How to draw on Google Docs

Sometimes pictures are better than words, or at least good accompaniments. You may want to include a sketch, illustration, or other type of drawing in your Google Doc. Google offers a drawing program which you can open directly from Google Docs or separately to create and insert the sketch you want.

Depending on whether you want your drawing just for your current document or for use outside of Documents, here’s how to draw Google Docs in two different ways.

Use Google Docs built-in drawing tool

If you plan to use the drawing only for the current Google Doc, you can create it directly through the application. The sketch will not be saved to Google Drive for external use, but it can still be edited.

Step 1: Visit Google DocsSign in with your Google account and open your document or create a new one.

Step 2: Place your cursor in the document where you want the drawing. Navigate to InsertDrawing in the menu and choose New

Draw, New in the Google Docs Insert menu.

Step 3: When the drawing tool opens in the pop-up window, use the options in the toolbar to create your drawing.

With the Actions menu, you can use tools such as word art for beautiful text and guides to line up items. The toolbar lets you choose lines, shapes, text, and images.

Use the to draw freehand Line drop-down arrow in the toolbar to choose scribble

Google Docs drawing tool window with actions.

Step 4: When you’re done, select Save and Close

Save and close in the Google Docs drawing tool window.

Step 5: You will see the drawing appear in your document.

To make changes to it later, select the drawing and choose edit in the floating toolbar below or double-click to reopen the drawing window.

Image of the drawing tool in Google Docs.

Use Google Drawings and insert your sketch

If you want to spend more time on the drawing or simply save it to Google Drive for use outside of your document, you can use Google Drawings. While it works similarly to Google’s drawing tool above, you can go directly to Google Drawings.

Step 1: Visit Google Drawings and sign in with your Google account to start drawing.

Step 2: Start by giving your drawing a title at the top left. The name is ‘Untitled Drawing’ by default.

Name box in Google Drawings.

Step 3: Use the menu options and toolbar to create your sketch or illustration. You can include shapes, images, text, and lines, like the tool above.

To draw freehand, select InsertLine and choose scribble or use the Line drop-down arrow in the toolbar to choose scribble

Line menu options in Google Drawings.

Step 4: As you work on your drawing, the file is automatically saved. It will then appear in your Google Drive, such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

When you’re done, return to Google Docs.

Image in Google Drawings.

Step 5: Place your cursor in the document where you want the drawing. Select InsertDrawingand this time, choose From Drive

Draw, From Drive in the Google Docs Insert menu.

Step 6: Find your drawing and choose Select

Step 7: You will see a prompt to link to the source or insert the image disconnected.

  • Link to source: If you want to have the possibility to edit the drawing easily, choose this option. You can then select: open source in the top right corner of the image in Google Docs to make changes in Google Drawings at any time.
  • Insert unlinked: If you do not intend to make any changes, you can choose this option. If you change your mind later, you can make changes in Google Drawings and then re-insert the updated image into Google Docs.
Insert the Drawings prompt in Google Docs.

Step 8: After choosing a pairing option, select Insert and your image will appear in Google Docs in the spot you chose.

Google Drawings image in Google Docs.

If you’ve been wondering how to draw in Google Docs, you now have two solid options for your sketch or drawing.

For more information, see How to electronically sign a document or what similar applications look like LibreOffice and OpenOffice work.

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