Sketch on Google Keep notes and drag them to Google Docs

Learn new tricks with Google Keep - draw with your finger on the screen

Learn a new trick with Google Keep - draw on the screen with a mouse or finger and insert the drawing into a note. Drag and drop drawings in Google Keep into Google Docs documents.

Google Keep is slowly gaining features and becoming more useful if you are a fan of this note-taking app, have you tried the drawing features? Create sketches and save them to notes and Google Docs.

Keep has had the ability to store pictures in notes for some time, but drawing on the screen is fairly new and so is the ability to drag and drop your sketches into Google Docs.

This could be useful for some people and you could create sketches in notes when ideas come to you and then use them in documents by dragging and dropping them. It’s brilliant.

Well, it would be if I could draw. I must warn you that my sketches are rubbish.

Related: Run Google Keep on the desktop in its own window
Related: Share your Google Keep notes with other Keep users

1 Create a new drawing

Open Google Keep in your browser – Chrome is best of course. At the right side of the Take a note box is a pen. Click it.

Create a drawing in Google Keep by clicking the pen icon


2 Select a drawing tool

A blank canvas appears and in the toolbar at the top are three pens. The difference between these is the pen nib, the pointy end that you draw with is a different shape on each of them.

The one on the left is more like a pen and the one on the right is more like a broad watercolour paintbrush.

Tap the arrow next to a pen and a selection of colours appears. Below this is the pen size. Click the arrow at the right.

Create a drawing in Google Keep notes


3 Pick a colour

The arrow opens up a larger colour palette and it is the same for each of the pens.

The drawing tools and colour palette in Google Keep drawings


4 Warning – I can’t draw!

Using the tools, you can create drawings by sketching with the mouse. Hopefully they are better than my pathetic efforts.

An interesting thing here is that if you have a touch screen, you can draw with a finger instead of the mouse. This could be useful for hybrid laptops where you can detach the screen and use it like a tablet. If you have some artistic talent, you could create a good image.

Drawing on a note in Google Keep

I haven’t tried it, but it probably works with a Surface and a pen on the screen.

The second icon in the toolbar is a selection tool. Click and drag around a rectangular area and then click and drag the selection to move it.

The third icon is an eraser. You can erase lines and brush strokes or the whole canvas.

The three dots in the top right corner display a menu and there is an option to download your drawing. It downloaded at 2,048 x 1,392 pixels when I tried it, so it is quite high resolution.

5 Quick sketches for notes

I tried to create something a bit more useful this time and came up with this rough plan for the area at the back of a house. There is a path, a tree, a pond and so on. (It’s still rubbish!)

Insert a drawing in to a Google Keep note


6 Insert into a note

Click the arrow in the top left corner and the drawing is inserted into a new note. You can add a title for the note, add text and so on in the usual way. Click Done to save the note.

A drawing on a note in Google Keep


7 Insert drawings into documents

Now here is an interesting feature. Open Google Docs in Chrome and create a document, type in some text and so on.

Open Keep in a separate Chrome window – I simply dragged the tab out of Chrome into its own window.

Open the note with the drawing, then click and drag the drawing from the Google Keep note and drop it in the Google Docs document to insert it. You can see the note on the right and document on the left here.

Google Keep and Google Docs

This is a great feature and it makes Keep notes even more useful. You don’t need to copy and paste, you just drag and drop.

I’m sure you can create much better sketches than I can, so have a go at drawing on the screen. Use the mouse, a finger or a pen if your computer supports it.


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