Hoping to join the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Adobe, Canva today unveiled an entire suite of tools that expand its offerings quite a bit to encompass all of your team’s needs while creating and collaborating on media. In a somewhat lengthy blog post, it detailed in full the largest change to its platform in almost a decade. These new tools were first shown off at Canva Create – a global event that was recently held. From Documents that act a lot like Google Docs, to a new Slideshow tool, a Whiteboard, and even Canva websites, they brought the heat, so let’s take a look!
Canva Docs aren’t meant to replace Google’s word processor, per se, but as previously stated, these are meant to be design-centric tools. With that being said, Docs are meant to be a place where you create project plans, to-do lists, itineraries, strategy documents, and more within the context of your creative project. I currently use Google Docs this way, but it seems like Canva as a company sees Google as an option you interact with by proxy to your creative work. Whether there’s a barrier there or not, having its own branded word processor keeps things in-house, which is of course the goal. Oh, and you can collaborate in real-time with your team and see their named cursors on the screen too.
The unique hook for their version is that you can drag and drop any of their 100 million videos, GIFs, photos or illustrations into your body of text from the sidebar. Google does have a similar feature with the Discover button found at the bottom-right of your Doc, but that’s neither here nor there.
As a Canva user myself, I see this as a way for the company to get you to subscribe to their premium service or to buy their assets for $1 at a time. This personally doesn’t sound that appealing to me, but they do have a varied and interesting selection of things to choose from, so I can see how this could be useful to people who don’t use Photoshop.
Something called “Docs to Decks” lets you magically convert your Canva Doc into a slideshow with one click, which seems like a neat trick Google should try to figure out on their end. I’ve personally never thought about this being a thing, but I also don’t use documents in a way that they would need to be presented in bite-sized pieces, so it seems like a niche feature.
Tired of using Google Sites, Wix, or Weebly? Why not give Canva Sites a try? The company shows off in the video below that you can have a basic, informational website that’s mobile adaptive in just a few minutes. You just click “Websites” from the template creation header on the home page and you’re already on your way!
There are hundreds of pre-made templates for you to choose from, which is way more than most WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) editors offer. Need a landing page for your products, a team resource hub for work, or even a portfolio for your art?
Canva Sites looks to offer a quick and easy setup for these use cases, and I would recommend at least trying this one out! You also get a free domain, but it’s Canva-branded. Though that’s less appealing than a top-level domain, there are analytics built in so you can see who interacted with your website, social media post, document, or anything else you create on Canva.
Most notable about Canva Sites is that you can take any document, presentation or even a freaking PDF and turn it into a responsive website. The more I think about it, the company is doing some truly innovative things with its tools, so I shouldn’t knock it too hard for having a word processor after all.
Another major tool announced was Canva Whiteboards. Basically, this provides you and your team with a real-time collaborative empty space where you can each drag and drop in assets, draw or type, add information and work together in a more free-form way. Paper is the best way to help ideas flow and solve problems, and whiteboard apps have risen in popularity due to their flexible, structure-less nature. The unique aspect of this whiteboard is that it provides an “infinite canvas”.
Canva Video has already been a thing, allowing you to create video bumpers, animations, and more for your YouTube videos, for example, but with today’s Worksuite announcement, Canva states that it’s adding a one-click rotoscoping tool. You heard that right – it’s allowing you to remove the background behind a subject in moving video without expensive tools or software. I’ve always said that the web browser would reign supreme, and here we are seeing that become reality!
A bunch of new animation controls will let you adjust the type, speed, style, or direction of video animations as well, meaning that this is becoming darn near a full-fledged video editing tool. Lastly, new presentation transitions that blend slides together are becoming available, as well as the ability to edit your presentations as a video.
All in all, it’s just a bit mind-melting that Canva is blending all of these forms of media together and allowing users to cross over and edit them without boundaries. Google Canvas and Microsoft Loop seek to emulate this sort of boundless creation, but I feel that Canva is lightyears ahead of both of them thanks to everything shown off here today! Make sure that you read all about the other features we couldn’t cover here today on Canva’s blog and let me know in the comments if you’re now more interested in its tools than ever.