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ScreenCloud Canvas App Guide

Use our simple design editor tool to create screen-ready content like menu boards and posters, with the ability to easily save templates or use our pre-supplied Gallery of templates.

Jun 2020

ScreenCloud Canvas App Guide

You don’t need to be an Adobe Photoshop pro or design expert to create unique, branded graphics for your digital screens. ScreenCloud’s new Canvas app lets you easily create screen-ready content inside ScreenCloud with all the design features you need to create content like posters, digital signs and images.

Best of all? Our Design Pros have created a Gallery of Templates that can be easily branded with your own colors and logos in a click, so you get tried and tested layouts for information sharing, notices, posters and promotions. 

Here are some of the key features of the Canvas app, including the new Canvas Templates feature:

Create digital signage content in the correct screen format

Canvas presets your design size, optimizing it for a portrait or landscape screen format. No more black bars and easy to read digital signs that your audience will actually read. Our Gallery of Templates has been designed with screen best practices in mind. 

Custom brand with colors, images, logos and shapes

Canvas’s superpower is ensuring every poster, sign or notice you create is on-brand. With all the tools to add custom fonts, change colors and upload your brand assets with ease. Elements of your brand can also be locked down so that Creators and Editors can replace text or images without being able to change the layout or design. 

Re-use one design multiple times with Templates

No more design strain. Saving your Canvases as Templates for teams to reuse makes creating new, on-brand collateral and updating existing notices with the latest information, much easier. Perfect for local teams, or Marketing and HR Managers to create their own content. 

Here’s how it works:

1. Open ScreenCloud’s Canvas App editor tool

1.1. Get started by logging into your ScreenCloud account and choosing the ScreenCloud Canvas panel from the left-hand menu.

Open the Canvas panel in ScreenCloud

1.2. Choose which type of Canvas you want to create

There are four key options for what you can do within Canvas.

  • Create a new Canvas from scratch
  • Create and save a new Canvas Template
  • Use one of your organization's existing Templates or a Template from the Gallery
  • Edit or reuse an existing Canvas

In the next steps we’ll walk you through each of the four options for how to create, save and reuse digital signage templates for your screens. 

2. Create a New Canvas from scratch

2.1. To start designing a new Canvas from scratch select the “New Canvas” button.

Create a new Canvas for your screen

Here, you can rename your Canvas and choose from a landscape or portrait design depending on the format of your screen.

There are a variety of design options available for editing and customizing your Canvas template. We’ll explain a little more about how these work below.

Adding text

Selecting “Text” will prompt a window for you to type in anything you’d like to appear on your Canvas. Canvas has 32 Google fonts already available for you to choose from and there’s also an option to upload your own custom font to ensure your text looks onbrand. 

Using the right-hand tool panel, you can customize how your text appears by changing the alignment/positioning, font-type, color, and size. This also provides the ability for you to reduce the opacity of your text.

Add text to your Canvas design

You can reposition any text by dragging and dropping it anywhere on your template. You can also resize the text field by pressing and holding your mouse click while moving your mouse toward the center of a text-field, or expanding from the corners to make it larger.

Uploading images

You can upload photos and images directly into your Canvas using the Media Picker tool. Grab your brand logos or images from sources like Dropbox, or directly from your “Media Library" in ScreenCloud.

Use the media picker to upload an image

Top tip: Having your logos and any other brand elements saved in your Media Library will make it faster for you to create new Canvases. 

You can reposition an image by dragging and dropping it anywhere on your template. You can also increase or decrease the opacity of your image.

Add logo to your design

Adding shapes 

You can easily add shapes to your design. The current shapes available include Circles, Rectangles, Squares, Triangles and Pentagons. This is a great way to create an image background or badge, to help different elements stand out within your design.

You can change the color and size of shapes into any format you like and again, change the opacity of your shape.

Add a shape to your design

Background color

Click and use the tool to change your background color for the template. You can also refer to websites such as https://htmlcolorcodes.com to quickly reference an HTML color code to ensure your background color remains on-brand.

Change background color of your design

Background image

Upload an image to use as your template background by clicking “Use Image”.

Lower panel features

As well as the right-hand toolbar there is also a lower panel features bar (see image below) that lets you take specific actions such as undoing and redoing an action and duplicating a layer or element. 

Lower panel features

i) Undo and redo actions: you can use these arrows to undo or redo any recent actions made to your template.

ii) Duplicate content: select a piece of content (e.g. text, image, etc.) to duplicate the item.

iii) Delete content: select a piece of content (e.g. text, image, etc.) to delete the item.

iv) Ability to cut, copy, and paste: similar to commands on your computer or alternative photo editing tools, you can right-click any item in the template to quickly cut, copy, and paste any item.

Here’s an overview of computer commands you can use in Canvas, respective to your platform (e.g. Windows or macOS):

cut - ctrl + x or cmd + x

copy - ctrl + c or cmd + c

paste - ctrl + v or cmd + v

Locking elements of your Canvas design for future templates

As part of Canvas templates we’ve made it possible for you to lock elements of the original design. This allows other team members or locations to reuse templates, without them changing the fundamental design elements of your brand. 

To lock an item, simply select it and choose the padlock icon from the right-hand side menu. Template elements can be locked by any Manager or Admin within an account.

Lock an item of your design

When a Creator selects that template to use, they can replace images or edit text but won’t be able to move or change the positioning of the layer, thereby keeping all of your screen communications on brand. 

3. Create and save a new Canvas Template

Once you’ve created your Template you can easily choose to save it as a template for others to reuse. Please note, only Admins and Managers have the ability to select which Canvases become templates. 

3.1. Save your template by selecting the “Save” button in the top right hand corner. 

3.2. Now navigate to the “My Canvases” section and next to your new Canvas, Select the Option key and choose “Save As Template”. This will save the design as a Template that everyone within your Space will be able to access going forward.

Save your design as a template

Other uses can now find that Template within the “Templates” section of the account.

Once saved you’ll see that anytime you go to make further edits on one of your Canvas Templates you’ll see the blue “Template Editor” badge. This is a good reminder that any changes you make to this core Template will be reflected in all accounts within that Space so only do this if you want to make a permanent change. 

Template editor badge

3.3. To make changes to that Template, visit Templates > My Templates and select either “Edit Template” or “Duplicate Template” to edit or create a new version of the same template.

3.4. To create a new Canvas using that Template select “New Canvas”. Any edits to a New Canvas won’t change the core Template.

Reuse a template

When creating a new Canvas using a Template, ensure you rename your new Canvas by clicking on the header field. Otherwise it’ll get difficult to tell different variations apart later when adding them to a Channel or Playlist. 

4. Use one of the preexisting Canvas Templates

Unsure what type of design would work best to create information for your screens? Use one of the existing Canvas Templates that our Design team have created for you. 

4.1. Open the Canvas Templates Gallery

Within Canvas navigate to Templates > Gallery. This will open the Gallery of pre-designed templates that can be used to create your own versions.

Canvas templates for digital signage

4.2. Reuse a Gallery Template

Within the Gallery select the Template you wish to use. You can also use the Search bar to look for a specific template for example, all templates for an announcement:

Search for a specific template

Once you have selected the template, click the settings panel and choose “New Canvas”. This will take the template and add it to your library under My Canvases. From here, you can make changes to the template such as adding your own logos, changing colors or replacing items.

5. Edit or reuse an existing Canvas

5.1. To reuse an existing Canvas you can save it as a Template. This gives you the ability to make as many copies of that Template as you wish.

5.2. To edit an individual Canvas, simply select My Canvases and choose “Edit Canvas”. Here, any changes you make will automatically update the Canvas in any Channel, Playlist or Screen context it is playing within. 

Custom brand your own template

6. Preview your Canvas App

6.1. Once you’re done editing and customizing your Canvas you can select Preview in the top right hand corner to Preview how your Canvas looks before adding it to a Playlist or Channel.

Preview your Canvas template

7. Add Canvas App to your screen

7.1. You can add the Canvas app to your screen directly by casting it, adding it into a Playlist or a Channel. Follow our steps below for each method to display your Canvas creation on your digital screen:

i) Add to a Channel: select any Channel and schedule your Canvas to display across your screens. Click on “Add Content” to reveal the Media Picker, then select the Canvas app instance you’d like to use. You can learn more about setting up and using channels with ScreenCloud by clicking here.

Add Canvas to your Playlist or Channel

ii) Add to a playlist: drag and drop the Canvas app instance into any playlist.

iii) Cast it to a screen: while viewing your installed instances, you can click on the three-horizontal dots settings button to select “Cast”. From here, you can select any of your screens for the Canvas to cast to immediately for a screen takeover.

Frequently asked questions:

Is there a maximum file size limit for uploading images into the Canvas App?

The Canvas App follows the same minimum file size and upload requirements for the ScreenCloud platform. Please refer here for ScreenCloud’s file type limits and requirements.

Does the Canvas App work with custom dimensions?

Canvas App currently only works in traditional landscape and portrait screen sizes (16:9 and 9:16) and does not support custom zoning or screen sizes at this time.

Which file types are supported to upload and use with the Canvas App?

The Canvas App follows the same minimum file size and upload requirements for the ScreenCloud platform. Please refer here for ScreenCloud’s file type limits and requirements.

Is there a limit on the number of graphics I can create with the Canvas App?

There’s no limit while using the Canvas app. You can add as many instances and customize any number of graphics you’d like.

Can I use videos or animations (.gif) files with the Canvas App?

The Canvas App currently does not support .gif or animation file types.

For further questions, please contact support@screencloud.com with details.

customizationmenuspostersnoticesdesigndigital signagedigital screensignstemplatesgalleryapp