How to create a shortcut to a PDF document on an Android mobile to always have it at hand

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On a PC, it is common to have the files you need frequently on hand as desktop shortcuts. On mobile it is not so much, despite being just as useful. Luckily, there are many ways to create direct access on an Android mobile. Today we tell you how create a shortcut to a PDF file on an Android mobile.

Whether you want to have the COVID Certificate at hand or if it is the confirmation of a reservation or any other document you want to have just one tap away, creating a shortcut on the home screen for a document can be useful on many occasions. We will use Google Drive, an app that you will almost certainly have already installed on your mobile.

First, upload the file to Google Drive

There are applications that allow you to create shortcuts to documents saved on your mobile, but they need a bit of your own preparation. We will use Google Drive as it is an app that you generally already have on your mobile, so you will not need to install anything else.

The only thing you will need is that the document is uploaded to Google Drive. There are several ways to do this: one of them is to use a file manager – Google Files, for example – and use the Share menu, to choose Google Drive from the list. You can also do the same from Google Drive, with the floating button.

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The “downside” of using Google Drive is that the file is uploaded to the Google cloud and you will need to have an Internet connection. There is a simple solution: in Google Drive, use the menu ⋮ and choose Enable offline access. Then, the PDF document will be available even if the mobile does not have an Internet connection.

Then create the shortcut

The next step is even easier. Locate the PDF document in the Google Drive storage and press the ⋮ button on its right. In the menu that opens, choose Add to home screen.

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What you will see then depends on your launcher, but you will normally be shown a preview of the shortcut, with the possibility of add it manually as if it were a widget (with a long touch) or automatically, which places it where there is a gap.

Once this is done, you will have direct access to your PDF document wherever you have placed it. The Google Drive icon is superimposed on it, as it is the app to which it belongs. You can do this same process with the Google Drive “Shortcut” widget.