PDF support in Google Drive has always been sort of terrible – I’m not even joking. Before you even get to the document, you can open the preview of it, and today, you’ll notice that things like images, tables, and multiple columns simply don’t show up. Drive has become a place to store PDFs, but not really a place to actively use them – it’s used more so just for safekeeping and. Luckily, Google is about to change that entirely by giving this document type the TLC it’s deserved for so long.
Previously, lists, tables, columns, footnotes, and endnotes may not have been properly detected upon import, along with several less common fonts. Within the next few days, Workspace members will begin to see a number of changes to their PDFs when previewing and editing them in Drive that should make them a lot more useful:
- Image imports – images will properly show, can be imported, and will show related text wrapping.
- Text styles and formatting – imported images will now show pre-existing underlines, strikethroughs, background colors, and more fonts.
- Layout conversion – PDFs in Drive now include full support for multi-column layouts, custom page sizes, tables with borders, and improved content ordering.
Needless to say, this is exciting! Also, I probably don’t need to say this either, but I’m going to – why did this take so long to do? A lot of small quality of life changes across Google’s ecosystem go unnoticed for years at a time while they roll out larger products and services. Over the past year or so, we’ve seen them begin to stabilize their efforts (sort of) and focus on polish so they can compete with Apple’s offerings. We’re looking forward to more improvements like this, because while they’re minuet, they contribute to the overall feel and usefulness of the larger service and in my opinion, can make or break the experience.
Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus, as well as G Suite Basic, Business, Education, Enterprise for Education, and Nonprofits customers.Who’s receiving this update