Downloading your design

There are many ways to post and share your design online, but you can also download and save a copy to your computer to have it printed. 

To download your design:

  1. Click the Download button on the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Choose a file type. Click on either the JPG or PNG download button for image intended for web, PDF: standard or PDF: for print download button for high quality intended for printing, and Canva will begin to publish your design.
  3. If your design uses any premium elements, click the Purchase & Download button when paying with pre-purchased credits.
  4. Otherwise, enter your credit card information to pay for the elements in your design and click the Make payment button.
  5. Wait for your design to download.

Note: You can continue to edit and download your design without paying again for premium elements for 24 hours after your initial download.

If the export contains only free items and/or multi use items you’ll get a quote in the “footer". If the export contains paid one time use items, the “footer" will show the time left on the one time use license.


Pixels and DPI (Dots per inch)

The pixel is the basic unit of programmable color on a computer display or in a computer image. Your design’s resolution refers to how many pixels are displayed on screen or how much ink is used in a print. If you need to create a design with a certain DPI (DPI stands for “dots per inch”), this refers to resolution as well . In Canva, you can select between two different resolutions when you download your design.

Note: Resolution can refer to two things. Image resolution refers to the number of pixels in your design that will be displayed on a device screen. Print resolution refers to the number of physical “dots per inch” (DPI) used when printing a design.

Retina display

Retina display is a marketing term developed by Apple to refer to devices and monitors that have a resolution and pixel density so high – roughly 300 or more pixels per inch – that a person is unable to discern the individual pixels at a normal viewing distance.

A retina monitor has 4x as many pixels as a regular screen (2x width, 2x height). As our designs are defined in the number of pixels, it will appear small on a retina screen. A retina display will automatically blow up an image to appear the same size it would on a regular monitor. This makes your design appear pixelated.

To prevent this, increase the height and width of your design (no of pixels) by 2x to match the increase in the pixel density or view the design in "original size".

Download formats

Click the JPG/PNG download button and we will publish a JPG/PNG file with a resolution of 96 dpi. This is right resolution for designs that will be displayed on a computer screen.

Click the PDF: standard download button and we will publish a PDF file with a resolution of 96 dpi for viewing then PDF: for print and you'll get a 300 dpi file which is perfect for print. This is the right resolution for designs that will be printed on paper, either from a home printer or a professional printing press.

Zip files

When you download a design with multiple pages in PNG format, your design will initially be downloaded in a .ZIP file. Downloading as a compressed file can save your server’s bandwidth usage and helps you download the file to get a smaller size and a faster download.

There are several ways to unzip your file depending on which operating system you are using.

Unzip files on Windows

  1. To extract a single file or folder, double-click the zip folder to open it. Then, drag the file or folder from the compressed folder to a new location.
  2. To extract the entire contents of the compressed folder, right-click the folder, click Extract All, and then follow the instructions.

Unzip files on Mac

  1. To unzip a file or folder on a Mac, double-click it. To open a zipped file on a PC, drag the .zip attachment to the desktop.
  2. Once the file is on the desktop, you can double- or right-click to open it. Double-click the zipped file to see its contents.


Publishing hit a snag

This error message usually happens when there is an ongoing system maintenance or update in Canva or there is a corrupted element inside a design. 


The publishing elves have failed

This error message comes about when an image in your design has failed to upload correctly. To resolve this, try re-uploading the image, adding it onto your design, and manually save your design by going to File and then click Save.

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