1. Enable PDF-to-text conversion in Google Drive.
You’ll have to enable this setting before we get started. Like most, this setting is under the gear icon at top-right:
Once that setting is configured, Google Drive will start converting PDFs to text for you automatically.
2. Upload your PDF to Google Drive.
End of step.
3. Open with Google Docs
Right-click on the PDF file you just uploaded and choose Open with. Since you enabled conversion in step 1, you should have a Google Docs option under Open with.
4. Don’t be fooled
In some cases, the first think you’ll see when the PDF-converted-to-text version opens in a new Google Docs screen is what looks like the old PDF all over again. Sometimes Google converts some of the PDF content to images. In my case, I saw this and thought I had failed. Turns out I just needed to scroll down
Here’s what page 2 of my newly-converted text file looked like:
5. Download converted-PDF text file
If you’re into that sort of thing, you can download a plain text or rich text version of the newly-converted file.