What font is like Arial in Canva?

Arial was made popular by Microsoft and it was the default font for Office up to the 2007 version. It's a sans-serif typeface which means it doesn't have those curly edges at the end of each letter.

It is probably one of the most popular and known font and it this short guide I'll tell you what you need to know if you want to use it in Canva, or any other software for the matter.

First things first, the font is NOT available in Canva, most likely because Canva doesn't have the rights to make it available to its end users. 

Installing Arial in Canva:

// LATE UPDATE: Canva added the Arial font so you can simply look it up on the font family dropdown list.

That being said you have two options: first one you manually download the Arial font from the internet, get a PRO Canva subscription so that you're able to upload your own fonts, and upload the font in the editor. 

Here's the upload button, just so you know where it is:

Keep in mind that per my last Wikipedia search Monotype Imaging owns the rights to the Arial font which means if they want to they can legally sue you and win.

Realistically it's not going to happen but if you plan to use it commercially or for some bigger projects then I wouldn't personally recommend it. 

Point which takes us to our second alternative: we use a font that's similar to Arial.

What font is similar to Arial?

The closest font to Arial is Helvetica. And if you don't believe me I can show you that I'm right. Here's a picture with the fonts one next to each-other. I've also highlighted the small differences I managed to find myself:

The differences are mainly on the letters Q, R, G, lowercase f and y. Other than that they are pretty much identical. They have the same character width.

As a matter of ironic fact, Arial was designed by Microsoft so they can display and print Helvetica content while keeping the same line-breaks and paginations but without paying for an actual license. 

Now, the good thing is that while Arial is not available in Canva, Helvetica is. The bad thing is that while Helvetica is available in Canva, they made it exclusively available to PRO users:

Which takes us to the final and probably the most popular question of the post:

What font is like Arial or Helvetica in Canva and free?

I'm glad you asked. I've found that Inter is both available and free to use in Canva. But unfortunately it's not as close to Arial than Helvetica and the character width also slightly differs.

But considering it's free to use and available I guess it should be good enough for most people.

To summarize 

Arial font is not available in Canva because it's copyrighted. If you have Canva PRO, which means you're able to use premium fonts you can use the font Helvetica. It's the closest font to Arial, it's almost identical and has the same letter width and spacing.

If on the other hand you don't have a PRO account and want a font that is both in Canva and free to use I recommend Inter. It's not as close to Arial like Helvetica is but it's good enough. 

June 30, 2023

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