Google Drive Tutorial (Part 7): Google Drawing

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Google Drive Tutorial

And we’re back for yet another inviting edition of the Google Drive Tutorial.  I have to give some thanks first to a few of my earliest subscriber, in particular those who inspired me to write this blog.  Your feedback has brought a great number of insights to me for the sake of this blog and I want to thank you for helping me to see where you have been struggling.

Although we won’t be diverging from the tutorial again this week, I do have some great topics to get to in the coming weeks.  Thank you all for reading this blog, and if you get stuck or have a question with some aspect of this tutorial or other articles, please either leave a comment or send me an email

Google Drawings

This week we’ll be covering the artistic part of Google Drive: Drawing.  Drawing isn’t complicated, it’s a very simple tool that you can use to help illustrate your ideas. Although there are some freehand capabilities in the Google Drawing program, most of the tools are for generic shapes like squares, circles, and arrows.

Menu Items

Much of the tools in the menu of Google Drawing are the same as the tools found in Google Presentation.  But it may have been apparent to Google that to force a person to create a presentation just make drawing was excessive, and so the features were separated.

One of the familiar features of Google Drawing that is included in Google Presentation is that of layering.  Often an image has multiple parts to it, these parts are referred to as “layers”.  Each layer can be separate or part of a group, in which case the are considered “grouped”.  The individual groups or layers can be moved independently from each other allowing greater ease in creating the image.  


Like in the prior tutorials, sharing is a standardized feature, there are no changes in Google Drawing.  You can reference Part 4 for a refresher on this topic.


There are many built-in features for you to explore and use in Google Drawing.  If you are an artist you may find this application somewhat weak.  But if you are not an artist and merely wish to convey a message in your works of Google Drive programs, Google Drawing may be your savior.


In Google Drawing you will find many shapes. If you’re looking for a square or a circle, the menu listing has a pull-down that you can find these in.  Once you have selected the shape that you want, simply click the left mouse button anywhere in the drawing space and pull away.  

It may take a few test examples to get the feel for the shapes can be made, but Google understands that you  may need some assistance.  When pulling out the shape, Google will provide guidelines and will reference other points on the drawing space.  These references can help you to center or precisely position the shape.  

And once you’ve placed a shape it is not permanent.  You can still group the shape with other parts of the drawing or individually as layers. Or  you can manipulate the shape to better fit your ideal.  As long as the image stays within Google Drawing you will be able to manipulate it.  


Although freehand is one way that you can create a drawing, there are a decent number of line types that are available in Google Drawing.  There is a whole menu item dedicated to line thickness and another dedicated to dashed versions.  Each line can be custom tailored to a color as well.


Line drawings can be quite beautiful and very helpful in situations where you’d rather show an image than talk or write for 20 minutes.  But an illustration is enhanced more by color.  When drawing in Google Drawing, you want to add color to a section or an object.  This can be tricky if you have not designated a group of lines or shapes.

Whereas individual shapes can be colored easily some shapes are not grouped and therefore cannot be colored specifically.  It may also be difficult to color just a part of a whole shape without first disconnecting that part from the whole and then grouping it locally.


As this is a tutorial, not merely a review of the program, it is important for me to include a few examples of the sort of images you might create in Google Drawing.

The mascot of Tek Handy is modeled after my wife’s cockatiel, Beeb and here is a drawing that I created of him using Google Drawing.

The above image is an exported JPEG image of the drawing that I made called “example art”.

The second image is just a few simple shapes that I put into a quick drawing.  The arrow, the cylinder, and the thought bubble are all shapes that are available in Google Drawing.  The text is yet another simple addition.  This drawing took me less time to create, position, group the objects,  than it took me to draw the bird alone in the other image.

So as you can see from these simple drawings, it is quite easy to make an image in Google Drawing.  If you want to illustrate your content, Google has made it a very simple process.  Although it may take time to become comfortable using these tools, Google is always trying to make it easier.  


With this short tutorial, you may still have questions and I am ready to help you with whatever you may need on this topic.  If you still feel that the explanation above is too vague or complex, please do not hesitate to send me an email and I will be glad to explain further.  Be sure to check out the Glossary for new terms from this, and every article on

Have a Great Friday and weekend

– Wes


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