1.30.2012

How to Convert PDFs to Word Documents for Free with Google Docs

Anyone who does a moderate amount of word-processing has at one time or another needed to convert a pdf into an editable format, such as a Microsoft Word document. For $449, Adobe Acrobat will give you all the tools you need. If you're like me, that's about $444 too steep. Luckily Google Docs offers a completely free solution. The formatting in the end product won't be perfect, but at the very least it will keep you from having to type your pdf into Word by hand.

Here's how to do it.

1. Go to docs.google.com. If you don't have a Google account, create one. Log in.

2. Click on the red button at the upper-left that has a picture of a hard drive with an arrow pointing up. Select "Files...."


3. Browse to the pdf you would like to convert and click "Open."

4. Your pdf will be uploaded to Google Docs. Once the upload is finished, it will appear first in your list of Google Docs documents, under the word "TITLE." Select it by clicking the check-box to the left of your pdf's name.


5. Click on the "More" button at the top of the page and select "Make a Google Docs Copy."


6. While the copy is being made, a message will pop up saying "Making a copy in Google Docs format..." When it is finished, a new Google Docs version of your pdf will appear at the top of your documents list. Click on the title to open it up and take a look.


7. To download your document in Microsoft Word format, click on "File" in the upper left, click "Download as," and then "Word."


And you're done!

Image: amy allcock