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Dinesh Haribabu
Dinesh Haribabu

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Download Google Docs as a PDF from the shared link

Have you ever shared a Google Docs document and wanted users to download it as a PDF directly instead of manually opening and downloading it as a PDF? Generally for such use cases, manually exporting the document as a PDF and uploading it to a separate location is the way. This can be tedious, especially if you frequently update the document.

There's a clever trick to bypass this extra step! Here's how to automatically download the latest version of your Google Doc as a PDF directly from the shared link:

Find your Google Doc's shareable link:

Open your Google Doc.
Click "File" in the top menu bar.
Select "Share" and then "Get shareable link."

Google Docs Share popup

Modify the link for PDF download:

The standard shareable link looks something like this:<file-id>/edit?usp=sharing
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Here's the magic touch: Replace edit with export?format=pdf in the URL. This transforms the link into a direct PDF download for your document.

For example, if your original link was:
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The new PDF download link would be:
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Now, anyone with this modified link will automatically download the latest PDF version of your Google Doc whenever they click it!

A use-case for software engineers

Let's talk about a real-world scenario. Imagine you have a personal website showcasing your skills and experience. You also offer your resume as a downloadable document. Traditionally, you might upload a static resume in PDF format to your website.

The problem? When you update your resume with new achievements or work experiences, you also need to manually re-upload a new PDF file. This can be inconvenient and lead to outdated versions lingering online.

This Google Docs trick solves that problem!

By using the modified shareable link for your resume doc, you can ensure visitors always download the latest version whenever they click the link on your website. No more manual uploads and your visitors always have the most up-to-date version of your resume!

This approach is ideal for any frequently updated Google Docs you want to share as a PDF, like project reports, presentations, or even client contracts. The same can be achieved for Google Sheets, Google Slides or any Google Workspace documents. Moreover, you can export to various other formats like .docx, .epub. You can refer to all supported formats in this Google Workspace API document.

Bonus Tip: Consider using a URL shortener like Linkly to make the downloadable link more manageable and visually appealing and even provide analytics on the link's usage.

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