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Using Backgrounds in Canva

In this tutorial, we will learn how to work with background graphics in Canva. The project is a Save the Date announcement for Instagram.

Our first step is to start a new project. Go to your Canva account and click the Create a Design button, to load the Canva templates. Since our project is for Instagram, click the Instagram Post thumbnail in the Social Media Posts section. On the next page, we will have a blank Instagram template.

Screenshots used by permission of Canva

    Blank Template

    Let's add a background image to the template.

  1. Use the search box in the top left of the workspace to search for "Save the Date" layouts.

    This will give you a list of all the photos and illustrations related to our search. Click on an image that your wish to use for the background, to add it to the first layer of the blank template.

    Upload Your Own Graphics

    We can also upload our own background photo or illustration.

  2. Click on the Uploads button in the Object panel, to load the upload controls. Click the Upload Your Own Images button. Choose a background graphic to upload. Once it is fully uploaded, a thumbnail of the graphic will be listed below the Upload button. Click the thumbnail to add it to the template. (see screenshot)

    The graphic will be added to the center of the template but needs to be enlarged.

  3. Drag outward on the the circle handles until the graphic is 1080 x 1080 px. Watch the pixel display as you drag.

  4. Once the image is sized, we can drag it into position. Place your mouse over the graphic and drag until the upper left circle handle is at the 0,0 position. (see screenshot)

    Editor Panel

    Let's take a moment to discuss the Editor toolbar. It contains the controls for the active or selected object on the template, which is our background graphic. As you can see, we have controls for several tasks, including Filter, Crop, Flip, Copy, Arrange, Transparency, Link and Trash. (see screenshot) Of course, we have the Undo and Redo buttons at the upper left. (see screenshot)

  5. Filter - We can click the Filter button to choose a color filter to apply to the background graphic. As you can see, we have several slider controls for further customizing the filter. (see screenshot)

  6. Crop - Click the Crop button to add the crop controls to the corners of the graphic. Drag the handles to set the size of the crop. From the Editor toolbar, click the Check icon to set the crop or the X icon to cancel. (see screenshot)

  7. Flip - Click the Flip button and choose Flip Horizontally or Flip Vertically. (see screenshot)

  8. Copy - Click the Copy button to make a duplicate of the graphic.

  9. Arrange - If we had more objects on our template, we would use the Arrange button to move objects up or down the list. (see screenshot)

  10. Transparency - Use the Transparency slider to reduce the transparency of the background graphic. Use this if the text is difficult to read. (see screenshot)

  11. Link - To add a link, which will turn the background image into a clickable object/button, click the Link button and add the url address. (see screenshot)

  12. Trash - The Trash button removes the selected object from the template.

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Content copyright © 2015 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.


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