10 Canva tips, tricks, and hacks to save you time and smooth your workflow

Canva users work smarter, not harder. Whether you’re new to Canva or you’re a seasoned pro, these 10 useful hacks will put time back in your day and ensure your workflow is seamless.

1. Filter elements

Instead of scrolling through all the media in Canva’s library, simply go to your side menu in the Canva editor and click on the ‘Elements’ panel. Type in a search term for the type of media you’re looking for and click the ‘Filters’ tab. You can filter by the file format, color, orientation and whether the media should be animated or not.

2. Add gradients

Gradients create visual interest. In Canva, you can play with different color combinations, adjust the transparency and change the direction of your gradient.

Go to your ‘Elements’ panel, search ‘gradient’ and select ‘graphics’ from the sidebar. Once you’ve selected a gradient you like, you can modify it by filtering the tricolor boxes from your top menu.

Have fun with it!

3. Add graphs and infographics

Canva can convert data into beautiful graphic displays. Choose from donut charts, line charts, bar charts and even pictograms.

Go to your ‘Elements’ panel, scroll down to ‘Charts’ and click ‘see all.’ You’ll be able to browse hundreds of chart styles.

Each can be customized. You can resize charts, add percentages, adjust the number of items and their spacing, or change their color.

4. Give your text a background

Instead of placing a shape underneath your text to separate it from other elements in your design, simply add a text effect.

Click on the text you want to modify, then go to ‘Effects’ from your top menu and select ‘Background’ from the style options. You’ll be able to drag sliders to adjust the corners of your background, choosing between round or square edges. Voilà!

5. Add a hyperlink

Using hyperlinks on your resume is a great way to stand out.

Simply hit ‘Command’ or ‘Control’ and ‘C’ on your keyboard to copy the text you wish to hyperlink and select the ‘Link’ icon from your top menu. You’ll paste the website URL into the text bar by hitting ‘Command’ or ‘Control’ and ‘V.’

It’s that easy.

6. Record yourself giving a presentation

Remote learning is here to stay and thanks to Canva’s recording feature you can stay connected to classmates and colleagues working in different time zones.

Now, you can pre-record yourself talking through presentation slides.

When you’re ready to present, click the ‘Share’ button on your top menu, select ‘Present and record’ and finally, hit ‘Next’ and ‘Go to recording studio.’ From here, you’ll click ‘Start recording.’ When you’ve finished your presentation, simply click ‘End recording’ and click ‘Save and exit.’

Made a mistake? You can discard your recording and try again.

Once you’re happy with your recording, the video will be embedded into your presentation. You can share your recording by clicking on the ‘Share’ button and copying the link or download your work directly from Canva.

7. Aligning elements

Canva’s alignment tools are handy.

To set up page guides, go to ‘File’ in your top menu, then ‘Show Rulers and Guides.’ You can add as many guides as you like by dragging them into position.

Ensure graphics are evenly spaced by selecting them, clicking on ‘Position’ in your top menu and scrolling to the option ‘Tidy up.’ This will ensure everything in your template is perfectly aligned.

8. Selecting hidden layers

Some designs require multiple elements to create a dynamic look.

On a Mac, you can select a shape or graphic positioned underneath another element by holding down the ‘Command’ key, which allows you to bring it forward in your design.

The process is the same on a PC, only you have to hold down the ‘Control’ key instead.

9. Make any PDF editable

Gone are the days of needing the original document to make changes to a PDF.

Log in to your Canva account and stay on the homepage. From here, simply drop your PDF onto your homepage and the document will automatically upload. Once opened, Canva will recognize text boxes and elements, allowing you to move them around, change their color and even delete parts.

10. Canva’s color wheel

If you’re unsure about what colors will work for your project, head over to www.canva.com/colors. Here you’ll find a color palette generator and color wheel.

If you click on ‘Color wheel’ you’ll be able to pick various color combinations by dragging the circle icon around. Copy the HEX codes into your Canva design to customize your template.

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