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Canva: A Tool for Quick Designs

Canva is a design tool for non-designers, a quick and easy way to make eye-catching graphics using pre-made templates. It is less powerful than other design tools like Photoshop, but also less complex and more intuitive. This simplicity means Canva is great for making social media posts, and any other simple graphic design work.

Canva is web-based, so you don’t have to install any software to use it. You can simply point your web browser to to start designing. You do, however, need to create an account to use it.

The power of Canva comes from its ready-made customizable templates and searchable elements. While you can create designs from scratch, templates are a real-time saver.

Canva is intended to be an intuitive tool to use. Many controls are a simple click-and-drag. Tutorials for using Canva are readily available if you need them, but the basic workflow is simple:

  1. Select a size template based on your publishing destination: a Facebook post, an Instagram post, a postcard, etc.

  2. Select a design template from the library.

  3. Customize text, photos, and design elements to fit your needs.

  4. Download your design for use in social media or print.

While Canva is free to use, Canva encourages you to pay for more advanced features.

Depending on your needs, a Canva subscription may be worth the cost if you use it regularly.

Using a Canva Pro account unlocks several useful features:

  • Access to an expanded library of elements.

  • Reusable custom elements for your brand.

  • Collaboration tools for your team.

  • Resizing tools for reusing designs for multiple platforms.

  • Direct posting to connected social media profiles.

For NMSU Extension educators, our university has several pro subscriptions for Extension outreach. To upgrade your account, work through the ACES IT Help Desk (, 575-646-3305

Canva can be a great addition to your arsenal of tools for increasing engagement on social media. Give it a try today!

Written By: Jeffrey Buras, Social Media Specialist,

We do not specifically endorse Canva or any other product. This blog post is for educational purposes only.


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