Have you ever wondered how to make editable digital copies of your PDFs and Worksheets? Well, you’re not alone! Remote teaching may be a great idea, but how do you hand out editable assignments online in PDF or Worksheet formats instead of sending out hard copies?
Here’s the thing: you can do both! That is, you can teach online as well as give out digital documents that your students can type in answers.
But is it easy to make your PDFs and Worksheets editable online? Certainly! With the right apps, tools, and tricks, creating editable documents is pretty straightforward. To do this, however, you will need to sign up for a Google account (if you don’t have one already) so that you can access two important tools for making and sharing your editable documents. These tools are:
- Google Slides: you’ll need this to make your documents editable
- Google Classroom: you’ll need this to hand out your editable documents to your students
In a nutshell, this short tutorial will show you how to convert PDF to Google slides, and then share the document with your students or audience. All this can be accomplished in 3 simple steps as you are about to learn.
Step 1: Capture and Export Your Document as an Image
Converting your documents (PDFs or Worksheets) into images and exporting them is not a complicated process. Here are a couple of simple ways to capture and export your documents as images or photos.
- Using a PDF Reader: You can use a PDF reader, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, to export your document as an image. If you are using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC or something similar, go to the File menu, Export To, Image, JPEG, and your document will be exported as an image. Whatever PDF reader you have installed on your computer, look for the export option and make sure to export your documents as images.
- Using the Snipping tool or Capture tool: If you don’t have a PDF reader on your computer, you can use the free snipping tool that comes with Windows or the capture tool in Mac OS. Snipping make screenshots quite easy on the computer.
To capture your document using the snipping tool in Windows:
- Open the snipping program. You can type “snipping tool” in the search box to look for it if you haven’t used it before on your computer. A crosshair appears on your screen.
- Drag the crosshair to cover the entire portion (document) to be captured. The captured part will be imported into the snipping tool window as an image.
- Save the image to your preferred location. (Consider storing your documents on Google Drive to save disk space and for ease of access).
To capture your document using the capture tool in Mac:
- Press the Command key + Shift + 4 to activate the capture tool.
- These key combinations will bring up a crosshair that lets you select the portion of your screen to capture.
- By default, your screenshots are saved to your desktop in Mac. You can move the image to your preferred location.
- Photo from Mobile Device: If you have a handwritten document or you don’t have a digital copy of a document, there’s no need to retype the entire document all over again. Take a picture of the document, upload it to your computer, and use a PDF reader to export it as an image. If you don’t have a PDF reader, you can use the snipping or capture tool to convert your document into an image, as explained earlier.
With your document captured and exported or saved as an image, you’ve completed the first step to convert PDF to Google slides.
Step 2: Create a Presentation in Google Slides
The next step is to import the saved image into your Google Slides.
- From your Google account, go to your app launcher and start the Google Slides app.
- Once you’re logged in, click on Blank to create a new presentation.
- Click on the edge of any text boxes on your page, and hit the delete key to remove them.
- Depending on the dimension of your original document, you may need to adjust the size of your new blank page. To do that, go to the File menu, Page Setup, and change the page size to your desired dimension.
- Click on the Background option on the tools bar to change the background of your blank page.
- Click Choose Image. Upload the captured image (your document) from its location.
- Click the Done button. The background of your new page is now changed to your document. It cannot be moved, resized, or deleted accidentally.
Note: Using the Insert menu to import your image into your blank page might work, but it is not your best option. Your students can drag the image, temper with it, or even delete it.
Now that you’ve converted your PDF to Google Slides, it is time to make your document editable. To do that:
- Click the Text Box option from the tools bar.
- Draw a text box where you want your students to fill out their answers. The boxes are invisible if you click off of it. You can type “Click here” into the text box to help your students know where to insert their responses.
- If you need to draw more textboxes, just copy and paste the text box in as many places in the document as necessary. Note that you can increase or reduce the size of the text box, and also choose the font size, color, and style of the text inside the text box.
Now you have successfully converted your PDF to Google Slides, and they are editable too! Let’s see how to share your document with your students.
Step 3: Share Your Document in Google Classroom
The final step is sharing your editable document using Google Classroom.
- From your Google account, go to your app launcher and start the Google Classroom app
- Select a Classroom to share your document
- From the Classwork tab, click Create, Assignment to upload the editable document
- Type in a title for the assignment and add a description, if required.
- Click on the Add button and select the location where your document is stored
- Click the Add button on the dialog box
- Click the pull-down arrow in front of the document and select how you want students to interact with it. The options are:
- Students can view file: Students can only view the content of the document but can’t make changes to it
- Students can edit file: Changes can be made to the original document
- Make a copy for each student: Students get an individual copy and can edit (fill out) the document
- Click the Assign button at the top right corner of the window to share your editable document
Now that you have seen how to convert PDF to Google Slides, go ahead and try it with Worksheets too. The procedure is the same. Capture and export your Worksheet as an image, import it as a background in Google Slide, and then share it using Google Classroom.
The steps may appear lengthy, but that’s just in theory. When you practice the steps, you’ll see how easy it is to convert PDF to Google Slides (or Worksheets to Google Slides) and make them editable. Have fun practicing!