Using Partial Opacity in Google Drawings

In a previous post I discussed transparency in Google Drawings, and how this can be used with (for example) Presentations to make visually attractive slides.

Transparency, though, doesn’t have to be all or nothing; you can adjust fill colours to have just the amount of opacity you need.

As an example, let’s generate some shapes in a drawing. You can fill these with a colour of your choice using the ‘paint pot’ tool:

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Clicking on the icon opens a dialog in which you can select a colour from the limited selection presented or, as I’ll do here, click on the Custom… button below the colour swatches:

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

The Custom… option opens a further dialog offering much finer control of colour selection. You can choose a colour from the grid, input a colour in #rrggbb format, or adjust your choice (as we’ll do here) using the two slider controls on the right.

The right-hand of these controls adjusts opacity; drag the slider handle to any setting from fully opaque to fully transparent:

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

All of your drawing’s elements can be adjusted this way. How the drawing will look, though, will depend on in what order these items are overlaid from the background to the foreground.

You can adjust this order by selecting individual items and using Arrange > Order from the menu:

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

The effects of partial opacity are, of course, cumulative – the more items you have to ‘look through’, the less intensely-coloured your background items will appear.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Partial opacity can be particularly effective when applied to slides that have a background image:

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge