Google Drawings Basics Day 5 – Creating Images With A Transparent Or Colored Background
Drawings Can Create A Transparent Background For Your Images
Google Drawings is a web-based diagramming app that allows you to create a transparent background for your images. This is one of the deciding factors for me when selecting either Google Drawings or Google Slides for a project since they are almost exactly alike when considering all tool features. For the main differences between Docs & Slides, click here to go to my recent post on this topic. If I am creating a single image that I know I will be adding to a project, I always use Drawings so I can easily download it with a transparent background, also known as a “.PNG File”.
Why Create a Transparent Background (.PNG File)?
As you and your students get more comfortable creating, saving and adding images to your projects in G Suite, there will be an important question to answer, “Will I need a transparent or colored background for my image?”
As shown in my squirrel graphic above, a transparent background looks much better when adding/embedding images to your Docs, Slides or Drawings without the square background that can look much like those coveted stickers we used to put on our students’ papers back in the old “Paper Only” days. There are instances that someone may want the colored background on their image but in my opinion, it looks much better to insert/embed your image without the colored box around it.
How Can I Tell If My Drawing Has A Transparent Background?
When Google Drawings is first opened, the blank canvas background has a default setting to be transparent until you actually add a background or cover the checkered canvas with images. You will see a subtle gray and white checkered background (See sample image below) indicating the transparency of the background until you edit it otherwise.
You can also see an example of the checkered transparent background here is the lesson video from my previous post- Day 1 of Instruction – Backgrounds & Working With Shapes. (If you have trouble viewing the video below, open this post from your Chrome Browser)
In this video, you can see the option to re-select the “Transparent” background option offered in the “Background” drop-down menu.
What Is The File Format For A Transparent Background?
Transparent image files are known as a “.PNG File” format. This is important to know so you can select a .PNG file when downloading and then adding images to your projects. Other downloadable format options shown below are .JPEG – Image with a background, .PDF –Portable Document Format that allows text and images to be combined into one document or a .SVG – Scalable Vector Graphic-which is the use of geometric primitives like points, lines, and shapes to create art that is clean, camera ready, and can be scaled infinitely, without any loss of quality or fidelity.
I always suggest to my students that they include the letters “PNG” when typing in search terms for an image they are looking for from the “Explore” or “Insert Image” tab inside of G Suite so that it increases the chance of finding a good image with a transparent background. It does not always produce a good .PNG file but we have found it works about 90% of the time.
To download and save your newly created Drawing using any of these file format options from inside Drawings, you will go to – “File” – “Download As” and then select the file type you wish to download it as. I almost always select PNG File. This is what you will see as download options in Drawings:
So, now you have your very own image design that you created using Google Drawings! Now what?
My Next Post- “Google Drawings Basics Day 6 – Find and Insert Your “Drawing” Into a Doc or Slide”
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