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Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Daniella
Canva is the ultimate business tool for designers, marketers, and content creators alike. It’s crazy to think that you can actually make money with Canva, but it’s true.
It’s my all-time favorite graphic design tool that I use for my blog, social media, and any time I need to create visuals for my business (and any side hustle). I not only love it for content creation, but also for creating digital products, social media posts, images for my blog, graphics for internal documentation, and more.
There’s no denying it. The amount of features Canva has is enough to even give Adobe Photoshop a run for its money. But with such a robust suite of features that the tool has, it can get confusing to know how to take full advantage of it when you’re a beginner.
Want to try out Canva? Check out our personal Canva review.
Table of Contents
17 Canva Hacks & Tips for Creatives
Read on for a few Canva hacks, tips, and features that will speed up your design process and level up how you use Canva designs in your personal and professional life.
1. Keyboard Shortcuts
There’s a crazy amount of keyboard shortcuts in Canva, but I’ve put my top four shortcuts in this guide because they’re the ones you’ll find the most helpful with designing. Master them and add more as you go.
- Press “R” to add a rectangle to your design
- Press “T” to add a text
- Press “C” to add a circle
- Hold “Control/Command” + press your bracket “[ ]” keys to shift an element to different layers.
2. QR codes
Search for “QR Code” in your Apps. Paste your link into the URL box and generate your code, then design with your QR code.
Search for “Type Craft” in your Apps. Choose what text you want to modify–including font, text color, and the edits you want to make to the shape. Design with your new text shape.
4. Smart Mockups
Search for “Smart Mockups” in your Apps. Click the Mockups app and find a design that interests you. Use any of your uploads or images in these mockups in your design.
5. Product Photos
Use the same Mockups app above and scroll until you find the product mockups that fit your brand. These mockups will take your product idea to the next level, and make the process of getting your products on the market a lot faster.
6. Content Planner
After you finish your design, click the “Share” button in the top right corner and find the “Share on social” button in the drop-down menu. Connect your social media channels and start scheduling your content straight from Canva (a great tool for social media managers too)!
7. Background Remover
Before this feature was a part of the Magic Studio update, it was a humble photo editing option on the Effects tab! This feature lets you remove any distractions from photos and leaves you with a crisp object to play with and style any way you can imagine. Use can also adjust how much or little background is removed when it’s done analyzing your image.
8. Graphics and photo search by the artist
Click the “i” circle icon to review the name of the image and artist name below that. Then click the artist name to view their other designs and photos.
9. Adding negative space to a photos
I use this Canva hack all the time when making Pinterest graphics. It can really make that text pop at the top.
Take the original photo and place at the bottom of the template.
Click the multicolor icon to reveal the eye-dropper icon and click it. Then fill the rest of the palette with that color.
The finished product:
10. “See more this like” Feature
Click the top left 3 dots of any element, then click the “see more like this” item from the menu.
11. Custom Shadows
To make custom shadows on any of your photos, select your photo after it is placed on the template. Go to effects -> shadows. Then choose and customize the type of shadow you want for your image.
12. Graphics and Image Color Search
Unfortunately not all graphics and images are customizable. Sometimes you need a specific color of the asset, especially when trying to fit into a brand.
To search for graphics and images of a specific color, modify the search settings by clicking the far right icon on the search bar. Click the multicolor icon to input the custom color you are looking for. Then click apply.
13. Modify Image Color
This is a great hack for folks looking to sell digital art on Etsy. Photo and graphic effects can help you come up with a whole realm of inspiration when creating new graphic art pieces.
To use the feature, click on your image placed on the template, and then click “edit photo”. Navigate to the Duotone effect and select the colors you want to modify.
14. Project Folders
The project folders area of Canva is a must-use feature. It’s easy to quickly get disorganized when working on more than 1 design and the next thing you know, you can’t find designs you created weeks ago because they’ve shifted so far down the home dashboard.
Sorting your designs into different folders and making that a habit will be a game changer for your process — trust me. I hate losing things too.
15. Starred Folder
The star folder is something I didn’t notice when first using the tool. But it’s a great way to keep track of the types of graphics and images that suit your tastes and may fit your future design projects.
Click the top 3 dots of any graphic, then click the star icon to save your asset.
16. Brand Kit
If you’re a creative worker or business owner with a specific brand you are designing for, the brand kit is going to be your best friend. You can set all of your brand colors, logo, and fonts on one page and then the assets are set as default for you in every new design file you create.
17. Magic Studio
Canva Magic Studio is Canva’s new AI secret weapon. It’s a suite of AI tools that helps teams do anything from designing to writing, editing, and much more.
AI tools that are included in Canva’s Magic Studio are:
- Magic Media with AI Image Generator
- Magic Eraser
- Magic Expand
- Magic Grab
- Magic Edit
- Grab Text
- Magic Write
- Magic Morph
- Magic Animate
- Magic Design for Videos & Images
This is only the beginning of AI in Canva and one of the top hacks in the tool. As more tools are introduced, Canva will only become more powerful and even easier to use.
- How to Make Money With Canva (21 Ways)
- Canva Review: The Best Design Tool for Your Side Hustle
- How to Create Canva Templates (& Save a Ton of Time)
- How to Create & Use Notion Templates for ADHD
- How to Start a Web Design Side Hustle
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Daniella is the creator and author of iliketodabble.com. When their wife Alexandra and them aren’t globetrotting or playing with their 7+ animals, they are dabbling and working towards a future of financial freedom.