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How to Save a Google Doc as a PDF

by Hung Nguyen

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

Google docs have become a staple for any digital workspace. They have 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.

  2. Click File > Download > PDF.

  3. The download should start within a few seconds.

  4. Double-check to make sure that the file looks right.


Saving a Google Doc as a PDF file with this three-click action.

My PDF Doesn’t Look Right


Although you can easily convert files from Google Drive to PDF documents, the export may not be 100% accurate. For instance, errors are very common when you convert scanned content.

If this happens, you can convert a Google Doc to a .docx file, and then use our (Smallpdf) converter to try and convert it to a PDF instead.

How to Convert a Google Doc to a PDF, Using Smallpdf

  1. Open the Google Doc, click File> Download.

  2. Save the file as a .docx instead.

  3. Open our Word to PDF tool, drag the .docx in the toolbox.

  4. Convert and download your doc as a PDF.

We don’t directly support Google Doc 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 your desired format (PDF).

As such, 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 clicking the ‘Google Drive’ button (to access your Drive account).

Save PDF back to Google Doc


Google Drive also offers the option to convert PDF to 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 OCR to extract the content of your document into an editable Google Doc. If this fails, head back to our converter, save your PDF back to Word format (using the OCR option), and then try to export it to Google Doc again. If all else fails, copy and paste the content manually into your Google Doc instead!

Your Secure Document Processing Tool


Our web pages run reliability for 30 million monthly users, 24/7.

Smallpdf’s servers use SSL encryption to ensure a protected environment for all users—from the moment you upload a document to when you download the created PDF file.

Better yet, you can use our service 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.

And as an online site, feel free to convert your file from your Chrome browser, Safari, or Edge.

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Senior Growth Marketing Manager @Smallpdf