How to Edit a PDF in Google Docs on the Web

814706 How to Edit a PDF in Google Docs on the Web

PDF documents are widely used for sharing information as they preserve formatting across platforms. However, editing PDFs can be difficult without the right tools. Fortunately, Google Docs makes editing PDFs simple by converting them into editable Docs documents.

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to edit a PDF in Google Docs using any web browser.

Step 1: Upload the PDF to Google Drive

To get started, you need access to the PDF file you wish to edit. The easiest way is to upload it to your Google Drive storage.

Here is how to upload a PDF to Google Drive:

  1. Go to and log into your Google account.
  2. Click on the New button and select File Upload.
  3. Find and select the PDF file on your computer you want to edit.
  4. Click Open. This will upload the PDF to your Google Drive.

Once uploaded, you will see the PDF file appear in your Google Drive storage.

Step 2: Open the PDF in Google Docs

With the PDF now accessible from Google Drive, you can open it directly in Google Docs for editing:

  1. In Google Drive, right-click on the uploaded PDF file.
  2. Hover over Open with and click on Google Docs.
  3. The PDF will now convert into an editable Google Docs document. This may take a few minutes depending on the size of the PDF.

Step 3: Edit the Converted Google Doc

With the PDF converted into a Google Doc, you can now edit it just like any other Docs document:

  • Edit text – You can edit, format, or rewrite any text by simply selecting it and making your changes.
  • Insert images – Click Insert > Image to add your own images or screenshots.
  • Add charts/graphs – Use the Insert menu to add charts, tables, drawings and more.
  • Modify formatting – Adjust fonts, colors, alignments, indents, and any other text formatting.

Take advantage of all of Google Docs powerful editing features when modifying your converted PDF.

Step 4: Save the Edited Version as a PDF

After making your edits, save your updated document back as a PDF file:

  1. Click File > Download.
  2. Select PDF Document (.pdf) from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click Download to save the editable Google Doc as a PDF to your computer.

You now have an updated PDF with your revisions and edits included.

Tips for Editing PDFs in Google Docs

When editing PDFs using Google Docs, keep these tips in mind:

  • Simple PDFs convert best – Complex formatting may not convert properly. Stick to basic PDFs with mostly text.
  • Some formatting may change – Images, charts, fonts, and layouts may adjust slightly on conversion.
  • Review before finalizing edits – Preview the converted document first to check formatting before editing.
  • Work from an original copy – Download edits as a separate PDF to retain the original as a backup.

Google Docs PDF Editor Limitations

While Google Docs can edit simple PDFs, there are some limitations to be aware of:

  • Page limit – Long PDFs over 80 pages may fail to convert properly.
  • Password protected – Cannot edit password protected or encrypted PDFs.
  • Advanced formatting loss – Specialized formatting like form fields may not convert.

For advanced PDF editing capabilities beyond Google Docs’ functionality, a dedicated PDF editing software is recommended.


Editing PDFs in Google Docs provides a quick, easy way to modify simple PDF documents. By converting to an editable Doc, you can leverage Google Docs’ powerful editing tools.

Remember to work with basic PDFs, review converted formatting, avoid long documents, and retain backups. For advanced needs, use a specialized PDF editor.

Following this simple 4-step process, you can now easily edit any PDF right within Google Docs using any web browser.

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