New to Canva? What does it do, how does it work and why is it so popular with so many? Essentially it’s a cloud-based design and image editing software. User friendly drag and drop templates help you create professional images, presentations, videos, animations and more even if you have no graphic design knowledge or training design. Use it from your desktop or create posts on your phone using Canva for Mobile.
User Friendly for Beginners
For this very reason, Canva is now one of the go to pieces of design software for anyone from employees looking to create slick presentations to graphic designers who want an easy application to create their masterpieces. In the last couple of years, it has grown exponentially and has won multiple awards.
Canva for Mobile
Let’s be honest, if you want the edge with your social media post designs then you need to use the desktop version of Canva. It’s far easier to line up graphics, get pinpoint accuracy and ensure there’s not one pixel out of place. However, if you are looking for something that takes you less time, that you can use on the go and upload straight to your social media accounts then the Canva for mobile app is great.
Everything in One Place
While desktop is great, it’s not great when you are trying to use it for Instagram designs. For a start, unless you are scheduling your posts using a third party app, you can’t use the desktop to upload your posts to Instagram. That means that you need to share your finished design with your phone and then upload it. You can save it in your desktop Canva account and then download from your phone but again, you are using several devices for one post.
If you’re in a hurry, have just got a great review you want to upload, or have a great idea for a post on the go, it’s easy to have everything at your fingertips on your mobile phone. Often, the best posts can come to you when you are least expecting it so it is really handy to be able to action them straight away rather than waiting until you are next on your computer.
The Benefits of Canva for Mobile
To use Canva for mobile or desktop, first you have to create an account. But the good news is that the free account provides you with more than enough features to get started. After you use it for a while, you may want to consider the benefits of upgrading to Canva Pro. Then, you can start exploring the various functions and start playing around with your first designs.
Upload your own images and tap to add them to your designs. Got a great product photo you want to add your logo to, or want to put it into a frame? Upload it to your Canva account and then tap to add it to a post.
there are so many photos within Canva that you can use for your designs. Either choose from the host of free images for your designs with the free version or unlock more photos (and many more features) with Canva Pro.
Within elements you have shapes, frames, lines, png graphics, moving graphics – a whole host of assets to liven up your designs. At the bottom of your screen, you will see the ‘elements’ icon. Tap and start exploring. Play around with some of the elements and what your social media posts come to life.
Either start from a blank screen at a pre-determined size (Instagram, Facebook posts and stories, cover photos, invitations, business cards and more) or choose from the many pre-designed templates. Got an idea in mind but not sure how to lay it out? Search templates for sales, birthday posts, celebrations etc. While some templates are free to use, there are those that are only available with the paid for version.
Want to add text to your design? Add a text box. Choose a style and change the wording or add a heading, sub heading or body text. Then choose the font, the size of font, the colour and whether you want it bold, underlined, italic, or aligned left, right etc.
The other day I wanted a video of coffee pouring for a simple post. I simply searched for that term and then chose the video that best suited my objective. Add it to your background and add your logos or text over the top. Simple and effective. As well as video footage, you can also choose slideshow videos and change the template to your colours, style, etc.
Want to add music? Choose the audio you want and add it to your design.
This is not all, there are so many features. You won’t discover them all at once but as you get more and more used to Canva for mobile, you will start to find more cool things you can do to enhance your social media posts.
These simple examples were found using the template search. In this case I simply typed in ‘food’ and was presented with multiple options. Some are free to use, others are only available when you upgrade to Canva Pro.
Saving Your Design
Pretty much like anything you save on a desktop, you can choose the format in which you wish to save your file. This could be a jpeg, png, link, upload straight to Instagram or other social media platform, copy link etc. If you click the top right hand arrow as highlighted below, you will then be presented with a list of options.
Keep All Your Files in One Place
Want to create several versions of the same design or keep all your designs together? Once you have created your first design, click duplicate and change the elements you want in the next screen. You can create a series of posts that you download all together. Keep going back and editing as required without starting all over again.
You may just want to download Canva for mobile to overlay your logo on your photos or you might just want to add some simple effects to your photo. For more information on 3 simple tricks using Canva, check out our article.