At a recent Google Drive training, a participant asked me if there was a way to insert clip art into a Google Doc. They knew how to insert images, but they wanted an image bank of those cartoon-like clip art images, just like in Microsoft Word. Can it be done? Indeed it can. Here’s how.
Start by opening the document of your choice and going to Insert > Image to open the Google Image browser. Then select “Search” from the menu on the right-hand side.
Next, enter the type of image you are looking for in the Google search box. Results that are shown are labelled for commercial use with modification, so they are perfect for classroom use. In this example I am going to search for a picture of a dog.
Most of the time, your initial search will return photos and not clip art, but there is an easy way to fix this. Simply click the drop down menu above your images that says “Any type” and change it to “Clip art” to filter the results and only display clip art images. You can even pick a color from the color palette if you are looking for a particular color of dog!
The image browser in Google Drive apps is the same across all the Google products so this will work in Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Drawings. If you need something that looks a little more professional, be sure to check out Google’s bank of Stock Images. You can access those by clicking the drop menu to the left of your image search term and selecting “Stock”.
If you decide to use stock images, just be sure to heed the restrictions of the licensing that Google includes. “Results shown are available for personal or commercial use only in Google Drive, and may not be independently redistributed or sold.” In other words, you can use them in all your Google apps, but not elsewhere, and you can’t sell any of these images.
So, that’s how to insert clip art into Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms and Drawings. Try it out with students and see how much time it really saves you compared to the hassle out of finding good, copyright free images on the web.