Best Design Software 2021

Canva vs. Adobe Photoshop

Is Canva or Adobe Photoshop the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you decide which design tool is the best fit for your business.

Design software includes features like design templates, photo editing, collaboration, and cloud storage. In today’s digital world, small businesses without a technology-enabled approach to graphic and social media design are falling behind.

This article will discuss the differences between two of the largest players in this space: Canva and Adobe Photoshop. We’ll discuss the notable strengths and weaknesses of each tool, and provide recommendations for who each tool will suit best.

All of our recommendations are based on research, product demos with the software companies, and dozens of hours spent hand-testing design tools. More details regarding our research process can be found on our design category page.

Canva & Adobe Photoshop Comparison Summary

We researched and extensively tested both Canva and Adobe Photoshop. Canva received a SoftwarePundit Analyst Rating of 93 while Adobe Photoshop received a rating of 94.

Canva was rated lower because it does not offer the photo editing capabilities that Adobe Photoshop does. Adobe Photoshop received a higher rating because its feature set is more flexible and advanced for graphic designers. However, Canva is still the best solution for small businesses in need of ready-made presentations and social media posts.

Here’s a breakdown of our review criteria and how Canva and Adobe Photoshop performed in each category:

CriteriaAnalyst RatingFeaturesUsabilityPricingCustomer Support
Adobe Photoshop941098.510

In terms of pricing, Canva begins at $12.99 per month per user. Adobe Photoshop’s pricing starts at $20.99 per month per user.

Both solutions offer the standard features found across document management tools. These include design types, tool kits, collaboration features, cloud storage, and exporting options. Canva does not have robust photo editing like Adobe Photoshop does. Canva’s strongest features are its user-friendly presentation, photo and video creation, and content planner.

Overall, Adobe Photoshop is best for businesses in need of truly advanced photo editing and design software, no matter the steep learning curve. Canva, on the other hand, is the best option for businesses looking to create high quality graphics and videos as easily as possible, and willing to give up flexibility in features to do so.

Here’s a quick breakdown of who will prefer each option:

You'll prefer Canva if:

  • You primarily use design software for ready-made content
  • You want to automate social media posts with a content calendar
  • You are a beginner to design software

Try Canva Today

You'll prefer Adobe Photoshop if:

  • You want the most advanced photo editing software
  • You are an advanced graphic designer with flexible design needs
  • You do not need to directly post to a variety of social media platforms

Try Adobe Photoshop Today

Table of Contents

Canva & Adobe Photoshop Price Comparison

Overall, Canva is more affordable than Adobe Photoshop. Both solutions offer more features and storage with their more expensive plans.

Canva Pricing Details

Canva pricing starts at $12.99 per month for up to 5 users. Monthly prices increase with more users. It is one of the most affordable solutions on the market today. Canva also provides a free plan with 5 GB of cloud storage.

Here are Canva’s pricing options for its Pro plan based on how many users you have:

Price per Month$12.99$47.99$82.99$327.99

Adobe Photoshop Pricing Details

Adobe Photoshop pricing starts at $20.99 per user per month. The business plan costs $33.99 per user per month and offers additional features such as an admin console and advanced technical support.

Note that Adobe Photoshop is included with Adobe Creative Cloud. This plan is $52.99 per user per month and features other Adobe products such as Adobe XD and Illustrator.

Canva & Adobe Photoshop Feature Comparison

Overall, Canva has a less powerful breadth of features than Adobe Photoshop. Canva features are more focused on ready-made content creation. Adobe Photoshop offers a more flexible yet harder to learn feature set.

For a full analysis of each solution’s features, read our Canva review and Adobe Photoshop review.

FeatureCanvaAdobe Photoshop
DesignsYesYes (stronger)
Robust templatesYes (stronger)Yes
Tool kitYesYes (stronger)
CollaborationYes (stronger)Yes
Cloud storageYesYes
Social media exportingYesNo
Version ControlYesYes


Both Canva and Adobe Photoshop offer various design types to create. However, Photoshop is designed to be as flexible for designers as possible. Its options for photo creation and editing are harder to learn, but more vast than Canva’s. Canva can, however, create videos which Adobe Photoshop cannot do.

Both solutions come with a number of templates to create designs from. Canva comes with far more templates than Photoshop. Examples are seen below.


Templates for both solutions help you create the following:

  • Presentations
  • Social media posts
  • Print media
  • Marketing content

Tool Kit

Adobe Photoshop’s tool kit is stronger than Canva’s. In fact, it is one of the most advanced tool kits of any design software we’ve analyzed. Still, we think Canva’s tool kit is perfect for beginners with simple design needs.

You can access the following tools when editing content in Adobe Photoshop:

  • Artboard
  • Lasso
  • Crop
  • Frame
  • Eyedropper
  • Brush
  • Clone Stamp
  • Blur
  • Pen
Adobe Photoshop Tools

Although Photoshop’s tool kit is advanced, it is in no way designed for beginner designers. Canva’s tool kit includes selectable and premade elements and graphics you can quickly plug into your designs.

You can access the following tools when editing content in Canva:

  • Photos
  • Graphics
  • Videos
  • Text
  • Audio
  • Charts
  • Google Maps

Photoshop’s photo editing is its premiere feature. You can adjust color parameters, as well as easily remove unwanted elements with its Spot Healing Brush and Patch tool.

Contrast this with Canva, which allows you to make only very basic adjustments to your images such as saturation, brightness, and clarity. Still, we feel these features are effective for designers in need of quick coloring edits.



Collaboration in Canva is superior to Adobe Photoshop’s capabilities. This is because Photoshop does not offer real time editing like Canva.


Projects in Canva can be edited by team members at any time. Collaboration in Canva is very similar to document management software solutions such as Google Workspace and Microsoft 365.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage in both applications is simple to set up and effective. Adobe Photoshop can be fully cloud-based like Canva. You have the option to keep files fully in the cloud or save local files for personal use. This means that you do not need to save your own projects before uploading them to the cloud which takes up space on your hard drive.

Adobe Photoshop Version History

Version control is strong in both applications as well. However, note that for Canva, it is only available with its paid plans. You cannot name versions in Canva like you can in Photoshop, which makes restoring larger files harder to do.


Although exporting options in Photoshop allow for higher quality exports, Canva comes with a number of exporting and sharing features that are very helpful for marketers and bloggers.

Adobe Photoshop Exporting

You can export your file as the following in Adobe Photoshop:

  • PNG
  • JPG
  • GIF
  • SVG

Canva comes with additional support for MP4 video exporting.

Canva, unlike Photoshop, comes with a content planner which is ideal for marketers. This planner integrates with a number of social media platforms to schedule posts on specific days. This is an invaluable tool for bloggers and small businesses who run both content creation and marketing strategies.


Here are the social media platforms you can automate posts on with Canva:

  • Instagram Business
  • Facebook Page
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Slack
  • Tumblr


Canva and Adobe Photoshop both offer a number of popular integrations found in standard design software. Here are some of the most popular native integrations both solutions offer:

Software SolutionIntegrations
Adobe Photoshop

Bottom Line

Overall, Adobe Photoshop is best for businesses in need of truly advanced photo editing and design software, no matter the steep learning curve. Canva, on the other hand, is the best option for businesses looking to create high quality graphics and videos as easily as possible, and willing to give up flexibility in features to do so.

If you’re interested, visit Canva or Adobe Photoshop today to get started.

Yousef Fatehpour

Yousef Fatehpour is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit. He graduated from University of California, San Diego, where he studied Human Centered Design and Communications. His work at UCSD's Design Lab emphasized UX research and product management.

Yousef's primary areas of interest are software design, user journeys, and how user experience is handled across software markets. Yousef also has experience in product design and multimedia content production. You can connect with Yousef on LinkedIn.

Yousef is an expert in several software categories including:

  • SMS marketing software
  • Document management software
  • Human resource software
  • Applicant tracking software
  • Design software

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