If I can’t find the copyright-friendly icon I’m searching for, I design my own! For example, I recently searched TheNounProject.com for an overhead projector, but they didn’t one. Neither did OpenClipart.org. So, I started a new Google Drawings document. Then I brought in a photo of an overhead projector. I used the Polyline tool to outline the projector in the photo by clicking to create vertices and line segments. I completed my outline by joining the last segment to the first vertex. This enclosed the polygon, making it a shape. Like with any other shape, I can change the fill and line colors. In my case, I filled with black. I deleted the photo, which just leaves the black silhouette. I dragged the corner of the Google Drawings document to make the canvas fit the shape I just created. To save, I clicked File → Download as PNG. This saves as an image file with a transparent background. PNGs can be inserted in just about any app or projects, so I can use my new icon everywhere!
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  • learninginhandIf I can’t find the copyright-friendly icon I’m searching for, I design my own! For example, I recently searched TheNounProject.com for an overhead projector, but they didn’t one. Neither did OpenClipart.org. So, I started a new Google Drawings document. Then I brought in a photo of an overhead projector. I used the Polyline tool to outline the projector in the photo by clicking to create vertices and line segments. I completed my outline by joining the last segment to the first vertex. This enclosed the polygon, making it a shape. Like with any other shape, I can change the fill and line colors. In my case, I filled with black. I deleted the photo, which just leaves the black silhouette. I dragged the corner of the Google Drawings document to make the canvas fit the shape I just created. To save, I clicked File → Download as PNG. This saves as an image file with a transparent background. PNGs can be inserted in just about any app or projects, so I can use my new icon everywhere!

  • learninginhandTip: Make the photo you are tracing partly transparent before outlining. It will make it easier to see your Polyline tool lines.
  • learninginhandIf you double-click a polygon drawn with the Polyline tool, you’ll see a purple dot on each vertex. You can move these dots to fine-tune your creation.
  • learninginhandAdvanced Tip: Group several shapes made with the Polyline tool together to create more complicated clipart. Each shape can be a different color, which can help you create images that are more than simple silhouettes. I used this technique to make an overhead projector image I used my previous post about Turkey Carving.
  • learninginhandThe Polyline tool works in Google Slides, too. Keynote, PowerPoint, and other apps have similar tools.
  • learninginhandGoogle Drawings’ Curved Line tool works in a similar way. But instead of straight lines, you’ll get curved lines. #edtech #googleEDU #gsuite #gsuited #gsuitedu #teaching
  • kristenbrooks77You are incredible! 😃👍🏻🎉
  • mrsmorgansclassWow!!!
  • cathwilliams05Fabulous explanation. Thank you. ✏️
  • herc78I've always used curve
  • pamelasuezHow neat! Thanks!
  • hellojenjonesThis is a very cool tool!
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