Canva Video Editor – COMPLETE Tutorial for Beginners!

Canva first became popular with designers. It allowed them to create awesome content without needing the skills or time required for more complex editing software like Photoshop.

And now Canva is coming up against dedicated VIDEO editing software as well! With the new Canva video editor you can create everything from static thumbnails, to animations, video intros, and even entire video editing projects.

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Like the rest of Canva’s design tools, the Canva video editor is super simple to pick up and use. But there’s also plenty more advanced features, cool animations and custom effects under the hood as well. 

Canva’s video editing tools aren’t just limited to desktop PC or Mac in your web browser. If you’re an iPhone or Android user, you can also use the Canva app to edit your videos on mobile! The process is pretty much the same – feel free to follow along with any device!

With this Canva video tutorial you’ll be a pro on desktop AND on Canva video editor mobile in no time

With this Canva video tutorial you’ll become a pro on desktop AND on Canva video editor mobile in no time

So in this complete Canva video editing tutorial, we’ll show you exactly how to edit video with Canva!

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Plus we’ll give you a ton of tips and tricks along the way to help you boost your results much faster!

Let’s get started. 

How To Create A Project In Canva

First up, open Canva. Create a free account and log in. On the main page there are lots of categories you can choose from. 

Select Video and you’ll see a range of video templates with different sizes and formats. You can choose from templates like Facebook Video, Video Message, Slideshow Video and LinkedIn Video Ad. 

Select Video on the Canva homepage to view the video templates

Select Video on the Canva homepage to view the video templates

We suggest starting with the blank Video template so that we can run through how to create a video from scratch. 

Canva Interface 

There are four main aspects of the Canva interface you’ll be using: 

Left menu bar: This is where you can access Templates, Elements (shapes, graphics, etc.), Uploads, Text and More. 

Canvas: The middle area is the canvas where you’ll be creating your video. 

The canvas is where you can edit and preview your video masterpiece 

The canvas is where you can edit and preview your video masterpiece 

Timeline: Canva’s editing timeline is a bit different to a traditional video editing timeline but this is where you can see all of your clips and how long they play for. You’ll also edit down all your footage here.

Top menu bar: The functionalities on this top menu bar will change depending on what element you have selected but this is where you’ll access a lot of the tools and features. 

Now that you’re familiar with the interface, let’s import footage. 

How To Import Footage In Canva

The first step to creating a video in Canva is to upload your footage. Go to Uploads in the left menu. You can upload footage from your computer, Facebook, Google Drive, Instagram or Dropbox. Select your file and hit Open

To import the primary footage of your video, go to Uploads

To import the primary footage of your video, go to Uploads

One really cool feature is that you don’t need to wait for Canva to complete the upload process before you can start editing. Sometimes it can take hours for high quality footage to upload so it’s awesome that with Canva you can get started right away. 

You can upload footage from a variety of places making for an easy import process

You can upload footage from a variety of places making for an easy import process

Your files will appear in the Videos section under Uploads. From here, select your primary footage and drag it onto the timeline. By default, the project will format to match the video type. So if you have a widescreen video, the project will default to widescreen. 

The slider will allow you to zoom in and out on the timeline or canvas

The slider will allow you to zoom in and out on the timeline or canvas

You can zoom in and out on the timeline using the slider at the bottom of the screen. The button on the left of the slider will allow you to change between Zoom thumbnails or Zoom page. So pressing this will switch the slider’s zoom effect to the timeline or to your canvas. 

Now that your primary footage has been imported, let’s trim it down. 

How To Edit And Trim Footage In Canva

This is where you remove any of the bad takes, mistakes, or anything that won’t be in your final video. 

To do this, press the Play button on the left of your timeline. Or grab the Triangle icon above the timeline and scrub through the footage. Choose the option you find easier to quickly locate the parts you want to edit out. 

You can quickly scrub through the footage by clicking and dragging the Triangle icon 

You can quickly scrub through the footage by clicking and dragging the Triangle icon 

There are two main ways you can remove footage. They are: 

  • Using the Split tool
  • Dragging the side handles

Let’s go over how to use the Split tool first. So, say you want to remove the first take in your footage. 

Once the Triangle icon is in the correct location, right click on the clip and select Split 

Once the Triangle icon is in the correct location, right click on the clip and select Split 

Move the Triangle icon to just before where you want the video to begin. Then right click on the clip and select Split. Now you’ll have two clips and can delete the one you don’t want by pressing Delete on the keyboard. 

You can press Delete on your keyboard or press the Dots icon and select the Delete button 

You can press Delete on your keyboard or press the Dots icon and select the Delete button 

The other option is to drag the side handles of the clip. Hover your mouse over the very beginning of the clip and you’ll see a little Arrow icon appear. Click and drag the icon to cut back the footage. 

You can use this same process for removing footage from the end of your clips. And you can even remove footage in the middle of your clips using the same method. 

You can also trim your footage by dragging the handles using the small Arrow icon 

You can also trim your footage by dragging the handles using the small Arrow icon 

Simply Split your clip where there’s a mistake and then remove the mistake by dragging the handles. 

At this point, go through all of your footage and edit it down until you’re left with only the good stuff. 

Then it’s time to add in B-Roll.

How To Add B-Roll In Canva

Adding B-roll in Canva is one of the things that is a bit more complicated. This is because you can’t layer clips on top of each other on the timeline. We’re hoping this is a feature Canva introduces soon. But don’t worry – there is a way to do it! 

Let’s say after your first intro clip, you want some B-roll or overlay footage to play.

Drag the B-roll clip onto your project and then resize it to fit the canvas

Drag the B-roll clip onto your project and then resize it to fit the canvas

You can do this by dragging the B-roll footage from the Uploads section onto the canvas (not the timeline!). You can then resize the clip so that it fills the canvas. 

If the clip is too long and you only want it to play for a few seconds, you’ll need to adjust the length. Select the B-roll clip and go to the Scissors icon in the top menu. 

Drag the side handles of the clip in the top menu to trim it to your desired length

Drag the side handles of the clip in the top menu to trim it to your desired length

This is where you can trim down the footage and select the section you want to use. Drag the handles around until you have only the footage you want selected. Press Done

Now if you play the clip, the B-roll footage will appear in the canvas and the original audio will also be playing. But the problem now is that the shorter B-roll clip will continue looping for the entire length of the primary video clip. 

The B-roll footage will continue looping unless you Split the clip and delete the excess footage

The B-roll footage will continue looping unless you Split the clip and delete the excess footage

To fix this, select the clip. Drag the Triangle to where you want the B-roll footage to end. Right clip on the clip and select Split. Then select the second clip on the timeline that you don’t want the B-roll footage on. Then select the B-roll clip on the canvas and press Delete on the keyboard. 

Then you’ll be left with both clips but B-roll will only be on the first one.

Now, you don’t necessarily need to scale your B-roll footage up to be full screen. If you like the effect of having a smaller sized B-roll clip playing on top of your primary video – go for it! 

You can leave the B-roll footage as a small clip on your screen if this suits your video

You can leave the B-roll footage as a small clip on your screen if this suits your video

If your B-roll footage has its own audio, you’ll need to remove this so it doesn’t interfere with the primary audio. Select the B-roll clip on the timeline. Then select the B-roll clip on your canvas and press the Speaker icon in the top menu. Press the Mute button. 

Phew, that sounded complicated but it all makes sense once you do it! Now you’ll have B-roll footage that plays alongside the primary audio and then reverts back to the primary video footage. 

Mute any audio from your B-roll by selecting the clip and going to the Speaker icon

Mute any audio from your B-roll by selecting the clip and going to the Speaker icon

Go ahead and add in all of your B-roll footage now. 

Once that’s done, we can add in titles and text. 

How To Add Titles & Text In Canva

This is one of the most powerful aspects of Canva. They have so many presets to help you create some amazing titles. 

Go to Text in the left menu. You can add in basic text boxes or you can scroll down to the different preset templates and animations. 

There are so many text and titles presents for you to choose from under the Text tab

There are so many text and titles presents for you to choose from under the Text tab

One thing to note is there are quite a lot that have the Canva Pro symbol on them, meaning you need to pay to be able to use them. But there are just heaps of options here, so you shouldn’t have any problems finding an awesome free one. 

Once you’ve found a title that works for your video, you can drag it onto the canvas.

If you want to use one of the presets that have a Crown icon, you'll need to sign up for Canva Pro

If you want to use one of the presets that have a Crown icon, you’ll need to sign up for Canva Pro

Keep in mind that the title will play for the entire length of the clip that was selected when you dragged it onto the canvas. To shorten the time it plays for, you need to go through a similar process as with adding the B-roll footage. 

Use the Split tool to cut your clips into the sections you want the title to be on

Use the Split tool to cut your clips into the sections you want the title to be on

So before dragging the title in, add a Split in the clip where you want the title to start and where you want it to end. Select the clip you want the title to play for and then drag the title onto the canvas. 

Not too hard is it! Now let’s customize the title. 

Select the title box and you’ll see a variety of tools appear in the top menu. With these tools you can customize the:

  • Font
  • Color
  • Size
  • Alignment
Select the text or title box and all the different functionalities will appear in the top menu bar

Select the text or title box and all the different functionalities will appear in the top menu bar

We also usually include a rectangle behind our titles to make them stand out more. 

To do this, click on Elements in the left menu. There are heaps of graphics and shapes in here but right now you just want to go to Rectangle. Select any rectangle you like and drag it onto the canvas. 

Make adjustments to the rectangle so it fits nicely behind your title

Make adjustments to the rectangle so it fits nicely behind your title

You can adjust the size by dragging the edges and then position it behind the text. In the top menu bar, select the colored square and you’ll be able to change the color of the rectangle. 

So now you’ll have a basic title on screen. But wait, there’s more! You can also animate the titles. 

You can animate most elements in Canva by selecting the element and pressing Animate

You can animate most elements in Canva by selecting the element and pressing Animate

Select the title and in the top menu bar select Animate. Once again, there are lots of presets here. Preview the different ones and pick one that fits your video. You can follow the same process to animate the background rectangle as well. 

Now that your titles are sorted, let’s add in some effects and transitions. 

How To Add Effects & Transitions In Canva

To add effects and transitions to your video, take a look at your timeline. You’ll notice there are little + buttons in between each of the clips. 

Press the + button and then select the Add transition icon. A few different preset Canva video transitions will appear such as Dissolve, Slide and Circle Wipe. 

To add a Canva video transition between clips, press the + button

To add a Canva video transition between clips, press the + button

We don’t usually use these kinds of transitions in our videos. Instead, we recommend using a zoom cut

If you’re not sure what a zoom cut is – it’s where you zoom in on one of your clips so that when it’s playing it looks as if it’s a different camera angle to the previous clip. This is a great way to break up your content and keep viewers engaged. 

To do this in Canva, select the clip you want to use the zoom cut on. In the top menu bar select Crop. Then zoom in on the clip – make it bigger by dragging the corners out slightly. 

It’s really important to try and keep the eyes in the same position on all shots just so it’s less jarring for viewers. 

Just make sure you don’t zoom in too far. A slight zoom will give an awesome effect. And that’s it! This simple zoom is our favourite type of transition.

To add a zoom cut, select the clip and then press Crop in the top menu bar

To add a zoom cut, select the clip and then press Crop in the top menu bar

So now make sure you’ve added any transitions or zoom cuts between clips. Then we can move onto adding music to your video. 

How To Add Music In Canva

Go to Audio in the left menu bar. Canva has a huge music library with both free and paid options.

Go to Audio in the left menu and you’ll see the full Canva audio library 

Go to Audio in the left menu and you’ll see the full Canva audio library 

It’s awesome that Canva has so much audio in here. But at Primal Video we usually stick to using audio from Artlist and Epidemic Sound. This is because we know for certain there won’t be any licensing issues. 

If you’re using music from Canva, check out the library and drag the audio file onto your project. 

You can either use audio from Canva’s library or upload audio from sites like Artlist & Epidemic Sound

You can either use audio from Canva’s library or upload audio from sites like Artlist & Epidemic Sound

If you’re using tracks from somewhere else, go to Uploads then Audio and then select Upload media. Find the audio file and select Open

After you’ve dropped the audio onto the canvas, it will appear down in the timeline. You can then drag it around so it starts and finishes when you want it to. 

Your audio track will appear as a purple clip on your timeline - you can click and drag it to move it and lengthen it 

Your audio track will appear as a purple clip on your timeline – you can click and drag it to move it and lengthen it 

It’s a good idea to listen through your video now with the audio in case you want to move any clips around to match the beat of your audio track. 

Once your music is good to go, it’s time to adjust the audio levels. 

How To Adjust Audio In Canva

Canva is really good at automatically adjusting the primary audio to the right levels. But if you do find it needs adjusting, there’s a super quick fix. 

Click the individual clip on the timeline and then make sure it’s selected on the canvas too. Press the Speaker icon in the top menu. Then you can adjust the volume level by moving the slider. 

Adjust the clip volume by selecting the clip and then pressing the Speaker icon 

Adjust the clip volume by selecting the clip and then pressing the Speaker icon 

Once you’re happy with the volume levels of the primary audio, you can check the music volume. If this needs to be adjusted, it’s the exact process as with the primary audio. 

PRO TIP: When using background music, it’s a good idea to start at 20 – 30% volume and then adjust from there. 

Try setting your background music volume at 20 - 30% as a starting point 

Try setting your background music volume at 20 – 30% as a starting point 

If you’re able to, go through this process using headphones for an accurate idea of the actual volume levels. 

Now, what we’ve covered so far have been the core editing functionalities of Canva. One of the other really powerful aspects is the graphics and templates.  

How To Add Graphics & Templates In Canva

Let’s say you want to add a video intro after the first clip of your video. Press the + button in between the two clips and select the Add page icon. 

To add in other elements to your video, click the + button and then Add Page

To add in other elements to your video, click the + button and then Add Page

Then go to Templates in the left menu and search for YouTube Intros. Find a template that you like and drag it onto the canvas. 

If you can’t find a template you like, you can also create an awesome video intro from scratch in Canva. Or another tool we really recommend for this is Placeit

Try searching for YouTube Intros and there will be heaps of options to choose from 

Try searching for YouTube Intros and there will be heaps of options to choose from 

It’s not just video intros you can add in this easily with Canva. They also have incredible templates for animated end screens, outros and even B-roll footage. 

So have a play around with the different templates – they’re super powerful and customizable so it’s a great starting point for beginners. 

It’s not just video intros you can add in - there are HEAPS of templates and best of all, they're customizable

It’s not just video intros you can add in – there are HEAPS of templates and best of all, they’re customizable

Now your video is complete! Let’s export. 

How To Add Export & Share Your Videos In Canva

Go to Download in the top right corner. Make sure MP4 video is selected and press Download again. The video will now download onto your computer ready to be uploaded to YouTube! 

After pressing Download you’ll see a progress box down the bottom showing how long of the download is remaining

After pressing Download you’ll see a progress box down the bottom showing how long of the download is remaining

Now You Know How To Edit Video In Canva

There you have it, our complete guide to Canva video editing. In this tutorial you’ve learnt exactly how to use Canva video editing tools. 

Hopefully now you can see just how powerful the Canva video editor is! It definitely rivals some of the more advanced video editing software. 

The best part is, you don’t even need Canva Pro to create an awesome video. You can do it all using the free version. 

We hope you enjoyed our new guide on how to edit videos with Canva. If you found it useful, feel free to share it on your socials or with others who might like to learn more about Canva video editing too.

For more information on creating YouTube videos, check out the Primal Video YouTube Ranking Guide. You’ll learn about the latest tools and strategies for improving video rankings on both YouTube and Google – and it’s completely free!


Links

When available, we use affiliate links and may earn a commission!

Tools to Level Up Your Videos:

Royalty-free stock video libraries for awesome B-roll and footage:

Easily create professional, branded effects & animations for your videos:

Royalty-free stock MUSIC to level up your videos:


Recommended Gear & Resources

Check out an up-to-date list of all the gear, software & tools we use and recommend right now at Primal Video on our resources page here!

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