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How To Make A Slideshow In Canva (Ultimate Guide)

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You don’t have to spend hours learning complicated presentation software to create a stunning slideshow. In this ultimate guide, I’ll show you how to make a slideshow in Canva so you can quickly create attention-grabbing layouts that your audience will love.

Creating a slideshow in Canva is simple, but there are a few steps to learn. This guide will cover every step in the process, from finding a template for your slideshow to adding extra elements and music to exporting your slideshow correctly. By the end of this guide, you’ll know everything you need to create a slideshow. 

How To Create A New Photo Slideshow In Canva

The easiest and quickest way to create a slideshow in Canva is with a slideshow template. To find one of these templates, go to the Canva homepage and search for Slideshow in the search bar at the top of the screen. 

A list of suggestions will drop down from the search bar. Choose Photo Slideshow

You will see hundreds of photo slideshow templates to choose from. The most important decision for you to make here is the template size you need. 

Also, avoid templates with a little play button icon in the corner. This icon means that the template has video footage included. You can delete the videos before you start, but that is an extra step. 

Once you find the template you want to use, click on it. Then, click Customize This Template in the window that pops up. 

Your chosen template will show up in a new tab. 

Adding Images To A Slideshow In Canva

Looking toward the bottom of your screen, you’ll find every slide in your project. You can easily rearrange your slides by dragging them around.  

If you need to add a new slide, click the Plus button. 

Once you’re ready to customize your template, take a look at it and delete any elements you don’t need. Scan your template thoroughly, as some elements can blend so well that they’re tough to see at first. 

To remove an element, first select it, then tap Delete

To find images for your slideshow, click Elements in the side panel, then enter the theme you’re looking for in the search bar. Click on the Photos tab to find all the pictures based on the theme that Canva provides. 

Once you find an image that looks good, just drag the picture from the side panel onto the picture on the Canvas. The photo you drag over will replace the old one perfectly. 

You may find some elements you can’t delete when replacing images on your template. These elements are on the image itself. 

This is because the image you’re looking at is a frame. You won’t be able to remove the extra elements from the frame, so you must delete the frame itself. You can do this by selecting your image, then clicking Delete twice. 

From here, just add your image back to your Canvas. Use the corner handles to stretch the image to the size you need. 

How To Add Your Own Photos To Your Slideshow

When adding photos to Canva, using Canva’s photos is fine, but most likely, you will want to use your own pictures for your slideshow. To upload images to Canva, click Uploads in the side panel, then click on Upload Files. You will be requested to find your images on your hard drive

Once your images are uploaded to Canva, you can drag the image you want to add from the side panel to the canvas. 

How To Edit Photos For Your Slideshow

Once you have your photo on your Canvas, you can then edit the photo to your liking. First, select the image by clicking on it, then direct your attention to the side panel. The two main areas to look at are the Adjust and Filters sections. Click on See All to see all of your choices. 

When adding a filter to your image, you can click on the filter that fits your style best, then click on it again to adjust the effect. 

You can easily crop your image by double-clicking on it, revealing a handle on each corner of your image. 

Drag these handles toward the middle of your image to crop it to your liking. 

Cropping your photos is also a great way to fit multiple pictures on one slide. 

How To Add Extra Elements To Your Slideshow 

Slideshows aren’t always just about images. By adding extra elements to your slides, you can add some much-needed flair to make your slides more appealing. 

To add extra elements to your slideshow, click Elements in the Side Panel, then search for your theme in the search bar. Click on See All in the graphics section to see all of the elements available to choose from. 

Click the element you want to use to add it to your slide. 

With your element on the canvas, you can now manipulate it however you’d like. For example, you can flip the element to fit your design better by selecting it, then clicking Flip and choosing the orientation.

You can also rotate an element by selecting it, then using the Rotate button to rotate it where you need the element. 

How To Set The Duration Of Each Slide

One of the most critical aspects of creating a slideshow is the duration of each slide. You don’t want your images to go by so fast that your end user can’t see them. On the other hand, you don’t want your slides to go on too long and bore your audience. 

Thankfully, you can easily adjust the length of your slides before you export. 

First, direct your attention to the timeline at the bottom of the page. You will find a number in the corner of each slide. This number is the number of seconds each slide will last in your slideshow. 

You can adjust the time of each slide by clicking on the edge of the slide, then dragging it to the right to extend the time, or dragging it to the left to decrease the time. 

The issue with dragging your slide right or left is that it’s inaccurate. For more accuracy, click on your slide’s thumbnail to select it, then click on the Edit Timing button above your slide.  

You can then use the Timing slider to adjust the duration of the slide or input an exact number in the box. 

If you need a slide to be a specific length, this is the best method. 

If you’re just trying to throw together a quick slideshow and are not worried about the duration of each slide, you can use the Apply To All Pages. This will make each slide in your project the same duration. 

Chances are, you will want a different time for each slide. Use the methods above to change the duration of each slide to fit your needs. 

How To Add Text To A Slideshow In Canva

For some of your slides, add text to make the slide feel complete. 

To do this, click on Text, then click the Add A Text Box button. This will add a text box to the middle of your canvas. You can also click on one of the buttons below this button if you need a specific size or style. You can also add vertical text for a unique layout. 

Once you have your text box down, double-click inside it to add your message. You can then resize it to the size you need it. 

Also, don’t forget to change your font if need be by clicking the Font drop-down menu and choosing a font that works best for you. 

How To Add Music To Your Slideshow

Add music if you want to bring out an emotional response to your slideshow. 

Chances are, the template you picked out already has some music attached. You can find this music by clicking the colored bar below your thumbnail slides. This will allow you to see the audio wave of the track. 

To delete the music track, click the Three Dots, then select Delete Track. Or, click on the track, then press the Delete key. 

With the template music deleted, you can now add your own by clicking the Apps button in the Side Menu, then clicking on the Audio app. 

The audio panel is now open, and you can search for the type of music you need in the search bar or browse the tracks that pop up by default. If you want to browse more music within a section, click the See All button in that section. 

You may also notice how many music tracks have crown icons next to them. The crown icon means you can only use the track if you are a Canva Pro user. Most of the music you will find on Canva is only for Canva Pro users. 

Once you find the track you want to use, click it to add it to your project. The track will be added to whatever slide you currently have selected. 

Another thing to remember when adding music is that you don’t have to start the music clip at the beginning of the track. 

To change the starting point of your track, first select it, then click Adjust

Then, drag the audio wave where you want your track to start. 

Another cool thing about adding music to your slideshows is that you can add multiple tracks. 

Just click another track in the Side Panel to add it below your first track. 

You can then drag the edges of each track where you need it. Use the Play button to the left of your audio tracks to check how it sounds. 

How To Add Video & Audio Transitions To A Canva Slideshow

To add even more style to your slideshow, you can add transitions between each slide. Depending on the feel you’re going for, you can add flashy transitions that are impossible to miss or more subtle transitions that do the job and don’t get in the way. 

To add a video transition to a slide, click on the end of one of your slides, then click on the Animate button above the canvas, usually labeled Fade by default. 

A list will pop up in the Side Panel, allowing you to scroll through and find the type of transition you need between slides. Click on the transition of your choice to add it to your slide. 

To confirm this worked, check the Animate button. The name of the transition you’ve chosen will be displayed there. 

To add an audio transition, select the music track and click Audio Effects

Unfortunately, you won’t have as many options to choose from when it comes to audio transitions. You will only have Fade In and Fade Out controls. 

Fade In will ramp your music track from 0 to 100 after a few seconds. Fade Out will ramp down your music track from 100 to 0. You can set the duration of each effect with the two available sliders. 

Finally, you can adjust how loud your music is by clicking the Volume button and then adjusting the Volume Slider

How To View Your Slideshow In Canva

If you have a very long slideshow, you can zoom in and out of the timeline with the Zoom slider. You can find this slider at the bottom of the page. 

First, make sure to click the Zoom Page button. The top half of the button represents your Canvas. The bottom half of the button represents your timeline. Ensure the timeline half is lit up before adjusting the Zoom Slider. 

To view your entire project at the same time, click on the Grid View button. All your slides will be lined up on one page, giving you a better vantage point to make any needed edits. 

Also, if you need to see a preview of your slideshow in action, click the Play button at the top of the screen. This button will also display the total amount of time your slideshow is. 

How To Export A Slideshow In Canva

Once your Slideshow is good to go, you will want to export it the right way. 

First, click the Share button at the top of the screen, then click Download

The most important option is the File Type. Make sure you have MP4 Video selected. Selecting any other file type will remove the music or keep the slideshow static. 

The second most important option is the Quality slider. Drag the slider all the way to the left to bring the quality of your video to 480p. This setting will be very blurry and mainly used for creating a draft if needed. 

Move the slider up a bit for 720p. This quality is perfect for Facebook and other social media sites. 

Choose 1080p (HD) if you want to post your slideshow to YouTube or any other video-based site. 

Crank the Quality slider all the way to the right for 4K (UHD) if you plan on your slideshow to play on a TV or a larger monitor. 

Finally, make sure that all your pages are selected under Select Pages. Then click Download.  

Your slideshow will now download to your hard drive. From here, you can find the file where you downloaded it, then press the Play button to view it. 

And now you have a slideshow ready to go!

Photo of author
I'm a Canadian photographer and photo retoucher turned founder of bwillcreative.com. Around here I help you to decode the mystery of photo editing with no-fluff videos and written guides to help you achieve your creative goals. Outside of shooting photos and my passion for educating, you'll find me mountain biking or on the trails with my dog, Sunny!

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