Text-to-Image: Unlock Canva’s Creative Typography Tools

Artificial intelligence is all the rage in the modern era of technology, and there are many different ways in which we can use AI to improve our productivity. One of the most popular Productivity Tools, Canva has implemented several ways to use AI to improve your designs.

To use the text-to-image feature in Canva, you must upgrade to the Pro version. Then go and create a blank canvas, and in the column of tools to the side of your canvas, you will find the option for text to image. You can describe what you want Canva to create just by using text.

In addition to the text-to-image feature, Can Pry also allows us other AI-based tool sets, such as the ability to remove objects from a photo or even remove an entire background. But perhaps the most exciting is the ability to type in words and create an image.

How To Use Canva’s Text To Image Tool?

The first step to using the Text to image tool in Canva is to make sure that you create a new canvas. You can do this by just going to the top corner of the Canva home page and then selecting the Create design option.

You can choose any of the templates available or you can create a custom design with your own resolution values.

Pick Your Canvas

Once you have decided on your resolution, select the Create My Design button, and a new window will open up, taking you to Canva’s page for creating new designs.

You should now see a blank canvas on your screen, and to the side of that canvas, you will have all of the various tools you can use to begin designing.

Text To Image Option

Towards the bottom of this toolset, you’ll see an option for text images. Left click, and it will bring into view the tools for converting text into images.

You can then left-click in the textbox and this type in the image description you want to create. The number one tip here is that the more detail you provide, the more accurate the image will be for your specifications.

Text To Image Tools

For example, Let’s look at a couple of text-based prompts. The first prompt is to draw an astronaut standing on the moon.

Image With A Simple Prompt

The second prompt is an astronaut standing on the moon, looking up at the night sky, where Earth is visible and a small space station is next to it.

More Detail In The Initial Prompt

The more detail you add to your text prompt, the more detail is going to be added to the final image. This may not be exactly what you are looking for, so Canvas offers a variety of images based on the text prompt so that you can choose the most accurate for your design.

In our second example, we ask for a small space station to be positioned in the sky, but none is visible. This indicates that the technology is still not perfect, and editing will still be required with the generated image.

Four images in total are going to be generated each time you create a new prompt. Just left-click on the image you wish to add, and it will automatically be positioned on top of your canvas.

You can edit images created from text like you can edit traditional images in Canva. For example, you could apply various filters to your created image.

Setting Your Rendered Image As A Background

An everyday use in Canva for text-based images is to have them set as the background of your canvas. For example, we might want to create a cover for a magazine that gives us the latest in space-based news.

Therefore we use canvas to create our image, and we bring it onto our canvas. Then we want to set it as the background to overlay it with text elements.

We can do this by selecting our image and then hitting the right mouse button to bring up the context menu. Towards the bottom of the context menu, we can set the image as the background. Left Click to convert our image from a movable element to the background of the canvas itself.

Using The Example Feature For Text To Image

When you go to the Text to Image section in Canva, you will have the opportunity to create an example prompt with the click of a single button.

By selecting the Try an example button within the text prompt box, Canva will create a random text prompt that you can use to generate a new image. If you don’t like the prompts, the button changes to ‘try another.’ This allows you to continuously cycle through unlimited text prompt variations until you find one you want to try.

Once you find one that you’d like the look of, click on the create your Image button at the bottom in order to generate your image.

This is a great way to get ideas for potential prompts and also to see the level of detail required in those prompts to create usable images. Not many words are always needed, but the more you describe your image, the better it will likely look.

Changing The Aspect Ratio

One of the drawbacks to the text-to-image tool in Canva is the limitation of changing the aspect ratio compared to something like Midjourney, which is a dedicated discord server to the tool itself. In Midjourney, we add the text –ar 4:3 to the end of any prompt we write to create images in the desired aspect ratio.

By contrast, Canva only allows us to format our generated images to one of three templates. These are square, portrait, and Landscape. The options are visible in the settings below the text-to-image prompt.

In general, all images will fall into one of these three categories, so choose the option best suited to your canvas, especially if you plan to use your image as the background.

Keep in mind that if the aspect ratio of the image does not fully match the ar of the canvas, then the image will be cropped when made into a background.

Adding A Style To Your Image

Another feature that you can use in Canva Pro is the ability to choose a specific style of the image using the style options.

This can dramatically change the final result of the image based on the style you have selected, even if the prompt is the same. After all the results generated from a single prompt already defer considerably from one image to the next.

To demonstrate how effective styles can be let’s use a single prompt and generate images using different styles. We will stick with the same image prompt of ‘

Located directly under the text prompt, we can choose from various styles. By selecting a new style, you dramatically alter the final result of the prompt, even if that prompt remains the same. In Canva, the text prompt describes the What that is drawn in our image, while the style options will indicate How it is drawn.

To demonstrate how effective this is on our final image, here are three results for the same text prompt: ‘ astronaut standing on the moon, looking up at the night sky, where Earth is visible, and a small space station is next to it‘.

Photo Style

The first image here uses the photo style, which of course, makes the image look like a photograph.

Colorful Style

The second image is using the colorful digital art style, and already you can see how much of a difference this makes.

Watercolor Style

Then we have our third example, with uses a watercolor art style. Because Canva, like many other ai tools, will always generate new images, it is currently not viable to create the exact same image in different art styles, but the difference in the styles themselves should be noticeable enough.

It is possible that in the future Canva will add a function that allows you to convert a created ai image into a different style, we shall see.

What Can I Use The Text To Image Feature For?

Canva is a design tool that is regarded as an excellent online alternative to applications like adobe photoshop and Illustrator.

While those applications are more suitable for professional 3D artists who want the absolute best tools available to create their art, Canva is an extremely popular alternative since it allows you to do almost anything that you would need for commercial projects.

For example, the available canvas templates will allow you to set it up for designing anything from email newsletters to magazines to Facebook ads.

Text to image is an alternative way of filling up our canvas compared to the method of using elements mapped across the canvas.

Therefore any of the use cases for creating designs for those elements can also be applied to the use of text-based images as well.

Below is a list of examples of products and projects where text-to-image can generate designs.

  • Print On Demand
  • Stickers
  • Shirt Design
  • Newsletters
  • Magazines
  • Social Media Ads (Facebook, Instagram)
  • Birthday And Holiday Cards
  • Canvas Prints
  • Concept Art
  • Calendars
  • Schedules
  • To-Do Lists
  • Guides
  • Youtube Thumbnails
  • Web Page Design

These are some of the leading use cases for Canva, and text-to-image can be used as a part of each process.

For example, we can generate unique images for t-shirt designs, and then use the other editing tools in Canva to modify the design before exporting it to Printful or Printify, where the design is applied to a shirt that we then publish and prep for sale on our Shopify store.

And this is not limited to T-Shirts, as we can modify the designs to fit any available physical product. Our design could be placed on mugs, and we could use text to image as the basis for an Etsy store that sells these unique mugs.

Or we could sell packs of themed stickers on something like Redbubble. Print-on-demand has endless possibilities, and text-based images allow us to create more designs faster.

Our favorite use case is to sell digital prints. For example, you could create a service where the buyer asks for a custom image they want to print on their wall. You can use Canva to create multiple iterations using their specifications in a matter of minutes and edit where required.

They would then pick the best print they link, and you send a full-resolution version of that image to them for print.

We also like the idea of using Canvas’ design tools to create birthday and special occasion cards. This is where canvas as a tool shines. I have used Canva to create my greeting cards for family and friends. I design the card in Canva and then add Text Elements on top of the design.

Fun fact, I have not bought a card from a store in two years now, and with the introduction of ai in the form of text-to-image, we can produce designs far quicker than ever before.

How To Edit Images That Are Created From Text?

While using the text-to-image functionality will allow you to better approximate your target design, it is unlikely that you will settle on the image itself as your final image.

Think of it as the Pareto principle, where 20% of the time spent can yield 80% of the results. That is true here as we spent little time with these ai tools to get most of what we are looking for, but not all.

There should always be minor changes that you can make to improve the image to suit your project better.

But how do you edit these kinds of images? Currently, Canva views images generated using text as photo elements. This is even the case if you do not choose the photo option from the available styles.

Unfortunately, Canva cannot use the text-to-image tool to generate images based on elements or layers. This is why it is currently easier to categorize any images created this way as photos.

But photos themselves can be edited using various tools, and all of these tools can be used with AI-generated images as well.

For example, let’s take a watercolor image with a large, dark world in the sky. We can edit the image by selecting the edit photo option, which brings up another selection of tools.

Among them is the ability to add overlay filters which will change the image’s color scheme as a whole, but more interesting are the ai tools that we can use.

Yes, Canva has more Ai functionality to go beyond just text-to-image generation. Three ai tools are currently available: background removal, magic eraser, and magic edit.

Ai Tools In Canva Editing

We don’t want to remove the background for our image, but let’s say we wanted to remove the world in the sky.

Select the magic eraser tool, and a brush appears, which allows you to paint over any aspects of the image you want to remove.

After Using The Eraser Tool

In our case, we paint over the planet in the sky, and after a couple of seconds, Canva can erase it and replace it with what Canva thinks should be there.

The alternative option is the magic edit tool which will allow us to not only delete the painted areas of the image but also replace them with whatever we want.

This time we select the magic edit tool, and the process is split into three stages. The first stage is to paint the area we want to replace, in this case, the world in the sky.

For the second stage, we use a text prompt to indicate what we want to add. Let’s say we use the prompt ‘The Planet Earth’.

Then Canva generates four images we can use, and we pick the best one for the main image. In our example, this is the new result.

Edited Image With The Planet Earth

Ai tools are a powerful way of improving your efficiency both as an artist and as a designer, with Canva one of the top choices for designers and entrepreneurs for their products and projects.

Text to image already transforms typical design workflows and will continue to do so as it evolves. For right now though, give Canva a try to see how effective ai tools can be for you.


My name is Joe and I am the lead writer and content creator for this site. Since it first starting to make waves in 2022 I have believed that a lot of what we will be able to do in the future will be assisted by artificial intelligence, and that the more you know about how to best use ai, the better a position you will be in regardless of your field and industry.

Recent Posts