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collaborative drawingCall them whiteboards or collaborative drawing tools, a browser-based drawing canvas is a must have if you do any sort of work remotely in teams.

We checked out the utility of an online whiteboard called Dabbleboard Collaborative Drawing Online On The Dabbleboard Collaborative Drawing Online On The Dabbleboard Read More some time back.  The online collaboration app has gone from beta to final and from free to a mix of pro and free.

In the meantime, Google Docs has been building up a presence in our web lives with a slew of improvements. Tim covered features like real time collaboration, online chat, and high quality imports, when he took a fresh talked about 4 New Features That Makes Google Docs Even Better 4 New Features That Makes Google Docs Even Better 4 New Features That Makes Google Docs Even Better Read More .


The Google Docs family has a member called Drawings and it too comes with these improved qualities. Plus the Google family of apps is one of our more visited web families anyway.

Let’s test Google’s online drawing tool and see if it’s as hospitable as most of Google’s other members.

Create Your First Drawing

Open your canvas from Create new – Drawing.

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collaborative drawing

It’s definitely not sophisticated as a full-featured drawing app, but the tools are adequate for basic drawing and representing ideas. You can draw a variety of Shapes, Scribbles, Polylines, and smooth Curves.

For instance, Shapes can be quickly used to build up flowcharts or hierarchical diagrams.

You can connect shapes with lines. Line tools come with all the regular enhancements like different types of arrowheads and line decoration options.

collaborative drawing

Text formatting gives you the added use of Word Art. The fonts are limited, but it’s OK if you aren’t looking to do a lot of typographical artistry in a simple collaborative drawing tool.

collaborative drawing online

Ordering and rotating elements on the page are handy when you want to create flowcharts Create Collaborative Flowchart Masterpieces with Online Flowchart Software Create Collaborative Flowchart Masterpieces with Online Flowchart Software Read More or mindmaps How To Build a Mind Map In Microsoft Word How To Build a Mind Map In Microsoft Word Read More . And of course, you can set the color of the canvas (or drawing) too from the palettes.

collaborative drawing online

All drawings are vectors, so changing the scale of the images is as easy as dragging the corner handles.

Bringing In Images

OK, you are a person who likes to explain a concept with images rather than lines and text. On Google’s Drawing tool, you can upload and insert images from your desktop, bring it in via a URL, or use the riches of Google Image Search.

collaborative drawing online

Google Image Search displays those that are labeled for commercial reuse with modification. After bringing it into your canvas, you can tweak its size and position.

Save It”¦Export It”¦Or Junk It

You can arrange your drawing in specific Google Docs folders with or without sharing access. Download it as a PNG, JPEG, SVG, or PDF file.

collaborative software

Or export it to another Google Docs document using the Web Clipboard. This option lets you quickly move your diagrams from the canvas to a presentation slide or another document.

collaborative software

Using the web clipboard keeps your items protected from one session to the next. Also, while pasting, you can select which item to paste into the target document. The pasted drawing is a copy of the original, and both can be edited independently after copying.

Collaboration & Teamwork

You can set permissions with email IDs that will allow a select few to view and work on the document in real time. You can further open it up by giving editing privileges too. Of course, you can open it up to the wider public too with public sharing.

Check out the specific roles of owners, editors, and viewers when it comes to collaborative sharing.

collaborative software

You can also create a mailing list and email the drawing across as an attachment.

Hundreds Of Templates

Google Docs and the drawing tool save you a few chores by the use of its gallery of templates. You can narrow down to the right one from the filters on the left. Choose Drawings, preview the templates, or even create your own and save them.

If Google is your online cubicle, then the Drawing tool with its small but useful feature set is a nice option to have. If you are serious about it, do familiarize yourself with the keyboard shortcuts or press CTRL+/ when you forget one.

So, do you feel that Google Docs Drawings is scribble worthy?

  1. John Mulcahy
    March 19, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Won't work on my Android tablet - Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition. I just want a simple online whiteboard I can use with my students. A technical reply won't help because I won't understand it.

  2. udi malka
    August 30, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Great post !
    I am a teacher and using google docs drawing tool for designing GUI in some of my computer science courses. The students work in groups and all students of the same group work on the same document/drawing/GUI.

    I am using google docs and other google tools as LMS and my students have their personal workspace:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  3. udi malka
    August 30, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Great post !
    I am a teacher and using google docs drawing tool for designing GUI in some of my computer science courses. The students work in groups and all students of the same group work on the same document/drawing/GUI.

    I am using google docs and other google tools as LMS and my students have their personal workspace:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4UD2nUnHjg

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