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:
- Open the “Insert” tab of your ribbon and click “Illustrations > Shapes > Freeform: scribble”
- Click and drag on your canvas to draw
- Modify your drawing by double-clicking it and pressing “Edit points icon > Change shape”
- Move the points around to edit your drawing
Click away when you’re done to apply the changes.
- Double-click the shape and drag a corner or other anchor point to resize it
- With the shape selected, press the paint bucket and choose a color to fill it in
- Click the pencil icon to choose a stroke color
- Click the “A” in a box on the left to add text and use the pop-up menu to adjust its formatting
- 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Press the down arrow on the colored pen to modify color and thickness
- Press one of the images to use it as a pen texture
- Use the highlighter pen for a square brush
- 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.
- Select shapes by clicking the lasso tool and dragging around them
- Click and drag with the cursor tool to move your lines
- Click on the action pen and choose “Track Changes”
- Annotate on text with typical editing marks to modify it
- For editing mark tips, click the action pen and press “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.