Are you trying to upload a file to a website that is specifically requesting a PDF?
or maybe you need to send a file to someone and they aren’t able to work with a Google Docs link, or they need an actual file of your document.
Regardless of the reason, you may find yourself in a position where you need to be able to turn an existing document in Google Docs into a PDF file.
Our tutorial below will show you how to accomplish this by following a couple of short steps in the Google Docs Web application.
How to Download a Google Docs File as a PDF
- Sign into Google Drive and open your document.
- Click the File tab at the top of the window.
- Choose the Download option.
- Click the PDF document option.
Our guide continues below with additional information about downloading from Google Docs as a PDF file, including pictures of these steps.
When you create a new document in Google Docs, it will have the Google Docs file type by default.
This is great when you are collaborating with other Google users, or if you simply need access to a document from your Web browser or phone.
But occasionally you will need to download a version of your document that you can share with others through email, or post online.
One good way to do this is by downloading your Google Docs file as a PDF.
Our guide below will show you how.
How to Create a PDF Copy of a Google Docs File (Guide with Pictures)
The steps in this article were performed in the desktop version of the Google Chrome Web browser, but will also work for any other popular Web browsers that you may have installed on your laptop or desktop computer.
Step 1: Sign in to your Google Drive account and open your document.
Step 2: Select the File tab at the top-left corner of the window.
Step 3: Choose the Download option from the drop-down menu.
Step 4: Click the Portable Document Format (PDF) option from the list.
The file will then download to your computer, where you will be able to move or share the file in the same manner that you would with any other file on your computer.
Typically a PDF of a basic document file won’t have a very large file size, but you might run into trouble sending a file through email if it is larger than 25 MB in size.
If this is the case then you may want to try sharing the file from Google Drive instead or uploading it somewhere like Dropbox and sending a link to the file there.
Some of the other file types that you can convert to from Google Docs include:
- Microsoft Word
- OpenDocument Format
- Rich Text Format
- PDF Document
- Plain text
- Web page
- EPUB Publication
You can also go the other way with this conversion.
If you have a PDF file and want to edit it in Google Docs then you can upload it to Google Drive, then right-click on the file and choose the Google Docs option.
Google Drive will then attempt to convert the file to a format that you can edit in Google Docs.
It doesn’t always work, but many regular documents will work, such as ones that you created in Microsoft Word and turned into PDF files.
Matthew Thomas has been writing tech content and guiding small businesses on their tech solutions for over a decade. He began working part-time as help desk support while he was in college, then proceeded to get his degree and moved into IT consulting.
These days Matthew spends most of his time writing about computers and mobile devices as a freelance online writer.