Both Canva and PowerPoint are graphic design tools millions love and use. Both have features that are common, yet there are some cool features that are not common, the ones Canva has that PowerPoint hasn’t. As someone using both for a while (PowerPoint more than Canva) for display video ads, I’m gonna in this article write on how Canva features vis-à-vis PowerPoint with respect to designing graphics by new users. Let’s get started.
Make any graphic design
The first thing in Canva that enlivens me is that it lets you design graphics for almost all the present-day ‘needs of the hour’. The needs – such as flyers, resumes, logos, posters, social media posts, presentations, brochures, newsletters, certificates, and even simple letters – are categorized conveniently.
This makes it super-simple for any new designer to just click on a desired category and start designing.
Have a look at the GIF below.
With PowerPoint it isn’t that easy. Yes, you get some ready-to-use templates, not many though, but it always feels like starting from scratch. Unlike Canva. This happens because Canva has an enviable stock of 250K+ templates (610K+ for Canva Pro users) ready for use.
In contrast, most of the top-notch PowerPoint templates are made by third parties and come in 16:9 presentation format. Suppose you want a 1:1 Instagram post – it’ll be far easier to do in Canva than in PowerPoint.
PowerPoint does provide stock items like images, icons, illustrations, stickers, and cutouts of people but they are not as plenty as Canva’s. More importantly, you must know how to use them in PowerPoint … unlike in Canva where you find templates pre-designed and trust me this makes your graphic design task super easy.
With that said, we at VidBazaar offer ready stocks of PowerPoint templates which you can easily customize to make your own multi-product advertising video while drawing inspiration from our blog posts on making Instagram story video, Pinterest idea pin and so on.
This is ONE Canva feature that never leaves you stranded. Whether you wanna change a pre-designed template or start from scratch, you’re only a click-n-drag away from adding or changing an element on your slide.
The work interface is intuitive and user friendly. If you make any mistake – which always happens no matter how experienced you are – simply undo your last action(s) and go back to where you feel you can start afresh. Check out the GIF illustration below.
PowerPoint, in contrast, doesn’t have any drag-n-drop feature. You can of course select desired options from the menu bar at the top, but is that comparable to what you get in Canva? I suppose not.
I mentioned about hundreds of thousands of templates that you get both as a free or Canva pro user, more for the latter. That aside, you’ll be spoilt, or shall I say overwhelmed by the sheer stock of various design elements you get in Canva.
You get those in PowerPoint too, but they won’t come anywhere close to the formidable stock that Canva provides for graphic design.
Canva owns Pexels and Pixabay, the two giant stock photography and vector illustrations websites, which helps Canva offer a never-ending stock of design elements to the users.
Animated elements ready for use
In Canva you can work with animations in 2 main ways –
- By rendering animation to a static object in much the same way you do in PowerPoint, and
- By sourcing pre-designed animated elements for your graphic designing.
Rendering animation to one or more static objects or a whole slide and using transitions between slides are only available to Canva pro users, and some of the developments with them are works-in-progress. For example, customizing the timing and order of animations on a slide are still being fine-tuned by the Canva team as of this writing.
PowerPoint is much superior to Canva in terms of animations and transitions though the latter is assiduously working on this.
It’s however the readily usable stock of pre-designed animated elements that Canva outshines PowerPoint with … by what seems an unbridgeable gap.
The GIF below illustrates my point.
Bring content from everywhere
Canva does not limit you from sourcing design contents from other places. Other than Pixabay and Pexels you can source contents from Giphy, Tint, Brandfetch, YouTube, Pixton, Stipop, Iconduck and so on right inside Canva. You can also import your media contents directly from Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, Google Photos, Slidecast, Brandfolder, Dropbox, and others.
What’s more, Canva gives you a cool embed option, and using this you can simply copy+paste web links to your media files and bring in contents from Vimeo, SoundCloud, Spotify, Tumblr, Codepen, Flickr, Pinterest, YouTube, TED, and more.
It’s convenient in Canva to use contents from elsewhere but not so in PowerPoint. Yes, you can embed media files on a PowerPoint slide, but you can’t possibly go to the source-points from inside PowerPoint.
This is a big plus in favor of Canva if you ask me.
Let’s now shift focus to the ‘output side’ of Canva vis-à-vis PowerPoint, and it’s equally amazing if not more.
Publish to ‘anywhere’
Publishing to ‘anywhere’ conveys little, agreed, but how else would you explain the nearly countless ways of exporting your Canva designs?!
Coming to that, but first let’s look at how you can export your PowerPoint designs. You can save or export them in PPT, PPTX, POTX, POTM formats as works-in-progress. Or you can export them as finished works as image files like JPG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, as video files like MP4, GIF, WMV, and as documents like PDF, XPS, etc.
Let’s now turn to Canva.
As the GIF below shows, you can share your Canva designs as QR codes, online presentation, template links, and so on. You can take your work to other design platforms like PowerPoint as PPTXs (I love this!), Illustrator as PDFs, etc. and to video editing platforms like Powtoon, Moovly, etc.
There are many more options to export your Canva works as can be seen in the GIF below.
Post to social media
PowerPoint offers no way to post your works directly to social media, which to many like me is a bit surprising in this day and time (newly launched Microsoft Designer seeks to address this – more later).
Canva scores big on social media sharing. Not only can you post on platforms like Tik Tok, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn and so on, you can even schedule your posts.
Let me admit, I haven’t used social media posting yet but to know you can do that from right inside Canva is a huge thing.
There is a lot more to Canva than what is covered above. For example, the online video editor is a great help for users to create cool pieces of work. I’d hope after reading this you’d try out Canva (if not doing already) and discover what else it has to offer to make great graphic design vis-à-vis PowerPoint.
Recently, Canva reached the massive milestone of 100 million people designing with it each month, making 200+ designs every second, spanning more than 190 countries.
This is an achievement that only happens in dreams, but guess what, Canva shared this message about the journey ahead:
We’re only 1% of the way there and we can’t wait to share what else we have in store for you.
Finally, let me conclude by quoting a user who writes her experience about Canva (collected from Capterra reviews) –
The tool lets you create amazing designs even though you are not a graphic designer, or you are a beginner in graphic design…
Okay, so that’s it for this post. In a coming article I’ll explain some cool PowerPoint features that Canva doesn’t have. See you soon.