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How to Use Canva Effectively: 7 Best Steps to Follow

Canva is a powerful online publishing tool that is created with the mission to empower everyone in the world to create and design anything and publish anywhere. It can be used for educational purpose to create projects easily that helps students to learn about the basics of digital design. It is a free graphic design tool that doesn’t require any prior experience in designing. If you are the one who wants to use this tool effectively, this article is one for you. You are going to know in detail 7 effective ways how to use Canva.


How to use Canva


Features of the Tool


This tool comes with thousands of professionally designed templates that are free. It is a graphic design platform that helps you to create business cards, Instagram posts, flyers, infographics, lesson plans, backgrounds for zoom, and many more with the templates designed by professionals. Here are some prominent features:


  • Its drag and drop interface helps in customizing the templates with minimal effort. You can even upload your photo to a canvas template and design accordingly using a drag and drop interface with a few clicks.
  • It has templates that can be categorized as posters, presentations, resumes, flyers, infographics, menus, Zoom backgrounds, invitation cards, book covers, letterheads, photo collages, newsletters, tickets, bookmarks, invoices, recipe cards, Instagram posts, and many more. So with the help of canvas, you can make compelling social media content.
  • It has over 50,000 templates that you can choose and customize according to your need. It is a beginner-friendly tool that makes working with templates at your fingertips from cropping and straightening to correcting colors and adding texture. You can give your photo more dimensions by adding texture to the background. You can even insert text or create your photo grid and many more with this free useful tool if you learn how to use canvas.
  • It has a collection of stock photos, icons, and fonts that are free to use. These can be used to create effective graphic designs.


What Makes This Tool So Popular?


In over 190 countries, it has more than 30 million active users. It has become immensely popular because of the following reasons –

  • You don’t need to be a pro at graphic designing or have prior experience using this tool. It is a very simple and user-friendly tool that can be used by anyone.
  • It is popular for its user-friendly drag and drop interface. This makes the tool flexible in itself.
  • It is versatile as it can be opened on any platform. You can use it by opening your browser or installing the application on your mobile or desktop.
  • It allows you to create your team of designs or else you can collaborate with others.
  • This tool is free makes it accessible to all as you don’t need to spend any penny to create professional designs.
  • It is a great application for start-ups or small businesses for producing attractive and engaging content for customers.
  • You owe all the designs created and designed by you.
  • It doesn’t impose many restrictions based on age to use the tool. Even children below 13 can use this to design their projects under the supervision of adults.
  • It takes very less time to create a powerful, high quality and engaging design or content. Using this tool consumes less of your time.


Role Of Canva in the Digital Market


It is a free online graphic designing tool that holds a prominent position in digital marketing. It acts as the most accessible marketing platform. It can be used for everyday business from Social media managers to the Paid media team. Trust me; you won’t regret using this tool as you don’t require any prior skill to create high-quality and dynamic graphics. It helps to take your content to the next level.


This further helps to impress your clients and create brand awareness. Creating graphic designs and utilizing them in social media works as an effective strategy in digital marketing. Designing visual graphics and incorporating them also becomes part of digital strategy. All of this can be easily created in this tool with ease if one knows how to use it effectively.


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Basics To Use Canva


As mentioned earlier, it is a user-friendly application or tool. If you are a graphic designing person or related to the same domain, you must know how to use this tool. There are some basics that you should know that will help you navigate the tool’s creation process. These include:


  • Firstly, consider the content which you want to work on.
  • Thinking of ideas – can be full of fun or professional. You should consider that your idea should align with your content or brand.
  • Go through the canvas templates available and check whether it goes with your idea or content.
  • The next job is to take care of the aesthetics including balancing tone, color, font, etc.
  • In case you want to customize your content or graphic use a blank dimension template.
  • With the help of sidebar tools, you can start creating or designing your content piece.
  • Once you are done with your designs, choose the save option and export it as a file type for your future needs.


Free vs. Pro


The tool comes in both options, free which is a free app while Pro is the paid version. If you are using this tool for personal use or are a non-professional, we recommend you use it free as a beginner. On the other hand, if you are a marketing professional or setting up an agency you are recommended to use Canva Pro.


The basic difference in the pro version is based on the abilities to:

  • Change your already completed designs into new dimensions.
  • Use your uploaded brand font or client‘s font.
  • Organize all collateral uploads, photos, and completed work with folders.
  • Access many additional templates, imagery, GIFs, and illustrations without paying anything per image.


7 Effective Ways to Use Canva:


This tool is a holy grail for millions of users who have pretty knowledge about graphics and design. This simple yet powerful tool enables you to explore a plethora of free templates available with canvas. Now the fun part is how to use the tool like a pro.


1. Creating an Account (in case you don’t have one)


This is the first and foremost step before you get started with the tool. It’s very simple; you just need to create an account and in case you already have one, you can sign in. To create a Canva account, you need to browse to Canva.com, click “sign up”, then enter the basic information required and you are all set to explore. This is one of the basic steps before knowing how to use Canva.


Technically, it can be used even if you don’t have an account with it, but it is suggested to create one because it will save all designs created by you in one place. Having an account helps you to log in from different browsers or apps. You can continue editing with the saved designs.


2. Customizing Your Design (choosing your custom type)


The actual fun begins now! To explore the tool; click on – the “Create a Design” button. You get three choices here:

  • You can choose a file from the suggested template size such as a Facebook cover photo, Instagram post, etc.
  • You can create your custom dimensions
  • You can upload a file or photo and start editing it.
  • Choose your desired option that best suits your project or design that want to create.


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3. Go Through Pre-made Templates


It has the biggest advantage as a graphic tool as it provides you with a library of designs just at your fingertips. You can use these templates even if you create your design using a custom template. This makes working with the tool very easy. You can easily edit the templates and align them with your project or brand identity.


These templates you will find on the left-hand side of your page. You can easily scroll through the options available or you can search for more according to your needs or requirement. Some of the examples are Quotes, Promotions, Contests, Events, and many more. Canva has also categorized its templates into suggested buckets so that you can find your desired template easily.


4. You Can Choose A Template From The Bucket Or Can Design From The Scratch


If you want to choose a specific template to create a design you just need to click on the design you require. If you have opted for the free version, you have to make sure that you are using a free template available in the list before getting started.


In case you want to check whether the template is free to use or not you can just hover over the design looking for the free designation available in the lower right-hand corner of your page. If you don’t like any of the free templates you can create your design from the scratch. You can edit your design be it font, colors, or shapes.


5. You Can Edit Or Add Design Elements:


After selecting the template or starting it from scratch, it’s time to edit or add your design elements. For this, you need to be familiar with the editing pane available at the top of your page where you can choose the types of edits you want to make for your project. Here are the controls available for design elements:


  • Edit Image:

It comes with a very helpful feature where you can edit any type of image by removing the background and adjusting the brightness, contrast, saturation, adding a filter, tone, and many more.

  • Crop:

Here you can crop your selected image or design element.

  • Colour:

This is where you can choose the color of the background or element. You can choose your desired color from the color wheel. For brand colors, you can add in the specific HEX code.

  • Position:

Here you can choose whether an image is behind or in front of other design elements. This too helps you to align elements to the page or other elements available within your design. This is used mainly when you have textboxes or you want to be sure whether your designs are spaced evenly or not.

  • Animate:

This is one of the coolest features in this tool that allows you to add some kind of motion or movement to your design. You will have to design it as an MP4 video or a GIF if you want to use this feature.

  • Copy style: 

This feature allows you to apply a particular style or element. You can apply this to color, font, image filter, etc.

  • Link:

With the help of this feature, you can add a hyperlink to your designs. This can help create PDFs or presentations.

  • Lock:

This feature helps you to lock any specific elements of your designs so that they can’t be changed or moved anywhere.

  • Transparency:

Here you can adjust the transparency of your specific image or design element.

  • Group/Ungroup:

In case you opt for multiple elements, you will get the option to group or ungroup them. This will enable you to move or resize them together.

  • Changing or editing an element:

 If you want to change an element, you simply have to click on what you want to change and then select the edit you want to make.

  • Replacing or adding an image

Now if you want to upload an image, you have to drag your image from your desktop over to Canva or click the “uploads” option available on the left-hand control panel. You can also create folders and upload images to that particular folder. Next, you have to drag your uploaded image to the frame. Once your image gets replaced with the old one, you can double click to make the desired adjustment of your choice.


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6. Adding A New Element: 


There is an option “elements” in the left-hand control panel where you can add more elements to your designs.


  • Adding and Editing Text:  Now it’s time for you to edit your text. You have many options here.
  • Font: This Tool has a lot of pre-loaded free fonts and you too can also upload your font if you are a premium subscriber.
  • Font size: Here you can choose your font size or you can even drag and stretch to make your font larger.
  • Lists: This enables you to add number lists or bullets.
  • Alignment: There are options available to align your text such as left-justified, right–justified, and centered.
  • Effects: You get options to give effects to your text like Shadow, Neon, Hallow, and many more.
  • Spacing: This helps you in spacing your letters closer or further.


There are a lot of options available in this tool to personalize your designs and you are an expert once you know how to use it like a pro.


  • How To Edit A Text: 

To edit the text in a design you need to click into the text box and add your text. Then you can copy-paste or type directly there. You can also change the color and font size or apply any style.


  • How To Add A New Text: 

For this, you need to select an existing text box and click “copy” or select “Text” in the left–hand control and choose from the text styles. Now you can make edits after adding text to your design.


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7. How To Download Your Creation: 


Once your design elements or text elements have been changed, edited, and added; it’s time to give a final touch to your creation before you export it.


Follow the steps to download your design –

  • Click the “Download” option available at the top right–hand of the page.
  • Select your file type from JPG, PNG, PDF Standard, PDF Print, SVG (Premium subscribers), MP4 Video, or GIF.
  • In case you have more than one page in your design, select the pages you want to export. It will export as a zipped or compressed file for multiple pages.
  • Finally, click on the “Download” option and you are all good to go.


The above-mentioned effective ways to use this tool will provide you with first-hand knowledge to explore the tool, especially for beginners or new to this tool with little knowledge about graphics. You can follow the simple steps and master in designing and creating new projects for personal use or business or professional use.




  • What is the download limit in Canva?

It has a download limit of 30 pages at a time and it is wise to follow to avoid download issues. If you need to go beyond 30 pages split your designs into different folders.


  • Can designs made on this tool be sold?

You can sell designs that are completely original designs created by you using a blank slate on the canvas program.


  • How can Canva save it as a word document?

You need to open your PDF using Acrobat Pro. Then click on File>Export to>Word document. Finally, save it as a DOCX as whatever file name you prefer.




Canva is not only user-friendly but also a reliable tool that helps to turn any idea into a stunning design that can be used personally or professionally by you. And to create these engaging designs one need be known the effective ways how to use this tool discussed above in detail as a guide for you. You don’t need to spend hours going through the methods of how to use canvas to be good at designs. With practice, you will be better with your designs. So I recommend you to keep practicing and keep designing. You will be a great designer creating polished images in no time.

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