How to collaborate on microsoft whiteboard

A whiteboard is a blank page that you can use to work together with other meeting participants by being able to type notes, draw, or import images.

When your meeting is over, you can save the whiteboard with the data from the participants’ collaboration.

Open a new whiteboard

In the meeting window, click the Present Content button .

Click More, and then click Whiteboard.

A blank whiteboard opens on the meeting stage on everyone’s screen.

The annotation tool set opens automatically on the right side of the whiteboard.

Click any of the tools to annotate on the whiteboard, such as: pointer tool, pen, highlighter, eraser, and so on.

The whiteboard closes automatically if you switch to another presenting option, but will be available if you want to open it later in the meeting. Just click Present > Manage Content to access the whiteboard again.

Use the annotation tools

Use the tools along the side of the whiteboard to visually focus on the page or brainstorm with the participants. Many people can work on the whiteboard at the same time, but each tool can be used only by one person at a time.

Laser Pointer A virtual laser pointer. Click and drag the pointer across the page. A blue circle appears in the meeting indicating your name.

Select and Type Selects an area to type. You can change font, size, and color by clicking the arrow next to the Select and Type to open the menu.

Pen Draws freehand. Click and start writing or drawing in black, or click the down arrow next to the button, and then select another color.

Highlighter Highlights a specific area of the current slide.

Eraser Removes specific annotation you choose.

Stamp Inserts a stamp on the page: Arrow, Check, or X. Choose an option from the menu, then click on the whiteboard to stamp.

Shape Draws shapes such as lines, arrows and squares. Click the down arrow next to the button to select another shape or color.

Insert Picture Inserts an image on the slide from your computer.

Delete Selected Annotations Removes the annotations that you’ve selected.

More Options Provides options to select the annotation, undo, redo, copy, cut, paste, paste as image, Save As, and Send to OneNote.

Move or delete drawings

You can select, then move or delete any of the drawings on the whiteboard.

Move objects

Click the Select and Type button, and then click one or multiple drawings that you want to move. A selection rectangle appears around the selected objects.

Drag the rectangle to a new position.

Note: For typed text, point to the bar at the top of the text box before you begin dragging it.

Delete an object

Click the Select and Type button, and then select the drawing that you want to delete.

Press Delete on your keyboard.

Who added or changed content?

To see who added or changed content on the whiteboard, do one of the following:

For non-text items on the whiteboard, hold the mouse pointer over the drawing to see “Created by” and “Last modified by” information.

For text, point at the text, and then hold the mouse over the solid rectangle that appears above the text when you point at it.

Manage your whiteboard

Click the Present button, and then click Manage Content.

Click the Permissions menu, and then choose who can download the whiteboard to their computer:

Organizer Only the person who scheduled the meeting can download.

Presenters Any of the presenters in the meeting can download.

Everyone Anyone in the meeting can download.

Click the More button, and then choose an option: Save As, Send to OneNote, or Rename.

The collaborative digital canvas in Microsoft 365 for effective meetings and engaging learning.

  • For Windows
  • For iOS

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Collaboration and brainstorming in the workplace

Help teams run effective meetings, visualize ideas, and work creatively with notes, shapes, templates, and more.

Creative and engaging learning

Facilitate distance learning, run collaborative lessons and maximize learning outcomes with ink, notes, stickers, and more.

Getting started with Microsoft Whiteboard

YouTube channel

Find tips and tricks on using Microsoft Whiteboard effectively with these short videos.

Microsoft Whiteboard Blog

Learn about the latest feature releases, best practices, and trends.

Surface Hub

Make the most of Microsoft Whiteboard with Surface Hub, an all-in-one digital whiteboard, meetings platform, and collaborative computing device.

Support for Microsoft Whiteboard

Microsoft Whiteboard Help

Get answers to common questions on our support page.

In Teams

Get help using Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams with these common scenarios.

On Surface Hub

Find support for common questions using Microsoft Whiteboard on Surface Hub devices.

For IT pros

See how to enable Microsoft Whiteboard for your Organization.

A virtual whiteboard is a digital application that functions like a traditional whiteboard, but is hosted virtually. Digital whiteboards can integrate with other video conferencing and screen sharing platforms to allow for collaboration even when you are not physically in the same room. A virtual whiteboard has multiple colors, shapes and templates to choose from and allows whiteboards to be saved in shareable files for easy access in the future.

A digital whiteboard can enhance a virtual or in person meeting by encouraging collaboration. A whiteboard can help people visualize a process. Whiteboards increase collaboration by allowing participants to easily add ideas to the whiteboard with sticky notes or colored markers.

A whiteboard can help increase productivity as it allows users to easily draw processes with different shapes and colors. A virtual whiteboard further increases productivity as a user can easily copy or remove parts of the whiteboard and even save the file for future use.

Drawing on a whiteboard can be intimidating – especially with others watching you. A virtual whiteboard makes drawing easy. Many virtual whiteboards allow you to type text and select from a variety of shapes to make your digital whiteboard experience easier.

If you are a skilled writer or artist, you can freehand draw with a variety of colors and pen thickness with your computer mouse, trackpad or touchscreen. If your computer has the option to be touchscreen, that is the best simulation of writing on a physical whiteboard.

Digital whiteboards are a great place to play games in the classroom, at a work activity or with your family and friends. Virtual whiteboards makes it easy to share your screen and play interactive games with your group.

Microsoft Whiteboard is enabled by default for most Office 365 and Microsoft 365 tenants. You can check this and other settings and enable Microsoft Whiteboard in the Admin Center. Learn more.

All your whiteboards are automatically and securely saved in Microsoft Azure, and they’re accessible from your account in the Windows 11 app, iOS app, Microsoft Teams, or on the web. Learn more about where your Microsoft 365 customer data is stored.

Microsoft Whiteboard has always been free for students and education professionals as a part of the Office 365 A1 offer. It’s enabled by default for Office 365 tenants. You can check this and other settings and enable Microsoft Whiteboard in your Admin Center. Learn more.

Yes. You can add sticky notes and text in Microsoft Teams or the Microsoft Whiteboard app on Windows 11, iOS, and Surface Hub.

You can use Microsoft Whiteboard for collaborating with your team or classroom to accomplish many activities, including:

  • Holding Workshops
  • Running effective meetings
  • Brainstorming
  • Team sprint planning
  • Project planning
  • Problem solving
  • Managing incidents

With the Microsoft Whiteboard app on Windows 11 or iOS, you can get started right away by inserting templates into your whiteboards. Open an existing board or create a new one, tap the + button on the toolbar, and select Templates.

Microsoft Whiteboard is automatically enabled for applicable Office 365 and Microsoft 365 tenants, including in Microsoft Teams. Make your meetings more collaborative by sharing a whiteboard with all participants. That same whiteboard is simultaneously available in the Microsoft Whiteboard app on Windows 11, iOS, Surface Hub, and on the web.

  1. To prepare a whiteboard ahead of time, right-click on the meeting invite in your Microsoft Teams calendar and select “Chat with participants.” Go to the Whiteboard tab at the top of the meeting chat to add content and get the board ready.
  2. After joining a Microsoft Teams meeting, select the Share icon in the share tray of that meeting.
  3. In the Whiteboard section, select Microsoft Whiteboard.

You can access the same whiteboard after the meeting and continue working on it from the Whiteboard tab in the meeting chat or in the Microsoft Whiteboard app. Learn more about using Microsoft Whiteboard in Microsoft Teams.

Yes. Try these resources:

Yes, Microsoft Whiteboard was designed for both remote and in-classroom learning. In the classroom, students leave the class with a digital version of the whiteboard so they can focus on listening and learning instead of copying content from the whiteboard during class.

Teachers can run more interactive lessons using a shared whiteboard where students can add their content or react on content added by others. Microsoft Whiteboard is a great tool for group projects, keeping all project members engaged and giving teachers an opportunity to watch and provide feedback.

Read-only mode for Microsoft Whiteboard in Microsoft Teams meetings allows the meeting organizer to choose how they want participants to interact with the board. When a presenter chooses read-only mode, all other meeting participants on the whiteboard will have a view-only experience. At any time during the meeting, the meeting organizer can switch between read-only mode, or allow collaboration from others from the Settings menu. For Enterprise customers, whiteboards default to collaboration mode. For education customers, teachers can choose read-only or collaboration mode before creating each whiteboard.

Microsoft Whiteboard allows you to export your board to your OneNote Class Notebooks with the Send to OneNote option in the Settings menu.

Microsoft Whiteboard is a collaboration tool that allows Microsoft users to quickly share ideas with other people. The app allows you and your team to draw or write as if you are using ink. Although designed to work best with a stylus, it’s perfectly usable for people with desktop devices. That said, it has good inter-app synergy with other programs in the Microsoft Office suite, so if you’re already using Microsoft tools for your team’s productivity, then Whiteboard will be a great new addition.

Visualize your ideas anywhere

Microsoft Whiteboard is a freeform canvas where users can type or draw their ideas. The app also allows you and your teammate to add sticky notes and images to the canvas to further expand whatever concept you type or draw. More, you can stack things up on the boards and move them around for neat organization.

The app has a touch-first, pen-first interface, freeing you from using the keyboard. This means you can easily draw whatever you want, even irregular shapes. On top of that, it has an intelligent-inking technology that transforms your doodles into great-looking shapes, tables, and lines. You can even copy, paste, and combine them to make great art.

Collaborate with your team

Aside from providing a space for your creative ideas, Whiteboard also brings your entire team together, no matter where they are. It comes with real-time collaboration features, allowing anyone with access to the canvas to see everything added to it. All users with access to the canvas can ink in the same area where you put your ideas or start a new one on another part.

To further enhance teamwork, anyone can leave comments and suggestions directly on the canvas. Microsoft Whiteboard is also perfect for writing out process flows and brainstorm presentations. Everything that your team does on the board is automatically saved to the Microsoft cloud, so you can pick up where you left off anytime.

There is no limit on the number of people who can collaborate on a canvas. However, the app can only be used by teams who all have Microsoft accounts. More so, while it is similar to Microsoft OneNote, some features are only available to the app. It is also more lightweight than OneNote, which takes up too much storage. However, it is quite laggy, and zooming the canvas to see short texts is a bit hard.

A helpful tool for your creative team

All in all, Microsoft Whiteboard is a great tool to have to increase productivity in your team. The app provides a seemingly infinite canvas for you to put down any ideas you have for your business or organization. On top of that, its real-time collaboration allows for convenient communication between your team. That way, you and your teammates can juggle ideas back and forth without needing to be in the same room. There are a few caveats—its exclusivity and some usability issues—but it can be overlooked. All in all, it is a recommended app if you are looking for a reliable collaboration app.

The Microsoft Whiteboard app includes the capability for Surface Hubs and other devices with the Microsoft Whiteboard app installed to collaborate in real time on the same board.

Prerequisites

To use whiteboard collaboration complete the following actions:

  • Add Whiteboard.ms, whiteboard.microsoft.com, and wbd.ms to your list of allowed sites.
  • Open port: HTTPS: 443 (normally configured when you first run Surface Hub.)

Office 365 requirements

  • Whiteboard collaboration is only supported in the Office 365 commercial environment and requires Office 365 with cloud-based Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).
  • You can only run collaborative sessions among users belonging to the same Office 365 tenant.
  • Office 365 Germany or Office 365 operated by 21Vianet do not support whiteboard collaboration.

Collaborating with whiteboards

To start a collaboration session:

  1. In the Whiteboard app, tap the Sign in button.
  2. Sign in with your organization ID.
  3. Tap the Invite button next to your name at the top of the app.
  4. Write or type the names of the colleagues you wish to collaborate with.

On the other device, such as a Surface Hub, when you are signed in, the shared board will now appear in the board gallery.

User tips

  • Log in to access your whiteboards. As you work, changes are saved automatically.
  • Name your whiteboards to help organize your content and find it quickly. Select the … to open the menu. Select the Options gear icon to access more tools and features of the Whiteboard.
  • Use Ink to shape to turn drawing into actual shapes like circles, squares, and triangles.
  • Use Ink to table to turn a drawn grid into a table with rows and columns.
  • You can also change the background color and design from solid to grid or dots. Pick the background, then choose the color from the wheel around it.
  • You can export a copy of the Whiteboard collaboration for yourself through the Share charm and leave the board for others to continue working.

If you are using Whiteboard and cannot sign in, you can collaborate by joining a Teams or Skype for Business meeting, and then sharing your screen. After you’re done, tap Settings > Export to email or save a copy of the board. If you choose to export to SVG, it exports vector graphics and provides higher resolution than PNG and can be opened in a web browser.

New features in Whiteboard

The Microsoft Whiteboard app, updated for Surface Hub on July 1, 2019 includes a host of new features including:

Update : The App performance has been significantly improved & there are also a ton of other features which have been added. Check out the “What’s new” section for more details!!

Microsoft Whiteboard provides a freeform intelligent canvas where individuals & teams alike can ideate, create, and collaborate visually via the cloud. Designed for touch, type & pen, it lets you write or draw as smoothly as you would with ink, you can even type in text, add sticky notes or notes grid to express your ideas & use reactions to visually communicate your thoughts. It enhances teamwork by allowing all team members to edit the canvas in real time, no matter where they are. Get started quickly by inserting a pre-built template or draw your own flowchart using our expansive shapes library. No matter what your use case, we have the right set of tools for you and all your work stays safe in the cloud, ready to be picked back up from another location or device.

— Create freely, work naturally –
Microsoft Whiteboard provides an infinite canvas where imagination has room to grow: draw, type, add a sticky note or a notes grid, move them around – it’s all possible. The touch-first, pen-first interface frees your ideas from the keyboard, and the intelligent inking technology transforms your doodles into great-looking shapes and lines that can be copied, pasted and combined with other objects. Moreover, you can also, ink on your sticky notes & text boxes and magically see the ink get converted to text using Apple Scribble functionality (on iPads with Apple Pencil).

–Collaborate in real time, wherever you are—
Microsoft Whiteboard brings every member of a team together working from their own devices across the globe. On the Whiteboard canvas, you can also see what your teammates are doing in real time and start collaborating on the same area. It’s about getting everyone on the same page – or board.

–Save automatically, resume seamlessly –
Forget having to take photos of your whiteboards, or marking them with “Do Not Erase.” With Microsoft Whiteboard, your brainstorming sessions are saved automatically to the Microsoft cloud, so you can pick up where you left off, whenever – and wherever – inspiration strikes next.

• Improved App Performance & Reduction in crashes which has been a strong customer ask.

• Modern look and feel:
1. Streamlined user experience – an unobtrusive app UI maximizes your canvas space.
2. Creation gallery – a highly discoverable, simple way of finding and using objects and features in the application.

• Interactive content features:
3. 40+ customizable templates – get started quickly and collaborate, brainstorm, and ideate with brand new templates.
4. Shapes & Lines – Choose from an expansive library of shapes & lines to visually collaborate & ideate with your team members
5. Reactions – provide lightweight, contextual feedback with a set of fun reactions.

• Inking features:
6. Apple Scribble – Ink on text boxes & sticky notes and see your ink strokes magically convert to text (on iPads with Apple pencil)
7. Ink arrows – smoothly draw single and double-sided arrows using ink to better facilitate diagramming.

Update : The App performance has been significantly improved & there are also a ton of other features which have been added. Check out the “What’s new” section for more details!!

Microsoft Whiteboard provides a freeform intelligent canvas where individuals & teams alike can ideate, create, and collaborate visually via the cloud. Designed for touch, type & pen, it lets you write or draw as smoothly as you would with ink, you can even type in text, add sticky notes or notes grid to express your ideas & use reactions to visually communicate your thoughts. It enhances teamwork by allowing all team members to edit the canvas in real time, no matter where they are. Get started quickly by inserting a pre-built template or draw your own flowchart using our expansive shapes library. No matter what your use case, we have the right set of tools for you and all your work stays safe in the cloud, ready to be picked back up from another location or device.

— Create freely, work naturally –
Microsoft Whiteboard provides an infinite canvas where imagination has room to grow: draw, type, add a sticky note or a notes grid, move them around – it’s all possible. The touch-first, pen-first interface frees your ideas from the keyboard, and the intelligent inking technology transforms your doodles into great-looking shapes and lines that can be copied, pasted and combined with other objects. Moreover, you can also, ink on your sticky notes & text boxes and magically see the ink get converted to text using Apple Scribble functionality (on iPads with Apple Pencil).

–Collaborate in real time, wherever you are—
Microsoft Whiteboard brings every member of a team together working from their own devices across the globe. On the Whiteboard canvas, you can also see what your teammates are doing in real time and start collaborating on the same area. It’s about getting everyone on the same page – or board.

–Save automatically, resume seamlessly –
Forget having to take photos of your whiteboards, or marking them with “Do Not Erase.” With Microsoft Whiteboard, your brainstorming sessions are saved automatically to the Microsoft cloud, so you can pick up where you left off, whenever – and wherever – inspiration strikes next.

• Improved App Performance & Reduction in crashes which has been a strong customer ask.

• Modern look and feel:
1. Streamlined user experience – an unobtrusive app UI maximizes your canvas space.
2. Creation gallery – a highly discoverable, simple way of finding and using objects and features in the application.

• Interactive content features:
3. 40+ customizable templates – get started quickly and collaborate, brainstorm, and ideate with brand new templates.
4. Shapes & Lines – Choose from an expansive library of shapes & lines to visually collaborate & ideate with your team members
5. Reactions – provide lightweight, contextual feedback with a set of fun reactions.

• Inking features:
6. Apple Scribble – Ink on text boxes & sticky notes and see your ink strokes magically convert to text (on iPads with Apple pencil)
7. Ink arrows – smoothly draw single and double-sided arrows using ink to better facilitate diagramming.

Interactive canvas that allows multiple users to collaborate in real time, from a number of devices, for various types of projects

Going digital is all well and good, but it seems like nothing can replace an old-fashioned whiteboard during a team meeting. A digital alternative should be as easy to use as the real thing, and that is what Microsoft has attempted to provide, while taking advantage of all the benefits of a cloud-based service.

Microsoft Whiteboard essentially offers a simple canvas that can be edited by multiple users at the same time, from various locations and devices. It supports touch, pen, mouse and keyboard input, allowing you to draw and write freely.

Built with collaboration in mind

While this is a desktop application, all your whiteboards, actions and settings are saved in the cloud. You can invite anyone to participate at any time by just providing a URL and enabling web sharing.

All users who have access to a particular whiteboard can work together and make changes in real time. Everything is saved automatically, and you can pick up where you left off instantly.

Simple but effective set of tools

When it comes to features, Microsoft Whiteboard might seem a bit unimpressive at first, but you have to remember that it’s designed to function as a simple digital canvas, nothing more.

You have the classic customizable pen, as well as a marker and ruler, and you can insert images, text boxes and notes easily. Shapes are created automatically when you draw their rough outline, as are tables.

There are a few background colors to choose from, as well as multiple grid styles for those who aren’t happy with the default whiteboard look.

Available on the web and iOS, but not on Android

Microsoft has already created an iOS version of the app for Apple device users, and your whiteboards can also be accessed from any browser via the web-based version of the application.

However, Android users have to wait a little longer, as Microsoft still seems to be working on a mobile version of the app for them.

All in all, Microsoft Whiteboard is an accessible and quite versatile digital canvas for collaborative work. It can be used from a wide range of devices and supports multiple types of input, making it easy to coordinate with team members from around the world.

Back in September, Microsoft launched a new version of its Whiteboard app for Windows, the company’s digital canvas that lets users collaborate with other people. This update introduced a brand new UI and several new collaboration features designed for hybrid work. However, the app has received a fair share of criticism since its launch due to the lack of some key features and performance issues (via Neowin).

As pointed out by several Reddit users, the new version of Whiteboard has latency and stability issues on Windows PCs. It also lacks many essential functionalities of the previous UWP app, such as support for window animations and the ruler. “Microsoft destroyed Microsoft Whiteboard. Slower at times to load, no window animations when maximizing/minimizing/closing (Windows10). No more Ruler functionality. It is somehow gone. Eraser erases the page as a whole, not what is desired,” the original poster explained on Reddit.

In response to the negative feedback, Senior Product Manager of Microsoft Whiteboard, Mathivathan Vhallatharasu, announced on Twitter today that the team has heard the criticism and would be rolling back its new Whiteboard application to the native Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app in “in less than a week.”

We heard all your feedback and we will be doing a rollback to the previous version of the whiteboard windows app shortly (in less than a week) – PM Whiteboard for windows.

— Mathivathan Vhallatharasu (@_mathi) November 18, 2021

Microsoft has confirmed on Reddit that the Whiteboard team is actively working to “close the gaps between the older windows app and the new update,” but the company didn’t provide a timeline. Do you miss the features available in the older Whiteboard app? Let us know in the comments below.