Google Chrome Canvas Logo

If you’re looking for a cross-platform drawing tool, look no further than the Google Chrome Canvas web app. It links to your Google account, allowing you to save and edit your drawings on multiple devices. Here’s how to use it.

The first time you access Google Chrome Canvas, you’ll be asked to sign in to your Google account. Click “Get Started” and use your account credentials to begin.

Opening, Creating, or Deleting a Chrome Canvas Drawing

When you open Google Chrome Canvas for the first time, a new drawing will appear by default. If you’ve used it before, you’ll see thumbnails of your previous drawings.

If you have an existing drawing, click on it to begin editing. Otherwise, you can click the blue “New Drawing” button to create a new, blank drawing, or click “New from Image” to import an existing image from your PC to draw on instead.

In the Google Chrome Canvas app, click New Drawing for a blank new drawing, or New from Image for a new drawing with an image background

Your new drawing canvas (either blank or with a supplied image) will open automatically, ready for you to begin marking up.

If you want to delete a drawing after it has been created, return to the home/selection screen by clicking the home icon in the top-left corner of the Google Chrome Canvas web interface. Click on the three-dot menu button in the bottom-right corner of the drawing thumbnail and then click the “Delete” button.

To delete a Google Chrome Canvas drawing, click on the hamburger button icon on the drawing thumbnail in the selection screen, then click Delete

Adding a Name to Google Chrome Canvas Drawings

New Google Chrome Canvas drawings are created unnamed. To add a name to an existing drawing, click the three-dot menu icon for the drawing on the selection screen and then click the “Rename” button.

Click the hamburger icon > Rename to rename a Google Chrome Canvas drawing

Type a suitable name for your drawing and then click the “OK” button to save your changes.

Type a name for your Google Chrome Canvas drawing, then click OK

The name for your drawing will appear underneath the thumbnail for your drawing, next to the three-dot menu icon.

Named Drawings shown in the Google Chrome Canvas app

Changing Paint Tools and Colors

The Google Chrome Canvas editing mode has several drawing tools for you to use, each with its own texture, size, and impact. These tools are prominently displayed in a menu on the left side of the screen.

The drawing tools menu in Google Chrome Canvas

When you select a tool, it will appear more prominently, with the selected color applied. The available drawing tools include a pencil, fountain pen, marker pen, chalk, and an eraser tool.

Just above the list of tools are options to change the color and size of your drawing tool. Clicking on the circular icon allows you to choose colors from a pre-set palette. Alternatively, you can click “Custom” to use a hex color code instead.

The drawing color selection tool in Google Chrome Canvas, with options displayed

To edit the size and opacity of your drawing tool, click the pencil with a triangle icon underneath the circular icon.

Using your mouse, move the sliders left or right to decrease or increase the size or opacity of your drawing tool output.

Click the icon beneath the circular icon in the drawing tools menu in Google Chrome Canvas to change the size and opacity of the tool

If you want to undo (or redo) any changes you make while you’re drawing, you can use the left and right arrows in the top-center of the editing screen.

Click the left or right circular icons in the top-center of the Google Chrome Canvas screen to undo or redo actions

Adding or Removing Layers

Google Chrome Canvas allows you to use multiple layers, giving you the flexibility to create complex drawings that can be easily edited.

The layers menu allows you to see your existing layers. You can add, hide, or delete existing layers from this menu. To access it, click the rhombus icon in the top-right corner, next to the three-dot settings menu icon.

To access the layers menu in Google Chrome Canvas, click the rhombus icon in the top-right corner

To add a new layer, click the plus icon in the top-right corner of the pop-up menu. Click the trash icon next to each layer to delete it or the eye icon to hide it.

The Layers menu in Google Chrome Canvas with options to add, delete or hide layers

By default, the drawing canvas has a white background. You can edit this from the layers menu by clicking the paint bucket icon at the bottom of the menu and then selecting a custom color.

To change the canvas color in Google Chrome Canvas, click the layers menu in the top-right, then click the paint bucket icon

Your chosen canvas color will be applied automatically once selected. You can also hide this background layer by clicking the eye icon, leaving a transparent background.

Exporting a Google Chrome Canvas Drawing

If you’ve created a Google Chrome Canvas drawing and you would like to export it elsewhere, either for printing or further editing, there are two ways to do it.

In the editing screen, click on the three-dot icon in the top-right corner. From there, click “Export Drawing” from the pop-up menu to begin exporting it.

To export a Google Chrome Canvas drawing during editing, click on the hamburger settings menu icon in the top-right, then click Export Drawing

Alternatively, in the drawing selection screen, click on the three-dot icon in the bottom-right corner of the thumbnail for your drawing. From there, click on the “Export” button.

To export your Google Chrome Canvas drawing outside of the editing screen, click on the hamburger icon for the drawing, then click Export

Both methods allow you to export the drawing as an image in the PNG image file format to your computer.

Ben Stockton Ben Stockton
Ben Stockton is a freelance tech writer from the United Kingdom. In a past life, he was a UK college lecturer, training teens and adults. Since leaving the classroom, he's been a tech writer, writing how-to articles and tutorials for MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Cloudwards.net. He has a degree in History and a postgraduate qualification in Computing.
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