Working with Text in Canva

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When you think design, you probably first think of images and pictures; colors, shapes, and more.

But a key element, and present in many designs is the text!

Perhaps an afterthought, or just placed lower on the list of priorities, text doesn’t seem to ever get the credit it deserves…but, if you take a look at the logos you like, the social media or blog headers you aspire to create, you’ll see just how big role of a role text plays in the overall design.

With Canva, I’d say most of the “cool stuff” has been historically found in the graphical elements, whether that’s the out of the box icons and pictures, or the tools at your disposal, like being able to remove the background from images in Canva. (I mean, up until recently, you weren’t even able to easily outline text in Canva.)

But as we move forward, and with the feature releases as of late, there is a lot more love being thrown the way of text and words, so I thought now would be a good time to shine the light on all you can do with text in Canva, from basic to advanced, free to paid.

How to Add a Text Box in Canva

To add a text box in Canva, move your cursor to the left option bar and select “Text.” Then, choose from either “heading,” “subheading” or “body text;” or, choose from any of the pre-made text headline/subheadline templates. You can also simply press “t” to insert a text box. 

How to Flip Text in Canva

To flip text in Canva, you first need to convert your text into an image by downloading it with a transparent background. Then, upload the text (as an image), and then click the flip icon. 

Here are detailed instructions:

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1. Download Text as a PNG

Download text as a PNG, and be sure to click the “transparent background (PNG only)” option. (This is only available in Canva Pro.)

2. Upload the Text (Image)

Click “Uploads” and then the button to upload. Select the file you just downloaded.

3. Add the Image to the Design

Add the new text image to your design by clicking it or dragging it over. 

4. Flip the Text

“Flip” the text from the feature menu bar by hovering over the option and clicking either “flip horizontal” or “flip vertical.”

How to Underline Text

Now, a couple of things—no, this isn’t a joke, and underlining text in Canva hasn’t always been easy as clicking a button. Second, I already wrote a blog post on this very topic, which is here: how to underline text in Canva.

So, I won’t get into details. Just know, you used to have to manually create a line from the elements section rather than underlining from the text section.

But now, you underline text in Canva just like you’d expect to be able to do so based on other familiar design programs and word processors.

How to Create a Text Mask

Canva has elements; Canva has photos. Canva also has different frames available to help masking. With text, you only have one “font” basically, but it’s an option nonetheless.


So, go to “elements” and then frames, and then scroll down until you get to the letter options. Grab the letters you need and then size them to fit.

Next, either upload the image you want to place within the text, or, select one from Canva’s options.

How to Shadow Text in Canva

Again, one of those things you used to have to work a little with manually in order to come up with a solution (how to shadow text in Canva) but now can do so in a few clicks of a button!

To shadow, select your text layers and then click “Effects” at your top options bar. Simply click “Shadow” and then play with the different sliders for offset, blur, transparency, and direction (and of course, the shadow color).

How to Highlight Text in Canva

I have a video for you! The process involves adding a shape, like a rectangle and then placing it on top of the text you wish to highlight. Then, in order to see the text behind, you can either change the transparency of the rectangle, or simply move it a layer behind the text. Here you go!


And that’s it! Hope the Canva text tips listed above help round out your designs! Any other text issues you’re encountering? I know adding a strikethrough to text in Canva is a hot-button issue for some. 

Or, just pay $5 or so for someone on Fiverr to create whatever it is you need for you. I’ve definitely swallowed my pride a few times and just hired a freelancer on Fiverr for quick turnaround, and often receiving something better than I could have done myself.

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About Ryan 25 Articles
Ryan is the owner of Rent My Words, a business and site started to help everyday people, (beginners without any experience, basically) find success with marketing, their writing projects, and freelance work on platforms like Fiverr, Upwork and others.