How to Copy from PDF to Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide


Matthew Burleigh

Have you ever found yourself needing to transfer some text or data from a PDF to a Google Doc? Whether you’re working on a school project, preparing a report for work, or simply organizing personal documents, knowing how to copy content from a PDF to Google Docs can be incredibly handy. And guess what? It’s easier than you might think! Let’s dive into the how-to.

Step by Step Tutorial: Copying from PDF to Google Docs

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what we’re aiming to achieve. By following these steps, you’ll be able to select text from a PDF and paste it into a Google Doc, where you can then edit and format it to your heart’s content.

Step 1: Open your PDF file

First things first, you’ll need to open the PDF file that contains the text you want to copy.

Once your PDF is open, you’ll want to locate the text that you need to transfer. If it’s a digital PDF, you should be able to select the text just like you would in a Word document. However, if it’s a scanned document, you might need to use a PDF converter tool to extract the text, but we’ll keep it simple for now.

Step 2: Select the text

Now that you’ve found the text, go ahead and select it.

Click and drag your mouse over the text to highlight it, then right-click and choose ‘Copy’ or simply use the shortcut Ctrl+C (Cmd+C on Mac). This will copy the selected text to your clipboard, ready to be pasted into Google Docs.

Step 3: Open a Google Doc

Next up, open Google Docs in your web browser and either create a new document or open an existing one where you want to paste the text.

Make sure you’re signed into your Google account and then go to Click on the “+ Blank” button or open an existing document from your drive.

Step 4: Paste the text

With your Google Doc open, click where you want the text to go and paste it in.

You can right-click and select ‘Paste,’ or use the shortcut Ctrl+V (Cmd+V on Mac) to paste the copied text. It should appear in your Google Doc just like any other text, ready to be edited.

After completing these steps, the text from the PDF should now be in your Google Doc. You can format it, change the font, and make any other adjustments you need. It’s as simple as that!

Tips for Copying from PDF to Google Docs

  • If the text isn’t copying correctly, check if the PDF is a scanned image. If so, you’ll need to use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software to convert it to text first.
  • To preserve the formatting of the copied text, use the ‘Paste without formatting’ option in Google Docs.
  • If you only need a small portion of the text, consider taking a screenshot and inserting it as an image into your Google Doc.
  • For large or complex PDFs, consider using a dedicated PDF to Word converter, then uploading the Word file to Google Docs.
  • Always double-check the pasted text for any errors or formatting issues that may need correcting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I copy images from a PDF to Google Docs?

Yes, you can copy images by taking a screenshot and inserting it into your Google Doc. However, this won’t work for text within images.

What if the PDF text is sideways or upside down?

You might need to rotate the PDF before copying the text, or use a PDF editor to adjust the orientation.

Can I convert an entire PDF to a Google Doc?

Yes, Google Drive has a built-in feature that converts PDF files to Google Docs. Simply right-click the PDF in Drive, select ‘Open with,’ and choose ‘Google Docs.’

What if the PDF is protected and won’t let me copy text?

You’ll likely need permission from the document owner or a PDF password remover tool to unlock the content.

Is it possible to automate copying text from multiple PDFs?

Yes, there are batch processing tools available that can extract text from multiple PDFs, but they typically require a software download or online service subscription.


  1. Open your PDF file.
  2. Select the text you want to copy.
  3. Open a Google Doc.
  4. Paste the text into your Google Doc.


Copying text from a PDF to Google Docs doesn’t have to be a headache. With the straightforward steps outlined above, you can easily transfer the information you need without any technical know-how. Remember to utilize the tips provided to handle any quirks that might arise during the process, and don’t forget to check out the FAQ section for additional insights. Whether for work, school, or personal projects, mastering this skill can save you time and streamline your workflows. So go on, give it a try—once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without this handy trick in your toolbox. Happy copying!

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy