Fundamentals of Canva

Lesson 5 of 15

Element Manipulation

 

Fundamentals of Canva

Lesson 5 of 15

Element Manipulation

 

Lesson Info

Element Manipulation

Now we're gonna look at the types of things that you're gonna be doing in order to manipulate the design elements inside of a Canva graphic. So to begin, we're here on our dashboard, and we haven't created anything just yet. We've emptied out our drawer here. I'm going to make a, we're gonna start, just for the example with a social graphic. We'll do a full demo in a little bit, but I wanted to just get a stage for us to manipulate some of these really cool elements. So the first element that I wanna talk about is text. So we're gonna go down here in our drawer to the Text drawer, and like we mentioned before, we have either headings, subheadings, or body text, and we'll be able to change all of the fonts and size and everything, we'll get to that, and we also have some of these pre-mades. I just wanna show you how to, how it works with basic text. So I'm gonna start by dragging a single element over here, this is how you create a text box, for those of you who use PowerPoint or Illust...

rator, this is the equivalent of creating a text box, and there it has our sample text in here. You'll notice that when I click on this, it automatically highlights, which is a really convenient way to write out here, and just typing in there. But one thing that I can also do is click on the frame. This is very similar to, for those of you who've worked in PowerPoint, it's very similar to the edge selecting experience in PowerPoint or some other design programs, where you can click on the edge, you can see my cursor changes right there to that arrow cursor, and I can click on it and move the actual element around itself. I also have these little ears on the side that give me the ability to manipulate the width of my text element. And then an interesting thing to note about manipulating text is that you can manipulate the width, but you can't manipulate the height of your text box. The only way to do that is to type more. You can hit Enter, let's see, go to the end here. And you can see my text box is getting taller, but I'm not controlling that myself. That's Canva making sure that it's properly sized. I can, however, control the width. And the reason why you're gonna wanna control width, and we'll talk about this when we talk about design principles, is because you can adjust the flow of the text, basically the line breaks in your copy by pulling these ears out. One interesting thing that can Canva does that I as a designer really like, because I love these little details and I need to know everything about my design, is that is shows you the x and y size of the element you're creating. This is really helpful to get things exactly right if you wanna size something to a very specific width, that's how you're gonna do it. And it does give you the height. Even though you can't control it, it's gonna tell you how tall that item is. One other, oh, one thing about the stage that I wanted to mention. You guys will notice that I am able to scroll around without going over to the side bar. You can go pretty much anywhere on the stage by scrolling, either on a mouse with the wheel, or if you're using a touchpad, or a touch device, you can just use, do it that way. That's a great way to move around to portions, or you can actually go up and down between pages. So back to text. One of the other things that you can see that you can do here is this little icon, this is your rotate tool. If I want my text to be anything other than straight up and down 90 degrees perpendicular, then I can use this and rotate it. So, even though we know that we can't adjust the height of our text box, one interesting thing that we can do is hold down Shift, and that gives us another little anchor here in the corner. And that means that we can adjust, here you can see I'm moving it back and forth, the padding of our element. And the padding is the space inside of the element but outside of the text. It's basically the space in-between the element boundaries and the text. And if I add more lines, the padding is right there. So, that's manipulating the physical properties of the text and its position. Now let's talk about the font and some of the other things you can do. When I click on the text box or I edge select, I'll get this menu up here at the top. This is our Styling menu where I can choose a font and do lots of other interesting stuff to this text. If I click on the Font item here, you can see that Canva comes with a ton of fonts for you to use. These are free, you can choose any of the ones you want, and if you're a Canva for Work or Canva Premium member, then you can also add your own font which is really important if you have a brand that uses very specific fonts. And we'll show an example of that in the second segment. So I'm just gonna go ahead and change the font here to one of my favorites, Open Sans, and you can also manipulate the size of your text in order to get it to what you want. So this is a heading, so I'm gonna make it nice and big, and ill just kind of put it right up here. In addition to manipulating the font and the size, you can of course always change the color. Canva comes with a default palette, but you can also add what are called document colors where when you pick a new color here, it'll save it for the entire document so that you can reuse it over and over again. One of my favorite colors that I'm using a lot is this really, really cool blue. It's like the ultimate online blue. And basically, the color picker has three sections to it. You have your hue adjuster here, you have your tone adjuster here so you can make your hue lighter or darker, and then you can also use a color code. Canva uses hex codes. Hex is something you can do a search for online and find a hex code for something you're looking for. It's basically how the web is color coded. So I just chose the hex code that I already know here, or you can just sorta do it by hand. Let's just go up there and add that in here. Now, this color will be able to be chosen for anything else, so you don't have to worry about entering that in or finding the exact right color ever again for this document because it's always right there. So naturally, it's changed the color of my text just by choosing that. I can also make any of this text bold if I want to and any of it italic. It doesn't have to apply to the entire text box. You can actually do it per character, which is nice. I can also adjust the alignment of my text. If I want it to be center aligned or left justified or right justified here, I can do that, and I believe, right, so this does affect the entire text box. So if I want something to be aligned left and another thing to be aligned right, I'm gonna have to make a new text box, which is easy to do. There's a keyboard command for that. You're gonna do Command + C and Command + V, your basic copy and paste. For those of you on PCs, it's gonna be Control + C and Control + V, and that copies your elements. Another way to copy an element is to click on the, you're gonna edge select and hold down your Option or on PCs your Alt key, and that allows you to copy elements just by clicking and dragging. You can also change the case of your text. If you have something and you want it to be all uppercase, then this is the button that you're gonna do it right here, and then you can also make it into a bulleted list by clicking this button right here. As you can see, you can do multiple of these style items at a time. Let's go ahead and turn them all off, just like that. All right, I've cleared my stage. I'm gonna show you another item here. You can adjust the spacing of both the letter spacing, here you can see the space between the letters is getting wider, and the line height. I'm gonna go ahead and make two lines of text so you can see what that does. So within a text box, you can adjust how high things are. And then you can also adjust where things are going to fall inside of the text box, whether everything's going to be centered, aligned to the top, or aligned to the bottom. You can copy an item just by clicking the Copy button which will do that same thing as Command + V and Command + C, and then you can also adjust the transparency of the text here. So this will make something lighter, so if you have a darker background, you can adjust it there. Let me show you what that looks like. I'll just add a simple shape behind here. Let's go ahead and put that there. We'll go ahead and change the color. So I can adjust the transparency of something with a background. Now, another thing you can do with just about any element including text is arrangement. So if you have two items that are over top of each other, here, let's go ahead and make this one blue, you can arrange these by sending the one that you have selected to the back to the front, and that's by any of these here. You can see the keyboard commands for that, and you can send it back or forward. That's great for arranging things in order to get them to overlap. And then finally, you can make text into a link by selecting what you want and then clicking the Link tool up here in the style bar and then typing where you want it to go. Once you hit Apply, that will mean that when you're embedding this graphic via the Embed Share tool, that will be a live link so people can use it to go to different websites. And then finally, you can just eliminate something either by hitting the delete key which is a keyboard shortcut or by hitting this trash can here to make it go away. And that is text manipulation. On of the other things you can manipulate inside of Canva are the vector graphics that either both come with Canva or that you uploaded on your own. All of the vector graphics are basically these items here, the shapes, the lines, the illustrations, and the icons. Any of these count as our vector graphics for this purpose. I'm gonna go ahead and click on one of them for the Illustration section. So I just dragged it to my desktop, and you can see that I can do a lot of the same things that I can do with text where I can resize it. I can also, when you resize it, it keeps the aspect ratio which is nice, so it means that you're not gonna accidentally stretch your image. I can rotate it to anything that I want. And I can also position it anywhere I need to. I can make copies, and I can actually arrange those copies to send them to front or back. Just like text, I can adjust the transparency and make things a little bit less opaque or more see-through, and I can even make them a link if I wanted to for that embed feature which we'll talk about later. Let's go ahead and delete that. Now, one great thing about vector graphics that you'll definitely want to take advantage of is the ability to change the color of the graphics. Basically what Canva's doing for those designers out there is it's reading the SVG colors, the hex colors, anything that's used in the graphic, and it's serving them up for you to be able to change them right up here in this style bar. So by clicking on any of these colors, here I can see that my graphic uses three, four colors, I can click on any of these to change them to either my brand colors, if I wanna make it a little bit more dramatic, I can adjust them here, which is really cool, and that is for just about any of these graphics. It's also really handy if you're adding the icons, which is another type of vector file. Let's say I wanna whole bunch of blue icons, I can just simply drag them all here, resize them using my anchors, position them. I can even see like exact size. This is an interesting thing to note. Canva gives you some hints, some what are called Smart Guides. If I'm positioning items, I can see what they're aligning with with these little dotted lines. As a designer, that's incredibly helpful for me to get everything exactly right in order to make sure that things are either aligned center as you can see here or aligned top or even left aligned and even aligned to the stage itself. So here I can see that this is as wide as the stage plus the edge of this guy. Really, really helpful to have those guides. And it also snaps them. So after a while, if you're moving, you can see it kinda just jumps right there in order to snap to that guide. So here, I'm gonna make it the exact height just as my guy here, boom! And then I can recolor any of these with my styling color tool. And as you can see, any color that I choose, either from the default palette or the document colors, I can adjust that, it always goes into my document colors. If I make everything the same color here, you can see that since it's no longer present in the document, it's gonna delete that for you. So it's basically a way for you to tell these are the colors you're using in your document. One other interesting thing that if you're changing a color, it's gonna give you this option to change everything. So let's say I really don't like, let's say I got everything blue, and I have like 10 of these other icons here, I'm just Option dragging, now I don't wanna have to go in and change all of these, so what I'm gonna do is pick a new color, I really like this orange, and then I'm gonna say change all. And what that does is it takes everything that was that blue, and it's gonna make it into the orange, which is really handy. Again, the amount of time-saving stuff that they've included in this program is unbelievable. It's stuff that would take me twice as many clicks to get through to do. You can go ahead and take a line, put it here, and it acts almost identical to a vector graphic except you can actually change the width of the line by dragging all of these guys here so it works as a little bit more of a manageable shape, and then Shapes does the same thing where I can click and drag, and if I wanna drag these guys and adjust the ratio, the height-width ratio, I could do that there. Lots of really cool, interesting shapes here you can see. Some of them come pre-colored if you wanna choose those. Some of them have multiple colors, just like our icons. So here, I can change the borders to different colors and make it whatever I want. So that's vectors. Now, I wanna talk about images. There's a lot of really interesting stuff that we can do with images. In order to access images, we're gonna go into our Elements drawer, and we're gonna go over to Free Photos. Now, this doesn't have to be Canva's images that they're serving up to you. These are, you can upload your own, and we'll show you how to do that in the second segment. I'm just go ahead and choose a really cool image here. Let's do, I really like this guy. All right, so once I have an image on my stage, I can do some of the basic stuff that you can do with any of the other elements where I can adjust the size of it here. I can't adjust the aspect ratio. That's where I would have these little anchors up on the sides. It's gonna keep my aspect ratio by just dragging the corners. I can align it, it's gonna snap to our Smart Guides like we talked about, and it's also gonna show me the position on the stage. This is something that any of the elements do, but I wanted to point it out here. You'll notice the little numbers in the upper left-hand corner of that anchor. It's telling me where it's positioned, and it's based on the top left pixel that you're manipulating. So it will always be on that top left, so that top left here, we can see it's at 134,121. Here's it's at 0,0. So it's a great nother tool to align things if you have some very exact needs that you need to match. You can also rotate the images like you can do with any of the other elements, and it gives you those great Smart Guides. You can copy images right here, and then you can also arrange them, so you can send on of them to back or one of them to forward, just like that using that style bar. You can adjust the transparency like any of the other elements, and like anything else, you can make it a link for that embed feature or delete it. Now, some of the really cool stuff that you can do with images that you can't do with some of the other elements is adjust the filters and the crops and the flip. So let's take a look at filter first. If we go up to our style menu, Filter allows us to pick some really cool stuff. A lot of this comes from sorta the Instagram design principle of making things look a little bit vintage or toning down, pulling out some key colors, or toning down some key colors. Some really cool stuff here. You can adjust the intensity of whatever it is you choose, and they have some great ones to choose from in order to make your graphic pop a little bit more or make it a little bit more different than just a plain old image. This is really great for when you're pulling in Facebook images, and you wanna give it that little extra bit of style. I do, we're gonna talk about this in the design segment, but we do wanna be a little conservative with our filters because we don't want to get rid of any of the data that's in the image, basically the content of the images is king. So we wanna pick something that pulls out that content not pushes it into the background. We have some advanced options, so for those of you willing to take the leap, we can adjust things like tint and blur. We can basically look at a filter and see exactly what the filter does, what it's doing with these really detailed sliders. All you have to do is, if you wanna adjust it a little more, let's say I like this Summer filter here, I really like what that does to the image, but I want even more, I wanna make it even more intense than that, I can do something like adjust the brightness of it to make it just a little bit lighter if I'm gonna put something dark over top of it. So in addition to the advanced options, you get this code here. Now, this code is interesting. For those of you want to use it, you can record these codes, and you can actually use it to apply to different images. Let's say you really like this filter that you've found. You've adjusted it, you've make it exactly perfect. You can take this code and copy it into another Canva graphic, and it will do whatever it is that filter that you copied it from does. That's a great way, I definitely recommend if you're building a brand to record those numbers to be able to apply them across the board to all your different images. So in addition to making our images look really cool with all these great filters, we can also crop the image. This is gonna come into play when we're creating our composition. So let's say I like this image, but you know what? There's something about this door over here that's just kinda lingering on the side. I really don't like it, but I want the image to be kinda small on my page. How can I get rid of that? Well, you're gonna use something, you're gonna use the Crop tool up here. So I'm gonna click on my image, and then I'm gonna click on Crop, and then that bar just turns into a simple yes or no, it's a confirmation bar. Here it gives me another window. So the ones here with these little L brackets, that is what the final product of the crop is going to be. And here you can see that you can also adjust the original size of your image and change that as well. So here, I'll make the image just a little bit smaller, and I'm gonna adjust my crop, this is to be, to look something like this. And then I'll go ahead and hit the check, and what happens is, Canva doesn't delete those pixels around the edge, it doesn't get rid of that information. It just hides it for you. It's the equivalent of a mask in Photoshop for you designers. I can always get that information back. All I have to do is click on my image again, go to Crop, and here it shows me what the original was. So it's great because that information doesn't go away. If you make a mistake with your crop, you can always go back to it and change it later. And then the last thing that I can do with my image is flip it. This is really important if I have something like, let's say, let's do this American eagle here. So let's say I want this guy to be facing the other direction. All I have to do is flip, I can flip it in two ways, either horizontally so it's gonna spin around like this, or vertically, it's gonna flip upside down. I want this guy to be facing to the right, so I'm going to flip horizontally, and there it goes. Again, it doesn't eliminate the previous setting's data, so you can always come back to this if you want to, either by clicking on Undo if it's the last thing you did, or, let's flip it again, you can always re-flip it. There's no loss of information.

Class Description

Beautiful graphics are essential in today's visual world. Canva offers users a free and easy way to create them. In Fundamentals of Canva, you’ll get to know all aspects of Canva and how to take full advantage of its powerful design features.

You’ll learn how to...

  • Decide what project Canva is perfect for
  • Customize templates and making them your own
  • Collaborate with others
  • Combine images and text
  • Build graphics for social media
  • Share and download projects

You’ll also learn basic design principles and how to create graphics that are as effective as they are beautiful.

The Canva makes it easy for anyone to drag and drop design elements into elegant, professionally-designed templates and this class will help you ensure that every project you create is top-notch.

Canva takes care of tedious work of and empowers designers to get creative. Join Matt Stevenson for Fundamentals of Canva and find out how you can streamline your workflow and get more done with Canva.

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