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Is there any way to get a Google Docs document to include its comments in the PDF file that it creates when you click the "print" button?

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11 Answers 11

24

It doesn't appear possible at the moment;

Unfortunately you cannot print or export comments to PDF at this time

See answer here

What is suggested is exporting your comments as a .doc file (then converting to .pdf perhaps ?) which apparently retains the comments.

Hope this helps.

3
  • 5
    Yes did a test. Downloaded the Gdoc as Word and the comments are all there.
    – user17578
    Feb 23 '12 at 9:10
  • 2
    This was answered 8 years ago. Is this still current information?
    – 0112
    Oct 24 '18 at 18:54
  • This was answered 10 years ago. Is this still current information?
    – Still.Tony
    Feb 19 '20 at 23:55
12

You can do this as follows, in the Google Document click File > Download As > Web page.

Then, open the downloaded file with any browser, print that. At the bottom of the document you will have all the comments.

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  • This works except that it does not display the name of the commenters, which can get especially confusing if there is a back-and-forth discussion. May 12 at 20:30
  • As far as I can tell, it doesn't show resolved comments, just the outstanding ones. Jul 24 at 7:30
3

Downloading as Word doc didn't work for me, but I was able to do it by downloading as a webpage and that worked perfectly.

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  • As far as I can tell, the downloaded webpage doesn't show the resolved comments, just the outstanding ones. Jul 24 at 7:31
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I have tested this on linux machine. the work around is download it as an .odt document. Then open it in libreoffice and then export it as pdf. Since libreoffice is available for windows also so my guess is it will work for windows also.

After exporting it the comments is visible as an icon where you have commented. See screenshot below.

Google docs screenshot

enter image description here

Generated pdf screenshot

enter image description here

Comment in comment box

enter image description here

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You could use this Chrome extension to take a multi-page screenshot of the document and print that capture:

Full Page Screen Capture https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/full-page-screen-capture/fdpohaocaechififmbbbbbknoalclacl/related?hl=en

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You can download the Google Doc as a .docx and, in Microsoft Office Word, save the .docx file as a PDF. You will have comments in the margin of the PDF file.

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You can export as .doc and then from Microsoft Word you can:

  1. Go to the File tab and click on "Print"
  2. Click on arrow next to "Print All Pages" under Settings
  3. Click on "Print Markup" (set as checked if you want comments, uncheched if you want to hide them)

Unchek Print Markup

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If you have access to Microsoft Word, you can create a PDF of your Google doc with comments in the margins:

  1. Open your Google doc.
  2. Click File, select Download, and then select Microsoft Word (.docx).
  3. Browse to the downloaded Word doc.
  4. In Microsoft Word, click the Review tab, and then select the options in Tracking that display comments in the margins. (You can also set up the file to display revision marking as well.)
  5. Click the File tab, and then click Print.
  6. On the Printer drop-down menu, click Microsoft Print to PDF.
  7. Click Print.
  8. Follow the instructions for saving the file. (If PDF Document (.pdf) is not available under Save as type, you might need to select All files as the file type and then name your file with the .pdf extension.)

Your PDF should now display comments in the margins.

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Unfortunately, Google Docs doesn't provide this capability natively, and the following answers all produce pdfs that have distinctively lacking qualities:

  • Download as .docx, then using Word to print to pdf does not print comment author and times.
  • Download as .odt, then using LibreOffice to print to pdf cuts off comment author names in the margins and has a low quality appearance.
  • Reviews of the Chrome extension "Google document with comments printer" report that use of this extension can delete the comments (!)

A reliable and high quality pdf solution for those with access to macOS is to Download as .docx, then use Pages to View>Show Comments Pane (⇧⌘T), then File>Print…> Pages> Check "Print comments".

0

It definitely is possible, but it's clunky! (You're going to love this 😛).

The process is: Download the Google Doc as a Microsoft Word Document or LibreOffice document (my preference), then choose some special print settings to print as a PDF with the comments.

Use Microsoft Word to help

For the MSWord option, read here: https://helpdeskgeek.com/how-to/how-to-print-a-google-doc-with-comments.

Use LibreOffice Writer to help

Note: LibreOffice is free and open source software (FOSS), and no-cost (NOT the same thing as "free"), which is awesome.

I'm on Linux Ubuntu 20.04 and don't have Microsoft Word, so I'm going to use the LibreOffice technique instead. Here is how:

Tested in LibreOffice Writer 6.4.7.2 in Ubuntu 20.04.

Here is a sample Google document:

enter image description here

First, in the Google Doc, go to File --> Download --> OpenDocument Format (.odt).

Save it on your local machine. When you open it in LibreOffice Writer, you'll see this. The comments are shown, albeit a little uglier is all (well: the timestamps also have a time offset--see "Bugs" section below):

enter image description here

Now, let's export this document as a PDF. But, do NOT go to File --> Export As --> Export as PDF... like we normally would to produce a PDF!

Instead, go to File --> Print... --> under the "General" tab, choose "Print to File..." as the Printer, like this:

enter image description here

Now, click the "LibreOffice Writer" tab at the top --> and under the "Comments" dropdown menu, change it from "None (document only)" to "Place in margins", like this:

enter image description here

Click "Print to File...", give it a name, and choose a location to save it.

Navigate to that saved file and open it up in your favorite PDF viewer now, and you'll see this:

enter image description here

It's not quite the same as what we saw on Google Docs online, since we used the free and open source, and no-cost LibreOffice program to produce the PDF, but it's got all the comments, including the author and timestamp of each, so it's good enough!

Hopefully Google Docs adds this as a feature in the future. Meanwhile, we have a viable work-around.

Bugs:

Note, however, that the timestamps of the comments in LibreOffice are all wrong! They are offset by some number of hours, probably based on your timezone and how Google Docs keeps track of time. This should be reported as a bug to the Google Docs team.

See also:

  1. [my related answer on another site] https://ask.libreoffice.org/en/question/185588/export-pdf-comments-not-visible/?answer=309587#post-id-309587
-1

You can use the Chrome extension Google document with comments printer by Deemwar to print a Google document with comments.

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