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Send drawings to friends with Google Hangouts on the Web

Taking a page from the quick sketch and annotation tools you can find on some smartphones, Google is adding these abilities to its Hangouts app -- but just in the Web version for now.

The process for sending a sketch to someone in Google Hangouts on the web currently involves drawing it in another app, saving, then uploading it to your Google+ photos so it can be shared. Now, AndroidPolice reports, you can skip much of that process by drawing a sketch right within the Hangouts window. As a bonus, you can also insert a picture and add annotations to it before sending.

To check if you have this feature, open a Hangouts conversation, hover over the Camera icon, and then look for a pencil icon to the left of it.

Reveal the pencil icon in the Hangouts window. Nicole Cozma/CNET

No pencil icon? No problem. Since Hangouts on the Web doesn't have many settings to worry about reconfiguring (fortunate in this case, unfortunate the rest of the time), just uninstall it and then reinstall. Right-click the icon on Chrome and choose Remove. You can reinstall Hangouts from the Chrome Web Store.

Adjust the drawing tool. Nicole Cozma/CNET

After clicking the pencil icon, you can make several basic adjustments to the drawing tool. The color picker is at the top, and from left-to-right are width, opacity, and shape (round or square).

To annotate a picture, you'll still need to click the pencil icon first, then click the camera icon along the top. The picture will load and you can draw right on top of it.

Add to a drawing you've already sent. Nicole Cozma/CNET

Once you send a sketch or picture, you can go back and add to what you've already drawn by hovering over it and clicking the small pencil icon that appears.

What do you think of this new sketch feature? Great addition, or too lackluster to be enjoyed? Leave your thoughts in the comments.