How To Create Free Ebook Downloads & PDF Worksheets Using Canva

How to create free ebook downloads & PDF Worksheets using Canva

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED! Go here to get the latest information.

As an online entrepreneur, building your email list is one of the most important steps in obtaining leads and ideal customers to your business. Every website you visit, no matter what industry; there is a sign up form to get on their list. The person’s name and email is GOLD.

Emails & names are gold

The person that’s signing up to your list could be a potential client. You will want to provide them something extra helpful so they can opt-in to be on your list. Offer something they can’t refuse to miss out on.

An offer they can't refuse

People don’t like to give out their email address just for the heck of it. Emails are hard to keep up with and organize. They don’t need any more “junk mail”. You must think about different types of opt-in offers for your audience, that are super JUICY and irresistible.

Juicy mail from Kermit
Confession: I was a HUGE fan of Kermit the Frog, I’m an ’80’s kid – totally. I’d join his mailing list.

A free ebook download may sound pretty enticing at first as an opt-in. However how many ebooks have you downloaded and haven’t read? I have my share of downloaded ebooks waiting for me to peruse. Perhaps you can offer something like an action guide or toolkit. It’s something small that people would like to get some snappy tips or tools to use and put them to use immediately. Don’t we all like instant gratification.

Clickety Click Click
You know you want to click on ALL the links you can find! Especially when it says GO, Start, Get Now & FREE.

Whichever opt-in you choose (ebooks or PDF worksheets/guides) you can do it ALL in Canva. It’s fairly simple to use with a few tips and practice you’ll get those opt-ins online in no time.

Create ebook downloads and PDF worksheets/guides using Canva

First of all, I just want to kick myself for not thinking of this earlier when I did my ebook, “How To Use Canva Like A Pro For Business”. Why? I used Microsoft Word on a Mac and I had to convert into a PDF with clickable links. Yea… all I can say it was not a brilliant move.

If you’re looking to create a short ebook (no more than 30 pages), then Canva will work!

A really popular layout is landscape for ebooks, and you can certainly do that in Canva by choosing the Presentations design when you first log into Canva. There is so much you can do with the Presentation design option (SlideShare, webinar slides, create your own design for PowerPoint or Keynote slide templates, and more).

Presentation Design to A4 Document Design

If you want to do an ebook or guide, the traditional or portrait layout is available too and you can choose the A4 Document design.

Either layout or design you choose, the following elements are the same:

  • Cover Image
  • Table of Contents
  • Page Numbers
  • Typography
  • Linking

Cover Image

If you’re working on an ebook to be published on Kindle Direct Publishing, then be sure to use the Kindle Cover in Canva for the cover and do not include the cover in the main body of the ebook.

If the ebook will be a PDF download for your opt-in then create a cover image with your own photo or use high-res photos. Add the title of the ebook and you’re now ready to continue to the next page.

Sample Cover Page of ebook in Canva

This layout was readily available, when I clicked on it all I had to do was change the photo and text.

Table of Contents

It’s always nice to reference to a specific page for a particular topic. The only down side is that you can’t link the table of contents to certain pages in your document. (Note to self – send Canva an email for this suggestion!) That would be the ULTIMATE feature and would save so many headaches for people. If you do feel that it is imperative to have a clickable table of contents then I suggest using Adobe Pro.

In my opinion, since it’s a short ebook or toolkit/guide then it really shouldn’t matter as your content is going to be so juicy your readers will want to get through it all.

Here’s a quick look at how you can create the TOC:

Table of Contents

Page Numbers

In any document you create displaying the page number will keep it organized and is user-friendly to the reader.

Here’s a way to display your page numbers in Canva:

Page numbers in Canva document


No matter what type of document you choose, be sure to use a font that is appropriate for your work. Depending on the background color and what you want to display to your audience, it’s important to have a large enough typeface and color for people to see clearly.

Typography gif


Okay so this where it gets GOOD. You’ll be providing valuable information in so many ways when you link from your document. If you’re creating a toolkit or guide, this is an awesome way to give your audience an enormous amount of information on a few pages.

I suggest typing everything out in Word, Pages, or Google doc and have the links handy that you’ll need.

Take a look here at how quickly you can link your document:

Linking documents in Canva
I created a document with objects to click on. The first sticker – BOOM! I linked to and the apple I did not link so you can see the difference once the document was downloaded as a PDF.

Download Tip

Be sure to click on High Quality PDF on the download rather than image or your links won’t work.

I hope this encourages you to create an ebook, worksheet, guide, toolkit, and more for your email opt-ins for your website.

I’d love to see what you create for your business. Feel free to link your website with your creation in the comments below. There is a lot of potential in using Canva for these great downloadable PDF opt-ins. It doesn’t have to be hard.

Here are a few ideas you can work with to get you started:

  • Do a list of your favorite productivity tools (Toolkit)
  • Time-saving Tips and link to your fave articles (Time-Savers Guide)
  • Social Media Tips List
  • Guide with links to your most popular blog posts (Awesome Blog Posts)

Feel free to share this article if you found it to be helpful.

Take care,

Lillian De Jesus


Published by Lillian De Jesus

Connect with me on Twitter @tigerlilyva11!

66 thoughts on “How To Create Free Ebook Downloads & PDF Worksheets Using Canva

  1. Great tips Lillian. The reality is that a certain number of people who sign up do so only to get the freebie – that’s a fact of life. I must admit I have yet to give Canva a try but that’s only because I have desktop publishing software on my computer, but the images produced from that service do have an attractive and distinctive look so one day soon I’m going to have to make the time to do some exploring. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Hi Lilian,
    This are really very useful tips you give here,
    I did not know about this. Canva is really an amazing tool.
    I will have a look and see what I can create with this tips.
    Thank you

  3. Hi Lillian,
    Fantastic! I love Canva and although I haven’t written an Ebook yet, this is great for a cover for my digital product I just came out with! Now I don’t have to go to fiverr to get an image done for that. Woo Hoo

    Thank you so very much for this fab idea.


  4. This is a really nice tool for quick lead magnets, Lillian.
    I agree with you, too, that people are looking more for instant gratification than enormous substance (ie., TMI overload). So quick toolkits, worksheets and cheatsheets may actually be better hook. I haven’t done a lot with PDF sharing, so I tend to stay away from them. I’d love to see a post on how to actually share your finished Canva worksheet, for instance, from it’s download on your desktop to your end consumer. Is that an email link directly to the pdf, or does it get embedded on a private blog page or what? (You can see I haven’t done this, yet).
    Thanks for the great training here. Invaluable!

    1. Hi David,

      Yes, I’ll definitely do a post soon on how to use the finalized PDF for an opt-in on a website. I’m glad you liked this post. I really appreciate you reading it.

      Take care,

  5. Thank you so much! I was looking for an alternative for the design of my next ebook. Last one I made by exporting a Word Doc to PDF. Using Canva for the job sounds like a lot of fun and not too difficult!

    1. Hello Catherine,

      That’s awesome news! Glad this post was helpful to you.

      Take care,

  6. Hey there, thanks for the tips. I have been really wanting to know the BEST tool to use to create an ebook for a free opt in. I will definitely use canva.
    Do you know if there is a more “legitimate” way to make an ebook. I guess adobe pro?

    1. Hi Steph,

      Thanks for stopping by! If you’re thinking about doing an ebook that’s more than 30 pages I really do recommend Adobe Pro. If you don’t have Adobe Pro another option is OpenOffice and export as a PDF. I actually did my ebook in Word BUT I’m a Mac user and it was difficult converting with clickable links.

      Hope that helps!

      Take care,

  7. Great tips!! I love canva so far. However, I noticed that once I download my pdf doc the links don’t work if I open the document after saving on to my desktop, for example. The file needs to be opened directly from the browser in order for the links to work. Have you come across that?

    1. Hi Brenda,

      That is so strange! I downloaded a couple of PDF documents from Canva, saved them to my desktop then tried the links and they still work. I’m not sure why it’s not working for you. If you’d like for me to try to test it out on your account, I’d be happy to help. Otherwise I’d say check with Canva if they’ve had this problem before. Send them the link to that particular design. They are very helpful and get back to you the same day.

      Thanks reading and take care,

    1. Hello Chelsea,

      Welcome to my blog! I’m so glad you learned how to use the landscape format for ebooks on Canva. It’s a fun way to do an ebook! Please do let me know if you have any questions when you’re creating. I’d love to help!

      Take care,

    1. Hi Natalie,

      So glad you’ve found my blog and the tutorial you needed on creating worksheets in Canva! Do let me know if you have any questions. It’s my pleasure to help.

      Take care,

    1. Hi Erial,

      Thanks for visiting my blog! Seriously there is so much to do on Canva it’s crazy. That’s why I’m a bit obsessed with Canva and I created a course on it!

      Glad you learned something new.

      Take care,

  8. Thanks for the useful tips! I use canva for lots of design stuff but will be using it for the first time for a beauty guide for my blog. Your tips are very handy 😀

    1. Sorry for the late response Maila! I’m so glad this post was helpful to you.

      Take care,

    1. Hi Alberto! I’m sorry for the delay in responding. For some reason, this comment just came to my attention now.

      For ebooks longer than 30 pages, I wouldn’t suggest using Canva. If you were to use Canva and had multiple Canva projects with more than 30 pages to combine, then download them as PDFs as you normally would and upload them to to combine.

      Hope this helps!

  9. Hi Lillian,

    So I have used Photoshop and PDF templates with Photoshop for all my ebooks and freebies I created for clients marketing campaigns. Was just curious if there was a faster way and Google brought me to you. Awesome is all I can say. Looks so much easier then what I have been doing. Thanks for the cool article.

  10. Lily, I’m currently creating my first ebook and discovered your blog earlier and just want to say thank you for this tutorial! I had accessed Canva before, but not used it. With your guidance, although it took some time, I was able to copy over my Word content to Canva and am pleased with how it looks so far! Thank you!

  11. I never knew that I could create a wonderful Ebook design in Canva that too within 30 minutes. I remember how I struggled to create my first ebook on adobe illustrator.

    I was almost frustrated and drained of all energies.
    Almost every tutorial was about creating ebook in word.

    Thanks for the detailed article Lillian

    1. Hi Nitish,

      I’m so happy to hear this post will help you! I know the other options can be quite difficult.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Take care,

    1. Hi Shelly,

      Sorry for the delay in getting back to you!

      Yes, you can sell an ebook made in Canva however you have to abide their download guidelines. I believe once you’ve sold 2,000 books you have to download the ebook again. Check with Canva for any changes though.

  12. Hi Lillian!

    Thanks for all of the great information! I had a quick question about downloading the Canva ebook. How do you make it a PDF link, and not have to attach the ebook to the email?

  13. This info was extremely helpful; thank you!

    Would you mind to share a bit about what you mean by offering a “toolkit”… I’m new to this field and am trying to learn all that I can. It’s an opt-in term that I’m unfamiliar with, and would love further info!

    Thanks so much; I’m so glad that I found your blog!

    1. Hi Crystal,

      Sure! A toolkit is what people refer to as a resource guide, where they link to their different products or affiliates so people have almost a ‘one stop shop’ for a particular subject or niche.

      I’m so glad you found my blog too!

      Take care,

  14. Hi
    Nice tips.
    i have just designed an email header with app links and social media buttons.
    How do i send them as an email body (not an attachment)
    think of cool it would be if i could attach this pdf image with workable links and buttons.

    1. That would be a cool idea, Greg.

      However, email systems won’t allow a PDF as an image into the email body. They will only recognize a jpeg or png for images. You’re better off using your image as a jpeg or png and use the social icons the email system provides. You should still be able to link your image though the email system you use.

      Sorry to disappoint. It’s a good idea but not possible that I know of yet.

  15. What are the number of maximum pages you can make for your ebook in canva? Can you make more than 100 pages?

    1. Hi Loureuse,

      You can have up to 30 pages in Canva. However, you can make a copy and start a new one for additional pages. After you download the PDFs from Canva, combine them with a tool like

      Hope that helps!

  16. I am so frustrated but will try all your tips. I am trying to figure out after I create the ebook. Then how am I getting their emails. I was going to include ebook option on blog or you tube channel. EVERYTHING IS IN BETA FOR ME right now and I am working on everything and releasing all at one time.

Your Thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s