How to Convert a PDF to a Google Doc

How to Convert a PDF to a Google Doc

What do you do when you have a PDF that is non-accessible? There is a chance that a document you scan to PDF is not accessible. You may also come across a PDF that you want to use for your course that is not accessible. The problem is your students may not be able to read it, thus it is worthless as a learning aid. However, you can still get a usable document.

Checking If PDF is Accessible

The quickest way to see if a PDF document is accessible is to try to select or highlight text on the document. If you cannot select the text then it is non-accessible.

Problem with Non-accessible PDF Documents

The greatest problem with non-accessible PDF documents is that visually challenged students cannot read the content of the document with a screen reader. I have also observed documents that were not orientated correctly thus students had to print them in order to view them. Not all students have access to printers.

Converting Non-accessible PDF Documents with Google Drive

If you have a non-accessible PDF, you can convert it to an accessible document using Google Drive. You could then include the accessible content as an alternative file in your learning management system. Here are the steps:

  1. Upload your non-accessible PDF to Google Drive.Upload your PDF to Google Drive
  2. Right-click on the file name and select the option Open with.
  3. Select Google Docs.Right-click on the document, select Open with, and then select Google Docs
  4. Compare the two documents side by side and fix problems in the Google document. Also, add headings, lists, tables, etc. as appropriate.

You should now have a document that is accessible to all of your students.

If you want to learn more about how to do this, please contact a member of the TEI team.

Stan Skrabut, Ed.D.

Stan is Director of Technology-Enhanced Instruction. He has over 20 years experience working as an instructional technologist and trainer. He has a master’s degree in computing technology in education and a doctorate in education specializing in instructional technology.

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