Mobile device

How to Use Microsoft Whiteboard on a PC or Mobile Device

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

Image: sdx15/Adobe Stock

You are participating in a virtual meeting and want to use a whiteboard to illustrate and map 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 work account or a Microsoft account.

Start your virtual meeting, then open the Microsoft Whiteboard app. On the intro 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 for adding different types of content (Figure A).

Figure A

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Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic

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

Figure B

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Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic

Then you can draw lines or other objects on the screen. Tap one of the pen drawing tools to set the thickness and color, then draw the desired element. To highlight something, select and use the highlighter tool. To erase something, select the eraser tool, then select the item you want to delete (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 another item. Drag any of the four handles to resize it. Move the semi-circle icon outside one of the handles to rotate the item. Tap the item and move your mouse or finger to move the item. In the small toolbar just above the item, select the trash can icon to delete it or the copy icon to copy it. Select the third icon to convert a rough drawing into a specific shape. Select the fourth icon to add alt text to the subject. Select the ellipsis icon to display a menu where you can move the item forward, backward, or lock it in 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 allows you to add and enter 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 Pictures 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 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 top right. Type the names or email addresses of the people you want to share the whiteboard with, then select Send, or click the Copy link button to paste the generated link into an email, text message, or other communication (Figure F).

Figure F

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Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic

Finally, every 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 want to work with or review it. Tap the ellipsis icon of a specific whiteboard to delete or rename it. Otherwise, select the New whiteboard icon to create a new one (G-figure).

G-figure

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Image: Lance Whitney/TechRepublic