35+ Mind-Blowing Canva Tips and Tricks (2021) – You Should Know This

Canva is a tool with infinite possibilities! I recently discovered while doing Canva Pro review that how much you can actually do with this simple graphic design tool!

Today’s article is about Canva Tips and Tricks, where I’ll be sharing 35+ interesting Canva tips and hacks to help you get the most out of Canva and design better graphics quickly and effortlessly!

Mind you, some of these hacks will blow your mind! I was most impressed to know that you can live stream through Canva! 

Want to know how to do that? Well, let’s dive right into our article then!

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From Where I learned About Canva Tips

I recently reviewed Canva Pro on my YouTube channel and Blog. So for that review I extensively used Canva and learned about the shortcuts and secret tips to use Canva efficiently.

Canva is not the only design tool that I’ve used. I’ve active paid plans of Pixelied and Crello as well. I’ve also reviewed Pixelied and Crello in detail and by Canva is the biggest design tool on internet right now.

To effectively use Canva, you should know the tips I’m about to tell you. These are MUST learn Canva tips.

In this article I’m sharing all Canva tips & tricks that I’ve learned. Majority of them will work with Canva free version.

Tip 1: Using Pexels & Pixabay Inside Canva

This tip is for the Canva Free plan users. If you’ve used online designing tools, you must know that the free stock photo collection of Canva is not as impressive as Pixelied or Crello.

But why should that stop you from creating striking designs?

Canva integrates the Pexels and Pixabay libraries inside its editor, so you can get access to a better photo collection and a large variety of stock images!

Use Image Libraries

Step 1: Go over to the Canva Editor and click on the ‘More’ option from the left sidebar. 

Step 2: Under Integrations, choose Pexels or Pixabay library and search for your favourite images.

Tip 2: Select Element Behind – Layer Hack

Don’t you hate it when you have multiple layers in your design, but tweaking a single element ends up disturbing all the others? I feel your pain! 

Well, here’s a very simple keyboard shortcut to select one layer at a time. 

Select Layers

Step 1: Press Ctrl+click or Cmd+click to select the first layer on the page.

Step 2: Keep on clicking till you reach the layer you wish to edit. Now you can edit the selected layer without worrying about disturbing the others. 

I also find this trick quite helpful for finding the hidden elements in my designs.

Tip 3: Use Canva Frames to Display Mockups or Create Collages

Canva Frames is an amazing feature to add beautiful frames around your designs, create photo collages, grids, cutouts of different shapes, and even photo mockups!

Canva Frames

Step 1: Under the Elements tab, type in Frames in the search bar. 

Step 2: Select a frame/grid/mockup of your choice.

Step 3: Drag and drop any image within it and double-click to re-adjust it.

Canva Frames Resize

Mockups are very useful for creating advertisements or promotional marketing stuff! If you specifically need a tool to design mockups, check out my detailed video on Placeit

Tip 4: Useful Canva Shortcuts to Save Time

Canva makes your designing experience even more smooth and effective by supporting lots of handy keyboard shortcuts. 

Canva Keyboard Shortcuts

FunctionKey
Add a Text BoxT
Add a CircleC
Add a LineL
Add a RectangleR
Zoom in/outCtrl/Cmd + ‘+’ or Ctrl/Cmd + Scroll
Duplicate an elementCtrl/Cmd + D
Crop an imageCtrl/Cmd + drag to resize

Apart from that Canva does have many more shortcuts that can be found on Canva website. They have created a beautiful shortcuts infographic.

Tip 5: Upload Images Quickly Using Drag and Drop Upload

Nobody has got time to select and upload images one by one onto the Canva Editor. Choose the smart way!

Drag and drop upload

Select an image from your device and just drag it onto the Canva editor. It will be automatically uploaded!

I found Canva’s drag and drop upload to be very smooth and quick as compared to other editors like Crello

Tip 6: Group Different Elements Together 

How do you move a particular set of elements without disturbing the spacing and arrangement of the whole design?

This is possible by using the Grouping feature.

Grouping Elements in Canva

Step 1: Hold the Shift key and select all the elements you want to move. 

Step 2: Click on the Group button.

Alternatively, you can also use the keyboard shortcut: 

Grouping : (Select elements) + Ctrl/Cmd + G. 

Ungrouping: Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + G.

I found this feature quite useful while working on complex designs consisting of multiple layers and dozens of elements! 

Tip 7: Use Smart Mockups and bring your products to life!

If you are into designing printed products, apparel, technology, clothing line, books or anything similar, Canva integrates with SmartMockups to bring your work to life!

Canva Smart Mockups

Step 1: Design your image and click on the three dots in the right corner. 

Step 2: Under the Share tab, you’ll find the Smart Mockups option. 

Step 3: Sign Up on SmartMockups with your email id.

Canva Smart Mockups Book Cover

Now, you can view your books, T-shirts, your websites, and other products printed on real-life objects! It’s an outstanding feature to test-run your products before actually getting the designs printed!

Tip 8: Move Elements Around the Editor with Ease

Need absolute precision while shifting various elements in your design? Here’s a trick. Use arrow keys to shift them by one unit. 

Alternately, to roughly adjust elements on your design, use Shift + arrow keys to move them by ten units.

Tip 9: Lock Elements in their Place

While working with lots of elements, it’s tough to select them individually, especially when there are layers too!

An easy option would be locking the completed designs in their place. 

Canva Elements Locking

Step 1: Select the finalized elements and group them together. 

Step 2: Click on the Lock icon. 

Now, whatever you do with the other elements on the page won’t affect the locked elements. They will continue to stay in their position until unlocked.

Tip 10: Quickly Filter Search Results

If you have a Canva Pro subscription, why would you want to use the freely available assets at all, right? 

While searching for images, elements, videos, etc you can a Filter icon beside the search bar. 

Canva Search Filters

Using it, you can filter your results by ‘Pro’ to only view the premium images. 

Additionally, you can also filter by 

  • Color
  • Type of animation 
  • Orientation (Square, Vertical, Horizontal, etc) 

Tip 11: Add a QR Code to your Designs

Canva’s URL Generator is extremely helpful while designing business cards, or marketing materials to promote your app, website, or brand.

Canva QR Code Generator

Step 1: Go to the ‘More’ option from the left sidebar. 

Step 2: Select the QR code Generator under Apps and Integrations.

Adding link to QR code

Step 3: Add the URL to your blog, website, company, or your app.

Your link will be converted into a QR code that people can scan it through their mobile phones.

Tip 12: Customize Colors of Vector Art 

Do you know that it’s possible to change colors of your vector elements on Canva?  

Customizing color of vector art

Whenever you select any vector element, the header bar displays all the colors that it is made up of. 

Click on the color you wish to edit and choose a different one of your choice!

Tip 13: Use Tidy Up for Even Spacing

Have lots of elements scattered across your page? Manually aligning them is too old-fashioned! 

Instead, try the Tidy-Up feature!

Step 1: Select the elements you wish to align and click on Position.

Step 2: Choose a direction to align –

  • Left, right, or center
  • Middle, bottom, or top 

Step 3: Now, use the ‘Tidy Up’ feature to apply an equal spacing between your elements and create a pleasing graphic!

Adding hyperlinks within your ebooks and documents is easier than ever with Canva. Just follow this simple process.

add clickable links in PDFs

Step 1: Choose the text you wish to add a link on. 

Step 2: Click on the hyperlink icon on the top right. 

Step 3: Type in the URL to an external website. 

And you’re done! Now, when you export your design in PDF format, the link would work. 

However, the only downside is that hyperlinks only work with PDFs. They won’t work on JPG, PNG, or other file formats. 

Tip 15: Animate your Design – Canva Animation

Canva also has 6 different animation effects in the free version, and 13 effects in the Pro plan  that you can use to make your designs even more attractive!

Canva Animations

As soon as you add any design element on a blank page, you will find the animate button on the top left. Use it to create moving elements!

Tip 16: Search for Templates from the Home Page

We all choose our design format first and then move on to selecting templates, right? But do you know that the format of your design might limit the search results?

The perfect marketing template you’re looking for might not be available in the Instagram story format!

Search templates from home page

Therefore, you should search for templates from the home page to have a wide variety of options to select from. Later, you can resize it according to the format you want to use it on. 

Tip 17: Live Stream through Canva

Sounds unbelievable? I was stunned too! But you can actually start a live stream through Canva.

Live Streaming through Canva - 1

Step 1: Click on the Present option available under the ‘Recommended’ tab.

Step 2: Select the Standard Presentation mode. You’ll find a tiny live stream button on the bottom. 

Live Streaming through Canva -2

Step 3: Start a new session and copy the invitation link.

Step 4: Send this link to people and start live streaming!

The best part is that your audience doesn’t need an app or account to access your live stream. They can directly ask questions from their browsers.

So, if you are an instructor, you can use this function of Canva to conduct webinars, Question and Answer sessions, etc.

Tip 18: Create Websites through Canva

Oh, yes. You heard it right. It is possible to create a basic website with Canva. 

Select any design templates from the website templates available under Business templates.

Now, edit the text, colors, images, elements, etc as per your requirements and add your URL on the page.

creating website with Canva

While downloading, you get lots of options to publish as a website. When you click on Publish, your website is created through Canva. 

This is great for creating landing pages or portfolio sites that don’t need to be updated regularly.

The only problem is that you cannot change the Canva URL. However, you can use link shortener tools to hide the Canva links.

Tip 19: Copy Style of an Element

While designing, if you have multiple texts or elements on the page and you wish to streamline them, then you can use Copy style.

Copy style of an element

Copy style button helps you copy the font size, typeface, transparency, color, filter, and effects of one element and paste it on the other.

If you wish to copy elements or an entire group from one design to another, you can copy and paste them on the desired location! It even copies hyperlinks and all applied effects!

Tip 20: View Similar Design Elements

If you find an element attractive, and want to search for more similar elements, you can do so by clicking on the Information button above. 

i button for similar designs

Then, you can either search similar Elements through the keywords used, or click on the ‘See more like this’ button. 

You can also view the designs by a specific designer by clicking on ‘View more by designer’. 

Tip 21: Use Canva Screen Recorder to record your Presentations

Yes! Canva has an in-built screen-recorder! If you are a student, a teacher, or a business professional, you will find it convenient to record your presentations on Canva. 

Canva Screen recorder

Step 1: Select ‘Present and Record’ from the Recommended Tab.

Step 2: Click on ‘Go to the Recording Studio’.

Step 3: Adjust your mic and camera settings and start recording!

You can also add relevant notes to be displayed on your screen while presenting. When you download or share a link to your recorded presentation, the notes would be hidden. 

Tip 22: Add a Gradient in the Background

Canva doesn’t provide the Gradient effect under its Backgrounds tab. But that doesn’t mean we cannot add one!

add a gradient

Step 1: Search for the gradient box in the Elements tab. 

Step 2: Cover your entire design with the box. 

Step 3: Now, customize the colors.

You’ll see the gradient effect on your background!

Tip 23: Canva Curved text and Effects

Click on a text on your design. Select ‘Effects’ You will find different effects you can apply on your text like shadows, hollow, echo, curve, neon, glitch effect, etc.

add shadow

Under Shadows, you can edit the color, direction, offset, blur, and transparency of the shadow. I find it great for creating 3D effects.

add curved text

Under the Curve effect, you can vary the degree of curve on a slider bar. It’s helpful for designing logos.

Tip 24: Directly Use an Image on Canva

You don’t need to download an image and then upload it on Canva to use it. Simply copy any image from the Internet, and paste it on the Editor! 

Tip 25: Use Canva’s Brand Kit to streamline your designs

If you have your own brand, then Brand Kits feature would be beneficial for you. It’s a pro plan feature but you can access it in free version too with some limitations.

Canva Brand kit

Step 1: Head over to the Brand Kit tab from the left sidebar on the home page.

Step 2: Add your brand colors and logo.

Step 3: Choose fonts from Canva’s Font Library or add custom Brand fonts. 

Now, while designing social media posts, you can simply click on the Brand kit to align the design as per your brand identity.

If you want to learn basic graphic design skills, check out Canva tutorials on Canva Design School.

Tip 26: Leave Comments while collaborating

If you have a team of designers collaborating on a design, you can leave comments for them through the bubble icon available beside the canvas. 

add comments while collaborating

You can also tag your teammates in the comments.

Tip 27: Adjust Text Position Using Rulers

To precisely position all your elements, you can make use of the ‘Show Rulers’ option available under the File tab. 

Show rulers and grid lines

The measurement unit is pixels by default. But you can change it to cm, mm, or inches from the Resize button.

For additional convenience. You can also enable the guides and drag them on the Canvas.

Tip 28: Use Canva Logo Maker to Create Awesome Logos for your Brand

Canva has loads of templates for designing professional looking logos. You can find them under the Business Templates category on the Home page. 

Canva Pro Logo maker

Select one of your choice, add a few tweaks, and you’re done with your logo within minutes!

Tip 29: Easily Erase Backgrounds using Canva Background Remover Tool

I loved using this tool! It is available with the Canva Pro plan and helps you remove the background from any image with a single click! 

Canva Pro background remover

You will find this tool under the Effects tab after selecting your image. 

Tip 30: Use Canva’s Magic Resize Tool to Optimize Your Posts

If you are a social media creator or manager, the Magic Resize tool of Canva Pro will let you optimize a single design for all social media platforms!

Canva Pro Magic Resize

Step 1: After finishing your design, click on the Resize button on the header bar. 

Step 2: Enter a design format or enter custom dimensions.

Step 3: Click Resize, and your design will be optimized according to your chosen format!

Tip 31: Create the Highlight Effect for YouTube Thumbnail

Ever wondered how YouTubers add that cool stroke effect on their thumbnails? You can do that within seconds through Canva!

Canva highlight effect - Remove background

Step 1: Choose an image for your thumbnail

Step 2: Use the Background Remover tool to remove the background image.

Canva highlight effect - apply duotone

Step 2: Create another copy of this image and apply Duotone on it from the Image effects tab.

Step 3: Set the shadows and highlights both to white.

Canva highlight effect - change background and adjust images

Step 4: Finally, change the background color and adjust the images. 

The highlight effect is done!

Tip 32: Use Canva Graph Maker to Design Beautiful Graphs and Charts 

Yes, Canva is a goldmine of surprising features! Need infographics, graphs, or charts for your blog post? You can create them within seconds!

Canva graph maker

Step 1: Go to Canva Graph Maker

Step 2: Enter your document title and click on ‘Create my Graph Now.’

Step 3: Choose one from 25 different kinds of graphs. Select your favourite template and start editing!

Canva graph templates

You will find a variety of beautiful graph templates including bar graphs, line graphs, mind maps, pie charts, comparison charts, concept maps, flowcharts, and a lot more! 

Tip 33: Save your designs as templates 

If you need to work on the same design frequently, you can save them as templates to easily access later. 

save design as template

Step 1: After completing your design, select the ‘Template’ option from under the Share tab. 

Step 2: Choose a folder where you wish to save it.

Tip 34: Use Canva’s Color Palette Generator to Create Attractive Color Combinations

Go to Canva’s Color Palette Generator and upload an image of your choice.

Canva color palette generator

You will get the dominant colors used in that image, along with their hex codes. This is great if you wish to design your home, or your website from a color palette.

Tip 35: Get Color Palette Ideas and Font Combinations

If you want ideas for different color palettes, you can just visit Canva’s Color Palettes, add any keyword, and find lots of different templates to choose from. 

Canva Color wheel

You can also use Canva’s Color Wheel, which is an interactive tool, to decide different color combinations and either export them or create a graphic with them.

Additionally, Canva Font Combinations can help youl find great font pairing recommendations, so you can give it a try! 

Conclusion

With this, we have reached the end of our article. I hope this article helped you discover some new Canva hacks and shortcuts. 

I hope this helps you use Canva more effectively from now onwards! If you’re interested in discovering more about it, you can check out my detailed Canva Pro Review.  

If you enjoyed reading, and wish to stay updated with more such interesting content, you can subscribe to my Newsletter. I’ll make sure to provide you informative content regularly!

Anyway, this is Kripesh signing off! Take care, guys. I’ll be back with another article soon. 🙂

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