Featured - How to draw in word

The instances where you’d want to draw in Word in a professional environment are slim, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

Drawings can add some extra flavor to your documents while remaining suitable for certain audiences. We’re going to show you how to draw on Word documents using two tools: the freehand tool and the shapes tool.


Drawings in Word

The Shapes tool lets you create illustrations using a variety of preset shapes or its line tool. It’s best suited for those using a keyboard and mouse, as it allows you to get passable drawings without having a steady hand.

Freehand drawing in Word is primarily designed for those with touchscreens or tablets. It forgoes shapes for a series of more traditional pens and markers. You can choose whichever of these suits you and follow along below:

How to Draw in Word with the Shapes Tool

Drawing with the shapes tool doesn’t produce the best results, but it’ll definitely do in a pinch. You can even use the freeform: scribble tool to draw any shape you want. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open the “Insert” tab of your ribbon and click “Illustrations > Shapes > Freeform: scribble”

    Windows 11 - Word - Insert - Ilustrations - Shapes - Lines - Scribble

  2. Click and drag on your canvas to draw

    Windows 11 - Word - Insert - Ilustrations - Shapes - Lines - Scribble

  3. Modify your drawing by double-clicking it and pressing “Edit points icon > Change shape”

    Windows 11 - Word - Shape Format - Change Shape

  4. Move the points around to edit your drawing

    Click away when you’re done to apply the changes.

    Windows 11 - Word - Shape Format - Change Shape

  5. Double-click the shape and drag a corner or other anchor point to resize it 

    Step description

    Windows 11 - Word - Shape Format - Resize

  6. With the shape selected, press the paint bucket and choose a color to fill it in

    Windows 11 - Word - Shape Format - Shape Fill - Choose Color

  7. Click the pencil icon to choose a stroke color

    Windows 11 - Word - Shape Format - Outline Pencil Button - Choose Color

  8. Click the “A” in a box on the left to add text and use the pop-up menu to adjust its formatting

    Windows 11 - Word - Shape Format - Text Box - Type Text - Edit Text

  9. Click the “WordArt Styles” link in the ribbon and add gradients, shadows, and textures

    Once you’re done, you can right-click it and press “Save as Picture…” to save it as a shareable image file.

    Windows 11 - Word - Shape Format - Format Picture

How to Draw on a Word Document with the Microsoft Word Drawing Tool

The Microsoft Word drawing tool uses the Microsoft Ink engine for a very competent drawing and annotation experience. It supports advanced features like pressure sensitivity and allows you to choose between a variety of pen/pencil textures for your brush. Here’s how you use it:

  1. Open the “Draw” tab of the ribbon and click on the pen tool

    Click and drag with your cursor, finger, or tablet pen to draw.

    Windows 11 - Word - Draw - Pencil

  2. Add some color via the colored pen icon

    Technically, you can change the color of the regular pen, but having a separate tool helps you to quickly switch between different colors and thicknesses.

    Windows 11 - Word - Draw - Pen

  3. Press the down arrow on the colored pen to modify color and thickness

    Windows 11 - Word - Draw - Personalize Your Pen

  4. Press one of the images to use it as a pen texture

    Windows 11 - Word - Draw - Personalize Your Pen

  5. Use the highlighter pen for a square brush 

    Windows 11 - Word - Draw - Highlight

  6. Press the eraser icon and use it to clean up your image

    You can just click and drag over lines with this tool to remove them.

    Windows 11 - Word - Draw - Erase

  7. Select shapes by clicking the lasso tool and dragging around them 

    Windows 11 - Word - Draw - Select Drawing a Shape

  8. Click and drag with the cursor tool to move your lines

    Windows 11 - Word - Draw - Select Objects

  9. Click on the action pen and choose “Track Changes”

    Windows 11 - Word - Draw - Action Pen - Track Changes

  10. Annotate on text with typical editing marks to modify it

    Windows 11 - Word - Draw - Action Pen - Track Changes - Result

  11. For editing mark tips, click the action pen and press “Ink Gesture Help”

    Windows 11 - Word - Draw - Action Pen - Ink Gesture Help

Extra: How to Draw on Google Docs

If you prefer to use Google’s text editing tools, drawing gets a bit less intuitive, but it’s still entirely possible. Here’s our existing guide on how to draw on Google Docs.

Extra: How to Annotate Screenshots with Snip and Sketch

You can also take a screenshot and annotate on it directly using Microsoft’s Snip and Sketch tool. Here’s our tutorial on the matter.