How To Insert a PDF into Google Slides

Google Slides is a fantastic alternative to Microsoft PowerPoint that allows you to create high-quality presentations and collaborate with others. It is easy to use, free, and gives users a cloud-based solution for their presentation needs.

Slides does have some disadvantages, though. For example, in PowerPoint users can easily import PDF files to be part of their presentation deck. However, when Slides users want to include a PDF, they hit a brick wall. Slides has an Insert menu but cannot handle common external file types like PDFs.

Fortunately, there is a workaround that will allow you to get the information you need into your Slides presentation.

Let’s take a look at how you can quickly and easily insert a PDF into your Google Slides presentation.

How to Insert a PDF into Google Slides

You can’t directly insert a PDF directly into Google Slides, but you can insert image files, and you can link those image files to online resources. It isn’t the most elegant of workarounds but it gets the job done.

Google Slides

With that being said, let’s take a look at the methods you can use to insert a PDF into your Google Slides presentation.

Convert the PDF into a JPG

There are many programs and web services that let you convert PDFs to JPGs, including our own PDF to JPG conversion tool. All you need is the PDF file that you want to add to your presentation.

Just follow these simple steps to get started:

  1. Visit our free conversion tool.
  2. Click the Upload button and select the PDF file you want to convert.
  3. Click Download File.

  4. The JPG will appear in your browser. Right-click on it and select Save image as… to save it to your local drive.

Now that you’ve converted your PDF into a JPG, let’s take a look at how to insert these images into your presentation.

Insert PDF into Google Slides as Screenshots

The first method involves taking a screenshot of each page in the PDF. Follow these steps to use this method:

  1. If you’re using Windows, open the Snipping Tool. If on Mac, open Grab.

  2. Use the Snipping Tool or Grab to take screenshots of each page and save them as JPG images.

  3. Open a presentation in Google Slides and select where you want to add the PDF.
  4. Select Insert->Image.

  5. Select the JPG you want to upload and drag it into the new window.

  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each image file you want to use.

This method can be time-consuming, but it’s the most straightforward way to add a PDF to your Google Slides presentation.

Insert a PDF into Google Slides as One Image With a Link

Next, you can just add the first page of your PDF with a link to the online version.

Follow these steps to do this:

  1. If you’re using Windows, open the Snipping Tool. If on Mac, open Grab.

  2. Use the Snipping Tool or Grab to take a screenshot of the first page of the PDF, or of a representative image, and save it as a JPG image.

  3. Open a presentation in Google Slides and select where you want to add the PDF.
  4. Select Insert->Image.

  5. Select the image in the Slides document.
  6. Select Insert and then Link.

  7. Add the URL where the PDF can be accessed.

As long as the PDF file is accessible to those you are presenting to, it will be available both at the time of the presentation and afterward if you send out the slideshow.

This is definitely the easiest method available, but it could impact the flow of your presentation as you will have to switch to a web browser to view it.

Insert a PDF into a PowerPoint Presentation

If you decide that this method is too crude or too much hassle, you can always use PowerPoint. While it costs money, most new Windows computers come with a copy of Office even if it’s just a trial. Though Google Slides is a great free alternative, PowerPoint is still the gold standard for creating high-quality presentations.

Here’s how to insert a PDF into a PowerPoint presentation:

  1. Open your PDF document and leave it open on your desktop.
  2. Open your PowerPoint presentation and select the area you want to insert the PDF.
  3. Select Insert->Images.
  4. Select Screenshot and the icon of your PDF in the Available Windows list.
  5. Select Screen Clipping and drag and drop the cursor to select a section of the file to feature in the slide. Press Escape when done.

This works similarly to Google Sheets but inserts the whole PDF file behind the image. It is a more workable method as you don’t have to make the PDF file available separately. Instead, it’s integrated into your PowerPoint document.

You can also insert a PDF into a PowerPoint presentation as an object. This time you need to ensure the PDF file is not open on your computer:

  1. Open your PowerPoint presentation and select the area you want to insert the PDF.
  2. Select Insert->Object.
  3. Select Create from File and browse to the file location.
  4. Select the PDF file and OK.

The PDF should now become part of the slide and will stay as an object within the slide. Double click the image to open the PDF.

Export PowerPoint to Google Slides

If you still want to open the presentation in Google Slides for whatever reason, you can create the presentation in PowerPoint and export it to Google Slides.

This sounds like a very convoluted way to do things, but it’s actually quite effective and simple to achieve. If you have access to PowerPoint but need to use Google Slides for work or school, this is the best solution.

The first step is to take the PDF and convert it into a PowerPoint presentation. There are several different ways to accomplish this.

If you have a license for Adobe Acrobat, you can directly convert the document by following these steps:

  1. Open the PDF in Acrobat.
  2. Click on Export PDF in the right panel.

  3. Choose PowerPoint as the export format.

  4. Click Convert.

  5. Name the PowerPoint file and save it wherever you wish.

If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat, you can use SmallPDF.com, an online converter that is simple and reliable.

You can subscribe to the pro version of SmallPDF if you plan to do a lot of converting, but for a one-off project, you can use the free service.

To use this tool, follow these three quick steps:

  1. Drag the PDF file to the SmallPDF icon, or click Choose File and load it through the file system.
  2. Download the converted PPT file.

Once you have the converted PPT file, you need to upload the PowerPoint to your Google Drive.

Then, simply right-click on the file in Google Drive, select Open With, and select Slides. That’s all there is to it. Your PDF file is now a Slides file and you can use it as you wish within Slides.

Note that you may lose elaborate formatting, so this is a process best suited for straightforward PDF files.

Final Thoughts

While it’s not as straightforward as most of us would like it to be, it is possible to insert a PDF into a Google Slides presentation via a few creative workarounds. And if all else fails, PowerPoint is always an option if you need to use a PDF in your presentation.

Do you know any other methods for adding a PDF to a Google Slides presentation? Let us know in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “How To Insert a PDF into Google Slides”

Avatar Pat Schultz says:
The convert PDF to JPEG link seems to be not working. It accepts a PDF when you drag it, says it uploads and then nothing. No convert or next step.
Avatar MakumbA says:
Google Slides – another piece that designers have to work with. Pitch Decks are the worst thing to work on in the whole graphic design business. Is it so hard to create some import modules that imports PDF files to Google Slides and make them editable in those GSlides pages? Why torture Designers with these programs – WHY :O!
Avatar Vivian Johnson says:
OMG! I’m a teacher who prefers old-school pencil and paper. Coronageddon has caused me to make a massive, scary shift. But this article just made my life SO MUCH EASIER! I can now focus my energy on teaching! Thank you so much!
Avatar Sasha Faynor says:
Thank you. Like many school districts, ours has gone to distance learning. It’s unbelievably time consuming. Your tip enabled me to make Google Slides out of existing PowerPoint presentation and saved me considerable time and headache. (Am also a blogger, writer, part-time journalist.)
Avatar Zeb says:
Do you know how I can insert a pdf onto/into a tab of a Google Sheets workbook? I want to keep it in a workbook for reference. Thanks!
Avatar Jeffrey Scott Kantak says:
Thanks Jamie that saves me a lot of back work. Cheers

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