• Amanda Sterner

How to use Microsoft Whiteboard

Updated: Apr 29, 2020

26rd of April - How to use Microsoft Whiteboard - Amanda Sterner of April - Currently when I’m writing this blog post, it’s not working to use Microsoft Whiteboard inside Microsoft Teams for some European tenants. This means you can’t use Microsoft Whiteboard from within meetings at the moment. But you can still share your screen while drawing on a whiteboard in the app, or just being in the app working simultaneously 😊.


For quite some time now I’ve been planning to write a new blog post about Microsoft Whiteboard, I wrote one almost a year ago when Whiteboard was in preview – well now it’s not in preview anymore 🙌🏻 and hopefully it’s turned on in your organization!


Before we start…

Let’s start with the download, you could use the web interface – but I find that the functionality available in the web interface doesn’t do Microsoft Whiteboard justice. I have a PC, and have downloaded it from the Microsoft store.

It seems like there is no available app for Mac at the moment – I’m sorry 😥. Then you can use the web interface found at: https://whiteboard.microsoft.com/ or work from mobile or tablet.

Whiteboard in the web

How to create a new whiteboard

I tend to create my new whiteboards in one out of these two options:


From a meeting – From meetings not related to a channel (what I usually call just an ordinary meeting) you can reach the related whiteboard before the meeting. If you open the meeting from the calendar in Microsoft Teams, there’s a tab called Whiteboard.

Whiteboard in meetings

From a channel meeting you can share a whiteboard during the meeting but it won’t appear as a tab and even though it was created for a team you will have to share it with the people who didn’t attend the meeting.


To reach the whiteboard during the meeting you share your screen and choose Microsoft Whiteboard in the right end (you might need to scroll dependent on your screen size).

Share a whiteboard in a meeting

Pros with going this way is that the whiteboard is related to the meeting, this means if you open the meeting again (let's say ist's a recurring meeting) you'll have the same whiteboard. And when sharing as in the image above people can write on the whiteboard in the shared meeting screen.


Directly from the app (or in the web for those of you using Mac) – If I do it this way, I share the whiteboard with the people who should use it (I’ll show that further down). Cons with this is that the whiteboard won’t be “related” to a specific meeting and that you have to invite the ones that should have access.


To create a new whiteboard, you simply click the big +

First image is in the app, second the web.


And we have a blank canvas! From now on I’ll mostly show in the desktop app.

A new blank whiteboarf :)

What you can do

Now let’s start with the fun 🙏🏻.


Inking mode – this is where we write, draw, scribble, whatever you name it. You can do it with your finger (if you’re using touchscreen), with your mouse, or my favourite to use a touch pen.

Button for ink mode

There are a bunch of different pen types, and when you click it you can change colour and thickness.

Different option on pens

Another fun thing is the magic wand. When you exit pen mode you can mark what you’ve written (you could also do this with the lasso in ink mode) – there you have the option to copy, delete, change colour and ta-da use the magic wand.

Settings for something

The magic wand makes ugly text beautiful. Edit mode works for all components you added in Microsoft Whiteboard and has different options dependent on the settings.

Magic wand

I really can’t tell you how the style of the glam-up is being decided but it usually looks good. There’s also settings that automagically changes the ugly shapes you draw into perfect circles, squares, triangle and tables.

Setting for magic shaeps beatiful

Once those settings are on (and the app is restarted if you just turned them on) Microsoft Whiteboard will help make you sloppy drawing even better looking.

Ugly cicle > perfect circle

Add image – Here you can insert an image from your computer.


Button for adding an image

But you could also add Bing images or use the camera from the insert menu, or copy paste an image from whatever source. I love to use the any screen snipping tool and then pasting it.

How nice it looks with images

You could also use the magic wand on images, I think it’s best suited for images on IRL whiteboards because what it does is to remove the background.

Using magic wand on images

Add note – This will add a sticky note to your whiteboard, almost like a real whiteboard right😋?!

Button for adding a note

Besides adding text and writing on the sticky note you can also change the colour of the sticky note. Something great for example a retrospective is that you can like sticky notes (this also applies to other things in whiteboard, images for example).

Settings for a note

Insert menu – This is the “where we put the other stuff”-button.

Button for insert other things

You can for example insert text.

Insert text

You can insert a note grid (in preview).

A note grid

You can insert a list (in preview).

A list

And what I’m most excited about – templates (also in preview). These are different combinations of components that could be handy. In the preview version there are a bunch of different templates:


  • Persona builder

  • Weekly planner

  • Problem solving

  • Project planning e.g.

Adding a template

These templates help us to not having to invent the wheel every time. In the print screen below I tried Empathy map, I haven’t done anything - everything is from the template 😍😍.


Additional things that you can find under settings – In the top right corner you’ll find a settings menu with a few more options.

Button for settings menu

I already mentioned ink to shape and ink to table which might be the most interesting thing when it comes to content in Whiteboard.

Availigle settings

A little further down we find format background, this will give the option to change the colour and patterns of the whiteboard. Maybe you want a grid or dots to help you with your drawings?

Settings for background colour and grid

How you share the whiteboard

When you’re done with all your drawings or want to include other people to watch or add more things to the whiteboard it’s time for sharing.


To begin, if you create a whiteboard from a meeting everyone who attended the meeting will have access to the whiteboard. If you are curious to see if a whiteboard is shared or not just look after the icon of two people – if it has it then it’s shared.

See if a whiteboard is shared or not

Inside the whiteboard you can see who has access by clicking the people icon. By clicking the + you can add new people that should have access.

Invite someone to a whiteboard

When you invite someone, you can decide if they should be able to edit or read only. You can change this afterwards as well.

Read-only or edit

When you shared the other person will receive an email about the shared whiteboard.

Mail about shared whiteboard

Another way to share a whiteboard is to click Post to Teams in the settings.

Share a whiteboard to Microsoft Teams

There you’ll see your teams and channels.

List over my teams

But in my opinion the message sent in the channel conversation isn’t that appealing, so make sure to go in afterwards and edit the text.

How it looks in Microsoft Teams

As of now it’s only possible to share whiteboard with people in your organization. So, what should you do it you want to share a whiteboard with someone outside it? Well besides sharing your screen you can also export the whiteboard into an image. Export is available in the settings.

Export a whiteboard

And the choice is yours – PNG or SVG?

PNG or SVG?

From the start screen you also have the option to share the whiteboard or exporting it by clicking .

Settings from start screen

Last thing! Don’t forget to rename the name of your whiteboard to make it a little bit easier to sort your content✨.

Renaming a whiteboard

Oh - so there’s a mobile app as well?

Ofc there is, the amazing thing with the app is that is has almost all the same functions as the desktop app, but in a tiny format.

The whiteboard app

Do you remember when I inserted an image of a real whiteboard? Imagine opening yout mobile app, taking a photo of a real whiteboard, using the magic wand and then opening it in the desktop app the next time to continue your work?! Pure magic 🔮.

Conclusion

I like Microsoft Whiteboard and excited about the future for templates. What do you think?


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