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Canva Takes On … Microsoft 365?

Posted September 15, 2022 | Canva | Canva Visual Worksuite | Cloud | Google Docs | Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Loop | Music + Videos | Notion | Windows


Canva is a great little service for those creating design elements for YouTube videos and social media. You’ll never believe what they’re doing next.

It’s called Visual Worksuite.

“Today marks a momentous step forward in this vision and Canva’s journey as we reveal the biggest changes to Canva in almost a decade,” a new post to the Canva newsroom explains. “We’re excited to usher in a Visual Worksuite designed for the modern, visual, and ever-evolving world we live in. These launches elevate Canva from the graphic design tool you know and love into an end-to-end visual communication platform that every person, organization, team, or school can use to unlock their creativity and achieve their goals.”

Canva Visual Worksuite consists of several tools, many of which are new: Docs, Whiteboards, Presentations, Social Media, Video, Print, and Websites. And yes, each is exactly what it sounds like. Docs, for example, lets “creators, teams, and readers” create documents—“from proposals to project plans, to-do lists, strategy documents, or even travel itineraries”—that include rich text, media of all kinds, and data visualizations.

There’s no real discussion of formats or underlying technologies, but Canva’s description of this particular tool—which includes the ability to embed objects from elsewhere in the Canva toolset sounds an awful lot like existing tools such as Notion to me. (And thus it could compete with Microsoft’s upcoming solution called Loop.)

My initial reaction to this news was somewhat incredulous, but the more I look over Canva’s materials, the more it makes sense. Where Microsoft 365 and Office clearly target what we used to call “knowledge workers,” Canva Visual Worksuite is a simpler and more modern approach that targets today’s creators, many of which work in more visual media.

From what I can tell, Visual Workspace is just part of Canva now, so you can choose between the firm’s free and paid tiers depending on your needs. A Canva Pro subscription for individuals, for example, costs $120 per year. All of the tools in Canva Visual Worksuite are available now except for Docs, which is coming later this year. But there’s a waitlist if you want to sign up for early access.

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