How to get a PDF into Google Jamboard
Teachers often need to bring PDF study material into Google Jamboard. Jamboard does not let you import PDF files, so we wrote this article to show a few ways to get a PDF into Jamboard.
Jamboard is a useful whiteboard app – a teacher can write and show things on screen. Jamboard is also good for group exercises with students.
There are two ways to import a PDF into Jamboard:
- Convert PDF to an image and use the image as background for a Jamboard frame.
- [For iPad, Android and Chrome OS Jamboard app only] Import PDF from Google Drive
We discuss these solutions in detail.
1. Convert PDF to image and use image as Jamboard background
Jamboard lets you set a custom background for a frame. Click Set background > click Image and upload image to use as background as shown below.
By converting a PDF to an image, we can use the image as background.
Pros: You cannot move around a Jamboard frame background with a mouse pointer. This is useful for group exercises, so students cannot change contents of a frame.
Cons: Requires effort to convert PDFs to images each time, to use on Jamboard.
To convert a PDF to an image, you have two options:
- Screenshot the PDF using tools available on your computer. Screenshotting lets you get a partial screenshot of the PDF and the image is ready in an instant.
- Convert a PDF to image using an online tool like https://pdf2png.com or https://pdfcandy.com/ . These online tools produce a .png image of every page of the PDF. A shortcoming of this approach is it takes a few minutes to convert a PDF to image.
Here are the keyboard shortcuts to take a screenshot on different OSes:
Chromebook: Press Shift + Ctrl + Show all windows
Windows: Click the Start button. Type ‘snipping tool’ and select Snipping Tool from the list of results.
macOS: Press Shift + Command + 4
2. [For iPad, Android and Chrome OS Jamboard app only] Import PDF from Google Drive
Follow these steps to import a PDF.
- Upload the PDF to Google Docs.
- Insert the Google Doc into your Jamboard.
- Pull out specific pages and expand them in your Jamboard.
Pros: PDF to image conversion is not required.
Cons: The PDF must be on Google Drive. Also, because the PDF on Jamboard is not fixed, students can move it around during a group exercise.
The two strategies we described above let you incorporate PDFs into your Jamboard. Learn to use them both as they can come in handy in different situations.