Have you been looking for a way to create your own images and then be able to access them from anywhere in the world? If so, Google Drawings is your solution.
Google Drawings in a program in Google Drive, an online resource that allows users to create, edit, share, collaborate, and save work by using the various programs which it provides. Google Drive has almost all of the same capabilities as Microsoft Office. The best part about Google Drive programs, though, is that they can easily be shared between as few as two people, allowing people in different places to collaborate on the same program and work at the same time. As one of these programs, Google Drawings holds all of these features.
Before I was very familiar with Google Drawings, I was nervous that it would take me a long time to learn how to use. Technology tends to overwhelm me when I am unfamiliar with it; therefore, I appreciated the user-friendly formatting of Google Drive when I first began using it.
If you are familiar with using Microsoft Office programs, using Google Drawings will be a breeze. When I first started using it, I immediately felt as if I were using a combination between Microsoft Word and PowerPoint because it gives the user a blank page with which all of the features are to be used. I learned about all of the features of Google Drawings through Lynda.com, an on-demand software training website that is available for all people with memberships to the site.
In the Lynda.com tutorials, there is a training for Google Drive software called Google Drive Essential Training. In the Google Drive Essential Training, Chapter 8, called Working with Drawings, is dedicated to learning about Google Drawings software. This training consists of four short videos totaling only 12 minutes and 37 seconds: an amazingly short amount of time to become an expert!
The first video, Introduction to Google Drawings, is appropriately named because it is just that, an introduction! This video gives a quick overview of the various features of Google Drawings, such as inserting images and shapes, adding text, and creating flow charts. The later videos go into depth about how to perform these features.
The next video is called Creating and editing a drawing. This video goes into detail about how to add all of the different features onto the blank page in order to design a cool Drawing. In Google Drawings, the user can add a wide variety of lines and shapes, as well as arrows and other figures. These figures can help to add dimension to a Drawing because they can be used as a means of design in addition to images. This video also gives instructions on how to insert images into the Drawing. Images can either be uploaded from the user’s computer, taken as a snapshot with a webcam, inserted from a website by using a URL address, or even uploaded directly from a saved folder in the user’s Google Drive. All of the shapes, figures, and images can be resized and repositioned in order to customize the layout of the page. Text can also be inserted into the Drawing through a Text Box. The colors of the shapes, figures, and text can also be changed. These capabilities are helpful for users because it allows Google Drawings to be used for any occasion. A user can create an image for anything, ranging from flyers to professional presentations.
Flowcharts are another great feature about Google Drawings. In the third video, Creating a flowchart, you can learn all about how to make them! This video teaches the user how to manipulate the different shapes and figures. As mentioned before, all of the shapes and figures can be resized and repositioned. The shapes and figures can be placed in front of and behind one another. Flowcharts can be used for many different purposes. I found this feature to be especially great because, in my own experience, sometimes it can be difficult to find charts that properly display information that I am trying to present; so, it is nice to know that in those times of need, I can create my own to use in my presentations.
Finally, the last video, Inserting, exporting, and emailing drawings, goes into detail about the remaining features of Google Drawings. Once your Drawing is completed, you will want to save it in a way that it can be used in other areas. Drawings can be copied and pasted into other Google Drive programs and it can be exported into downloads as a PDF Document, a Scalable Vector Graphic, a PNG Image, or even a JPEG Image. Downloading the image is a nice way of saving it because it can be inserted into other programs on your computer, it can be emailed from your downloads folder, you can keep it stored in your computer for however long you choose, and you can even be inserted into other Google Drive programs. This makes the image easily accessible. The Drawing can also be emailed to somebody from directly within the Google Drawings program. Keeping it within the Google Drive system is also a good option because it requires fewer steps and Google Drive can act as a sort of online external hard-drive. This makes the image accessible from any computer, anywhere in the world.
Online availability is a nice feature in itself. Google Drawings is not an expensive type of software that needs to be installed into the user’s computer. Google Drawings is free and online, the only requirement for this software is having a Google account. Google accounts are also free and easy to create. Google makes this software accessible for anyone.
In my opinion, the online availability is the most appealing part about Google Drawings. The same way that other documents created in Google Drive programs are automatically saved and can be emailed or downloaded at the click of a button, Google Drawing images are just as easy. I have been very familiar with Google Documents and Google Presentations for a long time, but I was always curious about Google Drawings. I did not know for what it was useful until I watched the tutorials. In order to create my own jpeg file, I used to screenshot my Microsoft Word documents. Now, I know that I can easily create my own images through Google Drawings.
You you find that you love Google Drawings and are looking for other ways to create neat images, check out Angie E.’s blog post, Media and SmartArt in Microsoft PowerPoint! She can tell you all about how it is another great resource to incorporate creativity into presentations!