Tips & Tools for Doing More With PDFs

I’ve fielded more questions about working with PDFs this school year than in all the years that I’ve published this newsletter. Most of the questions I get about PDFs are related to using them in Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams. If you want to do more than just distribute PDFs to your students, here are three tools to try.


Wizer is an online platform for creating online multimedia worksheet activities that you can distribute to students through a variety of learning management systems. Wizer includes an option to upload a PDF to which you add a variety of question formats are supported including open response, multiple choice, and matching questions.

Last fall Wizer released a Google Drive add-on that lets you quickly convert PDFs that are in your Google Drive into online worksheets on Wizer. With the add-on installed you can simply select any PDF in your Google Drive then choose “open with Wizer” to use that PDF in Wizer where you can then add interactive elements. You can see an overview of Wizer’s Google Drive add-on in this video.


TeacherMade is a free tool that you can use to turn your PDFs, Word docs, Google Docs, and pictures into online activities. You can add multiple choice, true/false, cloze, matching and short answer questions to your PDF activities. And if you choose to make your activity a graded one, TeacherMade will automatically score responses for you.

One of my favorite aspects of TeacherMade is that your students don’t need email addresses in order to complete the activities that you create and share with them. Watch this video for a complete overview of the process of creating activities and how students complete them.

Lumin PDF

Just before winter break one of my colleagues asked me for a suggestion for a way her students could do some free-hand writing on documents that she shares with them in Google Classroom. My suggestion was to have her students try using a Chrome extension called Lumin PDF.

Lumin PDF is a Chrome extension that enables students to draw on top of PDFs that they open in Chrome. After drawing on the PDF students can save the PDF as a new copy or replace the existing copy of the PDF that was sent to them in Google Classroom. Here’s my video overview of Lumin PDF.

Handy PDF Tricks to Know

These aren’t things that will convert your PDFs into interactive worksheets, but they’re good to know anyway.