How to create a PDF with Canva?

Product: FlippingBook Online

FlippingBook is a perfect way to convert a ready-to-go PDF into a flipbook. In case you don’t have a PDF yet, don’t worry! There are many tools to create one, like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. But for something more visual, take a look at Canva.


What is Canva?

Canva is an online graphic design platform. You can use it to create pretty much anything, from social media memes to annual reports, and from greeting cards to product catalogs. Start from scratch or with one of the 1000s of templates. Then drag and drop your own text and graphics. With just a bit of effort and creativity, you can achieve professional-looking results quickly. Canva has a free plan to start with.


Getting started

To start using Canva, simply sign up at Canva's sign-up page and create an account.

When you have created your Canva account, click on one of the 4 templates we prepared for you. This will take you to Canva again and if you click Use template, you can get to work straight away. Canva creates a document from the template, which you now can edit.

Create a catalog

Create a magazine

Create a brochure Create a flipbook



Edit your document

What’s next? Well, the most obvious thing is to change some of our placeholder texts with your own. Maybe even change the font or its size or color. And Canva has lots of other design tools available:

  • Add photos from Canva’s extensive collection to your publication with the Photos option in the menu on the left-hand side.
  • Add your own images, using the Upload option.
  • Insert some shapes from the Elements section - simple lines to divide sections, decorative stickers, but even advanced charts (you can edit the data directly!)

Pay attention to what you add in Canva – some content that you add (images, elements) is not free. These elements are marked with a small crown. When you hover over them, a ‘Pro’ icon appears. You can still add such elements, but you’d have to pay a fee to download your document as a PDF.

We wouldn’t advise spending too much time creating a complete work of art at this stage. Just play around a bit, create a quick proof-of-concept, and then continue to the next step:



Upload to FlippingBook Online

When your design is ready to be published, you can turn it into a flipbook. Here's how to do that:

  1. In Canva, click the Share button.
  2. In the dropdown menu, choose More
  3. Start typing 'flippingbook' in the textbox. Click on the FlippingBook icon.
  4. Click on Use and then Connect to set up the connection between your FlippingBook and your Canva account. If you have already set this up earlier, proceed to step 6.
  5. You’ll see a pop-up where you can either log into your existing FlippingBook account or sign up for a free 14-day trial.
  6. Once you’ve logged in or signed up for FlippingBook, the pop-up window closes. If your design is more than 10 pages, change the Select Pages to 'All pages'. Canva by default only exports the first 10 pages. Then press Save.

    Optionally, you can select the pages you want to upload if you don't want to use all of them.
  7. Wait for the dialog window that confirms that your design has been saved and press View in FlippingBook.
  8. If your design is too large, you will see an error message, "We were unable to publish your design". This is due to an internal Canva limitation. If this happens, we advise you to download your design as PDF an import it manually in FlippingBook. 
  9. You will be taken to your FlippingBook account where you will see that your design is being converted into a flipbook. Depending on its size, this may take a while, but most flipbooks are converted quickly and you may not notice this stage at all.
  10. Wait until the FlippingBook logo has been replaced with the cover page of your publication. Then click on the small icon under the name of your flipbook. This unfolds a small pop-up. 

    In the pop-up you see the link to the FlippingBook version of your Canva design. Click on the link to open it in a new tab or click on Copy link.
  11. Your flipbook has been created. You can share the link right away but we advise you to fine-tune it first by adding your branding, adding a lead capture form, adding videos and pop-up images, and much more. Then share it with your readers and see how they interacted

Further changes to your design

If you change your Canva design, then you can of course use the procedure above to republish it as a flipbook. But this will make a new flipbook with a new link! If you want to keep your existing FlippingBook link, then you can export your design from Canva in PDF format and update your flipbook. Follow these steps:

  1. In Canva, click on the Download button in the top right corner.
  2. Click in the File type field and select PDF Standard 
  3. Click on the Download button and wait while Canva generates your PDF.
  4. Depending on your computer settings, your PDF will now be saved in the ‘Downloads’ folder or opened immediately in your default PDF viewer.
  5. Go to your FlippingBook Online account and find your flipbook.
  6. Click on the More button and choose Replace PDF.
  7. Press Select new PDF and select the PDF file you downloaded in step 4.

We will now reconvert your PDF. When that's done, the content in your flipbook link will use the updated PDF.  


Was this article helpful?
drift chat