Building Web Layout Diagrams in Google Docs with Apps Script

Creating visual diagrams like web layouts directly in Google Docs can be a unique challenge, especially when you need to integrate dynamically fetched images into a structured format such as a table. Google Docs provides basic functionalities for handling images and tables but integrating them seamlessly requires a bit of scripting finesse using Google Apps Script. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to programmatically add specific fetched images to specific cells of a table in a Google Doc, ideal for crafting web layout diagrams.

Why Use Google Docs for Web Layout Diagrams?

Google Docs may not be the first tool you think of for web layout diagrams, but it offers several advantages:

  • Collaboration: Easy sharing and real-time collaboration.
  • Accessibility: Accessible from any device with an internet connection.
  • Integration: Seamlessly integrates with other Google services.

However, for more complex diagramming needs, tools like Google Drawings or third-party apps like Lucidchart or Adobe XD might be more suitable. They offer more advanced diagramming tools specifically designed for creating detailed and dynamic layouts.

Fetching and Inserting Images into a Google Doc Table Using Apps Script

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fetch images from a URL and insert them into specific cells of a table in Google Docs using Google Apps Script:

Step 1: Set Up Your Google Apps Script Project

Navigate to Google Apps Script and create a new project.

Step 2: Write the Script

Below is a script that:

  1. Creates a new Google Document.
  2. Fetches images from specified URLs.
  3. Inserts a table and populates specific cells with these images.
function insertImagesIntoTable() {
// Create a new Google Document
const doc = DocumentApp.create('Web Layout Diagram');
const body = doc.getBody();

// URLs of the images
const imageUrls = [

// Fetch images and store as blobs
const images = => UrlFetchApp.fetch(url).getBlob());

// Insert a table with specific dimensions
const table = body.appendTable();
const numRows = 2;
const numCols = 2;

// Create cells with placeholder text
for (let i = 0; i < numRows; i++) {
const row = table.appendTableRow();
for (let j = 0; j < numCols; j++) {

// Replace placeholders with images
table.getCell(0, 0).clear().appendImage(images[0]);
table.getCell(0, 1).clear().appendImage(images[1]);
table.getCell(1, 0).clear().appendImage(images[2]);

// Save and close the document

Logger.log('Document created: ' + doc.getUrl());

Step 3: Run and Test

After pasting the script, click the run button, and authorize the script if prompted. The script will execute, creating a new document with a table populated with images.


While Google Apps Script can effectively place images within a Google Doc’s table cells, consider whether this setup meets your needs for creating web layout diagrams. For more visually intensive and interactive design processes, a dedicated diagramming tool might be more appropriate. However, for simplicity and integration within the Google ecosystem, using Google Docs with Apps Script is a convenient and collaborative approach.

This example demonstrates the flexibility of Google Apps Script for custom document creation and could be expanded or modified for various use cases, such as creating product catalogs, instructional guides, or other document types where images need to be organized systematically within a document.