How to Edit PDF in Google Docs

There are many ways to edit PDFs online with dedicated PDF editing tools, but there is also a way to edit PDFs in Google Docs. While Google Docs does not provide the level of customization that tools like Adobe Acrobat or other specialized software programs do, it still gives users a way to edit the text of any PDF.

There are several ways to use the Google Drive PDF editor. All of them are easy to do and require only a few basic steps. This article can guide users through those steps as well as provide a few alternative editing platforms.

Preview Any PDF in Google Drive

Google Drive and the other PDF editor in the Google Workspace Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides) are not known for their PDF editing capabilities. But there are ways that savvy users can still view and edit PDF files with these tools and without using third-party apps or software. Users already know that Google Drive gives them the option to store and share PDF files.

But the platform also lets users edit PDFs online with Google Docs. Users need only upload their PDF forms to Google Drive and then open them using Google Docs. They will be prompted to open the file using Google Docs and they should select Google Docs rather than using another platform or service.

At first, users will see a preview of the document that they are about to open. This is the PDF editor feature of Google Docs, but at the top of the screen, users will then be given the choice of whether they want to open the file, which will then lead to the PDF being converted into a Google Doc automatically.

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Convert a PDF File to a Google Doc

There is no button to push or process to follow to convert a PDF file into a Google Doc. Users can simply open the selected PDF file from their Google Drive and then watch as the PDF becomes a Google Docs that is fully editable. The one downside to converting a PDF to a Google Doc is that the original layout and formatting of the file will be lost.

Users have free rein to edit the text sections of the document, but if they want to edit the text and preserve the design layout of the PDF, then they should turn to a dedicated PDF editor that gives them those options. Even things like images and graphics that contain text can be edited. Once a user has made the changes they want to the text, they can save the file as a new PDF.

Opening PDF Files With Other Readers

As mentioned already, Google Docs does not offer a whole lot when it comes to making major changes to a PDF file. Luckily, there is a wealth of different online PDF form creators and editors that give users several options to create, customize and edit their PDFs in just a few clicks.

Adobe Acrobat

The most recognized PDF editing tool is Adobe Acrobat. The company created the PDF format and its editing software remains the gold standard among PDF editors. Not only does Adobe allow users to edit their PDF files, but users also have a wide-ranging database of PDF templates and PDF fillable forms at their disposal.

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The downside to Adobe software is the cost. Not only do users have to pay to buy the software, but the company charges a yearly subscription fee for full use of the software. Users must also pay for any updates to the software, and for access to the program’s cloud services that include more advanced features.

Lumin PDF

Lumin PDF is an alternative to the costly Adobe Acrobat suite. Lumin provides its users with similar features and services like an editing component, compression, conversion, and security features. The program is both an online tool, while it is also available for download to any desktop or mobile phone.

Lumin users can register with the company and pay either a monthly or yearly subscription fee to have full access to not only PDF tools, but a database of PDF templates and PDF fillable forms. The program can also sync with cloud-based storage platforms from Google Drive and Dropbox to make collaboration and file sharing even easier.

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