Insert YouTube Videos into a Google Doc

As the iconic painter Bob Ross said, "We don't make mistakes, we just have happy accidents."

That is exactly how I would describe how I discovered a way to insert a YouTube video into a Google Doc, a happy accident.

Now I doubt if I am the only Google Apps user that knows about this, but after searching through many Google & YouTube search results, I haven't come across anything that describes or shows these steps of inserting a YouTube video into a Google Doc. So maybe I am?

And just to clarify...I'm not talking about the insert a screenshot image of the video & then add a hyperlink to the image trick. 

To insert a video into Docs you'll need to use Google Slides, insert a Drawing into your Google Doc. Then after a few extra copy and paste functions and double clicks, you'll have yourself a YouTube video embedded into a Google Doc.

I made a screencast video and embedded it below to show you the steps to take if you want to insert a YouTube video into a Google Doc. 

So there you go. I know its not perfect or as seamless as inserting a YouTube video into Google Slides, but if you are wanting or needing a video in a Google Docs this is probably the closest and best you'll get until the Google people decided to code in that function. 

***A Couple things extra that I didn't mention in the video***

Something that I didn't show you in the video that might be helpful to know...After you save and close the Google Drawing with the YouTube Video inserted, you can resize and change the text wrap so it doesn't take up as much space in the Doc. (See screenshot below)

Also, once you resize and move the Drawing to where it is needed, when the image is double clicked to open the Drawing it will still be the original size so you are not having to look at a tiny video player to watch the embedded video. (See screenshot below)

Another Update:
Christopher Myers left this comment on the video in YouTube:
I did run into a little snag when it came to sharing the document with others. As far as I can tell, recipients need to have edit access to the document in order to double click the Drawing. So to avoid a potential mess you could either share the Doc as view only and File --> Make a Copy, share a copy with each student in Classroom, or use the force Make a Copy hack.
I will echo his suggestions and if you are using this workaround as a teacher the obvious choice is to use Google Classroom and select "make a copy for each student". 

Christopher even provided a link to these instructions of how to execute the force Make a Copy hack. Its a great trick to know and can be used with all Google Apps. I use it all the time! Thanks again Christopher!


  1. This is Great!!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I was able to get it to work on our Chromebooks, but it stopped. Says it won't play Error 5. I'm not able to find out what error 5 is. We do have you tube blocked, but it worked several times and then when I came back from lunch it would not work any more. Ideas, suggestions?

  3. Genius!!!!! My hyperdocs thank you!

  4. Thanks Mr. Fahey! You can also use this docs add-on to create a video playlist that embeds and plays YouTube videos in a doc. It works great for assignments!
    Use this docs add-on. You can create a video playlist and embed and play YouTube videos in a doc. Side Study for Teachers - Google Docs add-on (


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