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The drawing canvas is a legacy tool from past versions of Word before it got so good at handling graphics. A drawing canvas is an object, a bounding box to contain graphics. Use it to provide a background or shading behind AutoShapes and images, group graphics, or to create a wider area for a text wrap. Because the drawing canvas is mostly obsolete, you have to turn it on in Word's options. Go up to the File tab to get a Backstage View, go down to the Options at the very bottom and click on the Advanced section.
Right here there's an option to Automatically create drawing canvas when inserting AutoShapes, and I'll turn that on and click OK. So I'm going to use our or drawing canvas to quickly make a graphic of some olives. I'm going to go to the Insert tab and click on Shapes. Here's the oval that I want, and as soon as I click on it the drawing canvas appears. You can see that your cursor has now become crosshair. Drag inside the box where you want your shape to go. So I'll draw an oval and it's supposed to be an olive.
So I'll go up to Shape Styles and color it green. Let me draw a second olive. I'll go over Insert Shapes in the left of the ribbon, make a second oval and I'll go ahead and rotate it a little bit to give it a little bit style, and color it green again. Because this is a drawing canvas I can also insert other shapes that I aren't touching. I'll come up here to the upper left and draw a text box, and I'll put right down below my olives. I'm going to turn on this WordArt Style and type in Two Trees Olive Oil.
Then I'll highlight it. I use my little mini toolbar and turn it to 14 point, make that a little longer. So now I have my graphic. My drawing canvas is too big right now. So I'm going to hover over the handle on the right-hand side and make it smaller. Now because this is an object if I want to move it I'm going to have to change the Text Wrap. And we talk about Text Wrap in the course. I'll click on Text Wrap, turn it into Square, and now my text comes up alongside it.
I'll hold my cursor over the edge and drag it over to the right-hand side and because all my objects are inside the box they all travel together. I don't even have to group them. You can also format the drawing canvas itself using any of Word styles and formatting techniques. I'll go ahead to Shape Fill, and fill it with the light green and go to Shape Outline, give it a dark green outline. So the little-known drawing canvas will save you from having to create separate boxes and group a number of objects whenever you want to create graphics inside a frame.
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