How to Insert a Text Box in Google Docs or Sheets

We show you how to insert a text box in Google Docs or Google Sheets, while disclosing a small trick to put a text box over an image.

If you're a former Word user, you're probably quite familiar with text boxes. However, the process to insert a text box in isn't as intuitive. For whatever reason, has hidden the feature behind an entirely different menu that is rarely frequented.

Not to fear, though – if you're scratching your head wondering where the hell the text box is in Google Docs, the answer is the drawing tool menu. It's a bit of an inconvenient workflow, but the advantage lies in the ability to easily combine multiple types of media.

Before we show you how to insert a text box, it's worth quickly covering what you can and can't do with them. Specifically, you should be aware that you can't place a text box over other text, nor can Google Docs add a text box over an existing image in your document. You can, however, add the image to your drawing and combine it with your text box to get around this.

With that said, let's jump into the main tutorial. The content below is designed for Google Docs users, but if you're wondering how to insert a text box in Google Sheets, the process is identical, so feel free to follow along anyway.

How to Insert a Text Box in Google Docs

As mentioned, you can create a textbox in Google Docs via the drawing tool. Below we're going to show you how to use it to create, color, and format a text box.

  1. Create a new drawing

    With your Google Doc open, click “Insert” in the main toolbar, and then “Drawing > + New”. This will create a new transparent canvas from which you can work from.

  2. Create a Google text box

    In the “Drawing” pop-up, press the text box icon, which is a T surrounded by a square. A blank rectangle will appear for you to type your text in.

  3. Format your Google Docs text box

    Unfortunately, formatting your text box isn't much more intuitive than creating it in the first place. You'll find formatting options under the three dots in the top-right corner. There you can choose its color, add bold or italics, adjust line spacing, and more.

    You can also change the background of the box by pressing the paint bucket bottom back on the main toolbar.

  4. Add the text box to your document

    To add the box to your document, simply press “Save and Close”. It will be automatically inserted at your cursor, where you're free to drag it around and position it wherever you like. 

  5. How to edit a Google Docs text box

    If you need to make an adjustment to your text box, Google makes it extremely easy. Simply click it and press the “Edit” button.

    This is also how you put a text box over an image in Google Docs – press the picture icon to insert your image, then right-click it and press “Send to back”.

    In our case, we're just going to create a second text box and hit “Save and Close”.

That's all you need to know when it comes to text boxes in Google Docs and its drawing tool. If you're still not a fan of this workflow, there are several other free Word processors you can try out. If you enjoy Google's experience, however, consider following our other so you can edit offline or insert a table of contents. Happy editing!