graphic design

Canva launches docs and website maker, slew of new features

Ralf Rivas

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Canva launches docs and website maker, slew of new features
'We saw a rapid shift in visual communications,' says Canva CEO Melanie Perkins as the company launches its new products and features

SYDNEY, Australia – Online design platform Canva on Wednesday, September 14, launched a suite of new products and features, including docs and a website builder, making it easier for people with little to no background in graphic design or programming to create visual content.

Canva launched the new Visual Worksuite in an event in Sydney which Rappler was invited to attend.

Canva chief executive officer Melanie Perkins said in a press briefing that the product lineup addresses the demand for more visual content and new ways in presenting information.

“We saw a rapid shift in visual communications. Before it was very word-heavy, very text-heavy…but journalists now have to create a lot of visuals in their articles; sales also now need a lot more pictures. Every single profession and industry are becoming more visual, and consumers are very well on their feet as to what companies really aim to capture their attention with a very noisy environment,” Perkins said.

Canva chief operating officer Cliff Obrecht, who used to be a school teacher, said that the new visual suite also addresses the need for teachers and other knowledge workers to get messages across better.

“All knowledge workers now need to be what we call visually literate, and that’s the ability to create basic visuals to be able to communicate an idea with presentations and quick videos to conduct a brainstorm with your team. It’s becoming a core competency,” Obrecht said.

Products and features

Canva Docs

With this feature in the Canva platform, users can now easily embed a presentation, social post, graphic, or illustration into a document. 

It also has Canva Charts and Graphs within Docs, giving users more flexibility in presenting data.

Charts from Flourish, a data visualization company recently acquired by Canva, can also be seamlessly integrated into docs and other formats.

The drag-and-drop feature gives users access to Canva’s content library with over 100 million videos, GIFs, photos, and illustrations. The document can be turned into a presentation with just a few clicks. All formatting and design layout is also handled by the platform.

By simply pressing “/” on the keyboard, users can search for tables, videos, images, and emojis.

Canva Websites

The website builder gives users with little to no background in website design and building the ability to create a website in minutes.

The website is both mobile and desktop responsive.

The platform also takes users through choosing and purchasing domains. 

A website insights tool is also available for Canva Pro users, giving users the ability to track traffic, trends, and other engagement metrics.

There are around 100 designer-made templates available, and users can simply drag and drop content.

Canva Whiteboards

Collaborating within the Canva platform is now easier with Whiteboards, where teams can collaborate in presentations and easily align organizational strategies.

A timer can also be set up for brainstorm sessions. The timer will sync with everyone working on the presentation.

Cursors are also colored differently per user and comments can be included, so that teammates won’t get lost in the “infinite canvas.”

Canva Video

The video features within the Canva platform also get an upgrade, including a video background remover. Users no longer need a green screen or advanced software to remove the background. 

Users also now have access to advanced animation controls, where speed, style, direction, and transitions can be manipulated right in the editor.

Users can also choose from hundreds of videos and audio tracks in Canva’s free library.

Canva Presentations

Presentations now have a drag-and-drop video timeline that makes it easier for users to time animations, audio tracks, and transitions, making presentations more cinematic.

Should one present the same content repeatedly, Canva now has a talking presentations feature, which allows one to record videos which can be sped up or slowed down. The Record Yourself feature also lets viewers react to sections of the presentation using emojis as they go.

Canva Presentations works seamlessly with Flourish, making data presentations more meaningful for the audience.

Canva Print

For users in the United States and Canada, print outs made from the Canva platform can now be delivered for free or picked up in different pick-up points.

This feature allows people have a physical copy of their digital creations for marketing materials, apparel, signages, and invitations, among others.

Canva said that for every print order, they plant a tree in over 18 sites in Kenya, Mozambique, the Philippines, Tanzania, Brazil, Haiti, Madagascar, and the US.

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.