A Simple (and free!) alternative to editing Templates in Canva

Please read here and here on why I don’t recommend Canva as a small business owner. There’s also multiple complaints with the BBB, if you care to read.

I’ve been reading reviews elsewhere that Canva will literally decide out of the blue which elements on a template are a ‘PRO’ feature, and so if you decide to purchase a pre-made template you might have to upgrade simply to edit and download it! Designers have no control over this which is why I was never on board with them to begin with….

I’ve gotten MANY requests for Canva-versions of my templates so I thought I’d share a helpful FREE alternative for editing Photoshop templates right in your browser with a website called PhotoPea.

free alternative to canva - by stephanie

I promise you it’s easy!

If you’re new to the Photoshop interface, don’t worry! I put together these step by step tutorials on inserting images and changing colors and text! 

I’ve been a loyal Adobe user since college, and currently pay $50/month for the CC suite, but…

I want you to be able to access my templates regardless I’m sharing a quick tutorial on editing them directly in your browser using this handy website!


Visit Photopea.com and login using either Google, Facebook, etc.

Drag your Photoshop template from the downloads folder and onto your desktop to correctly extract the file.

From there in PhotoPea, simply drag the template onto the ‘drag your templates here box like so…

Your template instantly opens up. Now it’s time to start customizing…

how tot edit photoshop templates

As you can see, PhotoPea has the same tools and features of Photoshop – you won’t be using like 95% of those to edit most of my templates. so I’m going to explain below what you need to focus on.


To edit the text in your document, simply select the text tool

edit photoshop files in photopea

Then click the text in the design you’d like to change! That’s it!

The layers panel to the right I should mention isn’t for controlling the text content. If you’d like to layer text on top of a shape or other element, you’d do this through this panel! For example: click to select ‘Your Studio Photography’ and drag it above the pine trees left layer above it, etc…

Inserting Images: Again, I compile images I’m using for the template onto my desktop, then drag them directly onto the screen.

how to edit photoshop files


The next tool you’d need is the Move tool to position the image directly on top of the clipping masks you’d like to clip your image to.

how to edit photoshop templates photopea

The move tool is what the top left arrow is pointing toward. Click and move your image this way.

In the layers panel to the right, click and drag your image on top of the photo clipping mask shape you’d like to clip to. (Tip – click the eye icon on the far left to indicate which shape is which if they’re not named.)

Then chose Layer -> Clipping Mask to clip!

how to edit photoshop templates

Now you’re ready to re-size the image!

Chose Edit -> Free Transform to scale your image down to fit nicely inside the clipping path!

edit photoshop templates

Repeat the above steps for the remaining images.

In short:

  • Drag the image onto your document from desktop

  • Use the move tool to situate your image on top of the photo mask you’d like to clip to.

  • In the layers panel, move your image directly on top of the corresponding photo mask layer

  • Chose Layer -> Create Clipping Mask to clip

  • Chose Edit -> Free Transform to scale down to fit

Be sure you Save your work throughout the process, especially if you’re editing a larger file, using File -> Save

Lastly, download your file to advertise on social media by choosing File -> Export As and selecting JPG.

Do these steps over and over and I promise it becomes second nature!

PhotoPea also allows you to save your templates to your Google Drive or Dropbox account directly choosing File -> Save More and PSD to Storage. That way you can quickly grab it and change it for next years session.

This process works the exact same as if you were using Photoshop, so refer to this tutorial if you’re in Adobe Creative Cloud as well.

I hope you’ve found this helpful! If you have any questions at all please feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram or email me directly at stephanie@bystephaniedesign.com.

Template available for purchase here.

February 12th, 2023


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owner & creative director of
by stephanie design 

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By Stephanie Hamilton