How to Draw in Microsoft Word

While Microsoft Word may not be the first drawing tool you think of, its drawing tools are among its little-known features that are simple to learn and easy to use.

These drawing tools come in various shapes and forms including arrows, banners, callouts, squares, circles, stars, and flowchart shapes you can use to create images or illustrations.

If you’re looking for the right image or clip art to add to your document, and you can’t find the exact one you want, you can draw it in Word using the drawing tools.

Whether you’re doodling, taking visual notes, or sketchnotes, here’s how to draw in Microsoft Word so you can add some personality to your project.

How to Draw in Microsoft Word

There are several types of drawings you can create in Word including basic lines and shapes, freeform shapes, and more. Let’s learn how to draw in Word using the predefined shapes and drawing tools available.

The screenshots are from Microsoft Word for macOS. Windows users can also follow the same steps.

How to Draw Basic Lines and Shapes in Word

If you want to draw simple shapes in your document, Word offers several shapes.

  1. To draw basic lines and shapes, open your Word document. Select Insert > Shapes from the toolbar.
  1. Select the shape you’d like to draw, start and drag it to the ending point on the location you’d like it to place the shape in your document. You can select the shape’s sizing handles and drag them to change its size, and then release once you get the desired size.

If you want, you can format the shape by opening the Drawing Tools Format tab. This tab offers various options that allow you to change the color, look, and style of the shape you add to your document.

  1. To change the look and color of a shape, select the shape to open the Format tab from where you can play with color effects or edit the line type of the shape’s outline and more.
  1. From the Format tab, you can select a predefined style, change the shape’s color by selecting Shape Fill or change the outline color using the Shape Outline option. You can also use the Shape Effects option to add shadows and other effects or select the shape and enter text in it.
  1. If you want to switch to a different shape, for example square to circle, select Format > Edit Shape > Change Shape and select your preferred shape.

How to Create a Freeform Drawing in Word

If there’s a particular shape you want and you can’t find it in the predefined shapes, you can draw it yourself using the Freeform shapes. There are two ways to create freestyle shapes using a mouse or trackpad:

  • Using Freeform: Scribbles for hand-drawn shapes
  • Using Freeform: Shape for shapes with straight or curved segments

To create a freeform drawing using Scribbles:

  1. Select Insert > Shapes > Freeform: Scribble.
  1. Next, select the area where you’d like to draw your freestyle shape and then drag anywhere to draw it.

To draw freestyle shapes:

  1. Select Insert > Shapes > Freeform: Shape.
  1. Create the curves or straight line segments as you want by selecting the starting point and dragging to the end point. Repeat the process if you want to draw a series of straight lines or curve segments.

Note: If you find it difficult to draw freeform shapes in Word, you can try drawing in Microsoft Paint and insert the image into Word later on. 

How to Draw in Word Using the Drawing Canvas

If you need to group your shapes together, you can create a drawing canvas and add the shapes into it.

  1. To create a drawing canvas, select Insert > Shapes > New Drawing Canvas.
  1. Next, move the drawing canvas where you want in your document and your shapes will move with the canvas. You can drag the sizing handles to resize the canvas, and select Format to give the canvas a fill color or outline shape.

Note: While you don’t necessarily need a drawing canvas when working with drawing objects in Word, you can use it as an organizational aid to add connectors between shapes or to work with several drawing objects.

How to Draw in Word Using Pen Tools

If you want to draw more complex shapes, Microsoft Word pen tools allow you to do that instead of using the basic lines or freeform shapes.

  1. To draw with Word pen tools, select Draw and then choose Pen, Pencil or Highlighter.
  1. Using your mouse, click, hold and drag to create the shape and add the elements you want. Once done, select the Draw button again.
  2. Select the drop-down menu to change the tool’s color or thickness and select what you want. You can also select More Colors to access many more colors besides the 16 standard colors available.
  1. You can also add special effects including rainbow, lava, galaxy, ocean, gold, rose gold, silver and bronze.

How to Erase Your Drawing in Word

Word offers an Eraser tool in its Drawing tools menu to erase any mistakes in your drawings. The eraser tool has three types:

  • Small eraser to erase a small area
  • Stroke eraser to erase the whole stroke
  • Medium eraser to erase a larger area

To erase a small or large area, click, hold and drag your mouse over the area you want to delete. If you want to delete a line, select the Stroke eraser and click on the line to erase it.

How to Add a Drawing to a Word Document

If you want to enhance your Word document, you can add a drawing instead of using basic lines and shapes, or freeform shapes.

You can add SmartArt, pictures, charts, clip art or drawing objects like WordArt, flowcharts , diagrams and more. These drawing objects are part of Word, and you can enhance or change them with patterns, colors, borders and other effects.

  1. To add a drawing in Word, select the area where you want to create the drawing in your document. Select Insert > Shapes and select SmartArt, Picture, Clip Art, Chart or Screenshot.
  1. In the Format tab, you can change the shape, add text to the shape, or group selected shapes. You can also draw using the Freeform or Scribble options.

How to Format the Text Wrapping Around a Drawing

If you have some text you’d like to wrap around your drawing, you can do so using the Format tab in the Drawing tools menu.

  1. To wrap text around your drawing, select the drawing and then select Wrap Text in the Format tab.
  1. Next, select a text wrapping option: Square, In line with text, Through, Tight, Top and Bottom, Behind text, or In front of text.
  1. If your drawing has an irregular shape, you can wrap text around it by going to Shape Format> Arrange > Wrap Text and select Edit Wrap Points.

Change the boundary by selecting and dragging the boundary points. This also allows you to control how the text wraps around the drawing.

Another way to add drawings to a Word document is by using premium graphic images. You can access thousands of Word templates from the Elements marketplace or GraphicRiver , which are professionally designed for maximum impact.

Put Your Artistry to the Test

Whether you use a mouse, trackpad, touchscreen or digital pen, the drawing tools in Word can help you create shapes, add notes, edit text and more.

Combine your drawings with beautiful fonts in Word and create documents that catch the eye of readers.