OCR in Google Sheets

How To Do OCR in Google Sheets and Automatically Extract Text From PDFs and Images

In today’s guide, we’re going to explore the magic of converting a PDF file to text using OCR technology directly within Google Sheets. And the tool that makes this all possible? FileDrop.

What is FileDrop?

FileDrop is a handy add-on available for Google Sheets, Slides and Docs. Its main function is to allow you to insert files into your documents but it has a ton of other features:


If you haven’t already installed FileDrop, head over to the Google Workspace marketplace and add it to your collection of Google WorkSpace tools.

install filedrop step 1

Uploading a File

Once FileDrop is installed, open Google Sheets, and decide on the cell you’d like your text to appear in. Start FileDrop, and upload your desired file. This file will then be directly uploaded into your Google Drive and subsequently added to the cell you selected.

start filedrop

attach to sheets pdf docx zip images

Extracting Text from the File

After your file has successfully been uploaded, you’ll notice a TXT icon. Clicking this icon activates the extraction process, and voila!

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google sheets tricks convert pdf to text

extracted text from pdf

If you click insert the text from your PDF file or image will be placed directly into your cell. You also have the option to translate or just copy the text and paste it anywhere you like.

The Table option will detect tables in your PDF files and you can add the date as it is in your table to your cells in Google Sheet.

Additional Options

Fancy more customization? Navigate to the FileDrop settings. From there, you can choose to enter the extracted text line by line. This can be incredibly useful if you’re looking to break up lengthy content or differentiate headings from body text. Plus, this feature isn’t just limited to new uploads; you can also use it on files that you’ve recently uploaded or even those that have been in your Google Drive for ages.

filedrop settings

And that’s pretty much it! A simple yet effective tool for your OCR text extraction needs in Google Sheets.


Here is the video version of this OCR text extraction in Google Sheets tutorial.

How To Do OCR in Google Sheets and Automatically Extract Text From PDF Files


FileDrop is a powerful add-on that can save you hours of manual text input. Whether you’re working with PDFs or images, this tool can make the content extraction process a breeze.

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Give it a try, and you might just find it to be an indispensable part of your Google Sheets workflow.

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