Thursday, December 10, 2015

Google Drawings: More Useful Than You Think

You've probably heard of Google Drawings, but have you taken a few moments to play with it?  If you haven't taken the time to explore it, try it out.  I promise you'll be impressed.

To start a new drawing, open up your Google Drive and click on the red "New" button.  Then choose "More" and click on "Google Drawings" in the list.  You can also just browse to

When it first opens, you will be presented with a blank drawing canvas.  Here is what it looks like.  I've given you some notes about what you see.

A few tips:
  • Resize your canvas - If you want to do a more specific resize of your canvas, click on "File" and choose "Page setup" from the menu.  It will pop up a box for you to choose your setting. 

  • Make hyperlinks - When you insert shapes and text, you can hyperlink those items so that they become clickable links.  Simply select the item and you will see more options pop into the toolbar.  Click on the chain link icon and you can paste in the URL you wish to link to.  Keep in mind these items won't be hyperlinks if you download as an image, but they will if you download as a .pdf or leave it as a drawings file.

  • Use the grey workspace - The whole grey area around your canvas is usable space.  You can put text, shapes, images, and lines in the grey space to clear out your canvas while you work.  Just drag items over and leave them there until you need them.  If you download your drawing as an image, only the items on the canvas will be shown.  When you save and share as a Google drawing file, everything in the grey space saves, too.  The neat thing about this is that you can create a drawing with items on the side and share it with your students.  Then they can use the items you provided to complete an assignment without cluttering up the canvas.  

  • Download your image - You can download your creation for use in many different ways.  Click "File" and choose "Download as" from the menu.  You can choose to download as a .pdf, .svg, .png, or a .jpg.   

  • Keep proportions - If you hold down the shift key while you are making a shape, it will keep the shape proportional.  A square will stay a square instead of stretching into a rectangle.  A circle will stay a circle and not change to an oval.  A line will snap to certain angles.  It is handy to use with lines when you want them to stay straight horizontal or vertical.  It will also take a shape you already made and keep it's proportions if you need to resize it.  Comes in very handy if you ask me.  

Go ahead, try it out.  You won't regret it.  Google Drawings is perfect for using in the classroom and the possibilities are endless.

Thank you for stopping by!

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