How to Put Borders Around Pictures on Google Docs

By Kevin Lee

Borders, like frames, enhance objects by making them the focal point.
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Borders can draw attention to important images in a document and help separate those images from content that surrounds them. If you use Google Docs to create documents, presentations and drawings you may have searched in vain for an “Add Border” button. One doesn’t exist, but a “Shape” button does. By placing a transparent rectangle over picture you can generate a colorful border that looks like you created it using an image-editing program.

Visit your Google Docs page and open a drawing or presentation that has a picture. Click "Insert" and then click "Shape" to view a menu that contains shape names.

Click the "Shapes" menu item and select the "Rectangle" shape. Your cursor changes into a cross.

Click a location near the picture's upper left edge, hold down your left mouse button and drag the cursor down towards the right to draw a rectangle around the image. This rectangle has a default fill color that obscures your picture.

Click the shape to select it and then click the "Fill Color" button on the toolbar. Click "Transparent" to remove the rectangle's fill color. You'll now see a border around the picture.

Click the border and press your arrow keys if you need to make slight adjustments to its picture. Position the border so that the picture fits evenly on all four sides within the border. If the border is too large or small, click one of its handles and drag it to resize the border.


Change a border's width and line style by clicking the border and then clicking "Format" to view a menu that contains formatting options. Click "Line Weight" and select a line weight to change the border's width. Click "Line Dash" and select a new line style to change the border's line style.

Click the toolbar's "Line Color" button and select a new color if you want to change the border's color.

You cannot insert a shape into a Google Docs file that has a "document" type. These files are similar to Microsoft Word documents. However, you can click "Insert" and select "Drawing" to add a drawing to a Google Docs document. If you need to add a picture with a border to a Google Docs document, create a drawing first. You can then add your picture to that drawing, place a border around the picture and insert the drawing into your document.