Google Docs Converts PDFs and Images to Text and I had to tell someone about it.

Tim Cox
2 min readSep 29, 2018
Photo by Josh Couch on Unsplash

I hate PDFs because I don’t like zooming in and out. I want all of the text and stuff to resize depending on my device and I don’t care what it looks like. Just give me the content! (Ok and also put it in a sans serif, though I’m digging Mediums font choices right now. Very serify.)

My church staff (two people) cooked up a guide for group leaders and sent out the PDF and I was upset. I didn’t want to zoom in and zoom out. Captain Picard didn’t do that, and I don’t want to either.

Feeling rather spicy, I clicked the “Open in Google Docs” button at the top of my gmail preview window thinking, “Why is this an option? They’re just going to take me to another PDF viewer exactly like the preview. Redundant much?”

But instead, a Google doc opened up with the text in Times New Roman. I was disgusted and I changed the whole thing to Proxima Nova. Then, I began to marvel–the whole text ready for my comments, edits, jokes, highlights, and consumption on phone, tablet, or desktop.

I didn’t know this was possible, and I flipped out and had to tell you. Thanks for listening.

I wonder if you can do this with images too. BRB.


No really, check out that file

Here’s the image if you’re lazy.

Upload a photo to Drive, right click on it and open with Google Docs.

It’s a good thing I’m sitting down because I was a little disappointed in 2018 for not giving us the technology it promised and then it goes and pulls text out of images no prob.


What are the implications? All scanned books are now ebooks too? What are the cool things that I’m not doing, Medium!? Leave a response and let’s explore this new (to me) world together.



Tim Cox

Reading and writing poetry and fiction. I am hungry for your feedback. I’m also hungry because I’m a vegetarian.