3 reasons to use Indesign not Canva for your book design

book design canva design tools indesign magazine design Sep 25, 2021

Canva is great, I use it for social media posts, web graphics, even basic video editing and creation. But when it comes to books or magazines or long documents I just wouldn't use Canva for layout. I use Indesign. Before that I used to use QuarkXpress - showing my age here, but anyway, I thought I would show you three reasons why I use Indesign and not Canva. There are many more reasons but here are just three things that you can't do in Canva. They are 1. Text style sheets, 2. Automatic page numbering and 3. Text flow across boxes or pages.

1. Text style sheets

In Indesign you can set paragraph and character style sheets, which means when you place your text into text boxes on your page you can change the font, font weight, font size, leading, colour, alignment, the space after the paragraph, the space before, indent of the paragraph, – by assigning it a paragraph style - (ie. all that with ONE click). Can you see how fast that would make the layout of your long document?

Say you have a magazine or documents where you want to use your brand's fonts, with style sheets you set them up once and boom, apply across the whole document and your next document too. You can have a style for headings, paragraphs, bullet points and character style sheets for individual words within a paragraph. And the best thing? Say you decide to change the font for a heading or the spacing between paragraphs, just edit the style sheet and boom - changes it across the whole document! In Canva you can set three styles but only within your brand not within individual items of design.

2. Automatic Page numbering

It's a small thing, often the smallest thing on a page in the bottom corner; a page number. But in a multi-page document that can be quite an important navigation tool. In Indesign you can set page numbers in your style, in a set place, on Master Pages, and then every time you put another page into your document it will automatically number that page with the correct number. You want to move pages around? It auto-magically changes the number too.

3. Text flow across boxes or pages.

In Indesign you've placed your article text into your text box, but it's too long for the text box. Just put another text box on the next page, double click the red arrow on the bottom of the previous pages text box, then click the empty text box on the next page and boom – linked text boxes where the text flows across pages and boxes. Can't do that in Canva.

That is just three of the reasons I would use Indesign for layout of a book, booklet, magazine, journal anything longer than one page with a good amount of text. I hope that has helped you. See the video for these three reasons in action in Indesign.