How to Save a Google Doc as a PDF

Knowing how to convert a Google Doc to PDF is a useful skill, whether you’re a student, professional, or hobbyist.

There are three main ways you can make a Google Doc a PDF.

  1. Use Google Docs directly in your web browser
  2. Navigate the Google Docs mobile app
  3. Try a file converter

How to turn a Google Doc into a PDF in your web browser

The easiest way to convert a Google Doc to PDF takes only two clicks. With the Google Doc you want to convert opened:

  1. Click “File” in the menu
  2. Hover over the “Download” dropdown
  3. Click “PDF Document (.pdf)”

And voila — your Google Doc has turned into a PDF, and will automatically download to your browser. You can access it in the “Downloads” section of your computer.

An image highlighting how to download your Google doc as a PDF directly to your browser
Turning your Google Doc to PDF is really this simple.

How to make your Google Doc a PDF email attachment

If you want to directly send your new Google-doc-turned-PDF as an email attachment:

  1. Click “File”
  2. Hover over the “Email” dropdown menu
  3. Click “Email this file”
  4. Enter the email address where you want to send the PDF
  5. Make sure “PDF” is selected in the bottom-left dropdown
  6. Click “Send”
An image showcasing how to email your Google Doc as a PDF attachment from within the web application
First, select “Email this file”
Second image that shows how to send a Google Doc as a PDF via email
Then check your settings to ensure you send your email to the correct address (and as a PDF).

How to open your Google Doc as a PDF in Mac “Preview”

If you’re using an Apple computer, you can also turn your Google Doc into a PDF using the “Print” button. 

  1. Click “File”
  2. Click “Print” at the bottom of the dropdown menu
  3. Set the “Destination” tab to “Save as PDF”
  4. Click “Open PDF in Preview”
An image that emphasizes another option for turning a Google Doc into a PDF: Opening the PDF in Mac Preview in the "Print" settings
Opening your PDF in Mac’s “Preview” app provides you with additional ways to modify your new PDF.

How to make a Google Doc a PDF using your phone

Whether your smartphone runs Android or iOS, you can use the Google Docs application to convert your file into a PDF, or send it directly as an email attachment.

1. Open the Google Docs app 

2. Click the 3 dots in the right-hand corner of the app

3. Click “Share & export”

4. Decide if you want to “Send a copy” or “Save as” directly to your phone

5. Select “PDF Document (.pdf)”

6. Click “OK”

7. If you clicked “Send a copy”, choose your email app to begin. If you clicked “Save as”, your PDF should download directly to your phone.

Converting Google doc to PDF on your mobile device starts within the app, arrow pointing at the 3 dots signifying "settings"
Everything begins with the 3 dots.
3 steps for making your Google Doc a PDF in the phone app
The Google Docs phone app is easy to navigate once you’ve uncovered the mysteries of the 3 dots.
An image highlighting Android applications, pointing at Gmail (you need to select the right email app to mail your Google-Doc-turned-PDF)
Choose your email app from your phone so you can send off that Google-doc-turned-PDF (probably Gmail, right?)

Other ways to convert Google Doc to PDF

Google Docs is a pretty flexible web application. In addition to PDF, you can download a Google Docs document as a Word DOCX file, plain text, HTML, and more.

Often, the easiest way to get a high-quality PDF is to use an online PDF converter. If you’d prefer to convert your Google Doc to PDF using a PDF tool, follow these steps:

  1. Click “File” in Google Docs
  2. “Download” your document as “Microsoft Word (.docx)”
  3. Go to our free Word to PDF converter page
  4. Click “Choose File” and open your DOCX file in the tool

And your new PDF will download directly to your browser. You can then password protect your PDF for an added layer of security (online privacy has never been more important than it is today).

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