What Is Microsoft Whiteboard, and How Do You Use It?

How to, Software

Writing your ideas on a whiteboard is the best way to present them visually. Check out Microsoft Whiteboard if you haven’t already! It uses digital pens, post-its, and other items to recreate the dynamic of that beloved melamine wall.

Working from home can be productive and fun for many people, but they miss out on the group brainstorming sessions that are crucial to creating and refining ideas. Whiteboards make it simple to communicate ideas, collaborate on designs, and teach new concepts to others. They can also serve as a convenient spot for people to dump their thoughts in a public space.

This experience can be recreated with Microsoft Whiteboard, a free program. Of course, nothing compares to the genuine thing. A digital whiteboard, on the other hand, may allow you to accomplish more than a real whiteboard.

Microsoft saw this opportunity and offers templates as well as the ability to upload images and documents. It’s not the same as working in an office, but it has many of the advantages and none of the disadvantages.

For Windows, iPhone, and iPad, the Whiteboard app is available. To utilize it, you’ll need either a free Microsoft account or a premium M365/O365 membership. You may also use the web version to make simple whiteboards or see those that have been shared, but it isn’t nearly as powerful as the app.

Once you’ve downloaded and opened the Whiteboard app, just click “Create New Whiteboard” to get started.

Click "Create New Whiteboard."

A new, blank board will open you’ll see the five controls shown in the image below.

The elements on a new whiteboard.

These do the following:

  1. Takes you back to the start page, where you can swap to other boards or create new ones.
  2. Shows you the sharing options for the board.
  3. Takes you to your account details, where you can sign out or switch to another account.
  4. Opens the Whiteboard app settings
  5. Opens the creation tools.

We’re going to focus on the creation tools, shown below.

The creation tools.

There isn’t a Save button, as you may have seen. This is due to the fact that Whiteboard saves your work as you work.

How to Write and Draw

To get started, click the Inking tool on the left.

Click the Inking tool.

The toolbar will now display the Inking tools (or pens, to you and me).

The Inking tools.

There are six tools, shown in the image below.

The Inking tools broken down into sections.

Here’s what each of these tools do:

  1. Closes the Inking tools.
  2. The pens you can use to draw on the board.
  3. The Eraser tool.
  4. A ruler for drawing straight lines at any angle.
  5. A Lasso tool for selecting elements on the board.
  6. The Undo and redo actions.

To begin sketching or writing on your board, click a pen. You can use your finger or a stylus to navigate a touchscreen. You can use your mouse or trackpad on a non-touchscreen computer.

To change a pen’s color or width, click the black dot at the top of the pan and choose from the menu selections.

The width and color options for pens.

When you alter the color or width of a pen, it will stay that way no matter whatever board you’re on when you return to the Inking tools. This allows you to choose your favorite options and have them available every time you use Whiteboard.

The Ruler aids in the creation of a straight line at any angle. When you click the tool, a ruler displays.

The Ruler tool.

You may vary the angle by rotating it with two fingers (on a touchscreen) or scrolling the mouse wheel (on a non-touchscreen). For a completely straight line, select a pen and draw a line against the rule edge.

A line drawn using the ruler.

You can also rotate the angle of the ruler using the arrow keys on your computer, according to Microsoft, but we couldn’t get it to work. When we tried it, it turned the ruler from 45 degrees to 0 degrees without any angle in between, then refused to rotate again.

While the ruler can be used without a touchscreen or a mouse scroll wheel, we don’t encourage it.

To draw a straight line on the board, drag the ruler wherever you wish. Click the Ruler option on the toolbar to conceal the ruler.

You can use the Lasso tool to pick one or more things on the board. Simply move the tool around the things you wish to pick to select them. After that, you may either group them together or eliminate them.

The Lasso tool and some selected lines.

How to Add Post-Its

Many individuals believe that a whiteboard isn’t complete without Post-it notes. Click the Add Note option in the toolbar to add them to your board.

Click the Add Note option.

A note will be added to the board with a context menu that allows you to write on it, change the color, and so on.

A Post-it note on a Whiteboard with a context menu.

The same as you can with images, just click the note to drag it around the board or resize it.

How to Add Documents

When you need to look something up while working on your board, attaching a document, such as a specification or a reference book, can be extremely useful.

Click the Insert menu option on the toolbar to add an item.

Click the Insert menu option.

A menu appears with various options you can insert, including documents, slideshows, and lists.

The menu of items you can insert onto your Whiteboard.

Is Microsoft Whiteboard Any Good?

Microsoft Whiteboard is a fantastic program. In fact, we didn’t even cover all of the options, features, and settings in this introduction (but we will in the future). Even the fundamentals, though, are quite outstanding. More significantly, they’re all dependable and simple to use. Creating a board and adding items to it is a simple and obvious procedure.

However, Microsoft Whiteboard was definitely created with touchscreens in mind. When trying to recreate a free-form physical canvas, such as a whiteboard, this makes sense. Even though “writing” with a mouse can be annoying, you can use it without a touchscreen.

In general, this is a good app. It accomplishes all you want it to, and then some—and we can’t say enough about how useful the Ink Beautification tool is. If you don’t have access to a whiteboard and want to work on one, this is the next best thing!

You might even prefer it to the actual thing after using it for a while, especially if you use a touchscreen and a stylus.

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