Convert PDF into MS Word format using Google Docs

Settings in Google Drive

Over the internet, you will find many free services that transforms PDF’s to MS Word format but they all have some or the other problems and limitaions. Instead you can use the free Google Docs OCR service to convert pdf to ms word format.

The reason I wouldn’t recommend using free services found on internet:

#. They create a copy of your personal document, which they might use against you. Official files and private documents should never be uploaded anywhere.

#. They ask you to download free/paid conversion software that might actually be malware or bloatware.

#. They ask your email address so that later they can send you spam mails.

Moreover, some of them have size restrictions and does not allow multiple conversions. In addition, their accuracy and speed to convert is doubtful.

Why I am recommending Google docs to convert PDF into MS word format? Because

#. Its efficient. I have been able to convert locked and protected files that were refused by other programs.

#. Google Docs proprietary OCR technology lets you extract text and formatting from images and PDF’s. What’s more? It is available in 34 languages.

#. No software installation is required. Anyone can do it instantly!

#. You can easily sync Google Docs with your desktop local files.

Google Docs OCR to Convert

Follow these simple steps to convert and extract text from PDFs:

Step 1. Go to Google Drive settings.

Step 2. Select the option to make a Google Docs Format of your file. You must select “Convert uploaded files to Google Docs editor Format”.

Settings in Google Drive

Once file is uploaded, navigate back to your Home page where all the files are listed. By default your file will be at the top.

Step 3. Now open your file, go to file menu on the tab and select Download as > Microsoft Word (docx).

Another way, if you don’t want to change the upload settings – Simply upload the PDF file, right click and select “Open with > Google Docs”. The PDF file will no be editable which you can later download in Word docx format.

The only limitation is that you can convert only the files that are maximum 2MB in size. However, you can upload files upto 10GB in Google Docs. If your PDF file is really big, I would recommend Zamzar which is an excellent online conversation service for many types of files and is quite safe to use.

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Filed under Google Docs. Posted by Abhishek and last updated on February 20, 2016.

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You said :

1) Go to Google Docs and start uploading your PDF.

When I go to, and I hit ‘upload’.
The only dialogue I get is to “choose a file from my computer, or drag and drop in an area”. The PDF file uploads. Done.

I never get a dialogue box to ‘select “Convert text from PDF and image files to Google documents”.’

    Hi Gillian,

    Google Docs has undergone UI overhaul and the present direct conversion are not present now.

    However, you can still use Google’s OCR technology while uploading the PDF document. I have updated the article, let me know if you get stuck in any step.

Maybe Google Docs has been updated as the reply says yo Gillian. I just uploaded on 5/16/17 and the same thing happened as it did to Gillian.

Also, you cannot copy or print forms you’ve filled out without subscribing. This wasn’t obvious until I’d finished and wanted to do both. If I had read through the entire web site, I might have caught their warning that “some features may not be available”


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