4 free uses for Canva publishers may not know

By: David Arkin
October 28, 2023
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For many publishers, Canva has become the go-to tool to create beautiful social media graphics.

But, you can use Canva for so much more, and in place of several paid services. Here are some of our favorite uses that you may not know Canva offers that you can use for free:

Create your own AI images

Canva has thousands of free images and other elements you can choose from to create your graphic, but you can also create your own using their free AI image generator.

How many times have you been looking for the perfect stock photo but they’re all behind a paid subscription? With the image generator, you can create the right photo for free. Like all other images in Canva, you can then customize and edit your generated image.

These images were generated with Canva’s AI tool as a stock photo to accompany stories about a festival, fall home maintenance and a schools story.

Just type in a detailed description of the image you want to create, and select the one that best fits what you need. You can also use a variety of style options like Watercolor, Filmic, Neon, Color Pencil, and Retrowave, to jazz up the image with stickers, text or other elements.

Photo and video editing

This is another example where you can use Canva to supplement a paid service. Photo editing softwares can be pricey, especially when all you need is to brighten or sharpen an image.

Canva offers a free photo editing feature where you can enhance your image, add filters and elements and resize your photo. The editor can support JPEG/JPG, PNG, WEBP, HEIC, SVG, and PSD (Photoshop) formats.

These are some of the elements you can adjust using Canva’s photo editing tool.

Additionally, you can upload videos right in the free video editor to edit your video directly, add additional elements and even sync it up to music or other audio.

Webcam and screen recording

Canva also offers built-in recording features so you can easily create record voiceovers, record yourself, and even share your screen on camera. There are also several templates you can slide your video into to amp up the design, as well as elements, stickers and text you can add.

In addition to creating it, Canva allows you to insert your video into templates and add design elements.

Using the built in video editor, you can also continue to trim and make other edits to your video right within your design instead of having to edit it separately and reupload it.

Editing and converting files

We’ve all had someone submit a PDF where we aren’t able to make edits or copy large amounts of text. With Canva’s free online PDF editor, your document will be broken into editable elements so you can make changes like any other design asset. You can then share the PDF as a link or export it as a JPG, PNG, or back to a PDF file.

You can also upload videos in MOV, GIF, MPEG, MKV, or WEBM file formats and convert them into a high-quality MP4 file in minutes for free with its free converter.


We’d love the chance to tell you about the work we’re doing with newspapers, TV stations, digital pure plays and magazines in digital audience and revenue, branded content and content creation. Email us at david@davidarkinconsulting.com

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