InDesign vs Canva: Battle of The Designer Greats

Ron Potterman
Ron Potterman
canva vs indesign

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InDesign vs Canva is one showdown among graphic greats many foresaw but one cannot decide on easily. The growing demand for a strong social media presence has moved businesses towards online spheres, and to prosper in those, you need the right graphic designer. 

Canva vs Adobe are the design platforms that receive the most praise among users, however, both of them cannot suit every budget. InDesign can meet you on a subscription-based service, while Canva allows you to form documents ready-to-print free of charge!

Although Adobe is superior in popularity, Canva can outshine it in other categories. The following will be a detailed comparison between Adobe InDesign vs Canva, to aid you in driving your business in the correct direction. 

Continue below to learn all the pros and cons of the greatest designer tools Canva vs InDesign as well as other helpful things like how to group on Canva!

Canva vs InDesign: Which is the Best?

When it comes to popularity, Adobe has existed for decades and, naturally, has garnered major recognition. Canva has only recently gathered an audience thanks to the free printable documents and other more modern, attractive goodies. 

Canva offers a lot more to the everyday average user, and it has a free option! Canva can even help you make creative Instagram posts and stories using their templates to get your business going. Basically, an all-around help for occasional graphic designs for social media posts for different platforms. 

Branding on Canva

Adobe InDesign is more of a full-time designer tool, intended for creating posters, flyers, brochures, books, and other similar formats. InDesign is also superior when it comes to its gallery, and the overwhelming amount of fonts to choose from. 

By pinning Adobe InDesign vs Canva, the chooser will discover that the former is most used by experienced designers, while the latter is suitable for marketers and social media posts. One gives easier access to cheap, yet quality stock images, while the other allows all file types. 

Adobe InDesign Features

Both are the industry’s standards, and both tools will lead you smoothly on the market. 

However, they have a lot more differences than similarities, and that’s not just templates. Here’s how the battle of Canva vs Adobe went. 

1. Canva vs InDesign: War of the Templates:

Canva takes the crown for template use, just because the process with Canva is much easier. Canva is also a free designer program, which allows users to browse through a massive catalog fit with 8.000 free designs for all occasions! While Canva has a paid Pro option too, there are a lot of great templates and features that are free. 

Adobe InDesign doesn’t lack templates either, and some fan-favorites can be downloaded from third-party resources. Even though it’s a graphic designer’s best tool, pre-made templates are not Adobe’s best side nor main focus. It’s more of a do-it-yourself tool, teaching you how to make your own appropriate template from scratch. 


  • More than 8.000 designs to choose from in the free version


  • Fully customizable (paid) designs 
  • More of a tutoring tool

Canva Templates

2. Adobe InDesign vs Canva: Interface Ease:

When it comes to interacting with the program, Adobe InDesign offers far more versatility. With more complexity, however, comes an even more complicated interface. 

It takes a serious graphic designer to master the Adobe tool, and more than one YouTube tutorial to get the hang of it. Canva on the other hand is popular for its ease of use as it is a drag and drop tool with no overly complicated commands. 

You can also learn how to group on Canva as well as make quick flyers and brochures. With more than 400 thousand templates available on the premium version, there’s plenty to choose from. 

Canva vs Adobe Indesign Comparison

What clearly differentiates Canva vs Adobe is the complexity of use and their intended use. One’s meant for a graphic designer that knows the program and the other for marketers who need a temporary designer tool to help with a post or two. 

Try Canva for FREE

Adobe requires much more effort and time invested to perfect, while Canva makes the learning process easier and memorable. 


  • Easier to master
  • suitable for quick designs
  • quick tutorials     


  • Requires more time and effort
  • Perfect for graphic designers
  • Suitable for long term knowledge

3. Canva vs adobe: Expenses and Prices:

When it comes to budget, the obvious winner is of course the free version. Canva beats Adobe in this round since Canva has a free-of-charge option. Adobe InDesign on the other hand comes at a price of $31.49 a month for a single subscription. 

Adobe InDesign offers a free trial, however, once that trial finishes it immediately starts charging. If you pay your subscription you can have InDesign open whenever you wish. Make sure to locate the right Adobe models for your needs, as some older ones are available at certain discounts. 

canva pricing packages

Canva can be free, but it also offers a pay version of only $9.95, which is much less compared to Adobe’s bundles which could reach over $50 a month. With it, you can get other designer tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, etc. 

Try Canva for FREE


  • Free of charge
  • Pay for a premium $9.99


  • $20.95 a month when paid annually
  • $31.49 for a single monthly subscription

4. Canva vs Adobe: Greater Expert:

Canva is known to push its already-existing templates onto users, which is not the most industry-friendly option. If you’re working as a graphic designer and your templates bring your bread, then it’s best to invest time and effort and learn from Adobe. 

Adobe InDesign is one program that slowly teaches you the craft, and then how to publish it. Adobe was previously known as the no.1 program for desktop publishing, and it earned its fair share of recognition for it. 

Knowing how to work with Adobe InDesign, you land one valuable non-transferable skill. Adobe is also the most trusted content marketing tool, according to studies done in 2020. 

5. Canva vs Adobe: Attributes:

At the end of the day, you’re supposed to be making the best decision for the future of your business, so when discussing  Adobe InDesign vs Canva, one comes on top, and that’s the inexpensive option. 

However, if you’re considering graphic design in the long run, then professional Adobe might be your guy. 

Pros  Canva  Adobe InDesign 
Templates Canva has more than 8.000+  templates in the free version and 400.000 + on the premium version DIY templates
Ease of use Mastered in one tutorial, very user-friendly Needs more time and effort investment 
Budget  Free or the paid option of only $9.95 $31.49 for a single month subscription
Expertise  Fairly new Built reputation
Attributes  More than 1000+ fonts, template-based and inexpensive stock images Catalog of fonts which require paid subscriptions, all file types are available 

In summary, Canva surpasses Adobe when considering time, while Adobe is suitable if you are a true perfectionist. Canva is the best pick if you’re not trying to build a template from scratch if you’re running low on your budget, or you don’t have much time to waste. 

Adobe InDesign might need some compensation, however with the tool you get access to fully customizable designs, and all file types are available. With Adobe InDesign you also meet zero legal ramifications. 

Let’s take a look at some of the other attributes you get with each program. 

6. Font Packages:

Canva and Adobe InDesign shine equally when it comes to their gallery of fonts, however, with Canva you can access them for free. With Canva’s numerous options, the user gets pre-installed fonts, and access to more than 1000+. 

Although inexpensive, Canva’s fonts do not limit you to a single gallery-like Adobe. InDesign allows you to use fonts only from Adobe’s collection. 

Other fonts can be downloaded but only for program use. Adobe takes the corn in this round because their font is globally well-known. If you want your business to gain the recognition it deserves, go with what works and InDesigns fonts never fail. 

7. Stock images:

You can’t build a business without the right image, and stock images can do your business justice. You can find stock images on Canva if you locate its image page. If you own a license for the stock image that you like, you can incorporate it into your own design and make it yours!

Canva Premium Images

Canva’s stock images don’t cost much, and that doesn’t just go for the cheesy ones. 

With Adobe InDesign you can have access to stock images whenever you want, since you have a paid subscription. Unlike Canva, Adobe InDesign images are much more costly than Canva. This is because Adobe’s Stock gallery is aimed at graphic designers who make a living out of it or representatives of third-party clients. Overall both allow you access to some of the finest images a designer would wish for, but according to the user’s budget.

Try Canva for FREE

In this round, Canva vs InDesign meet at a tie at stock image quality and quantity. 

8. File Types:

Before actually choosing your designer program, think about the type of files you’ll be importing and exporting. Through Canva you can export a limited amount of files, depending on your subscription deal. 

Canva allows the following file types for all subscription levels: 

  • JPG
  • PNG
  • PDF

According to research online, many customers complain that Canva’s exported files are not always as clean and clear as you would want them to be. Transparency is key when it comes to graphic design, and with Canva, it’s not guaranteed in its entirety. This may interfere with how you choose to market your brand, and thus how your public perceives it. 

Saving PDF print from Canva

Adobe is far superior when it comes to file types because there are no limits with the Adobe Creative Cloud. With Adobe InDesign you can export some of the following, not so common files: 

  • The usual JPG, PNG, PDF
  • EPS

With Adobe you’re guaranteed that your files will be exported with extreme quality and clarity.

9. Speed Rates:

When it comes to speed, Canva is basically a racer. With an easy drag and drop workflow, Canva allows the user to finish their designs in no time. InDesign however offers you much more possibilities, but only if you have the time to put into it.  

Customers are more concerned with the speed of the design, rather than the entire software. Canva is the best pick for newbies, while Adobe allows you to use other models and applications. However, this usually results in restricted texts or image dislocation. Adobe is for the experienced and extremely patient. 

10. Shareability:

If you’re just beginning to use Canva, connecting and sharing your work with other individuals is super easy. Because it’s free to use, and cloud-based collaboration is everywhere. 

Newbie explorers of Canva can get access to other designs as well as share their own, free of charge for the program. Canva also lets its subscribers exchange files via the platform.

Using elements in Canva Pro

InDesign Adobe is limited in the fact that it allows your files and documents to be shared with individuals who own the same software as you. It’s the best choice if the finished result requires sophisticated typographical features. 

11. How to Group on Canva?

Although Adobe InDesign might be the professional choice, Canva is popular because of its ease of use and unique appearance. Canva is your go-to choice if you want to see how to group elements on the web, regardless of device. 

There are three possible ways to group images, videos or text on Canva, and those include the following methods:

Grouping and more in Canva pro

  • Group objects with the help of your mouse
  • Group elements with the help of a keyboard 
  • Drag and drop while holding the shift key 
  • Touch and hold element with Apple or android 

Canva functions on a drag and drop editor, which allows the user to quickly work with multiple photos, templates, videos, fonts and much more. 

Canva vs Adobe: Bottom Line 

The right choice for your future designer tool should directly rely on your level of capability. Whichever you choose differs in abilities and simplicity, and if you analyze your business’s distinct needs, you’ll know your ideal graphic designer tool. 

Evaluate the results before receiving them by numbering items that are necessary for your business and which Canva vs adobe solution works quickest and best. 

Adobe InDesign is an industry-standard and the right tool if you need complex designs in the long run, while Canva offers you free templates and knowledge with no effort necessary! While Canva gives you all the guidelines, Adobe provides you with a blank slate.

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