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Home » SaaS » How to Use Frames in Canva 2023 (Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Use Frames in Canva 2023 (Step-by-Step Guide)

Graphic design has become more accessible than ever, thanks to platforms like Canva. Yet, challenges remain. One such feature that poses a learning curve is the use of frames in Canva. These frames can be useful for multiple purposes across different fields. Marketers use them to highlight product features, teachers integrate them into educational materials and social media users employ them to make their posts stand out.

However, using frames effectively in Canva isn’t as straightforward as it appears. Challenges include selecting the right frame from a vast collection, resizing without distorting the aspect ratio, and placing images within the frame so they look just right.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial to help you master the use of frames in Canva. Learn how to select, customize, and implement frames to make your design projects more compelling. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with practical skills to optimize this feature for your specific needs.

Step 1: Getting to Canva

Step 1: Getting to Canva - Canva login page and dashboard interface.

Visit Canva’s website and log in. If you’re new, you’ll need to sign up. After logging in, you’ll be on the dashboard. To start a new project, click the ‘Create a design’ button usually found at the top right corner. You’ll then choose a template based on your needs.

Step 2: Locating Frames

Step 2: Locating Frames - Elements tab and Frames section within Canva.

On the left side, click on the Elements tab and scroll down until you find the Frames section. If you’re looking for a specific type of frame, use the search bar. Type in terms like “circle frames” or “polaroid frames” to narrow down your options. 

Canva updates its frame selection regularly, so if you find a frame you like, save it for easy access later.

Step 3: Initial Steps for Adding Frames

Step 3: Initial Steps for Adding Frames - Various frame options available in Canva.

Now that you’ve started a new project, it’s time to find the frame that fits your needs. Click on the Elements tab and then go to the Frames section. You’ll see a variety of options. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose:

  • Square Frame for Instagram Posts
  • Circle Frame for Profile Pictures
  • Polaroid Frame for Vintage Looks
  • Desktop Frame for Website Previews
  • Phone Frame for App Showcases
  • Heart Frame for Romantic Posts
  • Star Frame for Award Certificates
  • Filmstrip Frame for Multiple Images
  • Comic Frame for Storyboards
  • Collage Frame for Photo Collections
  • Scalloped Frame for Invitations
  • Geometric Frame for Modern Designs
  • Choose the one that aligns with your project’s goal.

Step 4: Placing the Frame on Canvas

Step 4: Placing the Frame on Canvas - Dragging and dropping a frame onto the Canva canvas.

After selecting your frame, it’s time to place it on the canvas. Drag the frame from the Elements tab to your canvas. The placement depends on your project’s needs.

  • For Instagram posts, center it.
  • For presentations, place it at the top right corner to leave room for text.
  • For profile pictures, align it to fill the entire canvas.
  • For website previews, position it in the middle but leave space for text below.
  • For storyboards, align multiple frames in a grid pattern.

The frame’s position can dramatically affect the visual impact of your design. So, take a moment to think about where it would be most effective.

Step 5: Frame Customization

Step 5: Frame Customization - Resizing and rotating a frame in Canva.

Once your frame is on the canvas, you’ll likely want to tweak its size and orientation. To resize, hover over one of the frame’s corner handles and drag. This adjusts the dimensions while keeping the aspect ratio intact. If you’re looking to switch from a portrait to a landscape orientation or vice versa, simply rotate the frame. Hover near a corner until you see a curved arrow, then drag to rotate.

You can also make the frame larger or smaller without going to the corners. Click on the frame’s border and drag it up to enlarge or down to shrink. This gives you more control over the frame’s dimensions, especially useful when you’re trying to fit it into a specific space on your canvas.

Step 6: Inserting and Adjusting Images

Step 6: Inserting and Adjusting Images - Adding an image to a frame and making adjustments.

Adding an image to your frame is a breeze. You can drag an image from your uploaded files or pick one from Canva’s extensive library. Once you drop it into the frame, it auto-resizes to fit. But what if you want to adjust the image a bit? Double-click on the frame. An editing panel will appear, allowing you to move or resize the image manually.

To get the composition just right, you can also drag the image within the frame. This is particularly useful when you’re trying to focus on a specific part of the image, like someone’s face or a product feature.

Step 7: Working with Multiple Frames

Step 7: Working with Multiple Frames - Multiple frames arranged on a single Canva canvas.

Sometimes one frame just won’t cut it. For more complex layouts, you can add multiple frames to your design. Simply go back to the Elements tab and drag another frame onto your canvas. Want to duplicate a frame you’ve already customized? Right-click on it and choose ‘Duplicate.’ Now you’ve got an exact copy, saving you the effort of resizing and repositioning a new frame.

After all steps, finalize your design, download from top right corner to share.

Closing Thoughts

We’ve walked you through the A to Z of using frames in Canva, from selecting the right frame for your project to customizing it and even working with multiple frames. Remember, the right frame can elevate your design, but it’s crucial to know how to use it effectively. Don’t be afraid to experiment. 

Try different frames, adjust their size, and play with their placement. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Our objective was to provide a step-by-step tutorial, and we hope this guide serves you well in all your future design endeavors.

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Suraj Santlani

Suraj is a seasoned SaaS and MarTech writer with three years of experience under his belt. When he's not unraveling the complexities of the latest software or breaking down marketing trends, chances are he's enjoying a good cup of coffee or hitting a scenic hiking trail. With a knack for translating tech-speak into plain English, Suraj is committed to making technology and marketing accessible and relatable to everyone.

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