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Canva Tips and Tricks Guide for Beginners to Work Faster

What are the best Canva tips and tricks you’ve discovered? This simple, straightforward guide will set you on your way to creating digital products to sell on Etsy, Shopify, or elsewhere online. (If you like this post please leave a comment at the bottom to share or on any of my Pins.)

Canva Pro is the tool I use most over all others for digital marketing. I create social media posts, graphics for blog posts, eBook covers, eBooks, templates and printables to sell on Etsy, create how-to videos, and more! I first started using the free version of Canva, which gave me a chance to test the software out. But after I started to use Canva daily, I soon saw that Canva Pro allowed me to do much more and I would never go back to the free version. Especially, since it is inexpensive and allows me to do more than I possibly would ever need. It almost feels like I am ripping off Canva for its low monthly price.

If you would like to try out Canva Pro for 30 days please click here.

In this post, I will share with you my favorite Canva tips and tricks which allow me to work fast and smart rather than pull my hair out from frustration. I’ll add more features and commands to this post as I begin to use them more often.

Please share what you think at the bottom of this post.

My most useful Canva feature I left for last.

And I included an additional list of awesome Canva hacks and shortcuts that you didn’t know exist at the bottom of the post of brief descriptions and not as detailed as my main list here.

Want to watch my free Canva tips and tricks video courses and templates suite? [Click here] to get more information.

Affiliate Disclosure: If you get a paid subscription with Canva through one of the links in this post I stand to earn a commission. This will not affect the price of your subscription.

Group

How to Group and Ungroup Elements in Canva by Rick from Templaticity.com

Combine Text or Graphic Elements to Move or Duplicate Them

Sometimes I wish to combine elements such as text, images, and graphics. And duplicate them instead of the entire page. Here is when I use the “Group” command. It’s one of my favorite Canva tips and tricks to get work done fast.

Why would you need to use the Group feature?

Here are a few examples of when I “Group” items together.

How to Group Items with Canva

Method 1

Drag the cursor across all items you wish to Group. Then the Group feature appears in the toolbar. Select it.

Method 2

Hold the shift button (or the Control button on a Mac) while you select each item one by one. Then click on Group in the toolbar.

Ungroup Items with Canva

You might change your mind or need to remove or edit an item. Select the Grouped items and then click “Ungroup” in the toolbar.

My Frequency of Use

Almost Every Session

Want to watch my free Canva tips and tricks video courses and templates suite? [Click here] to get more information.

Duplicate Images, Graphics, Pages

Of all the Canva tips and tricks, nothing helps me work faster and smarter than the power of duplicating images, graphic elements, grouped elements, and above all, complete pages.

Instead of starting over, you duplicate the page you first created, then simply change out elements on the Pin (for example, colors, headlines, images, etc.)

How to Duplicate Elements and pages in Canva [Video]

How to Duplicate Elements and Pages in Canva by Rick from Templaticity.com

How to Duplicate a Page with Canva

Click on the double square with the plus sign above the page.

Duplicate Grouped Items, Images, Graphics, or Text with Canva

Select a grouped item, image, graphic, or text. Then click on the double square with the plus sign on the right side of the toolbar above the editor screen.

If you need multiple duplications, just continue to click.

Ready to give Canva Pro a whirl for 30 Days? Click here for a free 30-day trial.

Alternate Method to Duplicate with Canva

Right-click on the item you wish to duplicate. Copy and then paste. Or “right click” it and select “duplicate”.

Move Item

You probably know this, but simply drag it with your mouse.

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Every Session

Want to watch my free Canva tips and tricks video courses and templates suite? [Click here] to get more information.

Temporary Group/Move

One of the most useful Canva tips and tricks I can suggest is one that I discovered by accident.

If you only wish to move multiple items one time then you do not have to “Group” them like described above.

Instead, just select them as described in the section above for grouping and then move them.

Once you release your mouse then the items will no longer be grouped.

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Every Session

Ready to give Canva Pro a whirl for 30 Days? Click here for a free 30-day trial.

Arrow Keys to Position Objects with Precision

Here’s another one of the best Canva tips and tricks I can share with you.

I got so tired of moving images, graphics, and other elements in Canva just slightly further than I intended. No matter how hard I concentrated and tweaked their position, it rarely worked on the first try.

All the frustration went out the window when I discovered that I could use the keyboard.

How to Move Objects with Precision with Canva

All you have to do is select the object first, then move with your arrow keys until you’ve positioned it just right.

Downsides of Moving Objects with the Arrow Buttons

It’s not perfect but close to it.

You will sometimes have to move the items with your mouse first, get them close to where you want, and then move with the arrow buttons.

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Every Session

Edit Images

How to Edit Images in Canva by Rick from Templaticity.com

The filter feature works the same in Canva as it does on your smartphone.

Sometimes the original image is too bright, or dull, or you prefer to edit it to black and white.

You might even wish to edit the effects of an image or even Remove the Background.

Some of my sharpest Pins that bring traffic to my blogs, I changed to black and white.

How to Apply Filters with Canva

Select the image. Then choose Edit Image. A new panel will open on the left (on the desktop version). Next, select the filter you want under Filters.

You can also remove the background on an image from this side panel which leaves only the person or main object.

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Once Every Few Sessions

Remove a Background

Select a photo. Click on “Edit Image”. Scroll down and click “Remove Background”

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Seldom (I prefer to conduct a search of photos while applying the “cut-outs” filter”)

Add a Shadow to an Uploaded Image

Select an image (photo or graphic) from “Uploads” or an element you’ve saved in a folder. Click on “Edit Image”. Scroll down to the “Shadow” section and then choose the type of shadow that you want and then click on it.

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Once Every Few Sessions

Create Mockup Images

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Rarely, but this is useful for drop shippers of t-shirts, stickers, or coffee mugs.

Organization: Folders and Starring Designs and Elements

Organization: How to Save to Folders by Rick from Templaticity.com

Shamefully, I admit I am not the most organized with my images. Lately, I have begun to save my images in folders so that I can retrieve them faster.

I wish I had done this from the beginning because it has become difficult to find certain images that I wish to repurpose, duplicate or edit.

This is especially helpful if you create many types of content (social media images, PDFs, videos, etc) or if you’re a blogger who works within multiple niches.

Ready to give Canva Pro a whirl for 30 Days? Click here for a free 30-day trial.

How to Create Folders with Canva

Method 1

From the Home Page, click “Projects” and then “+Add New” in the upper right corner. Type in the name of the folder you want.

Method 2

Click on the ellipsis above a design or element. Then click “Move to Folder” then click on the “+ Create new” button at the bottom. Type in what you wish to name the folder.

How to Save Designs or Elements to Folders with Canva

Method 1

Click on the information icon in the menu bar at the top of the screen, then on the ellipsis. Then click on the “Save to Folder” icon.

Method 2

Click the “Share” button in the Menu Bar in the top right corner. Then click on Save to Folder.

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Seldom, but that’s changing Every session now!

Star Designs or Elements of Frequent Use

Tag designs and elements as “Starred” when you know you will frequently use them.

Click on the information icon then the ellipsis. Scroll down to “Star”.

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Rarely, but it is useful for the items you use all the time.

Want to watch my free Canva tips and tricks video courses and templates suite? [Click here] to get more information.

Font Effects

How to Add Text Effects to Headings in Canva by Rick from Templaticity.com

Want your headlines and subheadlines to pop and stand out? Here is one of my most used Canva tips and tricks that I can share with you.

With one click you can add a shadow, a glow, lift the text and add an outline, among other options. From there you can edit colors and adjust the direction of the shadow and so forth.

Check out these examples below.

How to Edit Font Effects with Canva Pro

Select the text you wish to edit. Then click Effects in the toolbar above the editor field.

I’m not sure if you can access this feature in the free Canva version, it may only be available in Canva Pro. You can take Canva Pro for a test run with the Canva Pro free trial for 30 days. That’s more than enough time to decide if you will use the extra features enough or not. Even then currently it only runs $12.99 a month- super cheap! I will never switch from Canva Pro back to the free Canva version.

You can even select from font effect templates in the side toolbar (desktop version) after you select Text or create your own text templates and access them later.

Here are the things you can change when you edit text.

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Every freaking session ha, ha.

Ready to give Canva Pro a whirl for 30 Days? Click here for a free 30-day trial.

Font Search

You already know that you can choose from a long list of free font styles for your text (even more awesome ones with Canva Pro). But perhaps what you didn’t know is that you can search for styles of fonts and even save them for later by adding them to your “Brand Kit

How Can You Search for Font Styles with Canva

Method 1

Select the text you wish to edit. Then select the name of the current font style in the toolbar. Next, click in the blank field at the top of the font menu. Automatically a menu of font styles appears below the field.

Here are some of the first font styles that appear in the menu:

… there are many more than this.

Click on one of the styles. Then choose from the styles.

Method 2

Sometimes I don’t know the name of a style. I only have an idea. So I type in the description of what I think I want. Then either a list of font styles with that exact name appears or a whole list of styles pop up in the list below the field.

Special Note

You’ll notice that some fonts are only available with Canva Pro. You can even upload your own font styles to the list.

Want to watch my free Canva tips and tricks video courses and templates suite? [Click here] to get more information.

Customize Your Own Font Styles

Add your own custom font styles and a combination of styles for later use.

On the side toolbar (desktop version) choose the option “More” with three dots. This expands the menu. Choose “Styles”.

From there you can choose from the templates of font style combinations.

Or select “Create Your Own Style” and build it then save it for later.

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Rarely.

Ready to give Canva Pro a whirl for 30 Days? Click here for a free 30-day trial.

Graphics and Photos Search

How to Use Search to Find Elements, Photos and More! by Rick from Templaticity.com

Did you know that you can run searches on graphics using keywords?

You might want a heart, an arrow, or a mug graphic.

Or you might even want a purple heart or green arrow.

You can find them.

This is one of the coolest Canva tips and tricks I can share with you.

How to Run a Search for Graphics or Photos

Select “Elements” from the side toolbar (desktop version). “Elements” of all kinds appear below in sub-menus (“Lines & Shapes”, “Graphics”, “Photos”, “Videos”, etc).

Type in whatever it is you wish to use and then after choose to filter by the type of “Element“.

Type in these Examples

You can even get more advanced and crazy.

Try these examples

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Almost every session

Want to watch my free Canva tips and tricks video courses and templates suite? [Click here] to get more information.

Positioning on Layers or Within the Design

How to Position Elements Between Layers and Moving Them within a Design by Rick from Templaticity.com

Often times as you work you come up with more ideas for texts, images, and so on. The result is that you produce all these elements on different layers.

You may want to bring the text to the front (on top of all the other layers of elements) or push an image to the back behind everything.

And then sometimes you don’t know what you want. So, you test out the different looks.

How to Position Objects on Layers with Canva

Select the object you wish to move (image, graphic, text). “Position” appears in the toolbar above. Select it. Then choose between the options “Forward” (one level up), “To Front” (to the top level), “Back” (one level behind), and “To Back” (last level in the back).

Play with this feature to understand how it works. I had to play around with it before getting it.

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Every session.

How to Position Objects within a Design

Select an element. Then click on “Position”. Choose where you want to put the element with the design.

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Now, in every session.

Ready to give Canva Pro a whirl for 30 Days? Click here for a free 30-day trial.

Resize Image

With Canva Pro you can resize your just created Pinterest Pin to an eBook cover, or Instagram image to a Pin, and so on. If you find yourself starting from scratch each time to create new sizes of images then this is one of the most useful Canva tips and tricks I can show you.

I use this frequently.

Oftentimes, I create a custom-sized design with Canva only to find out it looks too small when viewed online. Then I must resize it.

Before I upgraded to Canva Pro I had to start over (such a pain the a##).

But then after upgrading to Canva Pro I discovered the “Resize” feature in the toolbar and it saved me huge blocks of time.

How to Resize an Image with Canva Pro

Click “Resize” in the top toolbar. Then choose which template size (Pinterest Pin, Instagram Post, etc.) you wish to convert it to from the menu. If you don’t see the template you want then type it in the search field (for example Pinterest “Idea Pin”.

Or you can customize the size.

Then either choose to create a copy of the new image size and keep the current one or resize the current one only.

Want to watch my free Canva tips and tricks video courses and templates suite? [Click here] to get more information.

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Often, but not every session.

Undo

Of all of the Canva tips and tricks, I saved the best one for last.

No Canva command is more useful to me than to “Undo” what I just did. This allows me to test something without the risk of losing all my work.

No matter if I do not like the color I just chose, “Font Effect”, size of the font, etc., with one click on “Undo” in the menu bar, I can try again.

But the most useful way to take advantage of the “Undo” command is when I test out several colors or font styles and then decide to go with the first option I chose.

I simply continue to click “Undo”.

My Frequency of Use per Canva Session

Every session and frequently throughout each session.

Additional Awesome List of Canva Tips and Tricks

… you didn’t know exist

I feel pretty proficient with Canva Pro, but I am still discovering new Canva hacks and features.

Here is a list of features, commands, hacks, and other Canva tips and tricks that I know exist but either haven’t used much or want to try.

Please note that many of these Canva tips and tricks will only work with Canva Pro subscribers. Since I have a Canva Pro subscription I do not know which ones are included in the free Canva subscription.

Screen Recorder

I have used Canva’s screen recorder, and I will use it more often as I create more how-to videos. You can take advantage of this game-changing Canva feature by creating a video from “Create a Design” or when you save a design with multiple pages there’s another option.

Method 1

Click on the ellipsis to the right of “Download” in the right side of the Menu Bar. Within the menu, under “Share” choose “Record and Present”.

Equal spacing images and graphics

In one click add proportionate space between elements such as shapes or text blocks.

Links for PDFs

Add links to PDFs with Canva Pro that lead to external webpages such as landing pages for email sign-up, affiliate product landing pages, or blog posts. Or add internal links on your PDFs that jump to specific locations elsewhere in your PDF. This is useful for creating tables of content.

Frames on images

I wouldn’t use this Canva feature myself, but add frames to images.

Gradient backgrounds

Find and select backgrounds with a faded effect. This is a great Canva option for creating Pinterest Pins and then adding a headline in the faded area.

Increase font size with precision

I always use my mouse to expand or type in the specific size (in the toolbar), but you can also use your keyboard by selecting the element:

Animation for GIFs, IG Stories, Pinterest Idea Pins

Add animation effects to your social media posts or create GIFs or short videos.

I started to use this one more often to create Pinterest Idea Pins (similar to IG Story Pins)

Ready to give Canva Pro a whirl for 30 Days? Click here for a free 30-day trial.

Special Note: Canva Pro offers many more element options that you can use without paying for them individually. By far, this feature alone has saved me a lot of money and made the Canva Pro subscription worth every penny for me.

Save to Video or GIF

After you add multiple pages to your design, with one click you can save it to a short MP3 video or GIF format.

Save to PDF

Or you can save a design you intended to use as a Pinterest Pin or Instagram post to a PDF cover for an eBook. Or save a slide show presentation as a PDF for a quick eBook.

Want to watch my free Canva tips and tricks video courses and templates suite? [Click here] to get more information.

Slide Show Presentation

Each page serves as one slide. Then watch as a presentation. Finally, save it as an MP3 and upload it to your YouTube channel. Add video and animation effects.

I’ve used this feature to repurpose a blog post to a lead magnet slide show.

Save the Compressed Version of the Image

Before downloading you can click the box “Compress file (lower quality”. This way when you upload a design to your blog it will not slow down the speed of your site.

Quick Resize Save

Rather than use the “Resize” feature in the menu bar. Before downloading a design adjust its size with the “Size X” option.

Brand Kit Fonts, Colors, Logos

Save your customized fonts, colors, and logos so that you can access them later.

Create Lines: Adjust Weight, End Style, Type of Line

Under “Elements” in the side toolbar you can find “Lines & Shapes”. Choose one. Then in the toolbar above the editor field find the icons for changing the weight, style (solid, dotted), and end style (to make into an arrow).

Create Teams

Canva offers subscriptions to teams or options to add team members. Then you can share and edit the same designs together.

The “Share” feature appears in the top menu bar above each design.

Leave Comments on what you did (for teams)

Any page of your design offers the option to add a comment for you to leave instructions for the next person on your team to take over.

Remove Background (Canva Pro)

One of my favorite Canva tips and tricks to take advantage of from time to time. You can remove the background behind a person, animal, or object in an image.

I’ve used this quite a bit actually when I wish to create a Pinterest Pin and only want a person to appear without the beach, living room, or another background to show.

Want to watch my free Canva tips and tricks video courses and templates suite? [Click here] to get more information.

Copy Template

Copy a design that you wish to turn into a template. You can do this without clicking on an individual design from the “All Your Designs” screen. Just click the ellipsis at the top right corner of the image and a drop-down menu appears.

Lock and Unlock Elements

Anchor an element in the same place so that it doesn’t move. This is especially helpful when duplicating the page and adjusting and moving around other elements.

Upload Fonts (Canva Pro)

Upload fonts from your devices that Canva Pro does not offer that you own the rights to use.

Mockups (Canva Pro)

Add mockup images to t-shirts, mugs, smartphones, laptops, etc. Much like Placeit.com does. Select the image. Then click “Edit Image” on the left side of the Toolbar. Scroll down to “Smartmockups“.

From there you can download the image and connect to your favorite print-on-demand services such as Printful or Printify

Ready to give Canva Pro a whirl for 30 Days? Click here for a free 30-day trial.

Custom Hex Color Codes

I use this one quite a bit too. When I have a certain color in mind I will Google it, for example, light yellow. Then find the color hex code for it (#FFFF99). Then select a box, another shape, or text. And within the color palette, and then the “Add New Color” box (look for the plus sign on the white box). Then paste the code.

Show Rulers and Grids

Display a ruler or grid lines to help you adjust your designs to the size you want.

Social Media Logos (other companies)

Choose social media company logos (and other companies) within “Elements“. Search for a specific name (Pinterest) or “company logo”, or “social media logos”.

Find Tags of Photos and Graphics (Keywords)

To learn how Canva tags their “elements”. Before clicking on a graphic or photo. Then click on the ellipsis in the upper right corner. You will see a list of “keywords”. Click on any to find similar elements.

Quick Copy-and-Paste Style

I just started using this. After you customize the effects of text or images. Click on the paintbrush in the Toolbar above. Then choose the element you wish to apply the same style.

For example, if you added a shadow to text and then went through the trouble of making adjustments to it, rather than starting over you can simply copy-and-paste its style to another heading.

TIP: Another quick Canva text trick to accomplish the same result is to duplicate a heading and then change the words.

Want to watch my free Canva tips and tricks video courses and templates suite? [Click here] to get more information.

Share Link to Your Designs (for teams) 

Within the share options for designs is the ability to create a shareable link to other teammates who have admin right to view and/or edit it.

Just click the “Share” option in the menu bar above.

Video and Audio Clips

Within “Elements” in the side Menubar, then scroll down to Videos and Audio Clips. Add these to your Canva presentations.

Upload Images

I’ve uploaded my own images, especially 3D eBook covers I’ve created with MyEcoverMaker.com (currently, at the time of writing this blog post Canva does not offer this feature).

Then created images for email sign-up landing pages. Then used those images to create the actual landing page with Leadpages

Save to Google Drive or One Drive

Want to save to a cloud rather than download to your laptop? Rather than clicking “Download” click on the ellipsis to the right of it. Then scroll down to select the drive you wish to save it to.

Ready to give Canva Pro a whirl for 30 Days? Click here for a free 30-day trial.

Which of these Canva Tips and Tricks Do You Find Most Useful?

(Which are your favorite Canva Tips and Tricks that YOU HAVE FOUND?)

SHARE YOUR OPINION in the Comments.

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