Resources Mentioned


You’ve created a design in Canva and you’re ready to download it, but when you go to the download settings, the only available options are a PDF or Word Doc file.

What’s going on? Where are the other options?

There’s usually a very specific cause at play here anytime I’ve seen this problem and that is you’ve started with a Canva doc as opposed to another design format.

Canva Docs are different. You may initially notice that there’s no distinct pages in it, it’s just one long continuous design that grows as you add content to it.

Canva Docs are more like a word processing interface, albeit with the ability to add more visual elements through images, video, charts and graphs… but it’s not the same as Canva’s other design formats.

If you are creating something you plan to save as an image, do not start with a Canva doc format… instead, you will want to find the appropriate size and format for the type of image you’re creating.

For example, if you want to create an Instagram Post, you’ll search for that design type.

Or if you do want to create some sort of document like an e-book or guide or workbook, you’ll want to start with either a US Letter Document design, or an A4 sized design.

Yes, you’ll still most likely want to save that as a PDF, but you may also want to be able to save it as an image so you can use it in promotional graphics.

Starting with either a US Letter Document design, or an A4 sized design will give you that option.

Doing so will also give you control over where your pages start and stop, whereas a Canva Doc does not give you the ability to know or control where a PDF page stops and starts.

But what do you do if you’ve already created your design on a doc? Do you have to start from scratch?

Typically if you wanted to change the dimensions or document type of a design, you could do so through the Resize & Magic Switch option, but that’s not a feature that’s available in the Canva Doc design type.

So what I would recommend if you don’t want to start from scratch is to download your design as a PDF, and then upload that PDF back into your Canva account so you have it as a starting point.

When you open that PDF, you’ll once again have all of the features available to you on a standard design, including the ability to Resize and download in different file formats, though a reminder that the Resize & Magic Switch option is only available on Canva Pro.

Yes you’ll likely still have to do some re-arranging of your design at this point, but you won’t have to start from scratch.

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