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Extract PDF Text with Google Drive

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:

Enable PDF-to-text conversion in Google Drive, via PlanetPDF.com.
Via PlanetPDF.com

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.

Extract PDF Text with Google Drive.

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

PDF to text with Google Drive.

Here’s what page 2 of my newly-converted text file looked like:

Screenshot of a PDF converted to text with Google Drive.

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.

Download a PDF converted to text with Google Drive.

6. Profit

Happy converting.