• Janis Donnelly-Coode

Using Canva - create easy to follow instructions

I love using Canva to create easy to use instructions. This can be great for helping your coworkers or your clients. Now I am not going to pretend that it isn't time consuming, getting the screen shots, saving them and then uploading them into Canva does take time, but so does getting screen shots, saving them and uploading them into a blog. I still love it though because what Canva allows you to do is easily write over the top of your image, so that you can put arrows, circles or text to help your clients or coworkers to get started more quickly.

If you haven't used Canva before, you should really go over and have a look at my post about the basics including creating a blank canvas and uploading photos.

The first step is to get a photo or screen shot of what you want to give instructions about and upload it into Canva. I covered uploading in the previous blog (link above). This part (getting the image) is the most time consuming part. From here on in it becomes much quicker.

If you want to make the image bigger or smaller you can grab a side or corner and drag it, I am happy with the image as is.

I personally like to use text in my slides, it looks cleaner if you don't but I prefer to more quickly communicate with the user. If you don't want to use text then in your blog or perhaps a separate slide you will need to explain the step clearly.

Text is in the menu that runs down the left hand side of your screen. I normally just go and click 'add a heading' for instructions, though if you are looking to do something a little more visually pleasing then there are templates with various text options that you can scroll through.

So I have clicked add a heading, and usually the heading pops up in a funny spot, here it is at the bottom of the slide.

Now I can change what it says and use the menu at the top towards the right to change the colour, or font, or size of my text. I can also pick up the text box and drag it where I want it.

Now that I have changed the text colour, size and location, I can move on to finding an arrow or a circle to further highlight what the user should be doing.

For this you will go to hte Elements menu and type in arrow (or circle). I covered how to get a free graphic if you are using a free account in the basics blog here.

You click on your chosen arrow and it will turn up in your slide, and then you can move it or change it's colour or size (again covered in the previous basics blog).

A new trick for your graphics (or elements) that I will cover here is you can flip or rotate your graphics. In this case I want hte arrow the other way around, so I go to flip near the top right of the page and I choose Flip horizontal.

After shrinking it down and moving it to where I want it, it still isn't at hte angle I would like so I am now going to rotate it using the little arrows under the graphic. Simply click and drag on the little arrows.

Now that my arrow is rotated and I am happy with the look of the slide I am going to move onto the next slide. This time though make sure that you copy the slide, rather than simply launching a blank one. This will save you time. The copy icon is at the top right of the slide itself. You will know you have the right button because when you hover over it with your mouse it will say 'Copy page' but unfortunately I cannot catch that with my snipping tool.

Then once you have the copied image you can simply delete out hte photo by clicking it and hitting delete on your keyboard. Now you can upload a new image and you already have the text and arrow there that you can then manipulate.

When you upload your new screen shot you will probably need to use the positioning tool, as the screen shot will probably populate on top of your text and arrow.

The position option is to the top right of your screen, under the purple Share button.

Just hit backwards until it is behind your text and graphics.

Now you can quickly move the arrow, change the text, and have a second page of instructions ready to go. Just repeat the process by clicking copy again for your third page.

I cover donwloading your final product in the earlier blog.

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