One-of-a-Kind Images in Google Docs

free lesson

When users of Microsoft Word switch to Google Docs, they might be disappointed at first. Adding images seems to be limited to simple formatting choices. At first glance, it appears as if options for creativity are scarce. But wait! While there is no fun gallery of preset styles as in Word, there are plenty of unique and inventive adjustments you can make. The answer is to insert a Drawing canvas.

Insert Images in Google Docs

insert image
Insert image

Let’s start with the usual way of adding a picture to a document using Google Docs. You can use the Insert image tool to upload a picture you already have, search online for a picture, or access a few other options.

insert image menu

Then you have some formatting options available:

  • set the text wrap
  • add a border and pick the line weight and style
  • open Image options and make further changes such as resizing, rotating, recoloring, and adjusting transparency.

But what if you want to do more?

Insert a Drawing Canvas for More Options

With the Google Docs file open, you can access more choices and tools by inserting a Drawing canvas. This opens the Google Drawings program, which lets you use additional features such as inserting multiple images, grouping objects, and adjusting object order, to name just a few. When the canvas is saved, the content becomes a single image in Google Docs. This is a simple way to produce unique one-of-a-kind images.

drawing canvas
A drawing canvas lets you access additional tools.


Assignment 9 from TechnoEditor has step-by-step instructions to create unique illustrations using a Drawing canvas in Google Docs. To learn more about this newest TechnoKids project, watch this!

About the Lesson

Detailed instructions explain how to:

  • Open a Google Drawings canvas in an existing Google Docs document
  • Insert multiple images from the Web
  • Adjust object order
  • Group objects
  • Save the content of a Drawing
  • Change text wrapping on a canvas in Google Docs
  • Apply a border to the Drawing canvas

one-of-a-kind images
Students combine images to create one-of-a-kind pictures to illustrate a story.

Even More Features for Images in Google Docs

Using a Drawing Canvas lets you use even more tools and options. You can draw lines and shapes, and even make Word art, similar to what is available in Microsoft Word. See an upcoming article for more details.

TechnoEditor – Word Processing for Beginners

editor word processing

TechnoKids’ newest project, TechnoEditor, shows elementary and middle school level students these fun skills and more. Prepare students for the future with essential word processing skills. Explore text, graphic, and page layout techniques to revise a publication using Microsoft Word or Google Docs lessons.


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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