How to create a PDF with Canva?

Product: FlippingBook Online

To create a flipbook, you will need a PDF first as it is the basis for your publication. Many of our clients already have professionally designed PDFs. If you don’t have a PDF yet, but still want to present your content as an online flipbook, then don’t worry. There are many everyday tools that allow you to create content and export it as a PDF like Microsoft Word and Google Docs. But if you are looking for something more visual with minimal effort, then definitely have a look at Canva as well!

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. You can 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 (this link opens in a new tab) and create an account.

When you have created your  Canva account, click on one of the 4 templates that we have created that best suits your goals. 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 the 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:

Download your PDF

To export your design from Canva in PDF-format (which you can then use to turn it into a flipbook) follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Download button in the top right corner.
  2. Click in the File type field and select PDF Standard (Canva also has an option for PDF Print, which creates a higher quality PDF. This creates much bigger files and longer processing times. There is almost no visible difference if you use the PDF to create a flipbook. The extra quality is only marginally visible if your readers zoom in to the max or want to print the PDF - and even then you would have to look very carefully to notice it.) 
  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.

Your first PDF is now ready to turn into a flipbook!

Upload your PDF to FlippingBook Online

Now you can upload the PDF in your 'Downloads' folder to turn it into an online flipbook. If you need any detailed instructions, have a look at our article How to create your first flipbook with FlippingBook Online?

You can now enjoy all the perks that the flipbook format offers: of course, a lovely page flip effect and you can embed it seamlessly into your own website. But there are many other benefits:

  1. You can see how often your readers open your flipbook, what pages they actually look at, and for how long on the stats page.
  2. Our lead capture form allows your readers to leave their names, emails, and more.
  3. Flipbooks open immediately, without lengthy downloads, on any device. Ideal for sharing!
  4. Want to protect your content? You can prevent downloading and printing of your PDF and even password-protect your flipbooks.
  5. Make your content even more engaging by adding things like links and video in the Content Editor.

Have a good look at the result and if you like what you see, then it’s time to go back to Canva to finalize your document. Good luck!

Was this article helpful?
drift chat