How to use Microsoft Whiteboard on a PC or mobile device


Microsoft Whiteboard is a handy way to illustrate ideas in a virtual meeting with your computer or mobile device.

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You’re participating in a virtual meeting and want to use a whiteboard to illustrate and diagram certain workflows and processes. One way to do this is through Microsoft Whiteboard. Available as an app for Windows, iOS, iPadOS and Android, Microsoft Whiteboard offers a virtual canvas on which you can type text, draw objects, add sticky notes and insert other types of content. You can start with a clean slate or tap into one of the built-in templates.

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First, download the Microsoft Whiteboard app for Windows from the Microsoft Store, for iOS/iPadOS from the App Store or for Android from Google Play. The app works the same on PCs and mobile devices, and you can use it through a business account or a Microsoft account.

Start your virtual meeting and then open the Microsoft Whiteboard app. At the introductory screen, select the icon for New Whiteboard. The main whiteboard screen displays a palette toolbar at the top with various drawing tools and a Create toolbar on the left to add different types of content (Figure A).

Figure A

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Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic

Before you start, decide if you wish to use a template or work from a blank screen. Select the Templates icon on the left to browse different categories. If you wish, select a specific template to insert it into the whiteboard (Figure B).

Figure B

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Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic

Next, you may want to draw lines or other objects on the screen. Press down on one of the pen drawing tools to set the thickness and color, then draw your desired item. To highlight something, select and use the Highlighter tool. To erase something, select the Eraser tool and then select the item you want to remove (Figure C).

Figure C

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Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic

You can resize, move and delete specific objects on the screen. Select a line or other item. Drag one of the four handles to resize it. Move the half circle icon outside one of the handles to rotate the item. Press down on the item and move your mouse or finger to move the item. From the small toolbar just above the item, select the trashcan icon to delete it or the copy icon to copy it. Select the third icon to convert a rough drawing to a specific shape. Select the fourth icon to add alt text to the object. Select the ellipsis icon to display a menu where you can move the item to the front, back or lock it into place (Figure D).

Figure D

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Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic

You can add other types of content to the whiteboard. Select the Notes icon to create a sticky note. The Text icon lets you add and type text in a box. Using the Shapes icon, you can create squares, circles, triangles, arrows and other shapes. The Reactions icon lets you insert a heart, star, thumbs up and other reactions. Use the Images icon to upload and insert an image from your device, and use the Documents icon to upload a document. You can move, resize, rotate and otherwise manage the boxes for any of these content types (Figure E).

Figure E

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Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic

To share the whiteboard, click the Share icon in the upper right. Type the names or email addresses of people with whom you want to share the whiteboard and then select Send, or click the Copy link button to paste the generated link into an email, text or other communication (Figure F).

Figure F

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Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic

Finally, each whiteboard you create is automatically saved. When you open the Whiteboard app, you’ll see an icon for each whiteboard you’ve created. Select a specific whiteboard to open it if you wish to work with or view it again. Tap the ellipsis icon for a specific whiteboard to delete or rename it. Otherwise, select the icon for New Whiteboard to create a brand new one (Figure G).

Figure G

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Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic



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