In March of 2020, Microsoft proudly announced that its MS Teams product had been adopted by over 500,000 organizations, including 91% of the Fortune 100. That number has surely only grown over the past two years, as the expansion of remote work and rollout of key new features have made their platform even more useful.
One of the most exciting updates included Microsoft Whiteboard, which adds new functionalities to meetings. Users can recreate the experience of drawing on a physical whiteboard, with some additional digitized features for even more utility. If you’re looking for a simple way to add more engagement to your next MS Teams meeting, consider giving this feature a try.
Getting Started with Microsoft Teams Whiteboard
Once you’ve joined an MS Teams meeting, click the “Share Tray” icon to open the “Microsoft Whiteboard” window. With the button clicked, everyone in the conference will see your blank whiteboard, ready to start displaying your ideas.
The writing pad tool will be familiar to anyone who’s used Microsoft Paint or a similar application before. You can control the thickness and color of your digital pencil, add text boxes or sticky notes, use the eraser, and generally do everything you can with a physical whiteboard.
What makes Teams whiteboard even more engaging are its collaboration features. Whoever opens the whiteboard can maintain access exclusively or allow others to add to the canvas.
Drawing On the Microsoft Teams Whiteboard
Once the writing toolbar is loaded, choose your preferred writing utensil and begin drawing. You can use your mouse or touchpad to draw lines, shapes, and figures, plus select text boxes to start typing directly onto the canvas.
If you have a touchscreen, you can put your finger or stylus directly onto the canvas for more control over what you’re drawing. There’s plenty of space to add more content as well. Zoom or pan left and right to find more space, and use both the undo and redo tools to eliminate or replicate content.
Save Your Content for Later
The collaboration doesn’t end just because the meeting’s over. When you’re ready to save a whiteboard for later, click the “Settings” menu and click “Export PNG.” MS Teams will then create a digital image of your whiteboard that you can share with other team members.
The “Settings” menu is also your one-stop shop for getting quick answers to questions through its “Help” section. You can also opt to deliver feedback to the app developers if you have some new ideas for added features or want to highlight an issue with the whiteboard. Use the same menu for toggling whether or not other users can add to the whiteboard during your meeting.
When to Use Microsoft Teams Whiteboard
Once the meeting ends you can return to your Microsoft Teams app and click the “Whiteboard” button to find a gallery view of all your previous whiteboards, making the feature a worthy alternative to PowerPoint and other one-sided meeting presentation methods. The ability to collaborate in real-time with no lag and a rich variety of typing, drawing, and free-handing tools adds engagement to your meetings.
If you haven’t used the Teams whiteboard before, consider opening one up during your next meeting. Limit access, so other team members see how you use the whiteboard first, then offer them the chance to collaborate in real-time midway through the meeting. Users will find MS Teams whiteboard intuitive, functional, and even fun—a unique opportunity to improve communication while expanding the possibilities of your digital workplace.
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