Google Drawings

Google Drawings  #

Introduction  #

With Google Drawings, it is possible to collaborate with multiple users simultaneously to create a wide variety of drawings and images. The software is optimized for creating informative graphics such as flowcharts and diagrams. You can easily add arrows, shapes, and text boxes to your Drawings by using the tools located in the menu near the top of the browser window.

Although the features in the software may appear limited in comparison to other programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Google Drawings provides us with the ability to save the files on Shared Drives in a format that is easily accessible and editable by other users without the need of having the application installed on their computers. This feature is particularly important for Hawaii Aquatics as it allows anyone on the team to go back and modify Drawings as necessary. The collaborative aspect of the software also makes it easy for multiple users to simultaneously provide their own input on the same Drawing.

As you navigate through the steps, it is important to take note of the fact that each action is deliberately placed in an important sequential order. If you detract from or skip any of the steps, there is a high likelihood that the quality of your image will end up being compromised. The intention of this article is to guide you through the process of creating images with Google Drawings that are consistent with the formatting that is currently used by Hawaii Aquatics.

Preparation  #

Prior to creating a Google Drawing, you will need to make sure that the image(s) that you intend to import is in a compatible file format. Only JPG and PNG images can be imported into a Google Drawing; if the file that you want to import is a PDF, you will need to export a JPG or PNG image file from the PDF. Other file types will need to be converted through alternative means (e.g.,

Page setup  #

Step 1  #

In your current Google Drive directory, click More > Google Drawings to create a Google Drawing.

Step 2  #

To edit your canvas size click File and then Page setup.

Note: There is an important distinction between canvas size and image size that is worth taking note of. Canvas size refers to the overall image work area (this includes empty space which is denoted by the white and gray checkered pattern in the background). The final exported image will consist of the same width and height dimensions of the canvas regardless of what actual content (if any) is included in the work area. Image size is more literal in definition and refers to the actual dimensions of an image (which can be found using the methods listed in Step 4).

Importing a 1000x1000 pixels image into 1000x1000 pixels canvas will yield few difficulties. However, since most Google Drawings are unlikely to be this straight forward, it is important to recognize the distinction between these two definitions and how they impact the actions performed in the following Steps.

Step 3  #

Click Standard 4:3 and change it to Custom. This allows you to input custom dimensions for your Drawing.

Step 4  #

Enter width and height dimensions that exceed the dimensions of your image (view the link below for information on how to retrieve those dimensions). Then, choose the unit of measure that you want to use (unless otherwise stated, use pixels). Press OK.


Note: If you select a canvas size that is smaller in width and/or height than your image, then the image will be modified and shrunk to fit into the dimensions of your page setup during the initial import (which occurs next in Step 5). It is recommended to avoid this automated resizing since you lose the original dimensions of your image.

Step 5  #

Import your image (JPG or PNG) into the Google Drawing by dragging and dropping the image directly from your computer onto the canvas. Alternatively, you can navigate to the menu and click Insert. Next, click Image and then Upload from computer.

Step 6  #

Click the imported image and copy it by right-clicking on it and selecting Copy, then proceed to delete the image. If you perform Step 7 without copying and deleting the image, then the scale of the image will be warped and no longer retain its original dimensions.

Note: Optionally, you may choose to resize the image. You can do this by selecting the image, then clicking Format options… in the Format section of the top menu. Using the scale percentages is recommended as it allows you to stay consistent and apply those same percentages to other images of the same group. If scaling is to be performed in a Google Drawing, it is best to apply this method as it allows you to adjust your images in a more precise manner. The scaling that occurs with the usage of the Page Setup option may lead to more random results and therefore should be avoided.

Step 7  #

Return to Page Setup and enter in the dimensions that you want to use for the final result of your image then press OK. If you are having difficulties determining what dimensions you want to use, try and compare the original dimensions of the image with that of your computer screen’s resolution. By comparing and contrasting the differences in size, you should be able to approximate a relative canvas size that will be sufficient enough to contain the portion of your image that you want to showcase in the Drawing.

Note: Unless otherwise specified, the standard width used for Hawaii Aquatics images is 1200 pixels. The height will vary depending on the content of the image, but is usually a multiple of 20 pixels (e.g. 640) for the sake of consistency. If the portion of your image that you want displayed exceeds 1200 pixels in width, then you may want to follow the instructions listed in the prior Step (i.e. 6) and scale your image as needed.

Step 8  #

Paste the image that you recently deleted by right-clicking then pressing Paste. This allows you to maintain the original dimensions of your image without having it be modified by the change that occurs in Page Setup.

Step 9  #

Select the image and position it so that the portion of the image that you want displayed is contained within the borders of the canvas.

Note: In the screenshot displayed below, the image is positioned so that its top-left corner is aligned with the top-left corner of the canvas. Red lines appear around the top and left sides of the canvas indicating that the sides of the image are perfectly aligned.

Cropping the image  #

Step 1  #

If the dimensions of the image exceeds the dimensions listed in the Page setup, then you should Crop the image. Conversely, if the image is smaller than the dimensions of the Page setup, then the image needs to be stretched to fill in the empty space. However, stretching an image is not recommended as it may compromise its resolution and quality.

Note: Cropping allows you to edit an image so that only a portion of it is displayed. This is useful if you have imported images that contain unnecessary content, borders, etc. If the dimensions of an image exceeds the width and/or height of the Page setup, only the part of the image that is contained within the confines of the canvas will be displayed when exporting/saving the image.

Step 2  #

Select the image. Then, right-click the image and select Crop Image.

Step 3  #

There are two selectable borders: blue and black. Selecting and moving the black border allows you to crop the image. Modifying the blue border will alter the size of the overall image (i.e. stretch) without cropping it. Stretching the image is inadvisable as it modifies the image in an imprecise manner and will likely ruin the original aspect ratio.

Step 4  #

Move each of the four sides (black borders) so that they snap to the side of the canvas (a blue line with crossmarks will appear indicating that the cropping of the image is in alignment with the edge of the canvas).

Note: If the original size of your image drastically exceeds that of your canvas size, it may help to gradually crop the image in smaller, incremental amounts.

Inserting shapes and arrows  #


Exporting  #

Step 1  #

To export the Google Drawing, go to File in the upper-left corner of the menu near the top of your window.

Step 2  #

Navigate to the Download option and select the file type that you want to download (JPG files are the default used by Hawaiiai Aquatics).

Google Drawing used in tutorial  #