How to save a Google Doc as a PDF and share it on any device

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There are a few different ways to save a document as a PDF in Google Docs.
  • You can save a Google Doc as a PDF via the File menu in Google Docs.
  • From there, you also have the ability to email it as a PDF attachment.
  • The same tasks can be accomplished via the Google Docs app on Android and iPhone.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

Google Docs can be a useful tool for drafting and collaborating on documents, but having a document that anyone can edit isn't always the best option. Turning a Google Doc into a PDF can prevent people from editing it as well as help you avoid file size limits on email attachments. It's also useful for living documents since linking to your PDF will always show the most recent version.

Here's what you need to know to turn your Google Doc into a PDF, on desktop or mobile.

How to save a Google Doc as a PDF on desktop

You can either download the PDF to your computer or save it to your Google Drive.

Download PDF to your computer

1. Open your Google Doc.

2. Click File in the top toolbar.

Screenshot of a Google Doc on desktop
Go to "File" at the top.

3. Hover your cursor over Download.

Screenshot of the File menu in Google Docs
Hover over "Download" to see more options.

4. Select PDF Document (.pdf).

Screenshot showing the PDF option in the Download section of the File menu
Select "PDF" to download your Google Doc as a PDF.

Your PDF will appear at the bottom of the screen, and you can click the name of the document in that pop-up to open it.

Save PDF to Google Drive

1. In Google Chrome, open your Google Doc.

2. Select File in the top toolbar, then click Print.

Screenshot of the file menu on the desktop version of Google Docs
Choose "Print" to proceed.

3. Click the drop-down next to Destination and choose Save to Google Drive.

4. Hit Save.

How to email a Google Doc as a PDF on desktop

1. From within your document, select File.

2. Hover over Email, then choose Email this file.

Screenshot of the file menu on the desktop version of Google Docs
Select "Email this file."

3. Add the desired email address in the To section, as well as the subject line and any body text you want to include.

Screenshot of the email pop-up menu
Fill out the email menu to proceed.

4. If PDF isn't listed in the bottom-left corner of the pop-up, click the drop-down menu to select it.

5. Hit Send.

How to save or share a Google Doc as a PDF on mobile

The way you'll be able to save or share your document as a PDF will depend on if you're using an Android or an iPhone.

On Android:

1. Open the Google Docs app and go into the desired document.

2. Tap the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen.

3. Choose Share and export.

4. Hit Save as to save it to your phone, otherwise select Send a copy.

5. Select PDF and tap Ok.

6. If you're saving the PDF to your phone, tap the download icon, located to the right of the three dots in the top-right corner. Otherwise, choose who to send your PDF to and send it.

On iPhone and iPad:

1. Open the Google Docs app and open your document.

2. Tap the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen.

Screenshot of a Google Doc in the app on iPhone
Select the three-dot icon to begin.

3. Select Share and export.

Screenshot of the Google Docs menu on iPhone
Choose "Share & export."

4. Choose Send a copy, then make sure PDF is selected and hit Ok.

Screenshot of the Send a copy pop-up menu on iPhone
Choose the "PDF" option, if it isn't already selected and hit "Ok."

5. Select the person to send it to, or choose Save to files to save it to your phone.

Screenshot of the sending options on an iPhone
Choose who to send your PDF to, or save it to your phone.
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