How to Use Canva: A Beginner’s Guide

Getting started with Canva

Your best tool for learning design skills

Canva makes designing beautiful creative assets easy for everyone. From social media images, videos and gifs to posters, websites, booklets, multimedia presentations, and heaps more, Canva is an invaluable tool for helping you level up your design skills, even if you’re just getting started. Check out our free Canva for beginner’s course for video tutorials.(opens in a new tab or window)

Canva tutorial for beginners: the Canva editor

The Canva editor is intuitive to help you explore and experiment with design tools at your own pace. Canva has thousands of templates to help you start inspired. They’re a great way to learn how different elements work together to create eye-catching designs. Did you know you can even use Canva on your phone?(opens in a new tab or window)

A quick tour of Canva’s top menu

Start by creating an account or signing into Canva. Then, let’s start with the top menu. The Home button is always there to help you return home no matter where your design adventures may take you. Templates is full of thousands of designs organized into different categories to help you easily find what you need. Features shows you photos, icons, print media, apps and more to help you design what you need. Learn has blog articles, short tutorials and in-depth courses to help you learn more about design. And Pricing shows you how to go Pro or apply for a not-for-profit account.

A quick tour of Canva’s side menu

There’s another Home button for you in case you need to reset after a deep dive somewhere. Then there’s Your projects where you can find and organize your designs. Create folders to keep things tidy and share individual designs or folders with collaborators too. Templates takes you to thousands of designs to help you start inspired. The Recommended tab shows you things you may like based on your designs. The Shared with you page makes it easy to find collaborative designs. Trash has any designs, images or videos you’ve deleted.

Creating a team with Canva

The next menu item is Create a team, this lets you create an online team, which lets you collaborate on designs, brainstorm ideas and leave feedback for one another all within the Canva editor. Watch this video to learn more about creating a team in Canva(opens in a new tab or window).

Using and customizing templates

One of the best resources for new designers is our endless library of templates. Expert designers make templates and show you good design principles in practice and what’s possible with Canva. Once you find a template you like, open it in the editor and you’ll see that all the design elements can be customized and edited to best suit your design needs.

Using search and personalizing the editor

Use keywords in the search bar to quickly find new elements and templates, or browse your own designs and uploads. Improve your workflow by customizing the side panel in the editor by clicking MORE at the base of the side panel then choose which content you’d like to add for quick access.

Using and editing elements

From high-quality photos and free GIFs(opens in a new tab or window) to stock videos and background music, Canva has a huge library of design elements – most a free, some are for Pro accounts and some have a small fee. In the side tab, click Elements and use the search bar to find elements, scroll sideways through different categories, or scroll down to see some example elements for different categories. Double click, or click and drag, to add the element to your design and customize as you need.

Finding fonts and using text

There’s a whole world of fonts to choose from in Canva and if you want to learn more about typography, check out this free course on typography and layout(opens in a new tab or window). To add text to your design, go to Text in the side panel. Search for font styles in the search bar, or use one of the preset text styles to easily click and drag a heading, subheading or body text. You’ll find more text editing options if you click the three dots at the right end of the text editing menu.

Uploading and using media

Upload photos, illustrations, and videos via Uploads in the side panel. Click and drag media directly into a design and customize it from there. Your uploaded media will appear in the Uploads tab.

Sharing and collaborating on designs

To add a collaborator, who can leave feedback as comments in your design, in the top right corner click Share. Type in their email address, include a message or notes, set their level of access (options include full edit access, can comment, can view (can’t comment or edit) and then click send. Below the Copy link button, find other sharing options like presenting and presenting and recording. You can download your design, share it to social media or use Canva Print. Click More for even more sharing options.

Saving and organizing documents

Canva autosaves your deisng as you go. If you want to manually save your design to a specific folder, in the top menu click File, then Save to folder, then choose your desired folder. You can also create a new folder there too. Learn more about staying organized in Canva in this video.(opens in a new tab or window)

So, what’s next?

You’ve got this. Now that you know the Canva fundamentals, you’re ready to play, explore, and most of all, have fun as you create. If you want to learn more, remember to explore our educational resources on the Learn blog.

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