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A Guide to Using Canva with Buffer

Sometimes when we’re scheduling a post, we get to the end and think, “Eep! I don’t have an eye-catching image for this one.” When you hit this challenge, one option is to copy and paste your post over to your drafts area while you spend a few hours or days looking for the perfect image.

We don’t always have the luxury of time, though. So, if you’d rather get that slick post added to your active queue right away, Buffer’s Canva integration allows you to create an image right then and there within your composer.

In case you need a quick point in the right direction, we'll share some frequently asked questions about the Canva integration up top here. For a much more comprehensive look at the Canva integration in Buffer, feel free to read beyond the questions section below.

💡 Your Questions Answered

  • How do I find the designs saved to my Canva account?
    You'll find your existing Canva designs by clicking into the Canva integration through Buffer and then clicking on either "Folders" > "All your designs" or just "All your designs" on the left-hand side. Read more below: Creating an image in Buffer from one of your saved Canva designs
  • Why aren't the Canva designs I created within Buffer saved to my Canva account?
    Unfortunately, it's not yet available within the Canva API to save your designs to your Canva account. You are able to reuse your designs within your Buffer queue, Sent posts, or Analytics areas, however. Learn how below: Editing the Canva images you created in Buffer.

This article contains the following sections:

  1. Enabling Buffer’s Canva integration
  2. Creating a new Canva design within your Buffer composer
  3. Creating an image in Buffer from one of your saved Canva designs
  4. Editing the Canva images you created in Buffer

📝 The Canva integration is not yet available in Buffer’s mobile apps (iOS or Android), calendar feature, or in the browser extension. Where will you find it? While the screenshots below all show how Canva works within your queue, you'll also find the Canva integration within your Buffer Stories tab for your Instagram business profiles. 🎉

Enabling Buffer’s Canva integration

It’s super easy to get started with Canva in Buffer. You’ll automatically see the integration within your composer when you click to add an image. If you have a Canva account already, you’ll be set to go! If you don’t already have a Canva account, however, you’ll be prompted to create an account.

Once you’re logged into Canva, you’re ready to create designs right there inside of Buffer.

📝 Not seeing the Canva account you expected? If you have more than one Canva account and the one that Buffer is detecting isn't the one you'd like to work in, open a new tab and head to canva.com. You'll simply logout of the current Canva account and log into the Canva account you'd like to access through Buffer. From there, head back into your Buffer account, refresh, and try to access the Canva integration again.

Creating a new Canva design within your Buffer composer

There are two ways you can get started creating a Canva design within Buffer:

  • Create your Canva design in the Buffer composer to post to multiple social networks at the same time. This is called the Omnibox. When posting from the Omnibox, your design will be square.
  • Create Canva designs one-by-one in a size optimized for each social network.

We’ll go through both of these below.

Creating your Canva design using the Omnibox

When creating a Canva design within Buffer’s Omnibox, your image will be 1080px x 1080px. This is a square image size, which is optimized across all networks. “Omnibox” is just a fancy word for “that first composer you type in prior to opening up your multiple composers where you can tailor each one of your posts separately.” Below are the steps to get you to the Omnibox.

  1. Click on the social channel you'd like to post to and open your composer by clicking on What would you like to share?.

  2. *Select two or more social channels.

  3. Click Add image or video.

  4. Click on the image upload box.

  5. Click Canva, and the Canva editor should appear.

  6. Create the perfect image for your posts, and then click Add to Buffer in the upper right to add the updated image to your Buffer post. Here's a GIF of the whole process.

  7. *Click Customize for each network and fill out your post text for each social network.

  8. Schedule your post to publish at the date and time of your choice, or just click Add to Queue and your posting schedule will do the work for you!

*The asterisks above are just for reference for the “Creating a Canva design for one social channel” guidance below.

⚠️ Images created in Buffer will not be saved in your Canva library for future use, but can be edited within Buffer and used again.

Limitations

  • Only PNG files can be uploaded to Canva from Buffer.
  • There isn’t a way to upload multiple images at once.
  • The Canva Brand Kit cannot be accessed through Buffer.
  • There isn’t a way to resize your Canva images like you can in Canva. Instead, if using the Omnibox, your image will be 1080 x 1080 (square), and if you end up clicking the Customizing for each social network button before adding in an image, the images will be the size for the social network you created your first image under. You'll find all sizes listed in the bullet point list just below.

Creating a Canva design for one social channel

To create your design for one channel, you’ll follow all of the steps above that don’t have an asterisk(*) (here’s a handy link back up there).

When posting to only one social channel, the size of the Canva template that comes up for you will depend on the social network you’ve chosen.

These are default templates:

  • Facebook: 940 x 788
  • Instagram Post: 1080 x 1080
  • Instagram Story: 1080 x 1920
  • Twitter: 1600 x 900
  • LinkedIn: 1200 x 627
  • Pinterest: 1000 x 1500

📝 If you’d like to publish the same design in multiple image sizes, we recommend first creating that design within your Canva account, and then hopping into Buffer to customize the template size. We share how to do this step-by-step in the next section.

Creating an image in Buffer from one of your saved Canva designs

If you are a Canva user and already have an image within your Canva library that you’d like to pull in to use within your Buffer post, you can pull it in right through your Buffer composer (no downloading from Canva and re-uploading to Buffer necessary!)

There are two main benefits to pulling your Canva designs directly through Buffer:

  • You can make quick edits to your image for the purpose of that specific post. You might edit some text or change the color, for instance.
  • Your image will be placed on a template that is optimal for the social network you're posting to (the list of sizes can be seen above), which allows you to cater to that social network.

Accessing your Canva library

To find images already stored in your Canva library, you’ll follow a few steps. 

  1. Open the Canva integration within Buffer by opening your composer, selecting the social channel you’d like to schedule your post to, and clicking Add an image or video.

  2. Click the image upload box icon.

  3. Click Canva, and the Canva editor should appear.

  4. If it’s the first time you’ve accessed your designs through Buffer’s Canva integration, on the left, you’ll click Folders. If you’ve accessed your Canva designs through Buffer before, skip to the next step.

  5. Click All your designs.

  6. Select the design you’d like.

  7. Adjust your design to fit the template provided for you (more on this in the section below). As a reminder, the template provided is the optimal image size for the social network you chose in Step 1 above.

  8. Insert your image into your post by clicking Add to Buffer in the upper right-hand corner of the Canva editor. Here's a GIF of the process.

  9. Finish your post text in Buffer and then add your post to the queue. It's now ready to be published at the date and time you scheduled it for.

📝 If at the same time, you’d like to use that same design to create an image adjusted to another social network, you’ll want to follow the steps in this section again. Note that in order to ensure the correct template is generated, you’ll want to click the x ("1" in the image below) to remove the image that was copied into that composer from the previous social network design you edited. Then click on the blank image ("2" in the image below) to start back at Step 1 in this section. Since you’re using one of your saved Canva designs, the steps should go pretty quickly for you.

If, however, you’d rather only follow these steps once and have all of your images be square, you have two options. First, you can choose Instagram as the social network to create the first image for (since Instagram’s template is square), and that image will then be added to the composers for all of the other social networks. Or, you can head back up to the steps at the top of this article and use the Omnibox. If you choose this option, once you hit Step 6 in the Omnibox section, simply click on Folders > All your designs so that you can access your design of choice.

Adjusting your Canva design to fit the image size provided by Buffer’s Canva integration

Unless the saved Canva design you selected was already the same size as the template provided, you’ll need to reformat your image so that it fits optimally for you.

There isn’t one way to manually adjust your image to fit into the template provided in Canva. You might choose to simply size it down or up, making just a bigger or smaller version of what you had originally, or you might decide to take this as an opportunity to move things around and completely rethink the design. The creative choice is yours!

Editing the Canva images you created in Buffer

While you aren’t able to see the Canva designs you create in Buffer inside your Canva library, you are able to edit those images within Buffer after they’ve been scheduled to your queue and even after they’ve already been published.

Editing your Canva designs within Buffer will allow you to differentiate them before using them again, or it can just give you the opportunity to correct a mistake before it publishes. Let’s get into how to edit your Canva designs.

How to edit a Canva design from your queue before it publishes

You’ll go through a few steps to edit Canva posts within your queue before they publish to your social channel.

  1. Find the post in your queue and click Edit.

  2. Click the pencil icon on the image.

  3. Edit the image in the Canva editor and then click Add to Buffer in the upper right to add the updated image into your Buffer post.

  4. Finally, click Save on your post to save the refreshed version to your queue.

📝 Even if scheduled to their queues at the same time, each queued Canva image will need to be edited separately within its respective queue. For example, edits made to an image in a Twitter post will not apply to the same image in the Facebook queue, even if it’s the exact same image.

How to edit a Canva design from your publish dashboard’s Sent Posts/Analytics

If you find that you’d like to send out a similar image to one you previously created within Buffer, you can absolutely do that. Just as with any repeating content, it’s important that images you send again are edited to look unique and authentic. See our advice in the article, "Is it possible to schedule one post to repeat multiple times?"

To edit a Canva image you previously published through Buffer’s Canva integration, you’ll follow a few steps:

  1. From your publishing dashboard, click on the Sent Posts tab if you’re on the Free plan, or the Analytics tab if you’re on a paid plan.
  2. Find the post in your list of sent posts and click Share Again.

  3. If you’d like to share the image to a different social channel than you originally published it to, deselect the current social channel in your composer and select the desired one.
  4. Click the pencil icon on the image.
  5. Edit the image in the Canva editor and then click Add to Buffer in the upper right to add the updated image to your post.
  6. Click Add to Queue. The post and your refreshed image should now be in your queue!

📝 Notes

  • It isn’t possible to adjust an image in Buffer’s Canva integration unless that image was originally created through Buffer’s Canva integration. In other words, if you published an image through Buffer for which you did not use the Canva integration, there won't be an edit button on that image.
  • You don’t need any formal design training to use Canva; it’s made for non-designers. That said, if you’re looking for some help getting started, Canva offers excellent tutorials in their design school.
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