This tutorial video will be revised after Canva Create in May 2024 to reflect Canva’s updated interface.

Resources Mentioned

Tutorial Transcript

Note: This transcript may include affiliate links.

In this video, I’ll give you a quick overview of the Canva design interface so you know where to find all of Canva’s design templates and the various features that are available to you to help you design your graphics and marketing materials.

Page Interactions

Let’s kick things off by looking at how to work with pages in the design editor.

Every design will open up with a single design page and then you can easily add pages by clicking on the add page button at the bottom and it will then automatically add another page to the end of the design. Or you can add a page in between existing pages by using this icon here at the top of the page.

You can duplicate a page design by clicking on this icon and you can move pages up or down in the design file by using these two arrow icons.

And then if I want to delete a page, I will simply click on this trash icon to get rid of the page all together.

You can change the background colour of a page by selecting the design canvas and then clicking on the colour picker at the top of the page here, and then simply select your desired background page colour.

You can add default gradients or you can create custom gradients for your designs.

To create default gradient styles, you’ll select the element in your design that you’d like to edit and in this case I’ll choose the background and then scroll down to the bottom here where you’ll find a default gradients section.

Or, if you’d like to create a custom gradient, you can again select the element, so I’ll select the background again, and click on the colour tool, and then under Document colours, I’ll click on the current colour. Then I can either change the solid colour, or I can click on gradient and change or add gradient colours, and I can also change the style of the gradient.

You can also give each page a title that describes the page, and then when you download a design that has multiple pages, rather than labelling the pages with numbers, for example, 1.jpg, 2.jpg, 3.jpg, etc., it will instead label the pages with the description that you have set for the title.

For example, cover page.jpg, lesson 1 title page, lesson 2 title page, etc.

You can also add comments to a page in your design by clicking on this comment icon here. This can be very helpful if you are collaborating on a design with somebody else and you want to be able to leave comments or questions for each other about the progress of a design.

And finally, you can add notes by clicking on the notes option here. Any notes you add in this area will be displayed in presenter view if you present a design in Canva.

I won’t be getting into the details of presenting and recording in Canva in this beginner mini course, but just know that if you are creating presentation slides in Canva, you can add your speaking notes in this area and then they will be viewable to you when you present, but not visible to your audience.

So let’s move onto the various options that are available for creating content in the design editor.

Design: Templates

When you create a brand new design to work on, the first thing it’s going to land on is a tab called “Design” and it will default to showing a list of the templates available for the design size that you’ve selected.

At the top here, you’ll see your most recently used templates, so this can be very handy if you have a particular template that you like to re-use regularly as a starting point.

You can also search for templates here in the search bar.

Design: Layouts

Next to Templates is the Layouts tab and this is meant to help save some time and effort by providing you with pre-designed templates that you can easily customize to your needs, or to suggest alternate layouts of the content of a slide.

Design: Styles

And then the third option here under Design is Canva’s Styles tool, which you can use to have Canva automatically change the colours and fonts used in a design. You can shuffle through your brand colours and change the look of a design without clicking on each element and changing the colours manually.

However, I find that the way Canva applies your colour palette or fonts often won’t necessarily be in line with your consistent brand guidelines, so while this is a neat tool, I do prefer to teach business owners how to customize a template and make design decisions for their colours and fonts that will ensure their designs are consistent and cohesive.


Next in the list is elements, and it includes a variety of elements that are essentially the building blocks of creating designs inside of Canva, including Lines & Shapes, Graphics & Photos, Video & Audio, Frames & Grids, and Tables & Charts


Next in the line is text and your brand fonts will appear at the top and then there are a bunch of font combinations that you can also select from. These are just kind of like text templates. They’ve already taken text and organized it into a pre-designed template that you can modify from.


If you have a Canva Pro or Teams account, you’ll be able to use this Brand area, which enables you to access the contents of your brand kits, including your logos, colors, fonts, photos, graphics and any brand icons.
So this makes it extremely easy to access all of your brand elements so that you create consistently on brand marketing materials for your business.


Next is Uploads. You can upload images here and you can also upload your videos here.

However, I would suggest that you only use Uploads as a temporary holding location for images, as you’ll be better off creating a custom folder system for your designs and images… and I’ll show you where to access that in the editor in a minute.


The “Draw” tool enables you to create freehand drawings and sketches directly within the Canva design editor, so this is a great option if you want to create custom illustrations or icons or other graphical elements to incorporate into your designs.


In the Projects area, you’ll be able to access from the design editor any custom folders you’ve created, including any of the images and designs contained within those folders.


And then we’ve got the Apps tab and this is where you’ll find access to a variety of Canva’s other apps and tools.
Plus, you will see options listed under “More from Canva” which will include things like the Bulk Create tool.

Non-Navigation Items

To wrap up, let’s look at a few other features to be aware of in your design layout.

Anytime you want to go back to the Canva homepage, you can click here.

Clicking on “File” will tell you more information about your design. You’ll see the file name, the size. You can create a new design, import files and view settings, which gives you the option to show rulers , guides and margins in your design.

There are also a variety of other options here…

You can save it, although it does tend to save pretty frequently on its own. You can also save it to a folder or make a copy, or download a file.

Version History is a feature that is available on Canva Pro accounts. With Version History, you can view and restore older versions of your design, so that can definitely come in handy if you’ve made a variety of changes in a design and want to go back to a previous version of it.

You can view all comments on the design, find and replace text, or open the design in Canva’s desktop app version.

You can also get help from under File, and you can also get help by clicking on the help button down on the right hand corner.

This lovely feature here will let you resize a graphic. This is going to be available to you if you have Canva Pro and it’s again indicated by this crown icon here, so the ability to resize an existing graphic into other dimensions is specifically a pro feature.

This arrow here allows you to undo changes that you’ve made. You can also redo changes that have been made.

This just gives you the status of whether your updates have been saved.

Over here is the name of the file of the design. You can rename it anytime by clicking on it here and just retyping it in.

You will find all options for downloading and sharing the design under this Share button.
If you simply want to download your design, you skip all the rest of of these options and click directly on the “Download” option here, and that will open up the download settings.

How to Download

You will have different download options available to you, depending on the file type that you select.
If you choose a PNG file, you will see these options, though most of these are only features that you can take advantage of if you are on a Canva Pro account, which is indicated by this crown icon.

Pro features for downloading include…

The ability to download your design at a different size, for example, if you wanted to download your design at 2 times the design size, you can do that automatically here, you don’t have to actually resize your design to be twice as big, you can use this feature.

This can come in handy, for example with cover images on social media if you’re finding that the version you’re uploading is a bit pixelated and if you want a larger version of it to try to improve the clarity of the image.

Canva Pro accounts can also download images with a transparent background

And Pro accounts can also compress files by using this option here – that results in a lower quality version but will also be a smaller file size as well.

And regardless of file type, if you have multiple pages in your design, you’ll be given an option here to select the pages you want to download, and you can choose specific pages to download, or you can stay with the default of “All pages”.

The download option for JPGs include size and quality, again both Pro options.

If you are saving your design as an image, you will want to download either JPG or PNG. JPG files will usually be significantly smaller than PNG files.

PDF Standard and PDF print won’t offer size or quality options, but you will find an option to include crop marks and bleed on PDF print.

Additionally, if you choose either PDF standard or print, you will have an option to flatten the PDF so that all of the components in the PDF are flattened into a single image. This can be desirable if your printer asks for a flattened file, or if you want to ensure that recipients cannot extract any of the images or elements contained in your PDF design.

You will typically save a document as a PDF standard if you are sharing a slide deck, or a workbook or checklist, or any sort of document that you want your audience to be able to view on screen as a PDF. PDF files will also preserve any hyperlinks you’ve added to your design, whereas image files will NOT preserve linked text or elements.

SVG is a Canva Pro option only, and you’d use this option if you were trying to export a design to a vector format.

You won’t see this Powerpoint option on all your designs but if you are downloading a presentation design, you
should see this powerpoint option available to you as well.

And then Video and GIF are the options you’ll be looking at if you plan on saving a design as a video or an animated design.

How to Share

If you’re looking to share the design, not download it, you have a variety of options available to you.

You can choose to share the design with individuals or teams here.

And you can adjust the link sharing permissions here, to only people you’ve added for access, or to anyone who has the link.

If I change the settings to anyone who has the link, I can then adjust whether the link will allow people to be able to edit the design or just view the design.

Alternately, if I simply want to provide a “view only” link to this design, I could just click on this option in the row below the button.

If you want to Present your design, you’ll use this button.

If you want to share the design to a social account, you would click here and then choose the appropriate platform.

You will need to be connected to these accounts if you want to share directly to them.

If you want to print your design through Canva, you would choose this option and then continue on through the steps it provides you.

And then under “More”, it’s just going to give you ALL the ways that you can publish or share your design.

Other Editor Options

Finally you’ve got your zoom percentage down here. So if you wanted to zoom in closer a graphic, you can zoom in… and you can zoom back out.

And then if you have multiple pages in a document, you can also access the Grid View down here by clicking on this little tile image here.

And that is an overview of Canva’s design editor!

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