Google Docs provides a number of tools that you can use to insert objects into your document. One such object that you can add to a document is a picture. These images are accessible in Google Docs via Google Search but you can also upload an image from your phone, computer, or another device if you have taken or created the image that you want to use in your document.
But images that you find or create may not be in the proper orientation or facing the correct direction, which means that you may need to rotate a picture if you have already added it to a document and discovered that it was wrong.
Let’s go through how you can search, insert, upload and manipulate images in Google Docs. We will also see how we can reposition and flip an image in Google Docs.
How to Flip a Picture in Google Docs
- Open your document.
- Right-click on the picture and choose Copy.
- Click Insert.
- Select Drawing, then New.
- Right-click on the canvas and choose Paste.
- Right-click on the image and choose Rotate, then Flip horizontally or Flip vertically.
- Click Save and Close to return to the document.
Our article continues below with additional information on flipping a picture in Google Docs.
How to Upload an Image to a Google Docs File
If you are looking to upload an image to Google Docs, follow these steps.
- Open your document.
- Click at the point in the document where you want the image.
- Choose Insert at the top of the window.
- Select the Image option.
- Click on the Upload from computer option.
- Find the file you want to add to the document, then click Open.
If you want to add an image to your document but you don’t already have it saved to your computer, then the section below will show you how to find a file using the Google Search feature that is integrated into Google Docs.
It is important to note that nearly all images that you can search in Google Docs will be owned by someone else. While Google tries to show only Creative Commons images, it is vital to check for copyright licenses for any images that you intend to use.
You can check for an image’s copyright license by going to its source. If you click on the magnifying glass that appears at the bottom right corner of an image you find through Google Docs you will see a description of the permitted image usage at the bottom of the screen.
Here is how you can search for images in Google Docs.
- Click in your document where you want to add the picture.
- Select Insert from the menu at the top of the window.
- Choose the Image option from this menu, then click Search the web.
- Type your search term into the field at the top of the right column, then press Enter.
- Select a picture that you want to use.
- Click Insert to add the image to the document.
You can also double-click an image from the search column rather than clicking it once then clicking Insert.
If you want to select a different image, use the delete key to remove the current image and select a different one.
If you have already found the picture that you want to use in your document then you can choose to add it via its URL, or Web page address.
Google Docs also allows you to insert images via URL into your document. Additionally, you can also insert images that you have saved to the Google Drive associated with your Google Account. Always remember to check all the images that you do not own for copyright license before using them.
You can find an image’s URL by opening that image in your Web browser, then selecting the address at the top of the window and copying it.
To insert images via URL:
- Copy the URL of the image to use.
- Open the document.
- Click Insert.
- Choose Image, then By URL.
- Paste the URL where indicated. You can right-click and choose Paste, or press Ctrl + V on your keyboard.
- Click the blue Insert button to add the image to your document.
To insert an image via Google Drive:
- Click the Insert option in the menu at the top of the window.
- Choose Image, then Drive.
- Select a picture to use that you want to flip, then click Insert.
If you use Google Photos then you can select Photos from the Image menu instead and browse for your photos there.
Note that after you select the Drive option there are going to be a couple of different tabs in the column at the right side of the window. You can select one of these tabs to look for images that meet certain criteria, such as images that have been shared with you, mages that you have starred, and more.
Images can add a lot to a document, as one picture can convey an assortment of emotions and information that is difficult to put into words. But when it comes to Google Docs, sometimes you’ll need to do some extra work with the images that you insert in your document.
This can include modifying their size and position on the screen as well as formatting them so they look great alongside text!
For images inside of your Google document that you would like to format smoothly without any distortion or cropping issues, there are some key positioning options available in Google Docs:
- The In-Line option allows you to align the text with the image. This option enables the image to move with the text.
- The Wrap Text option wraps the text around the image.
- The Break Text option allows the image to act as a break and allow the text only to appear below or above the image.
Follow these steps if you want to change the position of an image.
- Select the image you want to reposition.
- Choose one of the text wrapping options below the image.
- Drag the image to the desired position within its surrounding text, then release your mouse button to place the image.
To edit image size, follow these steps:
- Click on the image to select it. Some blue squares will appear on the image border.
- Click and hold on one of those squares, then drag it to adjust the size of the picture.
Note that you can always go to Insert > Drawing > New later if you need to add another image to your document.
How To Flip Images in Google Docs (Guide with Pictures)
Mirroring or flipping an image in Google Docs is identical to putting it in front of a mirror. The reflection that you see in the mirror is that of a flipped image.
Images can be flipped vertically or horizontally. An image that is flipped horizontally has its left and right sides reversed. An image flipped vertically has its bottom and top sides reversed.
Google Docs not only allows you to manually rotate your images but also allows you to automatically flip the images in your document.
Here is how you can flip images in Google Docs.
Step 1: Open your document in Google Docs.
Step 2: Select Insert at the top of the window.
Step 3: Choose Drawing, then New.
Step 4: Click the Image button in the toolbar.
Step 5: Find the file to use.
Step 6: Right-click on the picture, choose Rotate, then select Flip horizontally or flip vertically.
Step 7: Click Save and close to add the flipped image to your document.
After you click the Save and close button the Drawing object will be added to the document where you can see how it will look amidst the rest of your document content.
Images that are inserted as drawings behave a little differently. If you need to make an adjustment to a drawing then you will need to double-click on it to open the Drawing tool again.
If you only need to rotate your picture, rather than flipping it along a horizontal or vertical axis, then continue to the section below.
Rotating an Image in Google Docs
Google Docs also allows you to manually rotate an image. This option can be used if you want to vertically flip an image. Due to the nature of how image rotation works, you will only be able to rotate an image vertically.
Here is how you can rotate an image in Google Docs.
- Click on your image.
- This will show you the image’s anchor points.
- Select the circular anchor at thge top of the image to rotate it.
- Go to Insert.
- Select Drawings.
- Select New.
- Paste your image on the canvas, or click the Image button and add it to the drawing.
- Click on Actions, which will open a drop down menu.
- Select Rotate clockwise 90 degrees.
- Select Save and Close for the changes to take effect.
Any adjustments that you want to make to an image that you have added via the Drawing tool will need to be done within the Drawing tool. You can reopen this by double-clicking on the picture in your document.
How To Flip An Image In Microsoft Paint and Insert It In Google Docs
Microsoft Paint is a native image editing tool that comes preinstalled with Windows. You can use Microsoft paint to flip and rotate images and then insert them into Google Docs.
If you want to rotate or flip images in Microsoft Paint, consider the following steps.
- Open the image in Microsoft Paint.
- Right-click on the image.
- Select Rotate from the menu.
- Choose one of the available rotation options.
- Click File then Save As to save the file to your computer.
- Open yoru Google Docs file.
- Click Insert.
- Choose Image, then Upload from computer.
- Browse to the file you just saved in Microsoft Paint.
- Click the Open button.
Your rotated or flipped image from Microsoft Paint should now be visible in your Google Doc.
The rotation options in Microsoft Paint are:
- Rotate right 90 degrees – will rotate the image 90 degrees clockwise
- Rotate left 90 degrees – will rotate the image 90 degrees counter-clockwise
- Rotate 180 Degrees – which will rotate image 180 degrees
Note that you can also select the Rotate option in the ribbon at the top of the Microsoft Paint application and rotate the image that way instead.
Flipping and Mirroring Images in Google Docs
Flipping or mirroring an image means when you put that image in front of a mirror, the reflection of the image that you see is the flipped image.
An image of an arrow that is pointing towards the left will point towards the right when you flip the image horizontally. The image of an arrow pointing downwards will show an arrow pointing upwards when the image is flipped vertically.
We have discussed how you can achieve this desired effect by going to Insert > Drawing > New, then adding a picture to the canvas and selecting one of the options to flip it.
For more information on flipping images in Google Docs, including how you can do so on a smartphone, continue reading the sections below.
How To Undo Image Flip in Google Docs
Google Docs allows you to unflip an image; restore the image to its original layout. The following steps will explain how to undo image flip in Google Docs.
Unflip Image Using Version History
- Click on the image you want to unflip
- Click on the small edit button that appears under the image
- This will open up the Drawing tool
- Go to Actions
- Select See version history. This will show you all the versions of the image.
- Select an older version you would like to restore. This is visible towards the right side of the Drawing tool
- Click on the three vertical dots
- Select Restore this version
- Click Restore on the dialogue box or the confirmation box that appears after clicking Restore this version
- Click on Save and Close in the Drawing window for the changes to take effect
How To Revert to the Main Image
It is possible to move back to the real image in Google Docs after making edits to it which you want to discard.
Follow these easy steps if you want to discard any flips or rotations you recently made to your image.
- You can press Ctrl+Z if you recently flipped an image and want to restore it to its original position
- You can also restore your image to a previous version by going to revision history as we have explained earlier in this article.
You can use Google Docs on your smartphone and flip images if you do not have a PC nearby.
However, the Google Docs app does not allow you to flip images but you can use your browser to flip an image. I am using the Chrome iPhone app for these steps, but they will also work in other browsers, like Safari.
- Open Google Chrome on your phone.
- Enable Desktop Version on your phone. Follow these steps to open the desktop version of Google Docs on your phone
- Click on the three vertical dots on the top right in Google Chrome
- In the drop down menu, check the box next to the Desktop site. This will enable an open desktop version of the website instead of a mobile version.
- Write docs.google.com in the URL and press enter to open the Google Docs desktop version on your phone.
- Right-click on the image and select copy to copy the image. You can also select the image and press ctrl+c to copy the image.
- Find insert in Google Docs Toolbar
- In the drop down menu select Drawing
- Click on New
- This will enable the drawing tool
- On the Drawing tool, you can either click anywhere on the blank space and select paste to paste the image for editing or you can also use Ctrl+V to paste the image.
- Once the image is pasted in the drawing tool you can right-click on the image and select Rotate
- After selecting Rotate you can rotate or flip the image as per your requirement.
- Click on Save and Close for the changes to take effect
Flipping Image on iPhone or iPad Google Docs App
The Google Docs app on your iPhone or iPad has a robust toolset that allows you to do much of what you can accomplish when working with Google Docs on your desktop or laptop computer.
- Open the Google Docs iOS app.
- Open your document.
- Touch the three dots at the top-right.
- Enable the Print Layout option.
- Select the image you want flip or rotate.
- Use the controls around the image to adjust its size or rotate it.
If you aren’t getting the results that you were hoping for then you may have more luck by editing a picture in the Photos app on your iPhone than inserting that edited photo into your document.
Every once in a while we find ourselves at a loss when viewing our photo albums because there seems to be something off about some photos that turn out looking unnatural.
Have you ever found yourself scrolling through your camera roll and became frustrated with the way a person’s face appears in a particular picture? It’s as if someone took two pictures from slightly different angles but didn’t bother splicing them together.
With one easy tap, flipping or mirroring an image can make it look more natural. You can mirror an image in the iPhone photos app by following these easy steps.
- Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
- Select the image to flip.
- Touch Edit at the top-right of the screen.
- Tap the Crop icon at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap the icon which looks like a triangle split in half on the upper left corner of your screen to flip your image.
- Tap on Done for the changes to take effect.
You can now open a document in your iPhone’s Docs app and insert the flipped version of the image that is now available in your Photos app.
The next section will discuss flipping an image if you are using an Android smartphone instead of an iOS one.
If you want to check your photo for any unwanted imperfections, then editing on an Android smartphone or tablet with a camera app is the answer.
Camera apps come equipped with all of the basic features that make up today’s digital photography experience – including crop and rotate functions.
However, if flipping pictures is what you are looking for when it comes to cropping, there are not many options available in comparison to other utilities which can be found right at your fingertips!
To use the Gallery app to flip an image on Android, follow these steps.
- Tap on the Gallery app on your phone.
- Click on the image you would like to flip.
- Choose Edit.
- Select Rotate.
- Click on the time icon to rotate. This icon appears at the bottom of your screen.
- Tap on the check mark icon to save your photo.
You should now be able to open the Docs app on your Android device and insert the image that you just edited.
Final Thoughts on How to Flip Image in Google Docs
We have tried to cover all details about how to flip images in Google Docs on your desktop, laptop, or smartphone.
While the process of flipping an image in Google Docs can be tricky because of the need for the Drawing tool, it does give you some useful options without needing to resort to a third-party app. Plus, with the use of some of the default apps that are on your smartphone already, you can even achieve your image flipping needs if you can only work with your document on your mobile device.
Matt Jacobs has been working as an IT consultant for small businesses since receiving his Master’s degree in 2003. While he still does some consulting work, his primary focus now is on creating technology support content for SupportYourTech.com.
His work can be found on many websites and focuses on topics such as Microsoft Office, Apple devices, Android devices, Photoshop and more.