Design Faster: My Ultimate Canva Shortcuts Guide (2023)

Design faster the ultimate shortcuts guide 2023 with a computer keyboard.

My Ultimate Canva Shortcuts Guide

After the buzz from my earlier shortcut posts, (presentations and my faves) many of you asked for more, and here we are! Canva’s landscape is ever-changing, bringing in a myriad of nifty keyboard shortcuts. We’ve chatted about my go-to shortcuts and deep-dived into the presentation-centric ones. This time, I’ve crafted a comprehensive guide, capturing both the classics and the newcomers. Whether you’re in the mood to finesse your designs or you’re just keen to have all the shortcuts up your sleeve, this is your definitive resource.

Note: The shortcuts listed in this guide are specifically for Mac users. If you’re a PC user, just remember to use ‘Control‘ in place of ‘Command‘ for the equivalent shortcut.

So, are you set to master every keyboard trick Canva has to offer? Let’s get crackin’!

General Canva Keyboard Shortcuts

Let’s start with the foundations. When you’re in the thick of crafting a design, sometimes you just need the basics at your fingertips. Whether it’s throwing in a shape, undoing that not-so-perfect move, or my absolute lifesaver: pressing ‘T’ to add a text box. The bread and butter of Canva shortcuts, the trusty tools we turn to time and time again are as follows:

  • Magic Menu (/): Let’s start with a newer one – the forward slash / brings up a magical wee Canva Assistant (which you can also access by clicking the sparkle icon at the bottom right of your screen). You can search for all Canva content with this bad boy!
  • Undo (Command-Z): Everyone makes mistakes. This quick command lets you step back in time, undoing your last action. A lifesaver in many scenarios!
  • Redo (Command-Y): Changed your mind about that undo? This is your “oops, I didn’t mean to do that” button.
  • Save (Command-S): An essential command for any application, ensuring you don’t lose any of your precious work.
  • Select All (Command-A): Whether you’re wanting to move a group of elements or just get a sense of your design’s layers, this command has you covered.
  • Add Text (T): When inspiration strikes and you need to get words on the canvas quickly.
  • Shape Shortcuts (R, L, C): Shapes are foundational elements in design. These shortcuts let you add lines (L), and circles (C) and rectangles (R) (Note the ‘R’ actually brings up a square!) 
  • Add Link (Command-K): Especially useful for presentations or interactive PDFs, this command lets you quickly hyperlink your elements.
  • Page Management (Command-Return, Command-Delete): Easily add or remove pages from your design, perfect for multi-page projects like presentations or eBooks.
  • Navigation (Command-F1, Command-F2): Jump around Canva’s interface with ease, ensuring you can access the toolbar or return to the canvas quickly.

Element Shortcuts

Ready to delve deeper? These next-level shortcuts will refine your Canva design process, especially when juggling those multi-layered masterpieces

  • Delete selected elements (Delete): Quickly remove any unwanted or accidental elements from your canvas.
  • Group/Ungroup elements (Command-G/Command-Shift-G): Easily group multiple elements together to move or modify them as one unit. If you change your mind or need to adjust a specific element, use the ungroup shortcut.
  • Lock element (Option-Shift-L): Essential when you’ve perfected a part of your design and don’t want to accidentally move or change it.
  • Arrange elements (Command-], Command-[ / Option-Command-], Option-Command-[): Manage the layering of your design elements, moving them forward or backward in the stack. The option-command variants move the elements to the very front or back.
  • Tidy up elements (Option-Shift-T): If your design is getting a bit cluttered or if elements are unevenly spaced, this is a quick way to neaten things up.
  • Select next/previous elements (Tab or Shift + Tab): Navigate between different elements without having to click on them, speeding up the editing process.

Canva Video Shortcuts

When diving into video designs in Canva, these shortcuts are going to make your editing experience smoother and more efficient. Let’s look at some essential keystrokes to streamline your video creation process:

  • Play/Pause Video (Space): Toggle the playback of your video with a simple press, making it easy to review changes instantly.
  • Mute/Unmute Video (M): Need a quick silence? This will toggle the audio on or off without adjusting the volume levels.
  • Loop Video (Option-Command-L): Want to see that clip on repeat? This shortcut sets your video to play continuously.
  • Split the Clip (S): Editing a specific portion of your video? Use this shortcut to make precise cuts effortlessly.

Zooming Shortcuts

When you’re immersed in the world of design, sometimes you need to get up close and personal with your elements. Whether it’s to perfect a tiny detail or take in the broader view of your creation, zooming is an essential tool in your Canva toolkit. Here’s how to get the best perspective with these zooming shortcuts:

  • Zoom in (Command-+): A closer look can reveal intricate details or help in precise placement. Each press will bring you incrementally closer to your design.
  • Zoom out (Command–): Step back to see the bigger picture. Ideal for when you’re checking alignments or getting a holistic view.
  • Zoom to actual size (Command-0): This returns your view to the design’s true dimensions, giving you a realistic perspective of how it appears at 100% scale.
  • Zoom to fit (Option-Command-0): This adjusts your view so the entire design fits snugly within your screen. It’s perfect for appreciating your work in its entirety.
  • Zoom to fill (Shift-Command-0): This fills your screen with the design, potentially cutting off some edges. It allows you to focus on the central elements and is particularly useful when the details in the middle are your primary concern.

Remember, having control over your viewpoint in Canva can significantly influence the final output. Knowing these shortcuts ensures you’re seeing your design from every possible angle!

Let’s Talk About Text, Baby…

Text isn’t just about the words; it’s about how those words look and feel on your canvas. With Canva’s powerful text-editing tools, you have a world of flexibility at your fingertips. But why navigate through menus when a quick shortcut can do the trick? Here are the keys to text perfection in Canva.

  • Open font menu: Shift-Command-F
  • Find and replace: Command-F
  • Bold text: Command-B
  • Italicise text: Command-I
  • Underline: Command-U
  • Uppercase: Shift-Command-K
  • Left align: Shift-Command-L
  • Centre align: Shift-Command-C
  • Right align: Shift-Command-R
  • Justify text: Shift-Command-J
  • Decrease font size by one: Shift-Command-,
  • Increase font size by one: Shift-Command-.
  • Decrease line spacing: Option-Command-Down
  • Increase line spacing: Option-Command-Up
  • Decrease letter spacing: Option-Command,
  • Increase letter spacing: Option-Command-.
  • Anchor text to top: Command-Shift-H
  • Anchor text to middle: Command-Shift-M
  • Anchor text to bottom: Command-Shift-B
  • Numbered list: Command-Shift-7
  • Bulleted list: Command-Shift-8
  • Copy text style: Option-Command-C
  • Paste text style: Option-Command-V

View Shortcuts

Beyond the basics and the commonly-used, there’s a realm of Canva shortcuts that caters to the connoisseurs. These might not be everyone’s daily go-to, but for those in the know, they’re little gems that can enhance the design process. Dive into these lesser-known (but oh-so-handy) keyboard shortcuts:

  • Toggle rulers and guides: Shift-R
  • Toggle sidebar: Command-/
  • Scrolling view: Option-Command-1
  • Thumbnail view: Option-Command-2
  • Grid view: Option-Command-3
  • Presentation mode: Option-Command-P

Comment Shortcuts

For those who often collaborate on designs or like to leave notes for themselves, Canva’s comment feature is a blessing. But did you know you can navigate and add comments without even reaching for your mouse? Here are some nifty shortcuts to streamline your commenting process:”

  • Add comment: Option-Command-N
  • Next comment: N
  • Previous comment: Shift-N
  • Focus on comment in selection: Command-5

Comments can be especially useful in team settings or when getting feedback, so these shortcuts might appeal to a particular subset of your readers!

Canva Desktop App Shortcuts

If you’re a fan of the Canva Desktop App, these shortcuts are for you. They’ve been specifically crafted to streamline your experience, making it even more seamless to create and manage your designs directly from the app. Here’s how you can up your Canva Desktop game:”

  • Quit the whole Canva app: Command-Q
  • Reload the whole app: Command-R
  • Enter full-screen mode: ^-Command-F
  • Close the current tab: Command-W
  • Select next tab: Option-Command-Right
  • Select previous tab: Option-Command-Left
  • Re-open last closed tab: Command-Shift-T
  • Create new design: Command-T
  • Switch tabs to focus on a design tab from 1-8: Command-1…8
  • Switch to the last tab: Command-9
  • Open the Settings page: Command-,
  • Open the Home page: Command-Shift-H
  • Zoom in app interface: Command-Shift-+
  • Zoom out app interface: Command-Shift–
  • Reset app interface scaling to default: Shift-Command-0
  • Close window: Shift-Command-W

That’s a Wrap!

…And there we have it – a comprehensive journey through the world of Canva shortcuts. As you flex these newfound skills, don’t forget to explore my ever-expanding creative links page for more juicy tips and resources.

Plus, if you’re looking to supercharge your design experience, give my Canva Pro 45-day FREE trial a whirl. Dive into more features, more flexibility, and even more creative freedom. Happy designing!

Canva Keyboard Shortcuts Infographic
Image From Canva:
https://www.canva.com/learn/canva-shortcuts-infographic/

2 thoughts on “Design Faster: My Ultimate Canva Shortcuts Guide (2023)

  1. Select next/previous elements (Tab or Shift + Tab): Navigate between different elements without having to click on them, speeding up the editing process.

    Why this shortcut is not working.

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