Must-know Canva tips to work smarter and faster

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Top Canva Tips to Work Smarter and Design Better

So you want to know how to look like a star graphic designer using Canva!  Believe it or not, it’s kind of actually a possibility with these top Canva tips!

We all know that Adobe products are the be all, end all of graphic design and it’s my personal preference but I’m here to say that you really can achieve a level of professionalism using Canva!

Canva does still have some limitations but it’s the most robust platform I have seen outside of the Adobe family and I make a lot of my eProducts available in Canva Templates because I can see the how Canva really fulfills a need for the beginner designer.

Before we delve into the actual Canva Tips themselves, let’s talk about what you can actually create with Canva, to be honest, the list really is endless!

  • Workbooks
  • Printables
  • Checklists
  • Website Brand Graphics
  • Logo
  • Social media images
  • Editable templates
  • Slide decks for e-courses and webinars
  • Media Kits
  • Business cards
  • Planners
  • Calendars
  • eBooks
  • Presentations
  • Magazines
  • Infographic
  • Menu
  • etc, etc, etc..

Now that you know you can basically create anything in Canva, let’s just talk about the two types of the Canva Platforms that you will be looking at.

Canva Tips: The Free vs. Paid Account

I wanted to include the graphic from the Canva site so you can see right from the horses mouth, all of the differences between Canva and Canva for Work.

Canva Tips - Free Vs. Paid

Because I use Canva as a means for creating templates to sell, I needed to subscribe to Canva for Work.  Trust me, $12.95 is a really low price if you want to try and compare it to what is costs for the most updated Adobe CC subscription. (I do think that Adobe is worth it as well by the way…)

The main takeaways for me between the Free vs. Paid are:

The ability download graphics/logos with transparent backgrounds.

Let’s say you create your logo in Canva and then you want to download it to be able to stick on virtually any piece of content you create, you want the background to be transparent.  The only workaround to this within Canva is to copy and paste your logo on everything.  While this works for designs you create inside Canva, it won’t work if you are trying to place your logo someone on your website and it will have a white (or whatever color you chose) as the background.

The ability to re-size your designs.

If you create a Social Media graphic and you want to quickly change the size to suite another Social Media Outlet, with Canva for work, you can re-size in seconds.  The work around is to have to create a new artboard with the new size and then copy, paste and re-size the elements.

Be able to add your own fonts

If you have already chosen a brand font that is not currently in Canva, you can download that font into Canva so it’s always available to use.

Create multiple folders

This one might not be a big deal if you are only creating a couple of projects but for me, as you can see, having the ability to create more than two folders is a must to keep my eProducts organized.  I can’t imagine the chaos that would ensue if I didn’t have folders.

Add your brand colors

Again, maybe not the end of the world if you are just creating a few things but to have immediate access to your brand colors is super helpful.  Without that, you would need to copy in your hex codes to select your brand colors each time you create a new graphic!

Organize your uploads folder

I’m totally guilty on this as I haven’t done it yet and I’m missing out on a feature that I’m paying for but all in due time!  If like me, you have about 300 pictures/graphics in your download folder, it would make it a lot easier to stay organized and find a picture when you need it.

Unlimited Storage

This kind of ties in with the one above but I would be wayyyy above the storage limit of the free plan and definitely need the unlimited account that comes with Canva for Work!


Now on to the actual Canva Tips!

  1. Add a Text Box – Type T and the text box will instantly appear with your most used font.

This has definitely sped things up for me!  You could go to the Text area everytime to select a Text Box or you can literally hit the “T” key on your keyboard (make sure your not already inside another text box) and a new Text Box will appear!  Super Simple!

  1. Group Elements Together

Sometimes you may have created a few layered elements that technically make-up 1 Graphic item.  To make it easier to move the graphic around, you can group all of the elements to make sure they stay together!

Simply select each element holding down the shift key or… drag your mouse over the elements to select all of them and select “Group” in the top right-hand corner.

  1. Use Canva frames as letter and numbers

I love, love, love this one and had no idea it existed.  It’s my fave out of all these Canva Tips! I’ve actually used this in the Social Media Template packs below and it looks stunning!

Social Media Horizontal - Modern Collection

In the search bar, type in either “letter frame” or “number frame” to find the frames you are looking for.  Then you can insert any type of image, background or pattern to really make it stand out!

  1. Select Elements that are behind other Elements

I have spent a ridiculous amount of time in Canva to try and get to an element which is buried deep behind layers of other elements without disturbing my meticulously laid out graphic.

If you are a regular Canva user you must have struggled with this too.  There is an easier way to go about this. Just select the element at the top and enter CTR+CLICK till your element is selected.  WAYYYYYY EASIER than trying to move everything out of the way to select the one you want!

  1. Changing the tint of photos or adding a transparent layer

This can allow you to really make your brand feel cohesive by sticking with a similar color flow.  You may have stumbled across a photo you love or perhaps a free photo that want to use but isn’t quite the right color.  Or maybe you just want to change a color photo to greyscale.

You can try two different methods to help create that better cohesiveness.

– Play with the filter settings, especially the tint option until you get the photo just right.

– Add a colored shape over top of the picture and then adjust the transparency of the shape until it matches the best.

  1. Working with frames

Frames are one thing that I actually think Canva makes super easy, even over Adobe programs.  You can literally add a photo to hundreds of super cool, pre-designed frame in seconds.

You can either search through the frames section or use the search bar if you are looking for something specific!

  1. Working with Square/Rectangle Outline

This one straight up plagued me for probably the first three months I was using Canva.  When you try and add a square/rectangle border, it comes in super fat.  In most cases, this is NOT what you want!

If you make the square really small using the corner “resizing” and then make it bigger again using only the length and width buttons, you can keep the border small!

From what I have tried though, this doesn’t work with any other shape, if anyone reading this figures out a trick, PLEASE let me know!

  1. Search for Free images

I’ve kept this one for last for a reason…

Sometimes, it can be a HUGE pain the in the butt to try and find free images, which is what you want, especially at the beginning right!!!

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers recommend entering the following codes to only have the FREE images show up.  It does work, but there is a caveat, it will show you a whole wack of random free images that probably have no relation to what you are actually searching for…..

I’ve tried this in both the FREE Canva version and the Canva for work.  I’m including it as a tip because it can somewhat be helpful but I’m leaving with an asterisk*.

Type: brand:BAAAAP7rQ8M or  brand:BAAMOuJH0Ec

Now it’s time to kick ass with these Canva Tips!


Hopefully, I’ve given you enough Canva Tips to take your Canva work to the next level, I know these were a huge help for me!!

If you want to get a head start with your Canva Templates, you can always check out Lady Boss Shop

In the meantime though, why not try one of our products for free!

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Tasha DaCosta

Tasha DaCosta

Tasha is a Pinterest and Graphic Design expert that helps Female Entrepreneurs create, navigate and grow their online presence. Being creative is her passion and she enjoys sharing that passion with other like-minded blossoming entrepreneurs. She also loves her role as a Wife and a Mom and couldn't be happier being outnumbered in a house of boys!
Tasha DaCosta

Tasha DaCosta

Tasha is a Pinterest and Graphic Design expert that helps Female Entrepreneurs create, navigate and grow their online presence. Being creative is her passion and she enjoys sharing that passion with other like-minded blossoming entrepreneurs. She also loves her role as a Wife and a Mom and couldn't be happier being outnumbered in a house of boys!

15 Responses

  1. So I grouped an entire section on one page of my Canva design and moved it down to move things around and the next thing I knew, I had lost the entire section. I had moved it down the page with just the top of the grouped parts showing and when I went to grab the whole thing I got just the top part! Ah! Is it all gone now? How do you find parts of your page that have moved off the page? Thanks! Your tips are awesome.

    1. Hi Jeremy, thank you for reading the post and commenting! I have sent you an email to see if we can get the items back on your artboard. The only way I have found is by clicking and dragging your mouse over the entire Canva area to pick up everything on and off the artboard and then downsizing it so everything gets back on the art board. If you find another suggestion, I would LOVE to know!

  2. Wow! These are really cool tips for using Canva perfectly. I use it for making Pinterest images only. However, you’ve listed so many things we can do on it and the way it is done. Thanks for sharing this detailed information. I’ve bookmarked the page for future reference.

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