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How to use the whiteboard in Microsoft Teams

TechRepublic logo TechRepublic 1/4/2022 Lance Whitney
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The whiteboard in Microsoft Teams is a convenient way to create and share text, drawings, symbols and other types of objects to convey specific messages. You can draw with different size and color pens and pencils, use a yellow highlighter, add text, draw arrows and other symbols, and insert predefined templates for specific tasks. Here's how it works.

SEE: 11 ways to be a consummate professional during Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings (TechRepublic)

After you've started your live meeting, click the Share Content icon in the upper right and select Microsoft Whiteboard from the share content pane (Figure A).

Figure A

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The whiteboard then sets up its various tools and launches with a toolbox on the left and drawing tools at the top (Figure B).

Figure B

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To start drawing an object freehand, select one of the three pens among the drawing tools. A window pops up where you can change the thickness and color of the pen as well as add a single arrow or a double arrow (Figure C).

Figure C

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Beyond creating objects with the three drawing pens, you can use the highlighter tool to color an area with highlight in yellow or another color. You can also erase each line you draw by clicking on it with the eraser tool (Figure D).

Figure D

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The toolbox on the left provides different items to add to the whiteboard. The Notes tool lets you add a note with text. With the Text tool, you can write and insert text anywhere on the whiteboard. The Shapes tool helps you draw circles, squares and other shapes. The Reactions tool lets you add a checkmark, a question mark and other objects.

With the Images tool, you can insert an image from your computer. The Templates tool offers an array of predefined templates for designing, brainstorming, strategizing, planning and learning. And using the Documents tool, you can upload one or more pages of a PDF or PowerPoint file to your whiteboard. Undo and redo tools are accessible from the toolbar if you need to fix a mistake (Figure E).

Figure E

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You can move and position each item you've added to the whiteboard by dragging it around the screen. To move just certain items, use the lasso tool to select them and then drag them to a new spot. To resize a resizable item, drag a handle at any of its four corners. Click on any item, and you can copy it, delete it, or edit its alt text. Click on any item with color and you can change that color. Click on an item and select the ellipsis icon for More, and you can opt to send the item to the front or back to place it in front of or behind another object in the same location (Figure F).

Figure F

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To more easily view and work with the whiteboard, you can zoom in and out and move it around the screen. To zoom in and out, use the scroll wheel on your mouse or two fingers on a trackpad. To move the whiteboard around, drag any empty surrounding area (Figure G).

Figure G

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Finally, you can control several aspects of the whiteboard for you and other participants. Click the gear icon in the upper right. To save the whiteboard, choose the option for Export image (PNG). The file is saved to your default Downloads folder. The option for Enhance inked shapes automatically removes any rough edges to a line or other object. The option for Other Participants Can Edit lets other people modify your whiteboard. And the option for Format background lets you create a whiteboard background with a different color and grid (Figure H).

Figure H

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