Canva Docs and Magic Write: Visual Documents with AI Power

Canva Docs and Magic Write are a match made in heaven. Create visually supercharged documents with the bonus of Magic Write's AI intelligence. Canva has just taken it all up a level!

Canva Docs & Magic Write Tutorial - Visual Documents with AI
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BY DONNA MORITZ | PUBLISHED 28 FEBRUARY, 2023

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So, what is Canva Docs? For a visual overview, watch this video below as I walk you through all the awesome features of Canva Docs and the Magic Write (AI content creator) integration. They're a match made in heaven!

Watch the Full Video Tutorial of Canva Docs & Magic Write!

Note this is the full video walkthrough, and I have embedded time-coded demonstrations of some of the features of Canva Docs and Magic Write below (from the same video so you can skip to specific features or demos): 

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Let's walk through some of the features and benefits of the Canva Docs and the Magic Write Integration.

Canva Docs and Magic Write

So what is Canva Docs?

Canva Docs & Magic Write Tutorial - Visual Documents with AI
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Canva Docs is a visual first document creator that goes well beyond boring word processing. You can design documents that are supercharged with videos, images, graphics, infographics, charts, graphs and more.

Everything is at your fingertips. And just like other document platforms like Google Docs, you can easily collaborate with other team members to work on documents together.

You can even embed presentations from Canva straight into your document. So, no matter what other document tools you use, Canva Docs is worth your consideration.

Canva Docs is free on all accounts – Free, Pro, Teams and Education. However, bear in mind that there may be some additional features or content you get access to with paid subscriptions.

Accessing Canva Docs

Accessing Docs is easy from the homepage in Canva. You can start with a blank document, or you can click on the Docs category to access more information and a growing library of Canva Docs templates, as follows:

Canva Docs Templates include all sorts of practical documents from Study Notes to Meeting Agendas, Lesson Plans to School Recipes, Blogs, Journals, Trackers and more.

Canva Docs Templates
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For example, this Social Media Strategy Template includes banners, photos, charts, and tables – all ready to go. Check it out in this snippet below:

Social Media Strategy Document Template in Canva Docs
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Access this Social Media Canva Doc Template here.

This template has a lot of different sections, including banners, photos, charts and tables. Watch the walkthrough in this video snippet:

You can check out this Doc template here.

Note: Canva Docs is a “Digital First” Document

As stated in the video, you'll notice that currently Canva Docs work as one long document without pages. This lack of pagination is somewhat deliberate from Canva – at least for now – as Canva Docs are designed to be shared and collaborated with digitally or “digital first”.

You can print a Canva Doc as a PDF but you'll need to check the spacing first, which can be fiddly without page breaks. Just bear in mind that these documents are ideally meant to be edited and used online vs printed – at least for now.

Best Features of Canva Docs

Here are some of the best features of Canva Docs (in my opinion) including the full range elements that you can embed into your documents:

  1. Simple to use Drag and Drop editor.
  2. You can easily embed content – text, videos, images, graphics, checklists, charts and graphs.
  3. Easily access content at your fingertips – simply press the Magic Shortcut “+” button or “/” and a floating toolbar appears to search for videos, images, tables … basically any graphic you need!
  4. Work in editable blocks of content, including banners and dividers to break up your custom text and graphics.
  5. Easily transform documents into Presentations using the “Docs to Decks” format – this allows you to use Canva to turn your notes into a stunning presentation in a few clicks. More of this below!
  6. Collaborate with team members in real time including the ability to leave comments and assign tasks to team members.
  7. Access to Canva Docs across multiple devices including desktop, tablets, and mobile devices.
  8. Share your docs and access insights on engagement with your Doc.
  9. Canva includes a growing number of Docs templates to make it easier than ever to get started with a project.
  10. Magic Write! This is Canva's amazing AI-powered co-author that is currently only available in Canva Docs. Magic Write let's you generate articles, ideas, lists, outlines and topics – from social media posts to product descriptions. More of this below!

Here's an example of a Banner added to a Canva Doc with a checklist below it: 

Adding a Banner and Checklist in Canva Docs
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and you can see the process for adding a banner or sections to your doc using the Magic Shortcuts in this video snippet:

Docs to Decs Feature

You might be thinking… did I just read that you can turn Canva Docs into Presentations in a few clicks? Yes, yes you did. Let's take a look at “Docs to Decks”.

Basically you just need a Canva Doc completed with all of your information on it, then you click “Convert” to convert your Doc to a Presentation.

Canva will then take all of your information – the text, the images, videos, charts and tables and convert it into a presentation, giving you a choice of style like this:

Docs to Decks - converting a Canva Doc to a Presentation in Canva Docs
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Check out Docs to Decks in action in this video snippet:

Impressive, right? Sometimes one of the biggest stumbling blocks to creating an amazing presentation is not the content itself but the design. Docs to Decks helps to eliminate that block and get you started with creating an amazing presentation, straight from Canva Docs.

But there's one more feature that pairs together exceptionally with Canva Docs… and that's the AI magic of Magic Write. Let's take a look at this amazing feature:

Magic Write

Canva Docs & Magic Write Tutorial - Visual Documents with AI
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Magic Write is Canva's new AI text generator. It helps you get ideas on a page, get your first draft done and so much more! Currently it's only available as part of Canva Docs. However Canva is always working on new features and it is likely to evolve.

Think of it as a handy tool for copy content, ideas, lists, bios, captions, brainstorming, anything you need to write. In the video below, I put Magic Write through its paces, first challenging Magic Write to create some fun Christmas themed content including a Christmas Rap and story about Rudolph (check them out here for fun).

Then I focused on content for small business owners to use in marketing and social media, where I think Magic Write will be most helpful. I asked it to create the following content:

  • 5 business posts for an upcoming launch for a candle product
  • 5 ideas for marketing your new running shoes
  • 5 points for a blog about essential design principles
  • 5 funny parent-focused posts for a parenting blog (for social media posts).

Check out the results on the video snippet below:

If you have been living under a rock and haven't discovered the power of Chat-GPT and the many variations of AI software available that is built on GPT3 (with GPT4) coming) then Canva's Magic Write is built on the same technology, namely GPT3 in partnership with OpenAI. What sets Magic Write apart is that it brings AI tech to over 100 million Canva users in a way that helps you achieve your goals – with all the tools in Canva ready to make that happen. 

Tips for using Magic Write

1 Be Descriptive – The better the words you put in, the better Magic Write's output will be.

2. Always Review and Refine the output to make it your own. It's always better if you add your own flair, and take what Magic Write suggests, then put it into your own words.

3. Use Magic Write as a beginning point to get started. Don't rely on it for an entire essay or blog post. With all the AI flying around there's going to be something special about novel ideas and thoughts. Don't neglect to share them!

4. Be aware of limitations. This is an evolving feature in Canva and AI in general. You can use Magic Write for commercial or personal projects, but please check the terms and conditions and understand that duplicate content is possible and that you don't have the rights to content created.

For the above reasons, I would recommend using Magic Write for “light content” like social media posts, blog post ideas, fun content, getting started with tweets, or getting started with the “bones” of an article. I would avoid important documents like legal documents, assignments or essays or anything that needs to be original for now.

Pricing and Plans

Canva Docs is free for all users and will be forever free to access on a Free, Teams, Education, Teams or Enterprise account. Just please bear in mind that there may be some additional features or content that you will only get access to on paid subscriptions.

Magic write is also free for everyone to use and Free Canva Subscribers can generate up to 25 pieces of content for free. Those users with Pro, Teams or NFP subscriptions can generate up to 75 pieces of content using their subscription, per user per month. Currently Magic Write is not available for students or teachers on the Canva for Education plan due to restrictions around AI and students creating original content. But that may change in future as the product evolves.

Need More? Grab my 45 Days Free Trial on Canva Pro

If you want to try Canva Pro features you can access my exclusive 45 free trial of Canva Pro on my exclusive extended trial affiliate link below. Get access to thousands more videos, elements, photos and templates from a whole range of designers on the Canva Marketplace. Try it free for 45 days on this link:

Want Free Canva Templates? check out my Canva Creator Profile for over 1000 Canva Templates, ready to use now!

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What do you think?

Personally I love the visual richness of Canva Docs and I look forward to seeing this product evolve. I also love the potential for collaboration and creating “digital first” documents with team members. I hate printing anything, so this is a win for me.

It's also super handy to be able to access all of your visual assets and combine it with the power of Magic Write. I'll look forward to hearing what you create with it!

Canva Docs & Magic Write Tutorial - Visual Documents with AI
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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Inc. & Entrepreneur and she is a speaker and trainer on visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.
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