Welcome to today’s tutorial: Canva for Newbies: Text. I’m Chelsea and I’m here to teach you a few things about Canva! Canva is pretty beginner friendly, but for those of you who don’t have any experience in any design software, it can be overwhelming. Today, I’ll go over one of the most used tools on Canva: Text. Let’s dive in!
Whether you are following along on your mobile device or on your desktop, begin by opening your Canva app. This can be downloaded either in your mobile device store or on the Canva website.
Make a New Project
After opening Canva, we need to make a new Project. You do this by looking for the purple button in the top right corner that says, “Create a Design”. You will be given all sorts of recommended sizes, but I prefer to choose “custom size”. It’s the little box with 2 arrows. Today, I’ll make mine 8.5x11in (letter size). And then hit “Create New Design” and it will open a blank page for you.
Create a Text Box
Next, we will create our text box. On the left hand side of your screen, you will see a “T” with “Text” underneath it on your toolbar. Click on it. This will open the text panel. Click on the purple “add a text box” button. A little box with text should appear on your blank page. Double click on the text and type what you want the box to say. To keep it simple, I’m writing “Inspired by James”. This text is very small, so I’m going to make it larger.
With your text box still selected, there will be a new text toolbar on your screen. This gives you the options to edit and customize your text to make it fit your project. Don’t let this intimidate you! I’ll break down the bar for you in a moment. Locate the font size option on the tool bar (it’ll be the number with the drop-down arrow) and select a bigger size. Feel free to mess around. I want the text to be bigger for the sake of this tutorial, so I changed mine to “100”.
Okay, now let’s take a look at this text toolbar and get familiar with it.
Introduction to the Text Toolbar
As you can see, I have color coded the toolbar for you and gave you little descriptions of what each button does. I suggest you take some time and just explore. Check out what fonts are available, mess around with font size and color, and then come on back to learn about Canva’s various text effects.
Once you find the font, font size, and color you would like, open “effects” on your text toolbar. Giving your text a special effect makes it stand out and attract attention.
I want to do a quick walk through the different text effects available for free on Canva and what they can do. Some of them you will probably utilize on a regular basis and others you might not ever use, but it’s good to know that they’re there.
On the left panel, you will see all of the special effects available. The first “effect” on your screen with be “Normal”. You will know what effect is selected when you see the purple box around it. If at any point you want to revert back to your original text, click on “Normal” and it will remove any effect you currently have selected.
The next effect is “Shadow”. You will notice that there are multiple settings that you can adjust in the effects panel that will help customize your shadow effect. I suggest messing around with the settings to become familiar with what each slider does.
After “shadow” we have “lift”. This is more like adding a grey glow to your text. You can adjust how big or small the reach of your glow is with the “intensity” slider.
The fourth effect is “hollow”. This hollows out your solid colored text so that it is only an outline. You can adjust the line thickness with the slider.
Similar to the “hollow” setting is “splice”. This is one of my favorites because it not only outlines your text, but it separates the outline from the text leaving a neat effect. You can adjust the colors of both the text and the outline, as well as how far you want them separated and what direction the main text goes in relation to the outline. I often use this effect for Pinterest pins.
If you want your text outlined but not separated, the “outline” effect will be for you. This one is straight forward: it outlines your text. You can choose the color and thickness of the outline using the sliders. This effect, as well as “hollow” and “splice”, is probably the most commonly used text effects on Canva.
The seventh effect is “Echo”. This effect is similar to “shadow”, but it takes the color of your text and then has two shadows of shades of the text color to help the main text pop.
The next effect, “glitch“, is the least used and also my least favorite of the effects. This effect has a two-tone glow effect around your text. I would refrain from using this effect on projects intended for professional use, as it might turn your customer away.
We now have the “neon” effect. This effect uses the color of your text as a base and then uses a shade of your text for a glow, giving a neon effect. It’s a fun effect to mess around with, so go ahead and try adjusting the color of your text as an experiment.
Lastly, the “background” effect will do exactly what it says: apply a background to your text. The default color is yellow, but you can change and adjust the background color and its reach. This is perfect for making your text visible when a background is dark or busy.
Note: If you have the pro version of Canva, you can also adjust the “shape” of your text. This allows you to have curved/rounded text. This feature isn’t currently available on the free version of Canva.
Other Text Options
We have now explored the options for text offered on both the text toolbar and in the effects panel of your sidebar. The last text options are available when you right click on your text. You will have the following options appear: Copy, Paste, Duplicate, Delete, Align to Page (with its own submenu), Comment, Link, and Lock.
The first four of these options are straight forward. The fifth option allows you to choose the position of your text in relation to where it shows up on the page. If you want your text on the top of the page, simply select “top” and your text will move there. It’s worth your time to try out each option to see what choices you have available to you.
The “comment” button lets you add notes to your document for future reference, without adding the notes to the project itself. Meaning: if you were to save your document, the notes that you write won’t appear in the saved document or in the printout. This is a nice feature if you are working with a team and want to communicate small details back and forth.
“Link” is a neat feature that allows you to highlight your text and connect it to a URL. If you were to save a PDF and allow others to download it, they would be able to click your linked text when they view the file. This is great for Etsy and other digital download sellers who want to leave a PDF of instructions or helpful links for their customers. When someone purchases a Canva template from me, they receive a PDF with the link to my template and a link to a video tutorial on YouTube. “Link” is a great way to make an ugly URL look pretty and professional.
Lastly, there is “lock“. This feature allows you to “lock” your text in position, meaning, you can edit and change everything around the text, but the text will remain untouched. This is great for typography projects or projects with a lot of little elements. It will eliminate the frustration of elements moving around when you want them to stay put.
You’re all set!
Now that you have a good introduction to text and all of the ways you can customize it, I suggest you take some time to play. You can add other elements available in Canva to your canvas or stick to the basics and get some practice. Now that you have mastered this skill, it should open some doors to other products for you.