Google Slides – Lines, connectors, scribble

Google Slides has a whole host of different lines, connectors, etc, which you can edit in lots of ways. Here we’ll look at:

  • Types of line
    • Line
    • Arrow
    • Elbow connector
    • Curved connector
    • Curve
    • Polyline
    • Scribble
  • Line weight, colour, dash
  • Start & End line

Adding lines to a diagram

Here I have a simple diagram made with text boxes. I want to add some arrows to show that the Google Apps are all connected with Google Drive in the middle.

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Click on the “Line” icon on the toolbar.

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Then the crosshairs will appear instead of the cursor. If you hover near one of the text boxes, some dots will appear on the border, like the one here on the left. These are centre points and are there to help you attach lines in the right place.

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Click on one of the dots then drag the line to the other box. As you can see the other box then highlights the centre points, allowing you to attach it the line in the right place.

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I repeat the same for all 5 boxes.

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Now I want to change some of the line properties. First I select all 5 lines, holding down the shift key and clicking on each of the lines. This allows me to edit all 5 lines at the same time.

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On the toolbar, you’ll see the line edit options appear. These are (left to right) line colour, line weight (thickness), line dash, line start, and line end.

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Changing line colour

Let’s change the colour of the lines from black to a softer grey. Click on the “Line colour “icon then choose a colour from the palette.

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Changing line weight

Now, let’s change the line weight. Click on the “Line weight” icon and select a thickness.

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Changing lines from solid to dashed or dotted ones

Here we could the lines from solid ones to dashed or dotted ones, by clicking on the “Line dash” icon and selecting a style. Here I decided not to do that.

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Changing the style of the ends of the lines

We can change the ends of the lines by adding arrows, circles, squares, or diamond shapes.

Each line has a start and an end. The start is from where you started to draw the line.

To change the start end, click on the “Line start” icon and select a shape. In this example,  I’m going to leave it as is.

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To change the end of the line, go to the “Line end” icon and select a symbol. Here I’m going to select an arrow.

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So, now we have grey, thicker arrows, instead of the plain lines.

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Adding arrows

In the above example, we converted the normal lines into arrows. This time we’re going to add arrows directly to our diagram.

Here I have a simple procedure and I want to add arrows in between the blocks to show it’s a process.

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Click on the “Line” icon on the toolbar and select “Arrow”.

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As with the lines above, when you hover near the text box, the centre points appear.

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Click on the first point and then draw downwards to the next.

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As you can see an arrow is drawn, connecting the two.

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Adding an elbow connector

Sometimes, we don’t want a straight line to connect elements, instead we want one that will go down, across, and then down again. This is an elbow connector, it’s a bit like some pipes connecting your elements. From the Line menu, select “Elbow connector”.

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Then draw from the first element to the second. As you can see below, the ‘pipes’ are drawn.

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Here I’ve connected the oral test with all three written test. This can also be useful for organigrams or family trees.

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Like the normal lines, you can add arrows, etc on the ends in the same way.

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Adding a curved connector

The above connector used straight lines, the curved connector, as the name suggests, adds curved lines.

Select the “curved connector” from the Line menu.

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Connect the elements i the same way as above.

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As you can see it adds curved lines, which can be useful for things like documenting brainstorming ideas.

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Adding a curve shape

So far, the above has focused more on connecting elements to each other. The next 3 are drawing tools, which allow you to draw shapes and freehand.

The first is a curved shape. Select the Curve from the Line menu.

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Click on the slide, then move to another point on the slide and click again. Each time it will draw a curve between the two points.

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To finish, you need to click on the original starting point, so that the shape is complete.

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This then automatically fills in the shape you’ve created.

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Here I’ve decided to draw a lake, so I’ve changed the fill colour to blue.

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Adding a polyline shape

Similar to above, the polyline creates a shape by you setting the points on the slide. The difference is this time, the lines are all straight. Select the Polyline from the Lines menu.

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Click on the slide and finally on the starting point.

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This will then fill in your shape.

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Scribbling on a slide

Finally, we have the option of freehand drawing on the slide. Of course, with a mouse or trackpad, it’s not always easy, but at least it allows you to draw whatever you want, more or less.

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Click on the slide and hold down the mouse button and draw. When you let go of the mouse button, it stops drawing and also makes that drawing a selection, which you can then move and edit like a line.

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Here I’ve ended up at the starting point, which isn’t necessary, but you can see that this time it doesn’t fill in the space.

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eBooks now available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, and Slides:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


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