How to turn a Google document into PDF

A colleague of yours shared a file on Google Docs, asking you to apply some changes to it and then export the final result as a PDF. You got along quite well on the changes: you quickly became familiar with the service’s formatting tools and didn’t find many difficulties in carrying out your task; the problems came later, because you just can’t figure out how to turn a Google document to PDF.

How do you say? This is exactly how things are and would you like to know if I can give you a hand in this regard? Of course yes, do not worry. In this guide, in fact, you will find all the steps to take to create a PDF starting from any Google document: a very simple operation that can be done both from a computer and from smartphones and tablets.

In addition, I will also tell you what solutions there are to convert a Google document to PDF when it has already been downloaded offline on your device. How do you say? Is that exactly what you wanted to know? Then ban the chatter and let’s get started. I wish you a good reading and a good job!


  • Preliminary information
  • How to convert a Google document to PDF
    • From computer
    • From Android
    • From iOS / iPadOS
  • How to convert an offline Google Doc to PDF

Preliminary information

Before getting to the heart of the procedure for transforming a Google document into PDF, I think it is appropriate to give you some useful information on what Google Docs is and what you need to use it, if you were at the very first experiences with it.

Especially if you are a new user of this service, you should know that Google Docs is part of the Google Drive suite of tools, the cloud storage service created and supported by Google. To make a comparison between the productivity suite included in Google Drive and the classic Microsoft Office, Google Docs is the alternative to Microsoft Word.

What characterizes Google Docs is its essence of a service in the cloud, or via the Web, which allows not only the creation of text documents but also their sharing in real time with other users. This means that multiple people can access and modify (if they have permission) the same document, even at the same time.

To use Docs it is therefore essential to have a Google account. You probably already have one, especially if you have an Android device, as it requires it for most of its functions. Anyway, if you need to create it because you want to start using Docs and its PDF transformation function of text files, I suggest you follow my specific guide on the subject.

Do you already have a Google account? Well, then you are almost ready to start. Why almost? Because it is just as important to know how Google Drive works, this is because you need to know how to access Google Docs once you have an account. In addition, there are several basic functions that are certainly useful if known.

For example, I think it is important to know that in order to convert a document to PDF you don’t necessarily have to have editing permissions, but you can very well transform a document even if you only have read permission for it. In other words, you can turn into PDF all the documents you have access to, even those shared for consultation only.

Finally, I want to clarify that in the guide I will focus on Google Docs, but that in reality the indications you will find below can also be applied to the other applications of the “big G” suite, such as Google Sheets or Google Slides.

How to convert a Google document to PDF

Having said that, now that you are sure you have a Google account and have access to the Google Drive service, I guess you are wondering how to turn a Google document into PDF?

Don’t worry, I’ll talk about this in the next chapters, in particular I have divided the procedure according to the device on which you want to operate: computer, smartphone or tablet with Android operating system, or iPhone / iPad. Happy reading and good work!

From computer

To proceed directly from your computer, connect to the main page of Google Docs and log in to your account. I want to clarify that the procedure described here is the same on all operating systems and browsers, since everything is done from the Web.

Once logged in, from the Recent Documents section you can select a text document by simply double clicking on its preview. Through the drop-down menu you see at the top right you can filter the documents owned by anyoneowned by you and not owned by you. Using the search bar at the top of the screen, however, you can directly search for the document of your interest.

Now, from the Google Docs editor that has opened in the meantime, click on the File item in the menu bar, at the top, and move the mouse cursor to the Download option. From this list you can see the choice PDF document (.pdf) , then click on it and, from the new window, choose the path to save your document in PDF format.

If all went well, your document is now saved on your PC and “transformed” directly into PDF format from Google Docs. You can consult it by going to where you have chosen to save it and opening it as you would any PDF file. Not complicated at all, is it?

From Android

To act from Android and convert a Google document to PDF, the tool to use is Google Documents, which if it is not pre-installed on your device you can simply download from the Play Store, by visiting the link I just provided and pressing the Install button.

From the main menu of the application, in which you must log in with your Google account, you must locate the document to convert (if necessary, you can search for it in the search bar at the top) and select it, in order to open it in the editor.

Then press the ⋮ button located at the top right, scroll the menu and tap the Share and export item, then press the Save as option and place the check mark next to the PDF document (.pdf) item. Then give OK and, after a short upload, your document will be shown in PDF format directly on the screen.

To export it from Google Drive, tap the Download icon next to it ⋮: by doing so, the PDF will be saved in the Downloads folder of the device and you can open and share it as you wish.

From iOS / iPadOS

Do you want to use the Google Drive PDF conversion feature from an iPhone or iPad? No problem, you can always do this using the Google Docs app, which you can download from the App Store by visiting the link I just provided, pressing the Get button and verifying your identity via Face IDTouch ID or Dell password. ‘Apple ID.

After opening the app and logging into your Google account, open the document you want to convert to PDF so that the editor is displayed. At this point, press the button  present at the top right and, from the menu that opens, select the item Share and export and then tap on the Send a copy option.

Apply, then the check mark, next to the PDF item, press the OK button, and select the app in which to save the document, for example Save to File to save it in a folder on your device or on iCloud Drive. That’s all, your document will now also be available in PDF format!

How to convert an offline Google Doc to PDF

At this point, you should have learned how to convert a Google Doc to PDF directly from Google Docs. But what if you’ve already downloaded a copy of an offline Google Doc?

In cases like this, since you will have at your disposal a document in DOC / DOCX format, then a Word document, you can simply follow my guide on how to transform a Word file into PDF: there are many tools to do it, first of all the famous Microsoft word processing software.


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