How to Convert Canva to an InDesign File

Working Canva is a simple and easy way to make designs like the pros using InDesign or Photoshop. You can download your files on Canva and transfer them over to other platforms. This allows you to start designs at home and take them to work. So how do you convert Canva files to InDesign?

Converting Canva files to InDesign files could take a bit of work and computer know-how. The downloading and file selection process could give some fits. When multiple windows open, some people lose their minds but don’t sweat it! Read on and learn all you need to know about converting your Canva files to InDesign.

Converting Canva Files to InDesign

One thing you must understand before getting into the process is that conversion only takes a finished Canva project, like a pamphlet or post design, and uses the downloaded file as a conversion file for another software. Think of it this way; your saved designs can be converted but without help from conversion software.

The First Step is Downloading on Canva

Using Canva is the most accessible software on the market. It is full of choices and enough options to give the feel of graphic design without the intricate knowledge of the art, like InDesign. You should choose one of your complete files or finish the project you are working on. Incomplete files will work but could create more problems during conversion.

The steps to download your work off Canva are:

  1. Work Space – The place to start is in the workspace window where you have been working. It differs from the initial screen, which only discusses options and finished designs. You will recognize the workspace window by the stream of editing options down the left side of the screen.
  2. Click File – In the banner running along the top of the screen, you will see File. Click on it, and a drop-down menu will appear. There are several options to choose from, but the one we need is Download. Be careful when clicking these options, as they could bring up new pages you don’t want.
  3. Click Download – You open another drop-down menu from the top left by clicking on download. This simple menu has only a couple of boxes to choose from. The top box allows you to select the format you want to download. Choose PDF as it converts easily to .AI, the InDesign file type.

Downloading in Canva is a straightforward process. The simplistic UX of Canva makes doing complicated jobs, like creating a video for your Instagram, a breeze. Likewise, you can create outstanding graphics for your brand in a snap by messing around with the site.

Choosing a Conversion Software is the Next Step

You might think that once you have a PDF, you can head straight to InDesign, but that might not work as you think. Often when you download PDF files to ID, you can only view them and not work on them like an AI file. You must find a conversion software to help change the file to a proper Adobe InDesign file.

A few places to search for reliable Conversion software are:

  • Apple Store – The Apple store only allows software that isn’t malicious and protects your computer and online identity. Choose software that converts from PDF to AI and doesn’t take up tons of space on your computer. It should not slow down the processing speed or hamper usability if it is a tiny app.
  • Google Store – Another good source of clean conversion software is Google. Like Apple, they take the time to inspect the apps on their platform and ensure they perform as advertised with no adverse side effects. Of course, apps will always want to track your data, but others could be out there to take control of your devices.

The software should be easy to use and convert the files you need. There are great products from Adobe that will get the job done while providing a name that you can trust. Just be sure to pay the fees, or you will fight adware. They have a subscription policy that must be followed, or they could seize your files. 

Placing Canva Files in InDesign is the Last Step

Now that you have chosen conversion software, it should spit the results onto your InDesign software. If the file doesn’t load automatically, check your downloads folder and home screen for any new files labeled AI.

The steps to load your files into InDesign are:

  1. Choose File – The place to start in your InDesign application is by clicking on File. This option opens up another menu that will have several options. They often pertain to locating and associated files to use in the workspace.
  2. Choose Place – Choose Place from the dropdown menu. Place retrieves the files from where they are stored and allows you to put them into your space. The thing to remember is your filename and type.
  3. Choose the PDF – The PDF you created way back in the first step is the file you are looking for. It should populate close to the top if you decide to save it on the desktop. Then, clicking the file will show up in your workspace with all the options of editing you usually expect from InDesign.

InDesign is a bit more complicated than Canva, but the files will still be workable. You might have a font missing, depending on your Canva choices, but other than that, the file should be functional and ready for more edits.


Converting files from Canva to InDesign is a bit frustrating if you try and do it without conversion software. Using software allows you to quickly change the file type without having to do any computer gymnastics of fancy file changes. It protects the file’s integrity while enabling it to be altered for another platform.

Once you have chosen a conversion software, it should allow you to work with the same designs you used in Canva. This process might be more involved depending on file locations and other variables.