Images play a vital role in storing memories and creating customized stationery for business branding. We use them to make posters, flyers, business cards, etc. But before that, we need to tweak the photos and artwork using specific tools.
For instance, you often make profile pictures, cover photos, stories, and other uses with the images. All have different dimensions and need to be eye-catching.
Fortunately, an amazing tool exists that lets you create such graphics easily. Available on desktop, Android, and iOS, Canva is your one-stop destination for beautiful graphics. You can call it a digital Photoshop for creating breathtaking graphics. But how does one use it?
If you are yet to use Canva, consider the post as your Canva guide where we explain how to use it on Android. So download Canva on your Android phone first, and then we shall begin.
When you open the Canva app for the first time, you will see two tabs at the bottom — Templates and Designs. The Templates tab houses the prebuilt Canva templates that you can use and modify as per your liking.
You will find some pre-defined templates of various sizes, categories, and types such as WhatsApp story, Instagram post, Facebook cover, invitation card, logo, resume, etc.
The Designs tab houses the graphics that you create. You can edit and modify those graphics to suit your requirements.
Now there are two ways to create graphics with Canva — use an existing template or start from a blank template. In both the cases, a template will have elements on it such as text, shapes, etc.
Modify an Existing Template
The beauty of the Canva app is that it provides many free templates. You need to select a template of your choice, and then edit all its elements.
For this post, let’s go with the Instagram Story template. You can find the templates either under the Explore section or on the home screen itself. You can also take the help of the search bar at the top. That is, type Instagram story and select the result. Then, tap on the template that you like.
You will be taken to its editing screen where you can change all the existing elements. Those elements include the text, icons, background images, colors, and other things. To change any element, simply tap on it.
To replace the background (or any other image), tap on it once. The app will greet you with four new options at the bottom — Gallery, Image, Color, and Filter.
Gallery houses all the images on your phone. So, yes, you can replace it with your pictures and set them as your background. You can even capture a photo from the Canva app itself by tapping on the camera icon. The Image section is a treasure of free images offered by Canva. Tap on any image to replace it with your existing image.
Tip: Use the search to find an appropriate image.
However, if you want a solid background instead of any image, tap on the Color tab and hit the color of your choice. Lastly, you can enhance your image by applying a filter to it. Tap on Advanced filters to individually modify brightness, saturation, color, etc.
Change Image Size
If you use your image, the app will add it in the original size. Sometimes, the actual background area and the image area is different, leaving behind an empty space. To avoid that, you can change the image size. For that, tap the image once to select it. Then using the pinch and zoom gesture to increase or decrease its size.
Tip: You can change the size of the existing Canva images too.
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Change Element Properties
In the above screenshots, the white/black background behind the text is a rectangular box added through elements. You can change its properties by tapping on it.
For instance, to change its color, tap on it once. You will find an editing icon at the bottom with the color white. Tap on it to change its color. Similarly, if there are other elements, you will find their colors in the bottom section. You can also modify the transparency using the Transparency slider. Tap on the check icon to save the changes.
Play with Text
Similarly, tapping on any existing text element lets you modify it. Tap once to change its font, color, size, spacing, alignment, etc. Tap twice to change the text itself. The text will retain the existing properties unless you change them.
Add New Elements
Just because Canva designed the main template doesn’t mean you cannot add elements to it. You can add any type of element by tapping on the floating add icon. You will be offered options such as Text, Image, Illustration, Shape, etc.
Tip: Any element with a coin sign next to it indicates that it’s not free.
If you are confident with your design skills, you can start with a blank template too. For that, go to the home screen of the app, and tap on the floating add icon at the bottom.
Find the Right Template Size
You will then be offered various image sizes depending on their type such as Instagram post, invitation, poster, wallpaper, etc. at the bottom. Scroll through them to find the one that you are looking for. Alternatively, go to that template section on the home screen and the first one will be a blank template for the same.
In case none of the sizes match your requirements, you can create a picture with custom dimensions too. For that, tap on the add icon first, and then hit the size at the top. Enter your required dimensions on the next screen.
Add Design Elements
Once you have added a template, you will be taken to the editing screen. Here, you need to add elements (text, image, shape, etc.) to it. For that, tap on the add icon at the bottom and choose the element of your choice. You have to repeat the steps to add other elements.
Once you add them, you can change their properties by tapping on them. In the case of text, you can either add your text style or choose from the list of available styles.
Enhance Images in Canva
Let’s see how to improve our graphics in Canva further.
Add Color Hex Code
By default, Canva offers a limited collection of colors. It does offer a color palette. But, sometimes we want the color in our graphics to match our brand color. For that, you can add a hex code of the color.
To do so, tap on the element whose color you want to change. Under the Color section, tap on the add icon. You will be taken to the color palette. Enter your hex code in the box.
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Any image you use in Canva, be it an existing Canva image or your image, you can blur it. To do that, tap on the image once and then hit the Filter option. Tap on Advanced filters. Change the intensity of the Blur slider according to your need.
Move Element Behind or Forward
Even though Canva doesn’t offer proper layers, you can move elements forward or backward using a single tap. That comes handy in situations when you first add a text element followed by a shape. In such a case, the text will be hidden under the shape. To keep it above the shape, you need to bring it in front.
For that, select the element first, and then tap on the three-dot icon at the top-right corner. Then tap on the forward and backward symbols as per the requirement.
Adjust the Transparency of Elements
To adjust the transparency of an element such as text, shapes, etc., select the element and then hit the three-dot icon. Tap on the transparency icon and adjust it.
To create a copy of any element, you can duplicate it. For that, select the element and hit the duplicate icon.
Tip: You can even duplicate the actual image. For that, go to the Designs section and tap on the three-dot icon present on your image. Select Make a copy.
Change Element Size
To change the element size, tap and drag it using any of the four corners. Alternatively, use the pinch and zoom gesture. You can even rotate it using your fingers. For that, tap and hold the element with two fingers and then rotate it.
If you use an existing template from Canva, then moving or resizing an element will sometimes change the entire block. That happens because the items are grouped.
To modify the elements individually, you need to ungroup them. To do so, select the element and hit the ungroup icon at the top. The group feature is currently limited to the Canva website but can be ungrouped on the mobile apps.
Delete an Element
To remove any element from your image, select the element, and hit the delete icon. If the elements are grouped, all of them will be deleted.
At any point, if you change something accidentally, you can undo your changes. For that, tap on the undo icon.
Save Images on Phone
Lastly, when you are done creating your image, it’s time to save it. For that, tap on the save as image icon. Alternatively, if you want to save it in some other format such as PDF, tap on the share icon next to save. By doing so, first, the image will automatically be saved on your device, and then you will be able to choose another format.
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The Best App
So that’s how you can make the most of the Canva app. Honesty, the app is not only a gift for social media users but also bloggers. Even though it’s easy to use, once you get hold of it, you can create breathtaking graphics without any other tool.
Next up: Do you want to write quotes on pictures for Instagram or other social media platforms? Check out these amazing quote maker apps on Android and iOS.