Canva wasn’t designed specifically for the Mac operating system. Instead, it’s an online graphic design platform that hosts quality clip art and templates. Canva offers a couple plans: You can subscribe for $12.99 a month to use most of its features, or there’s a free version, which grants you limited access. Even with the monthly subscription, there are features, mostly graphics, that cost extra – usually $1 or $2.
You don’t download this software, so it doesn’t take up valuable space on your hard drive. We also think it offers the most contemporary, stylish clip art and designs compared to other programs we reviewed. It has many of the same tools you find in other programs, but it’s easier to navigate, and there’s more support. It’s especially convenient if you mostly design projects to share online, as there are lots of tools to connect to social media and other sites.
Graphics & Templates
Canva offers more templates and graphics than any other program we tested – you can access hundreds of thousands of graphics with the monthly subscription. PrintMaster Platinum has the next highest number of graphics, with 165,000+ images, but their quality was nowhere near as good as those we saw on Canva. It was easy to drag and drop, rotate, and flip images in our projects on Canva, and we didn’t see any pixelation or the quality issues when we resized them, something we encountered in other software.
Our only real gripe with the program is its number of font choices – we only counted around 170 fonts. Hallmark Card Studio had around 325, and the program with the most had 650. While Canva’s font collection could be larger, you can upload fonts if you subscribe to the monthly version of the program.
Canva also has a wide variety of templates to choose from. In addition to designing cards for all kinds of events, you can create images for your website, blog or social media account. There are also outlines for presentations and book covers. We like that Canva’s options are more up to date and relevant than those in other programs we reviewed. However, the software is missing two-fold and four-fold card options; most of its card projects are postcard-style.
Canva is better organized and more intuitive to navigate than most greeting card programs we tested, and its resource page is easy to find in case you have questions. During testing, we thought the side menu that allows you to browse through all your projects was useful. There’s also a place to collaborate with others – one of you has to cover a separate membership fee, but you can add several people to a project.
When you open a new project, you see the program’s basic drag and drop tools. Canva isn’t a full-service graphic design suite like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, but neither are the other programs we reviewed. Most of these programs let you customize or add elements to existing templates to make your cards and announcements more personal.
Canva doesn’t have complex photo editing tools. It’s even missing basic tools that repair red-eye or fix errors in scanned images. However, a lot of these tools come with the photo editor application built into the Mac operating system. Canva does let you upload edited photos to add to your designs.
If you’re working on a design for a website, a professional project, or invitations to a special event, it’s nice to have a few safety features to catch errors. We liked that Canva includes a basic spellchecker, even with its free version.
Sharing & Connecting Tools
Canva’s lack of e-card templates was surprising considering how connected it is to social media platforms. You can link to Facebook or Twitter or share your project’s URL. There’s also a way to embed your creations on your website.
We loved Canva’s support features. While it doesn’t offer phone support, there’s a huge searchable help center. The help pages are thoughtfully written and thorough, and it was easy to find the answers we were looking for. If you want to talk to someone directly, you can use Canva’s Facebook page to live chat with a representative.
When we tested PC greeting card software, we found programs that let you add audio files to your projects, which is a fun way to create personalized e-cards. However, none of the Mac programs we tested, including Canva, have this feature.
Based on our research, Canva is the best place to create greeting cards and work on other design projects if you have a Mac computer. Even with its limited editing tools, its quality templates and graphics make it easy to personalize your projects. Enough of the program’s features are accessible in the free version that it’s a good budget option, and the subscription version’s added features are worth the money if you work on a lot of design projects. With its up-to-date platform, Canva is great for both advanced and beginner greeting card designers.