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?
It doesn't appear possible at the moment;
Unfortunately you cannot print or export comments to PDF at this time
What is suggested is exporting your comments as a .doc file (then converting to .pdf perhaps ?) which apparently retains the comments.
Hope this helps.
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
Generated pdf screenshot
Comment in comment box
You could use this Chrome extension to take a multi-page screenshot of the document and print that capture:
If you have access to Microsoft Word, you can create a PDF of your Google doc with comments in the margins:
- Open your Google doc.
- Click File, select Download, and then select Microsoft Word (.docx).
- Browse to the downloaded Word doc.
- 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.)
- Click the File tab, and then click Print.
- On the Printer drop-down menu, click Microsoft Print to PDF.
- Click Print.
- 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.
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".
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 126.96.36.199 in Ubuntu 20.04.
Here is a sample Google document:
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):
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
- [my related answer on another site] https://ask.libreoffice.org/en/question/185588/export-pdf-comments-not-visible/?answer=309587#post-id-309587
Although not exactly what you're looking for, you can export all of the comments/replies (closed or deleted) and their context (the highlighted part of the document which the comments are against) to a spreadsheet. You may find that printing that spreadsheet satisfies your need, although I realize it is not in the margin as you had requested. However, this method will also allow you to filter and more easily search comment data, which can be helpful.
To do this, install the Comments Exporter Add-On, open the document with comments and create an export:
After the export, a new spreadsheet will be created in your Home folder containing all of the comment data, which will look like this:
You can use the Chrome extension Google document with comments printer by Deemwar to print a Google document with comments.