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How to draw in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word has features for inserting images and illustrations. But if you want to create your own picture or sketch, you need to know how to draw in Microsoft Word.

This guide will walk you through using Word's shapes, freeform drawing, and the built-in drawing tools.

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5 minutes

What You Need

  • Microsoft Word

How to draw a shape in Word

When some people think of the word "draw," they refer to creating shapes, lines, and similar objects. Rather than practice your artistic skills by drawing perfect circles or squares, you can use Word’s shape feature.

Step 1: Open your Word document and place your cursor where you want the shape.

Step 2: Go to the Insert tab and click the Shapes drop-down arrow.

Step 3: You’ll see a large variety of shapes you can insert. From lines and arrows to rectangles and stars, you’ll find the most common shapes in the list.

Select the shape you want to draw.

Shapes drop-down box on the Insert tab in Word.

Step 4: Your cursor will change to a crosshair symbol. Click the document, drag to create the shape, and release when you finish.

Drawing of a rectangle in Word.

Step 5: You can move the shape by selecting and dragging it. You can also resize it by dragging in or out from a corner or edge.

For additional customizations, select the shape and go to the Shape Format tab. You’ll see various tools for styling the shape, adding a fill color, applying a border, and using an effect like shadow or bevel.

Shape Format tab with formatting tools in the ribbon.

How to draw freehand in Word

Another way to create your shapes and lines in Word is using the freeform options. You can create a freeform shape or scribble.

Step 1: Place your cursor in your document where you want to draw.

Step 2: Go to the Insert tab and click the Shapes drop-down arrow.

In the top section of the list, you’ll see two options you can use. Select Freeform: Shape to create your own shape or Freeform: Scribble to sketch any type of drawing.

Freeform options in the Shapes drop-down box in Word.

Step 3: If you use the Freeform: Shape tool, you draw the shape and return your cursor to the starting point of the drawing. This basically connects the points to create the shape.

With the Freeform: Scribble tool, you can draw anything you like without connecting the start and end points.

Freeform Shape and Freeform Scribble in Word.

Step 4: When you finish, your drawing is within its own space just like when drawing a specific shape above. This allows you to drag it if you want to move it or drag it in or out from a corner or edge if you want to resize it.

You can also select your drawing and use the tools on the Shape Format tab.

Shape Format tab for freeform drawings.

How to use the drawing tools in Word

One more way to draw a picture or sketch in Word is with the tools on the Draw tab.

Step 1: Head over to the Draw tab and use a tool at the top. You can pick a pen, pencil, or highlighter. You’ll also notice an eraser to perfect your drawing.

Tools on the Draw tab in Word.

Step 2: To choose a color for your drawing tool, select the tool and then click the arrow that displays in the lower right corner. You’ll see a palette of colors you can pick from along with thicknesses for the line.

Colors for the drawing tools.

Step 3: If you want a specific color you don’t see, select More Colors and then select a shade or enter the RGB or HEX code for the color you want.

Custom colors for the drawing tools.

Step 4: Another option on the Draw tab is to use a Drawing Canvas. Click this option in the ribbon to create a specific area for your sketch and then draw inside it.

Drawing Canvas in Word.

Step 5: When you finish with your drawing, select the large arrow on the left side to move or resize your drawing.

Arrow on the left to move or resize the drawing.

Whatever type of picture you want to draw, whether something detailed with your artistic skills or something simple like your initials or a smiley face, you now know how to draw in Word with helpful features and handy tools.

For additional help, take a look at how to delete a page in Microsoft Word.

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