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How to Use Canva Text Effects
  • By Design Bundles
  • 26 Jun 2021
  • 13 Mins
  • Canva Tutorials

How to Use Canva Text Effects

Discover the many Text Effects in Canva in this step-by-step tutorial!

Canva being an amazing online graphic design tool has finally rolled out its cool text effects feature. Text effects change the appearance of your text from boring to fabulous. All the effects are just in one spot so it’s super easy to try in just one click. In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to create these8 nifty text effects that you can do in Canva: shadow, lift, hollow, splice, echo, glitch, neon, and curve. Now let’s dive into the tutorial to show you what’s possible.

Step 1: Open a new design space

We're going to use a custom size 500 x 500 px logo size template.

Canva design space

Step 2: Add text

You can add text by clicking the text button> Add a heading or just simply type "T" to quickly add a textbox.

Adding textbox

With the sample text selected/highlighted, start typing your own text. It will automatically change the sample text. You can make the text bigger by dragging the white circle handle out. Change the font by clicking on the font name drop down and scroll through the options. Select the font you'd like to apply to your text.

You can use any of the free fonts in the Canva library but if you want to upload and use your own purchased font from Font Bundles, you can do so by clicking the "upload font" button at the bottom. For a complete tutorial on this, check out our tutorial on “How to Use Your Purchased Fonts in Canva".

Edit font

Here, we're going to use a pre-uploaded Serif font from Font Bundles called Shirens. We'll click that font to apply changes to our text.

Shirens font from Font Bundles

Step 3: Apply text effects

To get to the text effects, select your text, click the "Effects" option in the toolbar above. On the left panel, you will see the different effects divided into two categories: style effects and shape effects. We'll try the style effects first. Now let's have fun with these cool text effects. We'll walk you through each style and discuss what each one does.

Apply text effects


This effect creates a shadow to your text. There are several ways to adjust the look of the shadow. Pictured are the default settings but you can fine-tune each according to your liking by dragging the control sliders to the left or to the right. Offset can increase or decrease the shadow's distance from the text. Direction can change the direction of the shadow from the text. Blur can sharpen or blur your shadow, while transparency changes the opacity of the shadow. We can also change the shadow's color by clicking on the color tile below and choosing the preferred color from the editor panel on the left.

Shadow text effect


This effect makes your text appears like it’s being lifted off the page. The shadow’s intensity behind the text is the only control you can change with this effect. You can increase the intensity of the blurred shadow by dragging the slider to the right and decrease it by dragging it to the left.

Lift text effect


This effect works best with chunky fonts and not the thin ones because it hollows out your letters and creates an outline for your text. You can adjust the thickness of your outline by sliding the thickness control to the right or to the left.

Hollow text effect

The hollow effect can also let you create a solid outline for your text. To make one, you should start with a solid text. And with it selected, duplicate your text by clicking the 3 dots in the toolbar for more options then click the duplicate button. Change the color of your original text for contrast by clicking the color tile and selecting the color that you want from the left panel to apply the color change.

Outline text

Select your second text (black), click the Effects option then click Hollow from the effects panel on the left. Place the outline text on the top of the solid text.

Outline text


Our next effect, Splice is the combination of shadow and hollow effect. There are four ways you can adjust the look of your spliced text just by dragging the control slider of each adjustment. You can adjust the thickness of the text’s outline, offset can increase the shadow’s distance from the text outline, you can change the direction of the shadow text behind the outline text and you can also change the color of the shadow text by clicking on the color tile below and choosing the preferred color from the editor panel on the left.

Splice effect


Echo gives your text a nice layered look by duplicating the original text twice behind it. The ways to customize are offset, direction, and color. Offset, changes the distance of the shadow text from the main text, direction changes the direction of the shadow text behind the main text, and color changes the shadow’s text color. The effect is more visible in thinner fonts than in chunky ones.

Echo text effect in Canva


Glitch gives your text an appearance of irregularity or digital glitching effect. The ways to customize are offset, direction, and color. Offset changes the degree of the offset look, direction changes the direction of the offset and color changes the color of the glitch. There are only two glitch color choices available- electric cyan+light neon pink and neon blue+bright scarlet. The glitch effect looks nice on both the chunky and skinny fonts.

Glitch text effect in Canva


The neon effect gives your text the 80s vibe with its bright glow. The only thing you can customize in this effect is the neon glow's intensity. Moving the slider to the right makes the glow softer and makes your text white while moving it to the left makes the glow harsher and blurs the text.

Neon text effect in Canva


We're done with all the style effects, now we're going to discuss the only shape effect which is curve text. With its name, curve lets you curve your text and adjust the intensity of the curve by moving the curve slider to the right. With it, you can turn your text into a half circle or full circle.

Curve text

You can also change the angle of the curve to the opposite direction by moving the curve slider to the left.

Curve Text in Canva

Now that we're done, one final note on using Canva text effects is that any of these effects can make your text stand out but limit your use to just 1-2 effects in your design and remember that they will only look good with title texts and not with body texts.

Next up, learn how to make a table in Canva to create a daily class schedule.

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