How to Add Shapes in Google Docs

how to use google docs

Here’s a fun Google Docs activity: students design their own custom color shades to fill shapes with gradients in Google Docs. Follow the step-by-step instructions to learn how to create unique images for reports, stories, newsletters, and more! At the end is a how-to video with a Google Docs tutorial.

This free Google Docs lesson is from TechnoEditor, TechnoKids’ latest release. In this technology project, students build fundamental word processing skills as they revise a storybook for younger children. In the Comic Strip lesson, they add images and shapes of their own design. The detailed assignments explain how to make shapes truly one-of-a-kind!

how to add shapes in a google docs
Create a comic in Google Docs using the word processing lessons from TechnoEditor.

Google Docs Lesson

Add a Drawing Canvas

  1. Open a new document in Google Docs.
  2. From the Insert menu, select Drawing.
  3. Choose New. This opens a Drawing Canvas with many additional tools.
drawing window
The Drawing Canvas offers tools to draw shapes, add Word art, group images, adjust object order, and more. The checkerboard is transparent.
shape icon

Draw a Shape

  1. Pick Shape and choose a shape that can be filled, such as a rectangle or oval.
  2. Click and drag on the canvas to draw the shape.

Fill the Shape with Color

drawing window
Fill color
  1. Select the shape. Click Fill color.

There are lots of possibilities. You can fill the shape with:

  • a solid color from the palette
  • a solid color that you can make by choosing CUSTOM
  • a gradient or gradual change of one color to another
color palette
  1. Pick Gradient.

Create Your Own Custom Gradient

Now here is where the magic begins! You can pick an existing gradient from the choices. OR you can make your own. Try it.

  1. Click CUSTOM.
shape fill gradient palette
Click CUSTOM to invent a unique gradient.
  1. Explore the choices to make a gradient. The possibilities are endless.
fun with gradients
Experiment with the options!
gradients in Google Docs
  1. When you like the gradient you have made, click OK.
  2. Click Save and Close to add the shape to the document. You can now set text wrap or choose Edit to make changes.

How to Add Shapes and Word Art into Google Docs Video

Have Fun with Gradients in Google Docs

editor word processing

Inspire your students with this fun, creative exercise as they write using Google Docs. TechnoEditor, the newest TechnoKids project, hooks student interest as they master word processing skills. Students revise a publication as they learn about text, graphic, and layout formatting. Build skills and ignite an interest in technology in Grades 4 – 8.

Want to learn more about TechnoEditor in only 28 seconds? Watch this.


Hella Comat, Curriculum Writer - Hella Comat is a dedicated professional, who has taught in the education system for more than 30 years. As a pioneer of technology integration in Ontario public schools she was one of the first teachers to introduce the internet, video conferencing, web design, and multimedia learning activities to teachers and students in the Halton Board. To inspire teachers to use technology, she has led sessions for the Touch Technology program, ran workshops at education conferences, and sat on numerous advisory committees related to technology-issues. In recent years she taught the Computer in the Classroom course, at York University. Her lifelong commitment to teaching and learning was acknowledged when she was honored as the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Science, Technology, and Mathematics. Hella's contribution to the blog includes entries about the importance of technology integration. Drawing from her in-depth knowledge of technology in the classroom Hella writes about teaching strategies and useful resources that can benefit your practice. In addition, she provides innovative lesson ideas that you can implement into your own curriculum.

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