How to get the most out of Canva

How to make the most out of Canva_featured image

We’re always looking for ways to make Canva the easiest design platform around. And with so many features, no matter how long you’ve been using Canva, chances are, there are still a few tricks you can learn that will make the design process easier. To help you create a masterpiece you can be proud of, here's our practical guide to making the most out of all that Canva has to offer.

So, you’ve decided you need to create a design to help communicate with purpose. Whether it’s a winning resume(opens in a new tab or window) that will get you noticed, or, you’ve been tasked with creating branding collateral, by following the below guidelines, you’ll be able to go from ideation to professional-looking designs with ease.

In this article, you will learn:

Step 1: Explore all that Canva has to offer.

Get to know us better: This first step may seem obvious, but with thousands of templates and hundreds of articles(opens in a new tab or window) aimed at helping you design like a pro, taking the time to see and learn how to use Canva(opens in a new tab or window) and what you can do will have you creating better designs, faster.

Brainstorm the purpose of your project: At Canva, we believe that good design is about solving problems. And chances are, if you’ve come to Canva, you have a project in mind that we can help you with.

If it’s a resume(opens in a new tab or window), your purpose is to clearly highlight your talents and accomplishments. If you want to design a logo(opens in a new tab or window), its purpose is to be the face of the company and represent who your brand is. By streamlining what you want your design to achieve, it will be easier to make clear choices later in the design process.

From minimal and informative, to bold and unique, we have thousands of resumes(opens in a new tab or window) that will work for any industry you work in.

Learn the design basics: If you’re new to design, we’ve already made all the tools you need easy to use. However, if you’d like to learn how designers create designs that tell a story—by using concepts like choosing certain colors(opens in a new tab or window), following certain design principles(opens in a new tab or window), and the art of alignment(opens in a new tab or window)—our Learn blog(opens in a new tab or window) has an abundance of experts sharing their advice in an easy-to-understand format.

Choose your main design assets: Fonts, colors, and images are important building blocks for design. One of the benefits of using Canva is that you have access to thousands of templates and images at your disposal—so you don’t need to start from scratch. By scrolling through the templates that already exist, you can get a sense of the colors, fonts and design types you are attracted to. Next, you can shortlist your favorite designs, and choose one that you like the most.

Find the templates and images you want by using keywords: With so many templates and images to choose from, sometimes it can be tricky to find exactly what you are looking for. However, by using Canva’s Advanced Search tips(opens in a new tab or window), you can curate your search to find the exact image or illustration that you are looking for.

Step 2: Tips and tricks that make the design process easier

Get familiar with all the types of documents we offer: If you can think of it, we’ve likely got a template for it. But, before you start creating your work of art, you want to make sure you have the correct dimensions and templates for what you are trying to create—as this will give you the best results.

To see what document types are available, on the homepage, click on the search bar. From there, a drop-down menu will appear showing you a general list of templates available.

However, you can also get more specific and narrow your search. For example, by typing Halloween flyer(opens in a new tab or window), or safari birthday in the search bar, you will be directed to a blank template with the templates that match this description in the side bar, allowing you to simply fill in your own message and download.

Get the whole team involved: At Canva, we believe in making collaboration as easy as possible—after all, sometimes other members in your team can offer you the unique perspective you’ve been searching for all along.

With the Collaborate tool, you can add users to your design via email, or generate a link to send around. You can also choose who has edit and view access, or, just view access. No more relying on meetings and emails to communicate: the Collaborate tool serves as a time-efficient option that increases productivity and minimizes any miscommunication.

Keep your designs organized with folders: Another tool that helps keep you and your designs organized is Canva Folders. This is particularly useful for designs you use on a regular basis—think logos, brand templates and letterheads.

To create a new folder, simply click the Folders tab on your sidebar and in the top corner you will see a Create New button. Once you’ve created a new folder, you then label it. To save designs in folders, once the design is saved, head to the homepage and click the top of the design.

A drop-down menu will appear and allow you to move your design to a folder. Your designs will also be saved and available on the homepage. If you’re in a team, you can also share folders with your team members and choose how much access they have. See below for a video how-to.

Use Canva Assistant for any design questions: Chances are at some point of the design process, you’re going to have a question. Once you are in a template, if you have any queries, by clicking the purple question mark at the bottom of your screen, you are instantly connected to Canva Assistant.

In the search bar, you can type in keywords that you need help with. This will bring up articles, how-to tutorials and general design tips within Canva. Say goodbye to searching the web for answers: you can now stay within Canva and learn while you’re designing.

Step 3: Show the world your creation

At Canva, we want you to feel proud of your designs, and by following a few helpful guidelines on offer, we don’t doubt that you will want to share them with the world. With Canva 2.0, there are many more publishing options that allow you to share with ease. From posting directly from Canva to your social media accounts, to creating a website within a few clicks, below, we show you how to get the most exposure from your content.

Present your slideshow: If you’re working on a presentation, once complete, press Publish and then Present. You will be given an option to pay for any premium elements used within the slides, and then you are able to present as a full-screen slideshow. You can also choose whether you would like to click and change slides manually, or turn on Autoplay for an automatic flow of your slides while you talk.

Post your designs directly to social media: Canva now allows users to connect their social media accounts to Canva and post directly into a Facebook group, page, or onto your profile. You can also publish directly to X (formerly Twitter), Linkedin and Pinterest.

Quotes are easy to design on Canva, and are an effective way to stay engaged with your social media followers. We have thousands of Instagram templates(opens in a new tab or window) you can choose from.

Canva Pro subscribers also have access to our Magic Switch tool. This allows you to easily adapt your design to the correct dimensions for all different social platforms.

If you’d like to spend less time on your phone and on social media, we also now offer a scheduling service for Canva Pro(opens in a new tab or window). Canva Schedule is a tool that allows you to design and schedule posts at popular times throughout the day. You’ll have an online presence even while you sleep.

Print your designs for increased impact: Sometimes, seeing or sending a physical copy of documents has a stronger impact than if you were to send it via email.

If you’d like to print your design using your own printer, open the PDF(opens in a new tab or window) document you wish to print, look for the print button and select your printer model. Make sure to set your printer settings to the 100% scale to ensure your designs will print at the intended size.

Canva now also offers printing services(opens in a new tab or window) and will deliver your designs to your door in the US, Australia, Canada, Europe, Mexico, and New Zealand (with more destinations on their way). Once you’ve created a design, you can choose to print it as a business card, flyer, invite, poster or A4 layout. Next you can choose paper quality, the number of prints you require and shipping options. Below are just a few designs our Canva users have printed.

Send a website live: Creating a website can feel like a daunting task, but Canva is making it easier than ever. In fact, by clicking the Publish tab and then selecting Website, your designs will instantly turn into a functional website. You can then pick a layout that works best for your needs. This includes: classic navigation, scrolling, presentation and standard designs. For example, if you’d like to share your resume with a link, the scrolling option works perfectly to help recruiters have a seamless view of your qualifications.

To learn more about design, head over to our Learn Blog(opens in a new tab or window) for thousands of tips and tricks that will help you make the most of all we have on offer.

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