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Creating and inserting a new drawing via the inbuilt Drawing tool (Insert > Drawing > New) in Google Docs results in images of noticeably lower resolution when compared to adjacent text, both within the app and when a document is downloaded as a PDF:

Screenshot of document as PDF

Link to shared doc as example: https://docs.google.com/document/d/15QcIhrXCdR59278oW3Iy7MzH0nfJLSQ7jijcvm-UMTc/edit?usp=sharing

The figure is noticeably 'blurry'. Is there any procedure or workaround that would allow for the image to be sharper than this?

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Assuming you have already inserted the image with Insert->Drawing->From Drive (as explained by https://webapps.stackexchange.com/a/135887), then if the image is still blurry:

In google drawing: File -> Page Setup -> Increase the page size (e.g. 10x what you had originally, or 25" x whatever). The image in google drawing should autoscale (and it will look identical).

In google docs, update the image (hover over it, click update). The resolution should improve.

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I frequently find myself wanting to insert drawings and/or text boxes into gdocs. Google Draw is a pitiful tool. For some reason, the drawing capacity is so much better in Google slides. Plus they have a lot of really advanced diagrams (Insert - diagram0.

Basically, I make my graphic or text box in slides. Then I go to present mode. Take a screen shot (use either Print Screen button or Shift + Print screen). Then I open this up in a simple photo editing program (even Microsoft Paint). Crop and save as PNG. And then insert THAT into my gdocs.

It's a work around but you end up with much better quality graphics. For some reason, you can't just cut and paste the graphic straight out of the slides into the gdoc. But you can cut and paste between slides presentations.

I just did this with a "blurry text box" and it is much nicer done this way.

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    Why not just in Slides, go File -> Download -> PNG/JPEG/SVG current slide? It's faster that way. It would be preferable to choose SVG since it is scalable and doesn't get blurry. – Victor Resnov Mar 10 '20 at 17:28
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I've observed similar blurriness in embedded drawings created entirely within the Google Doc, but sharper results when inserting a separate Google Drawing.

Create a Google Drawing in drive and then Insert -> Drawing -> From Drive.

Google Docs Add Drawing Menu

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I found a workaround in downloading the drawing in .svg format (from the Drawing window: Actions > Download as > Scalable Vector Graphics) and then opening this file in a browser, screenshotting it, then inserting it as an image into the document. Much better resolution.

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  • This is how I was resolving this too. Some things I need images in don't support SVG, so downloading as SVG and screenshotting in order to circumvent the crazy amount of lossy compression applied to png and jpg downloads is a bit inconvenient. If you have imagemagick and the convert command you can use convert -size '2000x' picture.svg picture.png to convert to png. 2000 here is the width of the output, you can change it to whatever output quality you want, which works well because svg scales. – theferrit32 Apr 16 '20 at 0:35
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These I find to be the quickest methods:

  1. Make a separate drawing in some folder for your document, then insert them through the Drive;
  2. Make a separate drawing in some folder for your document, then download the drawing as an image (preferably SVG because it's scalable and won't go blurry when enlarged), then insert that as an image on your document; or
  3. Make it in Google Slides, then export the current slide as an image (preferably SVG because it's scalable and won't go blurry when enlarged), then insert that as an image on your document.

I also recommend increasing the size of the image to at least 4K or more equivalent size (basically, a large resolution). This way, the image is clear and high-quality when enlarged. 4K 16:9 resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels, and 8K (I recommend, but download sizes will increase) resolution is 7680 x 4320 pixels. You can also change the scaling to whatever you like afterwards, but try to have an image size that's generally large, in that range, to maximize quality (small images will be blurry no matter what).

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I had created a new drawing, opened the blurry drawing, copied its contents, and pasted them to the new drawing. The new drawing was vector graphic crisp. However when I changed the color for one of the arrows that was mixed in the z-order of some other shapes I found that the drawing began to render as a pixelated bitmap image when I pressed save and close. You may be able to use the copy paste technique in a new drawing, but beware you can still revert back to a blurry copy depending upon what you're editing.

I may have triggered it using the custom colors option where I wanted to create a darker shade of red and blue to differentiate some details on my drawing. That's when I began having trouble with the pixelated rendering.

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The best solution I've found is to open up the drawing and screenshot the image as you want it. Then if you delete the drawing, just insert the screenshot, and that's a lot cleaner.

If you look to keep editing the drawing, I recommend making a copy of the google doc, so that you still have those drawings available in a backup google doc that you're not actively using.

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  • Wonderful Idea. I added an "Appendix" section and resized the "Drawings" to be very small over there. For the actual usage of the images, I just double-click, take a screenshot, and paste it in the doc. I will be assured that since it's an image, it's not gonna be messed up in other formats like PDF either. – Aidin Feb 26 at 22:43
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It gives me no joy that this is the answer, but I think it's what you're looking for:

  1. insert a new google drawing into the google document.
  2. make a bounding box as a placeholder and save and close.
  3. make the empty box twice the size of what you intend it to be.
  4. draw your drawing.
  5. resize your drawing to fill the allowable space and then save & close.
  6. now make the inserted google drawing the correct size within the google doc.

this worked for me just now.

EDIT: this doesn't seem to last after closing and re-opening the document :(

I'm leaving the answer because if you save a PDF after doing this, it will reflect the high resolution in the PDF... but as soon as you reload, you have to scale up, edit, scale down again.

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I'm not sure if this is the issue the OP was experiencing, but I had a similar experience. I created a new drawing in Google Docs, and when I saved it and went back to the main document, it was very small. So, I resized it. By the time it was a reasonable size (I changed it from 3/4" wide to 4" wide) everything in the drawing was blurry, both the image and the text within it.

enter image description here

I later discovered that I had the drawing set to display "inline with text". As soon as I changed the setting to either "wrap text" or "break text", the odd behavior vanished. The drawing was the size I had come to expect of drawings (in my limited experience) and the image and text-box parts of the image rendered very crisp, as is normal.

enter image description here

So, short version: perhaps your "Text Wrapping" setting on the drawing is the culprit.

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