Canva vs. Photoshop – What’s the Difference?

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We often get asked whether Canva and Photoshop are similar programs or if they do the same things. Here’s some insight into the differences between Canva and Photoshop! Canva, like Photoshop, is useful for creating graphics that you’ll use online—such as social media posts or ads. Both programs allow you to add text, create graphs, edit images, and more. Let’s take a look at how each program differs from the other so you can decide which will work best for your needs!

Main Difference

Canva is an Australian graphic designing software that allows users to create professional-looking designs without having any prior experience. The app has over 50 million active users and is used by millions of businesses around the world. Photoshop is a digital image editing software that allows users to manipulate images using various tools.

They offer a ton of features and benefits, but they also have their differences. If you have been looking for a graphic design program that offers simplicity, functionality, diversity, flexibility, and integration with other programs, then your search may be over!

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Introduction To Canva

The Canva website states that its mission is to help everyone find their voice through design. They have created a variety of tools to make this possible. These include templates, images, fonts, videos, and tutorials. Their goal is to provide access to quality resources at no cost. There are two types of accounts; Free and Premium. The premium account gives users access to advanced features like text boxes, shapes, and icons. This is perfect for those who want to create professional-looking designs.

Canva’s website states that they offer three different plans; Basic, Canva Pro, and Canva for Enterprise. Each plan comes with varying levels of access to features. The basic plan is free but does not allow for creating custom designs. The Canva Pro plan costs $119.40 per user per year. The enterprise plan costs $30 per user per month. The Canva website says that they do not charge for printing services. However, they do charge for shipping. Canva was founded in Australia in 2012 and is headquartered in Sydney.

Introduction To Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a photo retouching application released by Adobe Systems. It allows users to edit photographs digitally, removing blemishes, adjusting skin tone, changing lighting, adding text, and other effects. It was first released in 1987.

This program is used to create and edit photographs, illustrations, graphics, logos, etc. It has many features including filters, layers, adjustment layers, masks, selection tools, text tools, drawing tools, paintbrushes, etc.

Differences Between Canva and Photoshop

1. Designing Online

If you’re designing for a website, then most of your assets will need to be in JPG or PNG format. If you’re designing for print or pre-press, then assets would also have to be vector-based (AI/EPS). The differences between these formats are vast and well documented online. For now, it is important to note that they are fundamentally different types of files. Save your design files as a JPG or PNG when you’re ready to post them online.

2. Easily Customizable

One of Canva’s best features is that it’s fully customizable. You can create your own layouts using a wide range of shapes, drag-and-drop your images right into place, choose from an extensive library of free stock photos, and even add filters to optimize your design for social media channels. In short, you can do all things on one platform—something that most other photo editors simply don’t offer.

And because Canva offers so many tools, it’s ideal for people who are just getting started with graphic design or have never used any type of editing software before. It also makes a great tool for anyone who wants to save time by creating visually appealing designs without having to worry about learning how to use layers and advanced tools in Photoshop or Illustrator.

3. Collaboration Tools

Most of us have experience with Google Docs, so we can feel comfortable moving over to its newer, fancier sibling: G Suite. With it comes a fresh set of collaboration tools including Google Sheets (or Sheets) for spreadsheets, Google Slides for presentations, and Google Forms for surveys. These products allow you to share files with other users across your organization in real-time.

4. Affordable

Unlike Photoshop, which can cost anywhere from $9.99 to $20 per month, Canva is free for personal use. There are paid premium services available for business users, but there’s no barrier to trying out your designs on your own or with a friend or two. It’s a great way to dip your toes into graphic design without spending any extra money.

While Photoshop is designed specifically for professional designers, Canva makes it easy to produce stunning graphics that look professionally designed—even if you have zero experience. Simply choose an attractive template (Canva has hundreds of beautiful layouts) and drag-and-drop images into place. Or upload photos directly from your computer or social media accounts, like Facebook and Instagram. Then customize text, add filters, add more images—whatever you want!

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5. Beautiful Free Stock Images

Before you invest in an expensive designer tool, it might be helpful to consider using a free alternative. Sites like Pixabay have a plethora of royalty-free stock images that you can incorporate into your design projects, giving you professional results without breaking your budget. That’s not to say that there isn’t any quality difference between free stock images and those from paid sites like Shutterstock—there is—but as long as you choose carefully, quality shouldn’t be an issue for basic projects.

6. A Great Place to Discover New Designers and Find Inspiration

While both tools have similar abilities, such as photo editing, font selection, clip art, etc., it’s easy to see that Canva is a great place to find new designers. A quick search of Instagram for Canva will give you countless examples of users with beautiful designs for you to use in your own projects. In addition, users can easily share their designs on social media directly from within Canva or export them as files to be used anywhere else they please.

7. Free Templates, Mockups, Business Cards & More!

Where can you find high-quality, professional-looking business templates for your design work? The first place many designers look is Canva. In fact, it’s where I begin my design projects every day. Why do I love Canva so much? There are dozens of reasons; here are just a few Templates – With more than 1 million templates to choose from, there’s something for everyone.

And with more being added all the time, there will always be fresh new designs to choose from. Some are free; some have a cost associated with them (but are still very affordable). But even if you have to pay for one, they’re well worth it! Mockups – One of my favorite features on Canva is their mockup toolkit.


Both Photoshop and Canva are powerful tools that are extremely useful for those in graphic design. They offer a ton of features and benefits, but they also have their differences. While Photoshop is mostly intended for more advanced users, Canva is a great platform that can be used by beginners as well. If you have been looking for a graphic design program that offers simplicity, functionality, diversity, flexibility, and integration with other programs, then your search may be over!

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