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13 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Canva for THIS Free Tool Instead

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First, let me say that Canva is a great tool. I used it for years, both the free and paid version.

But as a blogger, I’ve found another tool that works WAY better in my workflow.

In this post, I’m going to share 13 reasons why you should make the move away from Canva to Google Slides.

I’ll also show you how it makes creating your graphics easier and more automated, so let’s get to it!

1. It’s Free to Resize Images

First, in order to get the “resize” feature on Canva, you have to upgrade to the pro plan. Then once you do, you realize the resizing functionality isn’t all that great.

With Google Slides you can resize just as easily, and in my opinion, it does a better job.

Here is an example of me resizing some Pinterest images of a 2:3 ratio to a square image:

As you can see, I had to do some adjusting but no more than I did with Canva. It took me all of 5 minutes to clean up the 15 images.

How to Resize Images in Google Slides

First, you want to make a copy of the Google Slides Presentation. You can do this by clicking File > Make a Copy.

Then name that copy, personally I like to title it the blog post title and a description of the image size, so 2:3 or square.

Once you have the copy, it’s time to change the size.

Click on File and select “Page Setup”

From here you set your sizing. First, select “Custom” and then I usually select Pixels because it’s easier for my brain.

For tall pins I do: 750 x 1250

For regular pins I do 1000 x 1500

For square images I do 800×800

And just like that, you’ve got all your images resized fo’ FREE. Though as I mentioned before you might have to do a bit of clean up.

2. Templates Are Easy to Reuse and Resize

It’s great that Canva has so many templates. What’s not great is that if you don’t create a document that is the exact same size as the template it doesn’t work.

And if you’ve been blogging a while then you know that the recommended image size for things does change from time to time.

As I mentioned earlier it’s not only easy to resize your images with Google Slides, but it will also take your templates with you.

You can view the templates by clicking “View” and selecting “Master”

If you edit the Master it will automatically apply the changes to the templates in use. Making it super easy to do color changes, font changes, or logo placement changes.

Here is a quick video some tips on editing templates/the Master:

3. Creating Text Shadows is SO much simpler

If you want to have a shadow on your text in Canva, you have to:

  1. duplicate the text
  2. change the color
  3. position it just right
  4. adjust the order/layer that the shadow is on
  5. group the two together

To do a shadow on text in Google Slides, you click the box that says “Drop Shadow” You can then if you want to adjust the color, distance, and angle.

Now to be fair to get to that “Drop Shadow” checkbox, you do have to select “Format Options” from the Format Menu:

What I also love about using the Drop Shadow in Google Slides is that if you end up adjusting the text, you don’t screw up the shadow.

via GIPHY

4. Pull Stock Photos Directly from Your Google Drive or Google Photos

Instead of having to upload your graphics to Canva and have them later be buried. Or if you’re on the Pro plan, recreate the wheel of folders and organization that (*hopefully*) already exists on your Google Drive.

With Google Slides, it will just pull up your albums or drive files to pop in that stock photo:

Adding in the background this way is easiest I’ve found, simply pop it in and then “send to back.”

I’d only use the “background” option to insert a photo if you know for sure the photo is the same size because otherwise, it will stretch it to fit, which usually doesn’t look as good.

5. Use Multiple Sizes, Colors, and Fonts in One Text Box

Sure in Canva, you can use multiple colors in a text box, but multiple sizes and fonts too? Nope.

In Google Slides you can. No more having to copy and paste titles in pieces just to have different fonts or sizes. Which can be crucial to creating good graphics for Pinterest.

Really the only time I split up text boxes is if I want some stuff more centered and other stuff off to the side.

Fewer elements mean less editing when you do resizing or just want to adjust one thing.

6. Adjust and Move Things Around the Same As You Would in Canva

That trick of moving things just a smidge with arrow keys in Canva? It works in Google Slides too.

You can group elements, ungroup, move forwards, backward, and rotate just like you would in Canva. You can also flip elements vertically, horizontally or set up a “reflection.”I have yet to come across a way of moving stuff around in Canva that I couldn’t do in Google Slides (for free).

7. You Can Recreate Pretty Much Any Template in Google Slides

I have yet to come across a pin template that I’ve seen or have personally created in Canva, that I couldn’t recreate in Google Slides. Yes, sometimes it took a bit more creativity, but I was able to do it.

I would note one caveat, Google Slides doesn’t have as expansive a library of shapes and arrows. But those things are easy enough to get for cheap or free.

A couple of years ago I bought a pack of clip art of Creative Market for $20, it included a ton of stuff including those loop and swirl arrows that are so popular and more than covered my needs of what I was missing from Canva.

For example, Carly of Blogging Like We Mean It, recently gave away a bundle of 25 Pin Templates (you can still get 10 for free) as part of the Back to Business Bundle Giveaway. They are fantastic templates, but they are in Canva.

So I just recreated them in Google Slides.

One of Carly’s Amazing Templates in Canva:

Recreated in Google Slides:

A pro tip – always look at what the Pin looks like in sidebar to the left. Most people are viewing Pinterest on their phone and it will look like that, if you can’t read it, chances are your text is too small.

8. It’s Super Easy to Share With a VA – No Sharing Passwords Required

If you want to share a design to be edited in Canva you either have to pay for another user on your account or share your access information.

Now, you can use a tool like LastPass to share your account information, but it’s just one more thing to do.

With Google Slides or any other google product for that matter, you can easily invite others to edit via email or by just sending over a link.

Though if you’re going the link route you probably want to make sure to check the “advanced” settings to make sure they will actually be able to edit the slides.

9. Simple to Organize & Keep Track Of All Your Graphics

Unlike in Canva where you just have a long page of all your graphics created, with Google Slides you can easily locate your Pin graphics and organize them into files.

For example, even if you can’t find the individual image, because maybe you didn’t properly name it (I’m totally guilty of doing this), you can easily search for and find the Google Slides document that has your images.

And let’s be honest you’ll want to find the Google Slides document over the individual downloaded image, since it is what is editable.

10. You Can Save All of Your Favorite (& Brand) Colors

This is especially true if you’re using templates. By using your favorite/brand colors in a template aka the Master view, then those colors will be preloaded in the Google Slide document.

The best way to do this is to edit the Master slide, not the layouts, but the master. It will have rows of text – simply make each line a different color and those colors will show up in the custom colors.

The other way to do it is to adjust the Theme colors, which you also do while editing the Master.

Once you’ve selected them you’ll see all the colors listed when working on your Pin graphics:

11. Includes Access to All Google Fonts

Your most recent Fonts will show up at the top, but you can search through any Google Fonts.

When you select a text box, click on the font drop-down to see your recently used fonts:

When you click on the “More fonts” section, it will pull up a window where you can either scroll through fonts or search for one:

But what makes it really awesome is if you’re using the layout templates then if you decide to change the font, you can change it in the Master and it will apply to the pins that have that layout. Which is way easier than having to change it on every Pin.

12. You Can Create Animations For Nearly FREE

Yes, you can create animations for free, but yes it does take a little work. Just like a fancy PowerPoint presentation, in Google Slides, you can add animations.

Click on View and then select Animations:

Then go through each element on the Pin and add an animation. In the Animation Settings you’ll want to make sure you choose, “After previous” rather than “After click”

Since you’re trying to make a video and not a presentation, there won’t be a click and it’s easier to just select the “After previous” setting.

Once you have all your animations added it’s time to work on creating the actual video. You need to use a screen recording program, I personally use Screenflow, which is a one time cost. I bought it years ago and still use it.

Once I’ve added in all the Animations, I record the Video:

I then make the necessary cuts and cropping. And finally I export it as a video that I can upload to Pinterest or Tailwind.

13. Automate Creating Multiple Pins Per Post

The best part of using Google Slides is that you can automate creating multiple pins per post.

via GIPHY

Yup, all I do is type in my post titles into a google sheet and then with a little magic in a couple minutes, it uses my templates and produces my pins. A few tweaks later and I’ve got multiple pins per posts.

If you want to do this yourself, you can use my free Magic Pin Generator. It’s available to members of my community and gives you access to a form that once complete will email you your set up Pins.

And if you want to learn the “magic trick” go grab Pin Design Magic, it’ll walk you through setting up your own pin generator in just 15 minutes.

The Only Downside to Using Google Slides for Blog Graphics (and why it’s actually a good thing)

This wouldn’t be a complete post on the subject of using Google Slides for blog graphics if it didn’t include what I believe Canva does better.

It’s the only thing I really miss about Canva, but it’s actually a good thing for SEO…

Canva lets you download multiple files at once. It downloads them as a zip file with the name of the document in Canva and each individual image is a number.

The ease of downloading every individual image in a single click is awesome and unfortunately you can’t do that in Google Slides.

In Google Slides, you have to download them individually and it does go pretty fast. But definitely not as easy as Canva.

The good thing about having to do this is that the file name for each image is the name of Google Slides Document which when uploaded to Pinterest or your Website can be good for SEO.

Google has said that it looks at the file name to help understand the image.

Now you can always change the file name in WordPress or whatever you use to host your images, but it takes an extra step, and if you’re anything like me, you tend to forget to do that.

So you can either take the extra step of typing the title out in WordPress or the extra step of downloading each individual image in Google Slides.

And while Pinterest may not pull in the Image name, it does look at it for SEO purposes and unlike in WordPress where you can change the file image title, you can’t in Pinterest.

Bottom Line – Google Slides is an Incredible FREE Tool for Bloggers

Again, I’ve got nothing against Canva, I think it’s a great tool. But I think you can also see from this post just how valuable using Google Slides is for bloggers.

Besides being easier on the wallet, it makes organization of files easier and allows for a lot of functionality that Canva doesn’t.

Whether you want to resize your templates, quickly make adjustments that apply to all the graphics in a file or easily adjust text shadow, Google Slides makes it super easy to do.

And because it’s a Google Product it plays nicely with lots of other tools allowing you to set up automations and systems to cut your graphic creation time in half.

So, now I want to know what you think – will you be making the switch to Google Slides? Why or why not, let me know in the comments!

7 thoughts on “13 Reasons Why You Should Ditch Canva for THIS Free Tool Instead”

  1. I’m definitely going to give Slides a try. One thing, are you able to upload your own fonts? That’s one thing I really like about procreate over the free version of Canva.

    Reply
    • I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “presentations full of words” If you’re creating Pins in Canva you can do it in Slides. Can you maybe be more specific about what you’re struggling with, with this and maybe I can help?

      Reply
  2. This tool sounds great, Elizabeth; I will definitely be giving it a go. I’ve been using Canva thus far (both the free and pro versions) and I agree it does have it’s limitations, especially the resizing function.
    Thanks for sharing so much detail 🙂

    Reply

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