I periodically ask my audience what feature they would most like to see added to Canva to make it an even better design platform, and I hear a wide variety of suggestions whenever I do that.

But for the longest time, one of the most commonly requested features was the ability to have Layers in designs, like you would find in other design software like Photoshop.

So when Canva finally launched layers in early 2023, it made a lot of people very happy, including me!

But there are still a lot of folks who don’t know what layers are or where to find them in Canva, so in this quick video, I want to show you how to use layers.

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In Canva, the layers feature functions similarly to layers in other design software. Basically it allows you to organize and control the stacking order of different elements inside your design.

When you add elements like text, images, shapes, or illustrations to your Canva design, each one of those components occupies its own layer, and the layers panel in Canva gives you the ability to work far more efficiently with all of those elements.

Ultimately, by using the layers panel, it becomes far simpler to edit or modify specific parts of a design without affecting the rest of the design, whereas in the past, you often had to basically break a design apart to get at one component that you wanted to move or modify. And then you would have to re-assemble the pieces.

So for example, let’s take a look at the design that I use as the title image for this video, and this is the basic design that I use for all of my tutorial videos at this time.

There’s a lot of components going on here… there’s a styled stock image in the background, along with a pattern… there’s my headshot… there’s a branded gradient, this laptop frame, with a patterned background and icon in it, plus various text boxes.

Now, let’s say I want to change that stock photo being used in the background.

In the past, it would be tricky to select it, and I would likely have found myself pulling the other elements apart, in order to get at it.

Instead, I can now go to Position in my editor menu, and then I’ll open up the Layers panel, and I can see all of those bits and pieces, and I can see that background image is right here.

So, I’m going to add a new stock photo to my design… I’ll resize it so that it fills the same amount of space as the original stock image… and then I’m going to drag it to the position of the old stock photo and delete that original one.

And I’m done! No need to break my design to get it updated the way I want.

You will likely also find that layers makes it easy to select multiple components of a design without accidentally grabbing elements that you don’t want.

Again looking at this tutorial video title image design… you can see my video thumbnail version here with the play button.

So if I want to quickly select the overlay and play button, I can go to the layers, and select the components I want to copy, and then use my copy and paste shortcuts on my keyboard in order to copy those specific components over to my new design.

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