How to convert Google Docs to PDF automatically

Google Docs is a great tool to generate documents for every business. Not only does Google Docs possess a wide range of editing features for any type of project, but this cloud-based software also offers incredible collaboration capabilities. However, the humble PDF is still the go-to file type when it comes to sharing documents outside of your organization. Although you can manually convert Google Docs to PDF in a variety of ways, wouldn’t it be even better if this could be done automatically?

The conversion of numerous documents to PDF occurs almost daily in your business operations. For example, let’s imagine we have multiple sales quotes to send out to clients. Not only is the manual generation of each separate quote time-consuming, but manually converting them to PDF is even more so. With Sheetgo, not only can you automate the PDF conversions of your documents, but also the entire generation of the documents themselves. You can streamline your entire process in order to save a lot of precious time.

Why convert Google Docs to PDF?

Although the PDF has been around for a while, it is still the fail-safe option for sharing files both internally and externally for businesses. Not only is the PDF universally compatible, but it can also be easily compressed – perfect for sending large files to your recipients. Most importantly, PDFs cannot be edited without leaving a digital footprint, which is essential if you are sharing confidential or important documents such as contracts, invoices, and quotes.

How to save your files as PDF

Converting Google Docs files is easy. Follow these simple steps to manually save your file as PDF.

  1. Open your Google Doc file.
  2. Click File in the top toolbar. Then, hover your mouse cursor over Download.
  3. Select PDF Document to download your Google Doc as a PDF file.

However, if you want a more scalable solution, you can use Sheetgo to help you convert your files automatically.

Why use Sheetgo to convert your files?

Using the Sheetgo web app, not only can you automatically convert all of your Google Docs into PDFs ready to share, but Sheetgo automates your entire process. Let’s explore more about Sheetgo and how it can automate your workflow from start to finish.

Sheetgo not only saves you time by automating the conversion process of your documents into PDFs, but it also can automatically generate and share your documents for you.

Using your source data file, Sheetgo can discover your dynamic data and automatically input this to carry out a variety of processes.

This not only includes document generation and PDF conversion, but also the automatic sharing of your documents through Gmail. For each row of data added to your source file, a new document is generated, which can then be converted to a PDF and sent to the recipient via Gmail in just a few clicks of a button.

Now that we understand the extent of Sheetgo’s automation abilities, let’s go through a step-by-step on how exactly you can automatically convert your documents to PDF. We will use our sales quote case study mentioned earlier to demonstrate.

How to convert Google Docs to PDF automatically using Sheetgo

Step 1: Sign up for Sheetgo

Sign up for Sheetgo by clicking on the blue button above.

Simply use your Google, Dropbox, or Microsoft account to get started.

Google docs to pdf - sign up for sheetgo

Step 2: Configure your source files

Before you start, you need these two resources: a source data file, and a document template.

Firstly, set up your Source data file – this should include all of the dynamic information you need to create your documents and share them. Below you see our ‘Sales quote data’ file that includes all of the information we want to convert into PDF.

Google docs to PDF - source file

Secondly, you need a document template in Google Docs. This should have all of the foundational content that you want to include across all of your new documents.

On top of that, it should include the variable placeholders ({{customer name}} for example) that Sheetgo will automatically substitute for the dynamic data found in your source file.

Google docs to PDF document template
For more information about what your document template needs, please check out the Sheetgo help center where you can talk to us in chat.

Step 3: Create a new workflow

Open up the Sheetgo web app. Select + New workflow. After that, choose to build your own workflow from scratch and click Connect files.

Don’t forget to name your new workflow clearly with your project name. I’ll name it ‘Sales quotes 2021’.

Google Docs to PDF new workflow

Step 4: Select your source file

It’s time to select your source data file. You can choose single or multiple spreadsheets as your source data, or even data from BigQuery.

For this example, we will select the Single file option.

Google docs to PDF select source
Now identify and upload the correct file to the app and select the correct tab where your data is located (in our case: the ‘Sales quote data’ file and the ‘Sheet1’ tab).

Press Continue once you’ve done that.

Google docs to PDF source data selected

Step 5: Connect your source file to your document template

In order to automatically generate your new documents in Sheetgo, you need to connect the source file with your document template.

Scroll down to the Generate section and select the Documents option.

Now upload your document template here. Specify the name and location for the documents that Sheetgo will automatically generate. Note that you can use the variable placeholders to create dynamic and personalized document names.

For this example, I specified “{{Customer name}} {{Quote number}} for a total of {{Grand total}}” as the document name to be generated.

Google Docs to PDF document generation
Once finished, press Continue again.

Step 6: Automatically convert your new documents into PDF

Sheetgo will offer you the next step to generate PDF versions of your new documents.

Under Pick a next step, select PDF to save your new assets as PDF.

Google Docs to PDF generate PDF
You can now create a new folder for the PDF versions of your document or add them to an existing one.

When finished, press Continue once more.

Google Docs to PDF save assets as PDF

Step 7 (optional): automatically share your new documents

Sheetgo also provides you with the opportunity to automatically send your new document files to their recipients.

By discovering the dynamic email addresses within your source data, Sheetgo can automatically send the customized document to the corresponding recipient via Gmail.

Google Docs to PDF send via Gmail
Simply select the Email option under the Share section. Here, you can edit the sending method of your documents as either an attachment or access link.

To automatically send the documents to your recipients’ email addresses found in the source data, select the Get dynamically from a column and select the column containing the email addresses.

Finally, you can edit the email subject to whatever you need, with again the option to use the variable placeholders.

Google docs to PDF share via Gmail
Once completed, press Finish and save. Take a look at the newly created folder(s) in your Drive and see the magic happen.

Now that everything is successfully connected, there will be constant automation of data. This means that whenever you update your source file, a new document is generated, converted and shared with the recipient in a matter of seconds!

Google Docs to PDF converter

And that’s it! With Sheetgo, not only can you automatically convert your Google Docs to PDF in just a few clicks of a button, but you can automate your entire document generation process!

If you’d like to find out more about document generation and other Sheetgo features, check out our posts below!

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