Thanks to the free service and ease of access on the web, Google docs has become one of the most popular word processors, an online counterpart of Microsoft Word. A document created by Google Docs is usually called a Google Doc. Unlike the Word program, the online software doesn’t let you insert or embed a file into a Google Doc as an object. So how do you do if you need to insert PDF files into your Google Doc as reference material?

Fortunately, you can take advantage of some features included in Google Docs to connect a PDF or add the content in a PDF to a Google Doc. In this post, we are going to show you how to insert PDF into Google Doc in three ways.

Methods to Insert PDF into Google Doc

When creating or editing a Google Doc, you may find that there are options for inserting images, tables, links, and some other elements. In view of that, inserting PDF files into your Google Doc as some of these elements might figure your problem out. Additionally, you can copy and paste text from PDF files to your Google Doc.

  • The first method to insert a PDF into a Google Doc is to insert it as a link. This way, any update to the PDF will be reflected in the Google Docs file and you can click the link to view the entire PDF in your browser.
  • You can insert any PDF into a Google Docs file as image(s). This method is particularly suitable for a PDF containing lots of images.
  • If you just want to present some content of a PDF in your Google Doc, consider converting PDF to Google Doc to easily copy and paste the content.

Insert PDF into Google Doc as Link

Inserting a PDF into a Google Doc as a link enables you to access and read the PDF file as it exactly appears in a PDF reader. Google Docs, as part of Google Drive, allows you to insert a link saved from Drive or other web pages on the internet into its files. You can edit, change, and remove the inserted links when needed.

Follow the step-by-step guide to insert PDF into Google Doc.

Step 1:  Open your file in the online word processor and place your cursor where you want to insert a PDF in the file;

Step 2: Go to Insert on the top and choose Link in the drop-down list;


Step 3: Copy and paste a PDF link to the Search or paste a link field in the pop-up dialogue box, then hit Apply to insert the PDF into Google Doc as a link. 


When pasting a link, you can add a heading to it in the “Text” box to indicate which PDF document you have inserted here. For example, if you type “PDF 1” as the heading, the inserted link will display the name. Right-clicking on a PDF link lets you choose an option to open, copy, or do more with it.

Tips: To get a Google Drive link, right-click on a PDF file uploaded to the file list on the platform, then choose “Get link” in the context menu and click “Copy link” in the pop-up window. To insert PDF links saved from Google Drive into a Google Doc, you can directly copy and paste the links to your Google Doc and they will be clickable.

Insert PDF into Google Doc as Image

The image inserting feature of Google Docs enables you to insert a PDF into a Google Doc as an image. Before inserting, converting the PDF to images is required. You can manually take screenshots of PDF pages one by one or turn to a PDF to image converter to automate the conversion. SwifDoo PDF converter allows you to convert a multi-page PDF to multiple images or into one image in a few clicks. It can batch convert multiple PDFs in one go.

Take a look at how to insert PDF into Google Doc with the help of a PDF converter.

Step 1: Drag and drop your PDF into the converter, click Convert on the top and select PDF to Image in the sub-menu bar;


Step 2: Choose a location to save the converted images and hit Start to convert the PDF to image files in the pop-up dialogue box;


Step 3: Go to the Google Docs file opened in a browser, click Insert, choose Image and select Upload from computer to insert your PDF into Google Doc as image(s).


Tips: The converter converts each page in a PDF to an individual image by default and you can insert all the PDF pages as images one by one. To insert a multi-page PDF into your Google Doc as a single image, convert all the PDF pages into one image. To do that, make sure “Selected Pages in an Image File” is selected in the “Options” drop-down menu before conversion.

When you just need to insert a few pages of a PDF into your Google Doc as images, specify the page range in the converter to convert the specified pages.  The converter allows you to choose the output image quality and format. It also supports adding more PDF files for batch conversion. Those who don’t want to download software can turn to an online PDF-to-image converter.

Similar to inserting PDF into Google Doc, you can insert a PDF into Excel as images. Read the recommended post to learn more you may be interested in.

5 Simple Ways to Insert PDF into Excel

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Insert PDF into Google Doc as Editable Content

Apart from linking a PDF and adding a PDF as images, another viable way to insert a PDF into Google Doc is to insert it as editable content. This method requires you to convert a PDF to an editable document. While the Docs software itself can convert PDF to Google Doc, a dedicated PDF converter might be needed for more accurate conversion results, especially for PDF files with lots of images.

You can use SwifDoo PDF to convert a PDF to a Word document without losing overall formatting and layout, then upload and open the Word document with Google Docs. After that, insert the PDF content in a Google Doc by copying and pasting the text and images. Go through the steps below to quickly master how to insert a PDF into a Google Doc as editable content.

Step 1: Choose PDF to Word to get into the converter interface after launching the software, then click Add Files to add a PDF file;


Step 2: Select where to save the converted file and tap Start to convert PDF to Word;

Step 3: Upload the Word document to Google Drive and open it with Google Docs. Copy and paste the text and images to another existing Google Doc. That is how to insert PDF content into a Google Doc.

Tips: To copy and insert a PDF into a Google Doc, the PDF editing feature of SwifDoo PDF can also help. In editing mode, it allows you to directly copy and paste text and extract images from PDF so you can put them into your Google Docs file without performing a conversion task.

You may also like the following post.

5 Easy Methods to Insert PDF into PowerPoint

5 Easy Methods to Insert PDF into PowerPoint

Are you looking for a way to insert a PDF into PowerPoint? Find out the 5 easy methods in this article.



For new and regular Google Docs users, it pays to know how to add a PDF to a Google Doc in different ways. Depending on your purpose, you can insert a PDF as a link, image, or content that can be copied. This post has compiled the detailed steps for each method. If you wish to gain more knowledge about the use of Google Docs and PDF files, navigate to SwifDoo PDF's blog page.

Common FAQs

Can you attach a PDF file to a Google Doc?

There is no straightforward way to attach a PDF to a Google Doc but you can use the methods introduced in this post to meet your needs.

How do I open a PDF in Google Docs?

Upload and open a PDF in Google Drive, then click “Open with” on the preview page and choose “Google Docs”. This will open a PDF as a Google Doc.



Susy has worked with PDF tools for more than 5 years. During the past time, PDF software is of huge assistance in increasing her productivity. She joined SwifDoo PDF one year ago and works as an editor now. Based on a lot of research and tests, Susy can offer users professional and practical solutions to PDF issues.

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