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How To Save a Google Doc as a PDF

by Hung Nguyen

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French, Indonesian, Italian and Portuguese.

Here are two ways to save any Google doc to PDF format.

Google Docs has become a staple for any digital workspace, as they’re easily accessible and easy-to-use. They’ve also made it relatively simple to download files in PDF format.

How To Save a Google Doc as a PDF File

  1. Open your document in Google Docs.

  2. Under “File,” click “Download.”

  3. Choose “PDF” or another format of your choice.

  4. Double-check that the file looks right.


Saving a Google doc as a PDF file in three clicks

My PDF Doesn’t Look Right


Although you can easily convert files from Google Drive to PDF documents, sometimes the export isn’t 100% accurate. Errors are very common when you convert scanned content, for example.

If this happens, you can convert a Google doc to a .docx file, and then use our converter to change it to a PDF with the formatting intact.

How To Convert a Google Doc to a PDF Using Smallpdf


To start off, save the Google doc as a .docx file, by going to “File,” then “Download.” Once you’ve downloaded the document, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Smallpdf Word to PDF tool.
  2. Drag and drop the .docx into the field.
  3. Hit “Download” to save your PDF or continue editing.

Easy-peasy! And the layout won’t be changed!

We don’t directly support Google Docs files, but when it comes to Microsoft Office documents, Smallpdf is the most popular online Word to PDF converter. Think of it as a smart transition between tools as you convert your document to the format you need—PDF.

You can take advantage of our free tool to quickly save your Google doc as a PDF.

If you decide to save the newly saved .docx file from Google Drive, you can also import the file directly from our tool page by selecting “From Google Drive” in the drop-down instead of dragging-and-dropping a file.

Save PDF Back to Google Doc


Google Drive also offers the option to convert PDF to a Google doc. All you have to do is drag and drop the PDF to your Drive, double-click on it, and pick the option to open as a Google doc.

Google will use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to extract the content of your document into an editable Google doc. If this doesn’t work, head back to our converter, save your PDF back to Word format (using the OCR option), and then try to export it as a Google doc again. If all else fails, copy and paste the content manually into your Google doc instead!

You can use Smallpdf for other Google documents as well, including presentations and spreadsheets. There is a tool for each file type on our website: Excel to PDF, PPT to PDF, and even JPG to PDF.

As an online site, you can convert your file from your Chrome browser, Safari, or Edge.

Your Secure Document Processing Tool


At Smallpdf, we’re all about making PDF easy for you—over 65 million monthly users rely on our tools!

Smallpdf’s servers use TLS encryption to ensure a safe and protected environment from the moment you upload a document to when you download the created PDF file. Check out our Privacy page for more information on this.

Be sure to check out our suite of 20+ PDF tools for all things online paperless file management. We’re here to help!

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Senior Growth Marketing Manager @Smallpdf