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Canvases are a convenient way to take notes on a project and share those notes with other team (or family) members. This way, instead of having to share a document from a third-party source, you can easily create a new Canvas and share it with those who need the information. With Canvases, you can share shopping lists, instructions, plans, project information, class schedules, chore duties, and just about anything you can imagine.
Canvases can hold video and audio clips, emojis, comments, images, and files -- and can also use basic formatting (such as bold, italics, and strikethrough) as well as code samples and links.
Let me show you how to use the new Canvas feature on Slack.
How to create your first Canvas
What you'll need: To use the Canvas feature, you'll need a paid Slack account (as this isn't available to the free accounts). Canvases can be used on both the desktop and mobile app. I'll demonstrate the feature on the desktop app but the process for creating and using Canvases is the same on both platforms.
1. Open Slack
The first thing to do is open the Slack app. Next, make sure you're logged into your paid account. Once you're logged in, you should see Canvases listed in the top left corner (under the name of the Workspace you wish to use).
2. Open a new Canvas
After clicking Canvases, you'll see the Canvas page in Slack. To create your first Canvas, click Try It near the bottom of the Canvas description.
3. Create your first Canvas
A new window will open, where you can start creating your first Canvas. The first thing you should do is type a title for the Canvas. One thing to know about creating a Canvas is if you copy/paste text into the Canvas it will retain all supported formatting and links. One thing I did quickly discover is that Canvases do not support alignment. No matter if your text is right-aligned or justified when you paste it, it will always be left-aligned.
4. Add images and other items
If you want to add an image or audio/video clip, click + on the floating island at the bottom of your click and, from the popup menu, select the item type you want to add.
I've found video clips to be quite a helpful addition, especially if you're adding information to a Canvas that could use further explanation or just a personal touch. Once you've added a video clip, they can be played within the Canvas, without requiring a third-party viewer.
5. Interact with items
If you hover your cursor over an added item, you'll see a small square of dots in the upper left corner. Click that square to reveal a menu that includes different ways to interact with different types of items. For example, a video clip allows you to copy the link to the item, add a comment, display it as URL, copy the link to the video, and much more.
6. Sharing a Canvas
Once you've completed creating the canvas and are ready to collaborate, click the Share button at the top right corner of the Canvas, which will open a popup where you can select team members to be included in the share. Once you've added the necessary participants, click Save and you're done.
And that's pretty much the gist of using Slack's new Canvas feature. If you've felt as though the platform had been missing an important piece of the collaboration puzzle, chances are good this will fill that void.