Everyone’s familiar with Google Docs and Google Sheets, but did you know that there’s also a Google Drawings? If you had no idea that this website existed, it’s a great tool to have in your repository for helping you get work done. Let’s explore how to use Google Drawings to create flowcharts.
What Is Google Drawings?
Google Drawings used to be called “Google Draw” before it got a name change. Despite the name, Google Drawings isn’t suitable for drawing art or sketches. Instead, it’s primary use is for designing diagrams for reports and slideshows.
Starting with Google Drawings
To start creating with Google Drawings, head to the Google Drawings website. You should see a blank canvas to work on.
To start creating diagrams, use the tools you see on the top toolbar.
The arrow icon is for selecting graphics. After you’ve drawn something on the canvas, use the arrow to move it around or resize it.
The line icon lets you draw line-based shapes. You can use this to draw a regular line, an arrow, or even go freeform to hand-draw a shape.
The circle and square icon let you create shapes. If you’re using Google Drawings to create flowcharts and diagrams, you’ll use this tool a lot.
The box with a “T” in the middle lets you type text onto your diagram. This is great for labeling shapes and arrows to show the reader what they represent.
Creating a Flowchart in Google Drawings
If you want to use Google Drawings to create a simple flowchart, you can do so using the shapes, lines, and text tools.
First, select the shape for the node you want to create. For this tutorial, we’re going to use the beveled rectangle.
Draw two shapes on the diagram. If you want them to be the same shape and size, draw one out then copy-paste it for a second.
Once you have two shapes drawn, you can draw a line between them. Select the arrow next to the line tool and pick an arrow shape, then draw it pointing from one shape to the other.
To create a branching arrow, first select the “elbow connector” or “curved connector” from the arrow menu. Then, drag an arrow from one side of a shape to another.
Repeat the process, dragging from the same side of the origin point to the second shape.
If you want the lines to have arrowheads, click on the line using the select tool. You’ll see some extra options appear to the right of the main drawing toolbar. Click the line with a red arrowhead on the right to add an arrowhead to the end of the selected line.
Finally, you can use the text tool to label your shapes and arrows so that readers understand what each branch and option means.
There’s a good chance your drawing is hovering in the middle of the canvas. To reduce the diagram’s size, drag and select all your shapes, then drag them to the top left. Drag the small triangle at the bottom right of the canvas up to fit around the diagram.
Saving Your Drawing
Once you’re finished with your drawing, you’ll want to import it into another document or report. To do this, you can save it as an image or PDF file to import it.
To save your drawing, click on “File -> Download,” then select the desired file type.
Google Drawings is a great tool for plotting and designing flowcharts and diagrams for use in your reports. If you don’t find it useful, check out some of the best online diagramming software here.