive:

  1. Open your PDF file in Google Drive
  2. Make your edits in Google Docs or your PDF editor
  3. Download your edited document

Step 1: Open Your PDF File In Google Drive

To start, click on the hamburger menu at the top-right corner of your Google Account dashboard or the homepage of your Google Chrome web browser.

01 google chrome apps menu

Select Google Drive from the list of Google apps in the dropdown menu.

02 google drive new file upload

On the Google Drive window, click New > File upload.

Then upload the PDF file you want to modify from your device.

While the new file is been uploaded to Google Drive, you should see a progress bar at the bottom-right corner of your screen.

It will display “1 upload complete” when it’s done.

Now, find the recently uploaded PDF document using the search bar.

When you locate it, right-click on it, and select Open with.

Then choose Google Docs, Suggested apps (Lumin PDF / DocHub), or + Connect more apps.

03 google docs open with google docs or lumin pdf

You can select the Google Docs option if you want to do quick editing like correcting a typo or adding and removing text.

The other options are third-party apps that let you make changes directly on your PDF file.

Step 2: Make Your Edits In Google Docs Or Your Pdf Editor

Once your document is opened in Google Docs, you can start making changes to it.

04 editing pdf file in google docs

You add and remove text or paragraphs.

It’s also easy for you to add or edit tables, graphs, footnotes, and images.

If you opted for the second option, using a PDF editor in Google Drive, the editing process is just as straightforward.

Let’s say you selected the Lumin PDF app, your PDF document will be opened in the app in another window on your browser.

05 editing PDF file in lumin pdf

There, you can use the app’s toolbar to edit your document and all your changes will be synced to Google Drive.

It supports:

  • Text and graphics removal and insertion,
  • Annotations,
  • Freehand drawing,
  • Commenting,
  • eSignatures,
  • Split PDFs,
  • and more.

Step 3: Download Your Edited Document

On Google Docs, go to File > Download > PDF Document (.pdf).

The document will be converted back to PDF format and saved to your device.

06 save as pdf on google docs

You also email the PDF file or share it with your collaborators.

You can do all that on the Lumin PDF app as well.

It lets you save, download, print, or share your document via Lumin.

The saved changes will be synced with the version on Google Drive and all you need to do is download your file from Google’s cloud platform.

Similar Tutorials Types To Check Out

  • How to Add a Signature in Google Docs: this article will show you how to use the Drawing function on the word processor to draw your signature on your Google document and make any needed adjustments.
  • How to Do a Mail Merge in Google Docs: discover a useful workaround that lets you create a merge document on Google Docs just like you can on Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • How to Add a Border in Google Docs: this article will show you how to add a custom border on Google Docs, even without a dedicated tool for that purpose on the platform.

Wrapping Up

Google Docs lets you convert and edit PDF files easily, but if you want to edit a heavily formatted document, a PDF editor offers more options and the choice to make the changes directly on your document.

The right option for you will depend on the complexity of your editing needs.

If you are stumped during the process or you need more guidance on the information provided in this article, feel free to reach out in the comments section.

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