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Google Docs improves importing PDFs with images, tables, and advanced formatting

Opening a PDF uploaded to Google Drive provides a basic preview. You’ve long been able to edit PDF files by selecting the “Open with Google Docs” option, and the import experience is now offering improved support.

Google cites a “range of updates that will make PDFs converted into Google Docs better.” There are three areas of improvement:

  • Image imports, including the image itself and text wrapping related to images. 
  • Text styles and formatting, such as importing underline and strikethrough, background color, and more fonts. 
  • Layout conversion, including support for multi-column layouts, custom page sizes, tables with borders, and improved content ordering.

The company previously advised that lists, tables, columns, footnotes, and endnotes might not be detected. Meanwhile, it encouraged using Arial, Times New Roman, and other common fonts for the “best results.” Google still offers tips to “give you the best results,” while there’s a list of supported languages.

These improvements to Google Docs PDF import are rolling out online today and will be fully available later this week to the following editions:

Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus, as well as G Suite Basic, Business, Education, Enterprise for Education, and Nonprofits customers 

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: