I want to edit a web document that I see open in my browser. What can I do? I have discovered that I can use the viewer, like this: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw4.pdf

In the viewer, there is an option to move the document to the Google Drive and, finally, convert to a Google Document. But, it shows garbage when I reference any HTML page instead of pdf.

Why I can only upload a file from my hard disk but not feed URL references to Google Docs?

Yes, I can copy-paste the contents of the web page into the new Google Document. But, google could do it itself. I ask because copy-pasting takes forever (when it comes to document-embedded images). I believe that URL-based import could accomplish it more efficiently.

I have created a similar question for SkyDrive.

  • 1
    Can you put a link to the HTML- it might help clarify the question (even if it is garbage)? Is the document something you uploaded or are just viewing online? What do you mean by give it references? May 25, 2013 at 13:12
  • Ok, I understand your confusion. It is so difficult to find any online HTML page in our wold. But, I have managed somehow. See example in the edit.
    – Val
    May 25, 2013 at 14:02
  • Ok- so when I went to the HTML link it showed the HTML code for this page (like I would if I viewed source etc.)- are you trying to view rendered HTML in google docs? (I don't think that's what you're trying to do, because that would really be a copy paste situation). May 25, 2013 at 14:43
  • 1
    @batpigandme Are you a programmer? Why do you think that copy-paste is bad? Actually, I try to avoid the stupid copy paste because I know that Google server can do that more efficiently from both technical and user perspective.
    – Val
    May 25, 2013 at 17:17
  • I was just trying to figure out what your end goal was, not a programmer like you (more of a scripting language kind of gal), I just wasn't sure if you were trying to view code or a page as it appears in a browser in G-docs. Might be your whole problem is over my head- sorry I can't be of more help. May 25, 2013 at 18:07

5 Answers 5


When you have an HTML file in Google Drive and ask to open it with Google Docs, there's no 'convert' option AFAICT and you get a 'view source' sort of view instead of seeing it rendered.

If you have the HTML file saved locally and you upload from the Google Docs page itself, there is a 'convert' option in the upload dialog, and that will produce a rendered version of the page. In my limited experience with that conversion step (importing some HTML produced by the ASCIIDoc formatter), the rendered HTML didn't look very good -- it came out with an awful-looking font and lost some formatting from the original HTML.

The top-rated Google search results for importing HTML into Google Docs all seem to assume you're importing HTML data into a spreadsheet.

So while it seems to be possible to get some kind of rendered HTML by going through one specific path, this doesn't appear to be a high priority for Google Docs.


You can only save wallpapers, snaps, and other links to Google Drive using the "Save to Gdrive" extension for the Chrome browser.


You can now do this in two simple steps:

  1. Download Google Drive for your computer.
  2. Download the PDF to the Google Drive folder you just created.

Expanding on the above steps:

Step 1: Download Google Drive for your computer.

1) Go to http://drive.google.com.

2) You should see "Install Drive for your computer" as highlighted in green in the picture below; click on this.

Google Drive for computer

3) Follow the steps to install Google Drive, which creates a folder on your computer that is synced with your online Drive files.

Step 2: Download the PDF to the Google Drive folder you just created.

For me, this only required the following two steps:

1) Right-click on the PDF from the browser.

2) Click "Save as..." and specify your new Google Drive folder on your computer.

Because this folder is synced with your online Google Drive files, you should be able to access it from either your browser or your computer.


I had the same concerns a few moments ago and found your question but no answer given satisfies my needs.

Nevertheless I found something that seems to work for what I believe you are really asking (saving a file from it's URL with the less possible clics, and specially avoiding to save it on your device).

The following 3 procedures allow you tu upload files to Google Drive without caring to save in your device:

  1. Pasting the URL in the -Google Drive's File Browsing Window-: This procedure lets you avoid like 3 steps making the browser to save the linked file to your desktop and then uploading on Drive on just one clic (google for complete instructions as "cnet.com how-to-import-files-to-google-docs-from-the-web").
  2. Using a script built specifically for this: In this video you can learn how to use sites.google.com/site/fileurltodrive script to avoid the file from being saved on your device, this method only allows to copy a file up to 10 MB directly from its source (URL) to your Google Drive.
  3. Using ifttt.com: The complete instructions are in this other video. This method also copies the file from the URL directly to your Google Drive without going throug your device, here the limit for the files size is 30 MB.

In my case the filesize is 2,5 GB (it's a website backup), so no use for me. I'll have to depende on my upload speeds (maybe a couple days).

I believe this doesn't entirely satisfies your concern either, because I've just tried option 2 for uloading an entire webstie with pictures (as you specifically asked) and it only saves an HTML file with the code (which might be helpful for some other interests).

  • In which browser does the pasting of URL to the Google Drive's File Browsing Window work? Or what is the exact procedure? - In Firefox 40 on Ubuntu 14.04 it does not seem to work. (Tested both Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V and drag & drop) --- BTW this is the only post directly answering the question. Aug 25, 2015 at 18:54
  • @pabouk: I've just tested it again... and still works, at least in windows 7 exploring web through Chrome, when in Google Drive Clic on New (red button) and Upload Files, opens an file explorer window, usually you can write a complete address of a file or folder and it opens. Same way, I've pasted an image URL and after a few seconds of a stucked browser... YEP, it uploaded it. I believe the stuck time is because chrome downloads the file and then keeps it running to the command asked by the site. Maybe it can work for other sites too. Sep 12, 2015 at 5:37
  • Thanks. Yes, it works in Windows (I have tested it in W2k3 + Firefox 40.0.3 - the "File Upload" dialogue allows entering a URL). ----- Unfortunately in Ubuntu 14.04.3 the GTK file chooser does not accept URLs (both in Firefox 40.0.3 and Chrome 45.0.2454.85). I do not know if this is a limitation of GTK, the both web browsers or Google drive. ----- It does not seem to be a limitation of GTK since the dialogue allows entering of non-local URIs at least since the version 2.4 (released in 2003): developer.gnome.org/gtk3/stable/… Sep 14, 2015 at 11:55

Google Doc allows users to create and edit documents online. Documents, spreadsheets, presentations can be created with Google Docs, imported through the web interface, or sent via email. Documents can be saved to a user's local computer in a variety of formats (ODF, HTML, PDF, RTF, Text, Office Open XML). But! when you open PDF File by Google Doc just can view that, you can not edit or change content.

Upload Documents as this formats, this formats editable:

  • Microsoft Word (*.docOC and *.docx)
  • Microsoft Excel (*.xls and *.xlsx)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (*.ppt and *.pptx)
  • Text Document (*.txt)
  • Rich Text Format (*.rtf)
  • OpenDocument Text (*.odt)

Google Docs supports 15 file formats for viewing:

  • Microsoft Word (.DOC and .DOCX)
  • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.PPT and .PPTX)
  • Adobe Portable Document Format (.PDF)
  • Apple Pages (.PAGES)
  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
  • Tagged Image File Format (.TIFF)
  • Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
  • Fonts (.TTF, .OTF)
  • XML Paper Specification (.XPS)
  • Archive file types (.ZIP and .RAR)
  • 4
    Now, explain how this answers my question.
    – Val
    May 25, 2013 at 11:32
  • You want edit document, ok? But PDF format not editable by Google Doc, You can just viewing PDF files. May 25, 2013 at 11:50
  • 2
    Why do I want to edit PDF but not HTML? Is PDF the only Web document possible? Why do you read PDF even after I complained that cannot import HTML?
    – Val
    May 25, 2013 at 11:59
  • @Val if you're trying to import HTML to google drive/docs and convert it to HTML that is definitely possible send to Google Drive and convert to HTML May 25, 2013 at 14:47

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