Tools for Creating Impressive Certificates

If you have a course then there is a chance that you are awarding certificates at the end of that course.

Whether your course is online only or in-person, certificates are a common way people demonstrate that they have completed training. This can be training for their profession, or just for fun – truth is that people like certificates! 🙂

In the old days (real old days) people used to use Microsoft Publisher to whip up basic certificate designs. Let’s just say that our tastes have evolved a bit!

In the world of design, a certificate is sort of low on the complexity scale. That said, it doesn’t mean we should settle for ugly designs!

Here are some tools you can use to create stunning certificates.

Adobe Photoshop

You knew this would be on the list. No, Photoshop isn’t free. No, it isn’t the most user friendly. But if you are already familiar with how to use it (you just need the basics) then it should be a go-to option for creating your certificate.

You can use free templates from marketplaces like Brusheezy to get ideas and to speed up the process.


My favorite. This free drag-and-drop tool will allow you to create visually attractive (even impressive) certificates for your course in no time. Just sign-up for a free account and begin designing.

Certificate Magic

Honestly, you should use one of the first two options. If you must have one more option then check out Certificate Magic. The builder is a little clunky, but depending on your needs it might be enough.


Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide for creating (and selling) their online courses. Twitter | LinkedIn

26 Responses

      1. Can you please let me know the plan when Certificate number and QR Code feature will be available as it is critical for our application.

      2. Has this feature been added yet?

        Are other aspects of the certificate customizable such as course completion date, etc?

  1. Updating my certificates has been on my to-do list for ever!!! This took no time at all and they look great. (I used Canva) Thanks Justin!

  2. Hi,
    Do you know any design tool I can export certificate as HTML with inline style?
    I would like to put student name, date and course name in the certificate dynamically using simplest way possible.

  3. I would really like my website users to be able to create their own custom certificates. They enter data into a form, and it inputs that data into the certificate layout and emails the file to them for printing. I’m not able to find a single product that can do this. They don’t even need to register with the website, just enter the data into a form, it gets formatted into the certificate and emailed to them. Anyone have any ideas?

  4. This is great! Once you design a certificate on Canva, how can you use it in your courses with the dynamic name, date, achievement fields?

  5. Hi Justin

    Wrong forum, but quick question. Is there a way for free enrollment into course and only pay if you want certificate?

  6. Hi
    Is there any update on the unique number generator for certificates – this seems to be the missing link and would add credibility to the certificate as anyone can just print there name on a certificate. Our courses hold a lot of CPD points in our industry and the online part of the course has now been linked to automate certificate generation using your learndash module but now we have no unique reference as this used to be put on seperately on the old hard copy system.

    Would need the unique reference number against the person ( user) and on the certificate.

  7. I need a way for instructors (Group Leaders) to manually award certificates to the students in their course (LD Group Members) based on participation in an instructor-led, in-person class rather than based on completion of the online modules. Has anyone done this before? Is there a proper or supported way to do this?

    1. Hi Steve:
      I am also looking for very similar functionality (i.e. the ability for an instructor to manually award a custom (person’s name and date) certificate after a participant has first done their online modules and then completed an instructor-led training). Did you happen to discover a way to accomplish this?

  8. Hi
    I have a course with lessons and topic and a course assessment quiz at the end.
    The user can complete the topics in any order and lessons.
    I want the user to only have access to the assessment quiz only when all lessons and topics and completed.
    The problem is I can click on the assessment quiz ay anytime and complete the quiz, which gives the user the print certificate button.
    I only want the user to have access to the quiz if completed all lessons and topics.

    How can I do that?

  9. I found that the certificate generated to PDF cannot display Chinese font. Is that it cannot support language that other than English?

  10. We have states that have unique certificate requirements. For instance, they have an image of their state logo that they require on the certificate. Different states have different requirements. It would be awesome if Learndash provided PDF image selection logic by user location (State). So, when the certificate is generated Learndash selects the correct PDF for the students state.

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