Google Drawing


Google Drawing lets you create and share diagrams and drawings online. Because Google Drawing is a feature of Google Drive, anyone with a University of Alberta CCID can access it through their ualberta account.

Things You'll Need
  • An internet connection

  • Your CCID and password or another Google account

  1. 1

    Access Google Drive through

    Alternatively, Go to

    Click the sign-in button on the top-right corner of the page.

    Sign in Button

    Log in with your gmail account and password or your ualberta email address. Once logged in, you’ll be redirected back to the google home page. From here, click the apps icon in the top-right corner.

    Google menu: Mail, images, app icon (icon made of small grid of squares), notifications (bell icon), share, avatar.

    From the apps drop-down menu, select the Drive icon to access your Google Drive.

    Google Drive Icon: blue, green, yellow triangle.


  2. 2

    Create a new Drawing Document

    From Google Drive, click the Create button in the top-left corner. Select Drawing from the drop-down menu.

    This will create a new Google Drawing document that works just like any other Google Drive document

    Google Drive Menu, Create: Folder, document, presentation, spreadsheet, form, drawing (circled)

  3. 3

    Use the menu options and the toolbar options to create shapes, text, charts, diagrams, or other drawings. For more detailed information about the specific tools available in Google Drawing, check out Google’s support page.

    google draw menu bar

  4. 4

    Your drawing will automatically be saved as a Google Drawing file in your Drive as you work on it. You can share, embed, and collaborate within this file just as you would any other Google document. To export your drawing, select file > download as from the menu, and select the file type you would like to save the drawing as. We recommend PNG files as they maintain any transparency in your drawing.

  • Fill and stroke: When you have a shape or text box selected, you can adjust the colour of the object (fill), the colour of its outline, and the size of its outline (stroke) using these buttons. You can also double click on the object to type directly on it. 

    fill menu: paint bucket, pencil, stroke width

  • Transparency: The default checkerboard background indicates that the background is transparent. To retain transparency in your finished drawing, download the drawing as a PNG file (file > download as > PNG). In other file formats (such as .jpeg and .pdf), the transparent parts of your drawing will be rendered as white. 

    white grey checkerboard

  • Layers: All the elements (shapes, text boxes, images, etc.) that you add to your drawing are arranged as layers based on the order in which they were added (oldest on bottom, newest on top). To change the relative location of a specific object, right click the object and select order. Here you will find options to send the object all the way to the bottom of all your layers (send to back), send it all the way to the top (bring to front), or send it backwards or forwards in one-layer increments (send backward and bring forward respectively). 

    Layers menu, bring to front, bring forward, send backward, send to back

  • Collaborate: Google Drawings can be shared with other Google Drive users through the share button in the top-right corner. Google’s share settings by default allow collaborators the ability to edit your drawing, but you can assign view-only privileges through the drop-down menu next to the e-mail address input.

    Blue Share button

  • Google Drawing excels at creating professional diagrams and charts. Its features are not well-suited for complex illustration.

Get Support