How Do You Use Canvas in Slack: A Comprehensive Guide

How Do You Use Canvas in Slack

Visual collaboration is crucial for effective teamwork, promoting clarity, innovation, and efficiency. With Canvas in Slack, teams have a dynamic platform to visually brainstorm, create, and collaborate.

Just like Phil's magic tricks, Canvas can make your brainstorming sessions disappear in a puff of visual brilliance.

slack canvas

Canvas for Slack is more than a digital whiteboard; it catalyzes innovation. Its integration within Slack streamlines collaboration, allowing teams to brainstorm, plan, and execute ideas effortlessly.

In this guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of Canvas. We'll talk about how to use Slack Canvas, cover its layout, interactive tools, real-time collaboration features, and more. Read on!

What is the Canvas feature on Slack?

What is a Canvas in Slack? Simply put, Canvas in Slack is like a creative hub in your workspace. It's where all the visual collaboration magic takes place! It's your digital canvas where you and your team can let your creativity flow, drawing, sketching, adding shapes, throwing in images, and even jotting down random thoughts without leaving Slack.

What's super exciting about Canvas is how seamlessly it blends into Slack. No need to hop around different apps or tabs. You just click into Canvas, and that's it! You're in this interactive space where ideas flow freely. Whether you're brainstorming a new project, mapping out strategies, or just doodling to spark creativity, Canvas is your go-to spot. 


Types of Slack Canvases

A channel or DM Canvas: In each channel and direct message (DM), there's a handy Canvas to keep track of all the vital information and ongoing work. Channel Canvases are viewable by everyone with channel access, while DM canvases are private and can only be seen by DM members.

A standalone canvas: A standalone canvas, like meeting notes, project briefs, or checklists, is created for any task. You can easily share it in any conversation. It helps you keep your canvases private for only those you select to see.

Creating a Slack Canvas

Creating a Slack Canvas

Along with learning how to use Slack Canvas, you must also know how to create one. And that's what we will tell you today! Here are the steps to create a Channel or DM Canvas and a Standalone Canvas:

A Channel or DM Canvas

Here's how you can create a channel or DM Canvas:

  • To open the canvas in any conversation, click on the "add channel canvas icon" in the conversation header.
  • If you can contribute to the conversation and have editing privileges for the canvas, simply begin typing to add content.

A Standalone Canvas:

Here's how to use Canvas in Slack and create it:

  • To access standalone Canvases, hover over the "More" option and click on it.
  • To get started, click the "Create" button in the upper-right corner.
  • The canvas will appear in a new window where you can begin typing to add content or choose a template from the available list.

Formatting Canvases

Formatting Canvases

Here's how you can former your Canvas in Slack:

Step 1: Type Your Content:

Start typing your content in the canvas. The formatting toolbar will pop up at the bottom.

Step 2: Format Your Content:

In the Formatting Toolbar, click the formatting icon to unveil the text formatting options. Choose the one that suits your needs to format your text.

Step 3: Make Formatting Changes:

If you want to make changes later, highlight any text in the canvas to reveal the formatting bar. You can apply options like Bold, Italic, and Strikethrough for that extra touch.

Inserting Media to Your Canvases:

When it comes to adding media to your canvas, it's just as easy:

Step 1: Type Your Content:

Start typing your content as before. The formatting toolbar will pop up again.

Step 2: Choose Your Media:

Click on the insert icon and select the type of media you want to add from the provided list.

Step 3: Rearrange Your Content:

Once you've added your content, you can rearrange it within the Canvas. Just click and hold the six dots icon, then simply drag the content to a new location.

Editing Canvases

Editing a Channel or DM Canvas:

To edit a Channel or DM Canvas, you need membership access. Simply open the canvas on Slack and start typing to make all the changes you want. If you only have view-only access, don't worry! You can easily request editor access by following these simple steps:

Editing a Standalone Canvas:

Step 1: Request Edit Access

To gain edit access, simply click on the "View only" option located at the top-right corner of the canvas on your desktop. Once you do that, click "Request edit access," and you'll be ready!

Step 2: Edit the Canvas

Once you get the edit access, you can begin typing to make any changes you like.

Adding and Viewing Comments on a Canvas

Now that we have discussed formatting, let's talk about how to add and view comments on a Canvas in Slack:

Adding Comments on Desktop:

  • Open Slack Canvas.
  • Choose the text you want to comment on. Click on the icon with six dots and select "Add comment."
  • Simply type your comment and press Enter to add it.

Adding Comments in Mobile:

  • Begin by opening a Canvas on your mobile.
  • To add a comment, simply highlight the text you want to comment on.
  • Once highlighted, tap the Add comment icon. Your comment will apply to the entire section if you don't select specific text.
  • Next, type out your comment, and when you're ready, tap Send.

Viewing Comments on Desktop:

  • Get started by opening a canvas.
  • Next, look for the three dots icon in the header of the canvas and give it a click. From the options that appear, select "View all comments."
  • If you want to organize your comments, you can use the Filter icon. Click on it and choose whether you want to sort your comments by Most Recent, Unread, or Archived.

Viewing Comments in Mobile:

  • Open the Canvas on your mobile. You'll notice that any commented-on text will be highlighted.
  • Simply tap on the highlighted portion to see and reply to the comments. Let your imagination flow!

Managing Your Canvases

Lastly, you should also know the important steps for managing your Canvases. Let's have a look:

Managing a Channel or DM Canvas

  • To access the canvas, simply open the channel or direct message where it is located on your desktop.
  • Look for the canvas icon and click on it to view and engage with the canvas within the conversation.

Managing a Standalone Canvas

  • On the Canvases view, you can easily explore the canvases you've created and the ones in your workspace that you have View or Edit access to.
  • Simply hover over the More option, and then click on Canvases.
  • You can use the Filter and Sort options to quickly find what you're looking for.
  • Alternatively, you can search for a specific canvas by its name in the search bar.
  • You have a few options once you've located the canvas you want. You can select it directly from the list or click the three-dot icon. From there, you can Share the canvas, View its details, Copy the link, Save it for later, or even Delete the canvas if you no longer need it.

Templates and Ideas for Slack Canvases

Slack Canvas Templates

Now that you know what is a Slack Canvas, let's learn about templates and ideas for them:

  • Blank Canvas for Brainstorming: Begin with a blank canvas and unleash your creativity! Use the blank template as your personal playground, whether it's a project kickoff or a brainstorming session. Add mind maps and sketches, or simply jot down your thoughts!
  • Template for Meeting Notes: With a meeting minutes canvas, you can sketch out the key points, include action items, and highlight important discussions. It's a convenient way to capture a visual snapshot of your meetings.
  • Project Planner Template: Need a roadmap? Try out templates for project timelines, Gantt charts, or Kanban boards. It's like having a visual planner right there in Slack! Plot out tasks, deadlines, and progress, all in one colorful space.
  • Design Templates: Use design templates for wireframes, UI/UX sketches, or mood boards. Easily add images, sketch out your ideas, and work together on design components.

Best Tips for Slack Canvas

Along with learning what is Canvas in Slack, you should also know some excellent tips to get the most out of them. That said, here are some effective tips for Slack Canvases:

  • Engage with visuals: Harness the power of imagery! Whether it's incorporating images, sketching diagrams, or including icons, visuals bring life to your canvas. They help convey ideas more quickly and inject a creative element into your discussions.
  • Make the most of interactive tools: Discover the array of interactive tools available to you. Try out freehand drawing, shapes, text, and image uploads. Blend these tools seamlessly for captivating and dynamic content creation.
  • Collaborate in real-time: Encourage everyone to join in simultaneously for real-time collaboration. It allows ideas to evolve naturally and brings together diverse perspectives.
  • Customize for teams: Customize your canvas to suit your team's requirements. Build templates or frameworks for regular meetings, projects, or brainstorming sessions. This uniformity simplifies workflows and enhances productivity.
  • Keep it organized: Use layers, grouping, and spatial organization to structure your canvas effectively. This approach prevents unnecessary clutter and ensures a logical flow of your ideas.

Virtual Assistance for Slack Canvas Management

A virtual assistant for Slack Canvas management acts as your creative partner, guaranteeing smooth operations and optimal utilization. Baymax might not be in your workspace, but your Canvas VA is just as helpful and efficient. Think of it as your personal Baymax, constantly monitoring and adjusting your Canvas experience for peak performance.

virtual assistant for canvas

Here are some major responsibilities and the tasks they can undertake.

  • Guide on accessing and creating canvases in Slack: They will offer clear instructions on accessing Canvas, setting up new canvases in channels or DMs, and optimizing their use.
  • Assist in adding elements and inviting team members: A virtual assistant can assist in adding a variety of elements, such as images, text, or shapes, to canvases. They can also help in inviting team members to provide collaborative input.
  • Explore tools for interactive collaboration: They will guide you through the various interactive tools, showing you how to use them optimally for effective collaboration.
  • Help save and export canvases for future use: They are available to help you save and export your canvases. This way, your valuable content is never lost and can be easily accessed for reference or further development.
  • Integrate canvas links into Slack messages: Your assistant can show you how to seamlessly integrate canvas links into Slack messages, making it easier for team members to access.
  • Customize canvas settings and notify team members: VAs can customize settings based on team preferences and make sure team members are properly informed of any changes or additions.
  • Troubleshoot Canvas integration in Slack: If there are integration issues, your assistant can troubleshoot and resolve them swiftly to ensure uninterrupted workflow.
  • Stay updated on new features and enhancements: They will stay updated on Canvas features and improvements to enhance collaboration and inform the team accordingly.
  • Provide brief training on advanced Canvas functions: They can provide brief training sessions on advanced functions to help the team maximize their use of Canvas during deeper dives.
  • Collaborate on refining collaborative processes: VAs have the ability to collaborate with the team to enhance processes, offering suggestions for improvements and customizing Canvas to optimize workflows.
  • Offer insights into best practices for visual collaboration: They can guide you on the best practices for effective visual collaboration on Canvas by sharing tips and tricks.
  • Monitor trends for continuous improvement: They stay updated on trends to ensure that the team uses Canvas in line with the latest collaboration practices.
  • Generate reports on Canvas impact on team collaboration: They will gather data and create reports that showcase how Canvas enhances team collaboration, providing a way to evaluate its effectiveness.
  • Provide ongoing support for Canvas-related queries: Lastly, VAs can also provide ongoing support, addressing any Canvas-related issues or questions that may come up and assisting the team with their queries.

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So, that was all about how to use Slack Canvas. To enhance collaboration in Slack using Canvas, follow these steps: utilize its visual features and interactive tools, dive into the canvas, brainstorm, sketch, and add various elements. Foster real-time collaboration by inviting team members and structuring discussions for seamless engagement.

In case you need help with all this, Wishup's professional VAs are here for you. We assist with accessing, customizing, troubleshooting, and optimizing this feature, ensuring your team fully utilizes its visual collaboration capabilities. Contact us for a complimentary consultation to elevate your Canvas experience. Mail us at [email protected].

How To Use Slack Canvas: FAQs

Can everyone see Canvas in Slack?

Yes, but it all varies based on the type of canvas you choose. When it comes to canvases within channels, anyone with access to the channel can view and contribute to the canvas. On the other hand, if you're working on a canvas within a direct message (DM), only the members of that DM can see and work on it.

Can you export a Slack canvas?

Yes. Exporting canvases is super easy! If you have some important content on your canvas, you can simply save and export it for later use or sharing. With Slack, you can export your canvases as PNG files, keeping your visuals' brilliance intact.

How do I transfer ownership of a canvas in Slack?

If you're the current owner of the canvas and would like to transfer ownership, you can easily do so in the canvas settings. Just designate a new owner and pass the creative reins. The new owner will then be able to manage and lead the canvas discussions, ensuring the collaboration continues to thrive.