/ / How to Create a Thin Rectangle in the NEW Canva Interface

How to Create a Thin Rectangle in the NEW Canva Interface

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Sometimes the simplest things can drive you crazy – like trying to figure out how to make a thin rectangle in the new Canva interface.

It is actually really easy to do – but they don't make it easy for you to figure out.

Crazy, I know.

Watch the Video Tutorial

It is easier for me to show you how to do it – so I made this quick video to explain the process.

If you would rather read the tutorial, just keep scrolling below.

Step 1: Find the Rectangle Outline in Shapes

Go to Elements and then Shapes in the left hand menu bar.

Scroll down through the shapes until you see the outline of a thin white rectangle.

Click on this element (it's free) to add it to your workspace.

What you will notice is that when you drag a circle in the corner of this rectangle – the rectangle will become bigger and the line will become thicker.

This is not what you want it to do, right?

Step 2: Make the Rectangle Smaller

What you need to do at this point is to click on a circle in the bottom right corner and drag it to make the rectangle as small as you can – but keep it large enough that you can still see the vertical grab bars that will appear on either side.

Step 3: Use the Vertical Grab Bars and then the Horizontal Grab Bars to Resize Your Rectangle

Now, use the vertical grab bars to make your rectangle wider and then use the horizontal grab bars that appear to make your rectangle longer.

DO NOT use the circles to resize your rectangle.

When you use the grab bars, the thickness of the rectangle will remain thin.

Adjust The Thickness

One more little note.

Let's say that you don't want the rectangle to be as thin as the one in the image above.

Remember this rule – the smaller you shrink down your rectangle in Step 2, the thinner the rectangle will be.

So, if you want the lines to be slightly thicker then in Step 2 keep the size of your rectangle a bit larger than mine.

You may need experiment with this a few times by adding new rectangles to your workspace and resizing them.

It's Easy!

And there you have it – a thin rectangle in Canva.

Simply add the rectangle outline element to your workspace, use the circle in a corner to make it smaller and then use the vertical and horizontal grab bars to make the rectangle bigger.

Your rectangle lines will stay thin.

Please tell me that I am not the only one having trouble figuring this out!

And make me feel better by pinning the image below, please.

What are some of things that have you perplexed in Canva?

Share in the comments below.

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53 Comments

  1. Thank you so very, very much for making this tutorial! I’d set aside a project for the past week because Canva had been making me want to lose my mind.

    I have oh-so-many questions about how to use Canva such as– when I click into a text box to continue typing, why does my view of the page move to the top of the text box instead of to where my cursor is? So, say I’ve been working elsewhere in my document, but see a typo somewhere in the middle of a large text box. I double-click in the text box, but I can no longer see my cursor (which is now blinking and ready for me to make my edit) because it’s scrolled me up to the top of the box. Any ideas if there might be a way to prevent this from happening? I’ve been finding it so incredibly annoyingπŸ˜… Thank you!

  2. Thank you so much!!! I saw this in a template and I’ve been looking everywhere to figure out how to recreate it so I can use it in my own templates. I swear, sometimes the things that should be the easiest are the hardest to do in Canva.
    Thanks again!

  3. NOTE: It is the FRAME option that gives me a resizable rectangle with horizontal grab bars. BUT I can’t find any way to change the color! Also GRIDS might work for some uses, but a VERY small number of options and cumbersome. I’m beginning think a simple resizable border has been removed from the FREE plan? Thanks again for your post on this though. At least I know the difficulty has not been unique to me!

  4. Thanks for this, but I still can’t figure out how to make this work! (Mar 1, 2021). I have no “Elements” just “Graphics”. A search for “white rectangle” only gives me a white rectangles with NO horizontal grab bars. If I choose a colored rectangle that DOES have horizontal grab bars, then I can’t change the color! I’ve tried “frame”, “border”, “rectangle” and nothing has worked. Maybe one needs a PAID version of CANVA to unlock this basic thing?? All I want is a resizable frame with an adjustable color! Or, maybe I am doing something wrong still?? (Whatever happened to simple FILL and STROKE?!)

    1. Hi Jane,
      I just went into my Canva (free version – today 3/1/2021) and the thin triangle is still there in the elements tab. Just follow the video and you should find it.

    2. @Neena Nandagopal, THANK YOU Neena !!!!! I don’t have a tab in my Canva that says “ELEMENTS” (which I think is called “GRAPHICS” in the version I see in my desktop) but I FINALLY FOUND IT !!! YAY! I award you Best Advisor on the Internet/Canva !! :o) Thank you SO much! I was about to give up. If I ever get my eBook complete, I will send you a free copy!

  5. Oh, my word, thank you SO much for this tutorial! I’ve searched forever to be able to figure this out and no one has made it clearer than you have. I’m not a Canva newbie but I simply couldn’t figure this one out on my own. Thank you, thank you!

  6. Wow, it really should not be this hard. I am disappointed with the new interface. Thank you for making this post. I wasted so much time trying to figure it out on my own!

  7. I went to elements, searched rectangle frame… and was not able to find the thin green rectangle! Any other suggestions to find this? Thanks!

    1. @Hannah, ME EITHER!! Its driving me crazy, that I can’t adjust something so simple as the dimensions of a rectangle to be thinner or longer! Please help if you can Almost Practical!

    2. Hi Abbie,
      I just updated this post to show you how to create a thin rectangle inside the newly updated Canva interface.
      The good news is that – yes, you can create one and it is easy to do, the bad news is just that it is tricky to figure out where and how to make it happen.

      I hope you find this tutorial to be helpful.

      If the video isn’t loading, wait a few minutes. I just uploaded it so it might still be rendering.

    3. Hi Hannah,

      I know this reply is very, very late but yes, Canva changed the interface. The good news is that you can still create a thin rectangle. I just updated this post to show the new instructions. I hope this helps.

  8. This is genius! Thank you… Canva is generally intuitive, but this feature was not! I’m repeating what everyone else said, but this is a great tip πŸ™‚

  9. Wow! Thank you !!!! πŸ™‚

    What about a box with a partial line erased, like half of the middle bottom line erased to insert a logo.

    1. Hi Wendi,

      So, I was not able to find a rectangle with a partial bottom line.

      But I did create the first image shown below using the rectangle element from this post and a circle frame placed on the bottom line.

      I put my logo in the circle frame as an example. The thing with frames on Canva is that you cannot insert an image with a transparent background or cut out type pictures. So I used a jpg of my logo that had a white background.

      I used the same technique on the second image below using a white background on the whole photo to match the white background in the logo, then I added a word overlay with a transparent background to make the logo look like it is floating. However, if the words get too close to the frame, then the white background from the frame overlaps on the words and you can see it – which is not what you want.

      It is a kind of convoluted process to get the look you are going for – but I guess it can be done.

  10. Thanks I thought I was resigned to creating my template on word.doc as I could not figure it out myself. I even tried editing one of their template but the rectangle was still too thick. Time saving! ?

  11. I had searched high and low for a way to do this in canva but nothing intuitive showed up. I don’t understand for the life of me why they don’t make it easy to put a thin border around an image. It’s something I need to do all the time for white background images. Thanks so much. I may notify them to come up with an option.

    Even your option, which makes total sense now, wasn’t super intuitive (in terms of making it thinner). But I’m glad you took the trouble to figure it out. Thanks again.

    1. Hi John,
      You are right – it’s not intuitive. It took me awhile to find what I was looking for and did have to reach out to Canva to get the exact element.
      At least we know that there is a way to make it happen. πŸ™‚

  12. I have wasted so much time trying to figure this out! Thank you so much for this post. I have bookmarked it in case I forget how to do this.

  13. Hi Neena,

    This has also been driving me nuts. Do you have any suggestions about how to do this for circles? There are only 4 corner dots on a circle and although the line does get thinner when you make the circle smaller. It gets thicker again when the size of the circle is increased.

    1. Hi Luella,
      As far as circles in Canva go – the best thing I could find is this:
      In the search box type in the words – thin circle outline.
      About 11 rows down you will see a thin orange circle that seems to stay relatively thin when you resize it.
      Comment back and let me know what you think!

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