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!
- From Where I learned About Canva Tips
- Tip 1: Using Pexels & Pixabay Inside Canva
- Tip 2: Select Element Behind – Layer Hack
- Tip 3: Use Canva Frames to Display Mockups or Create Collages
- Tip 4: Useful Canva Shortcuts to Save Time
- Tip 5: Upload Images Quickly Using Drag and Drop Upload
- Tip 6: Group Different Elements Together
- Tip 7: Use Smart Mockups and bring your products to life!
- Tip 8: Move Elements Around the Editor with Ease
- Tip 9: Lock Elements in their Place
- Tip 10: Quickly Filter Search Results
- Tip 11: Add a QR Code to your Designs
- Tip 12: Customize Colors of Vector Art
- Tip 13: Use Tidy Up for Even Spacing
- Tip 14: Add Clickable Links in PDFs
- Tip 15: Animate your Design – Canva Animation
- Tip 16: Search for Templates from the Home Page
- Tip 17: Live Stream through Canva
- Tip 18: Create Websites through Canva
- Tip 19: Copy Style of an Element
- Tip 20: View Similar Design Elements
- Tip 21: Use Canva Screen Recorder to record your Presentations
- Tip 22: Add a Gradient in the Background
- Tip 23: Canva Curved text and Effects
- Tip 24: Directly Use an Image on Canva
- Tip 25: Use Canva’s Brand Kit to streamline your designs
- Tip 26: Leave Comments while collaborating
- Tip 27: Adjust Text Position Using Rulers
- Tip 28: Use Canva Logo Maker to Create Awesome Logos for your Brand
- Tip 29: Easily Erase Backgrounds using Canva Background Remover Tool
- Tip 30: Use Canva’s Magic Resize Tool to Optimize Your Posts
- Tip 31: Create the Highlight Effect for YouTube Thumbnail
- Tip 32: Use Canva Graph Maker to Design Beautiful Graphs and Charts
- Tip 33: Save your designs as templates
- Tip 34: Use Canva’s Color Palette Generator to Create Attractive Color Combinations
- Tip 35: Get Color Palette Ideas and Font Combinations
- Tip 36: Use Pre-Designed Color and Font Combinations
- Tip 37: Using the Color Eyedropper Tool
- Tip 38: Import and Edit PDF Files
- Tip 39: Blurring the Background of an Image
- Tip 40: Text Masking with Alphabet Frames
- Tip 41: Converting Photos into Paintings
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
|Add a Text Box||T|
|Add a Circle||C|
|Add a Line||L|
|Add a Rectangle||R|
|Zoom in/out||Ctrl/Cmd + ‘+’ or Ctrl/Cmd + Scroll|
|Duplicate an element||Ctrl/Cmd + D|
|Crop an image||Ctrl/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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Using it, you can filter your results by ‘Pro’ to only view the premium images.
Additionally, you can also filter by
- 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.
Step 1: Go to the ‘More’ option from the left sidebar.
Step 2: Select the QR code Generator under Apps and Integrations.
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?
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!
Tip 14: Add Clickable Links in PDFs
Adding hyperlinks within your ebooks and documents is easier than ever with Canva. Just follow this simple process.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Recently, they have also introduced ‘Audio-only talking presentations’, so you can simply record your voice along with the presentation!
P.S. You can even record your own videos in Canva from the Uploads tab now. Go check it out!
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!
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.
Under Shadows, you can edit the color, direction, offset, blur, and transparency of the shadow. I find it great for creating 3D effects.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
Step 1: Choose an image for your thumbnail
Step 2: Use the Background Remover tool to remove the background image.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Tip 36: Use Pre-Designed Color and Font Combinations
Confused with pairing different colors and fonts together? Try the Styles tab in Canva.
It has pre- designed palettes that offer attractive color combinations for your design. Colors and fonts can be applied with a single click.
Tip 37: Using the Color Eyedropper Tool
You don’t need to download any extensions to pick colors anymore! With the eyedropper tool of Canva Pro, it’s easier than ever to select any color on your design and use it somewhere else.
Here’s how you can do it.
Step 1: Click the color palette icon on the element of your choice.
Step 2: On the Document Colors tab, click on ‘Add a new color’.
Step 3: Beside the Hex code, you’ll find the Eyedropper tool. Click on it and select any color from the screen.
Tip 38: Import and Edit PDF Files
Do you know that you can import your PDF files in the Canva editor? And not just that, once the PDF file is imported, you can make as many edits to it as you want! Let’s see how you can do that.
Step 1: On the Canva home page, click on ‘Create a new design’ and select the ‘Import file’ option.
Step 2: Import your PDF file. It’ll open up in the Canva editor and now you can edit it easily.
Tip 39: Blurring the Background of an Image
Blurring the background of any image is a cakewalk with the Canva Pro version. All you need to do is:
Step 1: Create two copies of the image that you wish to blur in the background.
Step 2: Use the Background Remover tool on the first image and use the blur effect on the second one.
Step 3: Now place the first image over the second one. You have applied the blur effect successfully!
Tip 40: Text Masking with Alphabet Frames
Want to create a unique and highly engaging design? Text Masking is one of the best ways to do that! You can mask your letter frames in Canva with this simple process.
Step 1: Select the letter frames of your choice from the Canva Elements tab by searching for ‘Frames’. Then arrange them according to your choice.
Step 2: Drag and drop videos or photos within them. For example, here, I have used the floral themed videos on my frames.
Tip 41: Converting Photos into Paintings
Yes, with Canva, you can easily transform your images into a painting. Let’s see how to do it.
Step 1: Upload an image on the Canva editor and click on Edit image.
Step 2: Choose the ‘Prisma‘ effect from the list. Try out all the 10 variations of the painting styles and select the one that you like best. This effect will add a punch of creativity to your boring pictures!
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. 🙂