While Google Docs is predominantly for word processing, more users want to insert shapes/textbox in Google Docs. This is because the way we interact with information has become more visual. And adding drawings, images, and visually appealing blocks of text into a document is now more commonplace.
Inserting shapes or textboxes in a Google Doc is relatively straightforward. To insert shapes, use either the Drawing tool, special characters, images, or tables. Or you could do a freehand drawing. You can also similarly add shapes on your Android mobile device. The Drawing tool also comes in handy when inserting a textbox into your document.
So today, we will discuss the simple ways of inserting various shapes and text boxes into a Google document.
7 Ways to Insert Shapes/Textbox In Google Docs
1. Insert Shapes in Google Docs Using the Drawing Tool
The most straightforward way to insert various shapes in a document is by using the drawing tool, which is the built-in feature in Google Docs.
The advantage of using the Drawing tool is it can be used while editing a document or presentation. So you don’t have to leave the document to create the shapes of your choice.
The basic functionality of the Google drawing tool allows you to insert various types of shapes already available in the tool. You can also edit and modify the default shapes according to your requirements.
One of the useful features allows you to insert single-shape objects or multiple shapes if you want them together. Follow these steps to do so:
- Open Google Docs with your Gmail account.
- Select Insert>Drawing> click on the New button from the top header menu.
- Or, if you want to insert the shape available in Google Drive, select the “From Drive” option.
- Now, select the Shapes icon from the Popup window of the drawing tool.
- A Drop-down menu will open with four options. As you hover over the Shapes option, you will see different types of shapes that you can insert, as seen in the screenshot.
- The four options include Shapes (Basic shapes), Arrows (includes Arrow shapes), Call outs (includes shapes for chat bubbles), and Equations (includes mathematics shapes).
- Select the required shape and drag it to the drawing page.
- OK, now the shape is added, and you can modify it by changing the color, border color, size, and many more.
- After formatting the shape, click Save and close, and the shape will be visible in the main document.
- You can resize it, move it by dragging it across the document, and click on the Edit button to make further changes.
2. Inserting Shapes in Google Docs Using Special Characters
Google Docs also provides special characters to insert shapes and characters around the document. You can add these special characters with standard or modified text. To insert the special character, follow the below steps:
- Open Google Docs.
- Select the Insert option from the top header menu to include the special character.
- Click on the Special Characters option.
- Now the Insert Special Characters window will open, and you can search for the various shapes in the search bar.
- For example, we searched for “circle” to locate all the circular shapes in the list. You can also draw the circle on the drawing area, as shown in the screenshot.
- Drawing the shape will begin a search for similar shapes from the list.
- As you hover over any Special Character, you will have a large preview of that character. If satisfied, click on the special character, which will automatically be inserted into the main document.
- Also, add multiple characters by just clicking on the characters in the list.
- As the character is inserted in the main document, it can always change its formatting. Double-tap the character to select it, and then use the header menu to change the formatting, like font size, color, or size.
3. Inserting Shapes in Google Docs Using Images
Sometimes users want to use some creative shapes for the document. In that case, you should use some third-party tools like Photoshop to create the shape and then upload that shape in Google Docs. Or you can refer to this content on how to create curved word art & text in Google Docs.
Follow the below steps to upload the shapes in the document:
- Open Google Docs.
- To upload an image, go to the insert option in the top header, image, and select the preferred one from the two options:
- Upload from computer.
- Search the web.
- The first option is to upload the shapes or images from the computer. And you can use the second option to search for the shapes on the web.
- If you want to use “Upload from computer“, simply click on the first option, and the uploader window will open, or you can use the second option, Search the web.
- As you select the second option, a right-hand window will open in which you can search for the required shape, then click the insert button.
- After the shape or image insertion, you can easily resize it. You can also change the border colors and transparent effect by selecting the image options in the right-click menu.
4. Inserting Square Shapes in Google Docs Using a Table
Another popular way to insert square shapes in the document is by using the table format. Using this method, you can format shapes using colors and custom settings, which can be helpful and creative.
The good part is you can easily insert your text directly into your shapes. First, you need to insert a basic table. Now with this table option, you can only have a square or rectangular shape.
Users prefer this method because you can effortlessly add a shape to the document, and the text can be easily inserted and customized.
- Select the “Insert” option in the top header menu.
- Hover over the table option and select the “table” size from the popup window.
- If you want to create a square shape, select the (1*1) size, or choose the (1*2) size for a rectangular one.
- After you create the table, you can always resize and modify it according to the need. Also, you can change its background color with ease.
- Click the Bucket icon on the toolbar header and select the color from the panel.
- Also, you can modify the border width of the table. Simply click on the border icon and change the border width from the default 1pt. If you change the default width from 1pt to 0pt, the selected border of the table will become invisible.
- If you want to hide the border, you can use this simple feature. You can also select different types of borders and decrease their size to make them invisible.
5. How Do You Freehand Draw in Google Docs?
When inserting shapes, we have several different premade options to use, providing a good level of customization in the document.
But sometimes, users want to create original shapes they come up with from scratch. Fortunately, we can do a similar thing with the help of the Google Docs Drawing Tool.
In the language of drawing, it is called Freehand Drawing, which you can do quickly with the proper selection of a specific drawing tool. Follow the below steps to freehand draw.
- Open Google docs, and create a new document.
- Click on the “Insert” option, hover over “Drawing,” and select “New.”
- Click on the “Line Select” option in the drawing popup window.
- Now in the drop-down, you will see seven different ways to draw.
- Select the last option, “Scribble,” from the list. It will allow you to create a freehand drawing on the area.
- Create the design and click on “Save and close.”
- As in the screenshot, I drew a random figure that does not look good but works fine. This way, you can create several different shapes from scratch.
6. How to Add Shapes in Google Docs Mobile
We discussed four methods to insert shapes in Google Docs. You can use similar techniques on a mobile device, but some methods do not work with a smartphone.
There are only two methods that will work with the smartphone’s Google Docs app:
- Add shapes in Google docs using images.
- Add shapes in Google docs using a table.
Add Shapes In Google Docs Using Images.
- Open the Google docs app on your smartphone and create a document.
- Click on the plus icon on the top menu options, and a menu will open.
- Select “Image,” and you will have three options.
- From Photos.
- From Camera.
- From Web.
- Now for this method to work, you need to upload some premade shapes available in your smartphone gallery. Or you can use the third option, “From Web,” to insert the shape directly from the internet.
- For this, click on the “From Web” option, and a new window will open where you can search for the image and insert it into the document.
- Note: Always use copyright-free shapes and images for commercial purposes.
Add Square Shape in Google Docs Using Table.
- Open the Google docs app on your smartphone and create a document.
- Click on the plus icon located on the top menu options.
- Select the “Table” option and select the columns and rows as required.
- And now you have a “Square Table” in the document.
- You can also adjust the size of one table column by simply dragging it across the screen.
- To add one column or row directly, long-press the table and then click on the icons at the screen’s bottom right corner.
7. How to Insert a Text Box in Google Docs
Users want to add text boxes in Google Docs to distinguish the text. Text boxes are also a type of shape that allows you to use text box formatting, like changing the background color in style formatting. Moreover, refer to this post on four ways to insert text captions in google docs.
Follow the steps to insert a text box in Google Docs:
- Select the “Insert” button, then click on Drawing from the drop-down.
- The drawing tool window with open. Click on “Text box” in the header menu.
- Now click & drag the arrow in the drawing area to make the text box.
- This action will insert a textbox. Now enter the text in the text box area.
- When editing is complete, click Save and close, and the text box will appear in the main document, as shown above.
Modifying the Text Box
The drawing tool comes with customization options for text boxes and various shapes, so we can easily change the text box’s background color. You can change the font size and color of the textbox in a few clicks. To modify it, follow the below steps:
- In the drawing tool window, tap and select the text box.
- Just click the “Bucket” icon in the header menu to change the background color.
- To change the border color of the textbox, click on the “Pencil” icon and choose the color from the panel.
- To change the border weight, click on the “Border” icon and select the right weight.
Word processing tools have become incredibly advanced in recent years. Developers understand that the way we receive and retain information is changing in this fast-paced and busy world. Visual elements are now crucial to holding a reader’s attention. This is why the ability to include visual elements when creating documents is essential. And Google Docs is no exception. By following our simple guide above, you’ll insert shapes/textbox in Google Docs like a pro in no time.
How Do I Draw on Google Docs?
Google Docs does not provide a direct way to draw something on the document. So to draw on Google Docs, you must use features like inserting shapes and customizable world art.
And all of this can be done using the Google Docs drawing tool. This tool also provides you with freehand drawing in Google Docs.
Remember: Use this drawing tool in Google Docs on the browser because the drawing tool is not available for Android and iOS devices.
As we discussed, various shapes are available that you can insert with the formatted text. Features like Word Art will surely help you create the design for the document.
How Do I Move Shapes in Google Docs?
After you create a shape or use freehand drawing in the drawing tool, move your pointer over the shape, and a grabber icon will appear as a pointer. Press and hold the left-click on the mouse and drag it across the screen.
In Google Docs, most of the time, users will face problems when dragging shapes, causing users to start dragging the shape before the grabber icon appears.