Using Google Docs is a great way to collaborate on and share documents. Sometimes, though, you want to provide somebody with a PDF instead of an editable document. Google Docs now lets you edit your sharing link to provide a PDF. Best of all, if you edit the original document, the PDF link automatically includes any changes you made. Here’s how it works.

Note: This process works for Google Docs and Google Sheets, but not Google Slides.

Go ahead and open up the document you want to share. Once you’re there, click the “Share” button at the top right of the screen.

Share Google Doc

In the Share With Others window, click the “Get shareable link” option at the top right.

Get shareable link

You’ll receive a message letting you know that the link has bee copied to your clipboard. You’ll also notice the “Link Sharing” section has now appeared in the window.

Link sharing

If we were just sharing the Google Doc as it is, the next step would be to send off the link you’ve just copied. To send a link to a PDF version of the document, you need to edit the link a bit.

Open whatever messaging app you’ll be using to send the message, and then paste the link.

Once you’ve pasted the link, find the “edit?usp=sharing” at the very end of the URL. This is the only part of the link you’ll need to edit. If you make any other edits, you’ll end up with a broken link.

usp sharing

Now, replace “edit?usp=sharing” with “export?format=pdf” instead. Your link should look like this.

export pdf

Note: We’ve used bold type in the screenshots above to more easily identify the part of the URL you should edit. Don’t change this part to bold in your own URL or you’ll risk breaking the link.

All that’s left to do is send it out! Whoever clicks the link will automatically download the pdf version of the Google Doc.

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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