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Infographics Made Simple

by Miguel Guhlin

In my Infographics Made Simple workshop session at the 2018 TCEA Chromebook Academy, I shared some of the infographic templates I had made. Since I first wrote the blog entries, Infographic-Creation Strategies for the Art-Challenged and Infographic Templates with Google Slides, I’ve learned a few more tricks. These  tips come in the form of Chrome extensions or add-ons. Microsoft user looking for Powerpoint templates for infographics? Here are over 15 templates to get you started. May I share some of my tips with you?

Tip #1 – Citing Images on the Web

“Any librarians in the room?” I always ask that question when facilitating a workshop. It is a tell-tale sign that the tip I’m about to share involves potential copyright violations. Potential since classroom fair use use is okay, sharing online…not so much. When you do a Google search for images to include in your infographics, seek out creative commons copyright images. Many often don’t know that in a Google Image Search, you can find the ones labelled “Reuse with modification.”

For example, here are standard Google Image search results for the word, “excellence:”


Those results look pretty good. Here’s what the search results are when you modify your search. To do that, select Tools, then Usage Rights, then “Labelled for Reuse.” The changes to your search look like this:

When the usage rights are modified, your image results are different, as shown below.

Try Google Advanced Image Search: It gives you enormous flexibility in tailoring your search results. In addition to specifying the image’s color, size, and file type, you can choose Filter Explicit Results to block inappropriate pictures. Specify the usage rights to include various levels of reprint permissions.

You may have to go through several pages of images (try these image sites first) before finding the right one. You can rely on tools like Cite This For Me, Apogee, MyBib, and EasyBib to get the citation for the image in MLA/APA format. Here’s what Cite This For Me looks like in action with an image that captures “Excellence.” Note the citation Cite This For Me provides appears below the image.

Free Image on Pixabay – Directory, Excellent, Mediocre Free Image on Pixabay – Directory, Excellent, Mediocre. (2018). Pixabay.com. Retrieved 27 July 2018, from https://pixabay.com/en/directory-excellent-mediocre-1274229/

While you won’t always need to include citations for images in your infographic, it never hurts to keep track of where you picked up your graphics in case others ask.

Want to learn more about this?

Read Helping Students Find and Cite Photos blog entry. Teaching students to correctly cite resources they use in their reports can be a difficult task. But this website can make it much, much easier, both for the students and for their teachers.

Meet Kathy Miller (@millerk813), a leading learner at the 2018 TCEA Chromebook Academy | Get a copy of her infographic

Tip #2: Finding Icons for Use

“Have you seen the Insert Icons into Slides add-on?” asked Kathy Miller (@millerk813) in my Infographics Made Simple session. Of course, we had not. “There is another add on for Docs and Slides called Unsplashed Photos. It has free-to-use HD pics; makes every copyright librarian happy!” Kathy shared. She followed up with sharing the Icons by Noun project.

In the workshop, we all grabbed the Insert Icons into Slides add-on, setting it up in Google Slides. With this add-on in place, you can browse 1,800+ free icons from Font Awesome & Google Material Design. What’s even neater, you can do it without leaving Google Slides. Pick any color you want, and the icons get inserted into your slide. Even more exciting, the icons get imported with a transparent background. Ms. White, one of the other session participants, shows off her incomplete infographic creation. You can see the open Insert icons add-on as a sidebar:

Icons by Noun, another source of icons, works in Google Docs. While Google Docs isn’t my preferred infographic tool (Google Drawings and Google Slides are my favorites), you can grab icons in Docs and then copy and paste them.

What’s amazing about events like the 2018 TCEA Chromebook Academy? I learn as much as I share.

Tip #3: Color Palettes Made Simple

Palette add-on

Not sure how to match colors? David McGeary suggests the following:

“I recommend doing an image search by color and usage rights. I also used https://coolors.co/ to get a working color palette for this project. It is one of my favorite tools for design work.”

Another participant in my Infographics Made Simple session suggested the Chrome add-on Palette. If you are not sure how colors should look together, it may do the job. It allows you to “create your own color palette by manipulating the variation and hue colors.”

Start Making

A hushed silence falls over a room when creative professionals start making.  In my session, participants got to work quickly. Some, though, found themselves enjoying all the Chrome extensions and add-ons that make infographic creation fun. One of them loved my share of Fireshot, an image capture tool that works in Chrome (also try Full Page Screen Capture). Another liked the mention of Windows tools like  PicPick and the venerable Snipping Tool.

Curious about what session participants came up with? See their incomplete creations linked below.




You can see more pictures of infographic makers. Check out creations from others in the session, including Korie’s “The Qualities of a Great Student” as well other infographic templates at Infographics Made Simple website.

Note to K-12 Students:

If you are a student using G Suite for Education, you may be unable to access the Google version of these infographics. That’s because your school district has NOT allowed you to access resources outside of your school district domain. Get a teacher to access the resources here, then share them with you using your school district domain. OR, use a personal Gmail account.


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