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During this 50-minute virtual experience, we will kick start your journey into Microsoft’s (free) Whiteboard Application. Learn to navigate and sketch brainstorming ideas to help get ideas and conversations flowing. Microsoft Whiteboard is now available for the web and Teams meeting integrations. Bring new life to your virtual team meetings with the Whiteboard App – a pen or stylus is not required.


Ideate, create and collaborate from anywhere.


What You’ll Learn in this Microsoft Whiteboard Training


  • Navigate and quickly create new drawings using templates and sticky note functionalities.
  • Format and ink over the top of whiteboard drawings.
  • Access the Whiteboard application during a Microsoft Teams meeting and have meeting attendees share in the whiteboarding process.


Microsoft Trainer: Elissa Smith

Elissa Smith Microsoft TrainerElissa Smith has been a software applications facilitator for over 20 years. She has also been a technical writing consultant and an adjunct instructor at Davis Technology College, and Weber State University. She has taught classes for Nike Corporation and local Utah companies like Lifetime Products.


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Whiteboard Webinar Highlights and Transcription


Elissa (00:03):

So welcome to our event. I do want to make the most of our time, as Larissa mentioned, we are recording the session and all these sessions are actually being available. They’re being made available on ZAACT’s a website, and we do want to remind everybody I’m going to, I’m going to be doing a shameless pitch. We are doing another session on October 2nd on Microsoft list. And I’m actually really excited about this one because SharePoint lists have always been a pain point for me, and I love what they’ve done with this app. So do know that that’s available. I’ll remind you about it at the end, but I’m going to go ahead and get started so that we make the most of our time. I do want to remind you that you’re more than welcome to type questions into the chat area. We will take some time at the end for those questions.


Elissa (00:48):

Promise we’ll end on time. We really do appreciate you being here with us. We know what a busy, complicated time this is for everybody. So let’s go ahead and get started with the Microsoft Whiteboard app. I am going to be sharing my screen in a demonstration environment. The user I’m going to be playing her name is Megan Bowen. So if you hear me talk about Megan, that’s who you’re actually going to be seeing. And so this will come up on my screen here in just a moment. And again, what we want to do is focus on the white board app in Megan’s computer. And my computer’s being a little bit naughty. So anyway, we’ll get there. Sorry about that guys. But in the meantime, let me go ahead and make sure that my computer is going to behave itself and we’ll get started. Couple of things know about the Whiteboard app.


Elissa (01:31):

You know, the reason they created this application was because Microsoft acknowledges that we’re used to having Whiteboards available to us to use, but with virtual meetings, obviously that changed a little bit. And the idea with the Whiteboard app is that they’re trying to give us that same opportunity, but in again, Office 365 and these online environments that we spend so much time in now. So just one second, guys, I apologize. My screen share, like I said, is being a bit difficult, but we’ll get there. Sometimes it takes a minute. There we go. Okay. We’re up and running. So a couple things to know about the Whiteboard app. It actually started out as an app for the surface hub. And if you’ve been to the Microsoft store, even though unfortunately they’re closing them, I know they get so cool. And then they’re shutting the ones in places like Salt Lake City.


Elissa (02:22):

They really created this app for the, for the Whiteboard. So it started out that way, but everybody liked it so much. Microsoft actually started creating it for windows 10. And so one thing to know, and we’re actually going to start our journey, believe it or not inside Office 365. And I want to just take a minute and show you compare what the Whiteboard app looks like in Office 365 to what it looks like in the desktop app. This is one of those kind of more old school situations where the Whiteboard app really is more powerful in the desktop application. But I want you to see what it looks like in the online app, how you can use it, but then look at the power and they aren’t adding new stuff to it all the time. This is also an actively managed app, which means Microsoft is continuing to add new functionality to it continually.


Elissa (03:08):

I want them to, because I think it’s getting there, but it’s not as good as I want it to be yet. So here, we’re seeing a Megan’s Office 365 account, and we just want to look at, first of all, if I wanted to get to the Whiteboard app from here, what does it look like? How do I get there? So really you can come right here, go to the app launcher. You’ll see right here. I do have the white board do remember if you don’t first see it. When you go to Office 365, you can go to all your apps. And of course Whiteboard is used. So it’s clear down here at the bottom, if it is something you think you would use a lot in a web browser situation, make sure that you come and mine says unpinned cause I’ve already pinned Megan’s, but you’d want to pin it.


Elissa (03:49):

And that way, when you first come to your app launcher, it’s going to be right here. And it looks like a blue board with a rectangle on it. Okay. And I’m not saying you’re always going to use it in the web app, but we’re trying to kind of stretch your imagination here and let you know how it’s available when you click on it. It’s going to open up in the browser tab. Now, as far as what it’s available in, because I’ve had a few people ask me, is it available on a cell phone as a mobile device right now it’s available in the iOS. So it’s available for iPhones, but it is not yet available on Android. And I’m a little bit disappointed because I am an Android mobile phone user. I do have iPhone users in my house. I do have an iPad. You can also use it on the iPad, but right now, in my situation, my two abilities to use it would be online in the web app is I’m going to show you right now and then locally on my computer.


Elissa (04:38):

So let’s take a peek at the web app version of the Whiteboard. Now the benefit of this, first of all, is that it’s part of Office 365. So I can get to it right anywhere where I can log into my device. Fair enough. Now, right now we’re seeing actually a white board that I just created a few minutes ago. It’s got a couple things on it. First of all, it’s got a sticky note, which we’ll talk about in a couple minutes and then I’ve got some inking here. Do you know for the demonstration, I’m using a windows PC and that’s partly because we’re having to support a virtual training and I don’t have touch screen on this. Really the Whiteboard app is even more awesome when you do have a touch screen capability. But what I want to do for just a minute is take a step back and look at the welcome screen of the Whiteboard app for this.


Elissa (05:21):

We’re going to come to the top left hand corner of the current Whiteboard that I’m in and you’ll see a back button. This will actually take me back out of this Whiteboard that I’ve opened right now to the welcome screen when they thing I will say they’ve done is that this welcome screen in the online Whiteboard app looks almost exactly like the welcome screen in the desktop app that we’ll look at in just a couple of minutes, but do know that the desktop apps a little more awesome. So first of all, we’ve got the getting started with a new white board and then you’ll see that each Whiteboard so far that Megan has created is appearing on a card. And these cards are basically like her doorways. I like this because it kind of makes me feel like Microsoft is trying to make the Whiteboard app looks similar to say SharePoint online.


Elissa (06:07):

When you go to the SharePoint online, getting started page from Office 365. So they’re trying, we know it’s not perfect, but they’re trying. So how do we open one of these Whiteboards? All we do is go to the one. We want to open and click on it. And the card actually opens that Whiteboard up. This was one that we’d created a while ago, trying to do some drafting around getting people ready to come back to work after COVID in a training environment. So all I have to do is click on it. It opens in the same browser tab. So that’s kind of nice. I don’t have to have it open in a separate one, but I can always get back to that again. Welcome screen in the online web app, just by clicking on the back button. Now, what else can you do with these cards from right here inside of the web app?


Elissa (06:52):

Remember that in Office 365, Microsoft is all about the ellipsis and this is good, but sometimes you miss them. So for any Whiteboard that’s been created in the web app, you will see that there are three dots in the bottom right hand corner. You can use these to basically rename it. So like for example, this one’s called happy Friday. If I wanted to rename it to nine, 18 happy Friday, that would update it. K O I used a slash C that it wasn’t happy about that. So we will use a happy Friday dash and that would rename it because unless you name your Whiteboards, they’re just untitled. The other thing I could do from here is deleted. All right. So what I want to do for just a second is go into a new Whiteboard and see what functionalities we have in the web app.


Elissa (07:41):

It’s a little more limited. It’s going to remind you a lot more of what you’ll see when we use the Whiteboard app in a teams meeting. And yes, we are going to do that here in just a couple minutes. So here’s my new blank Whiteboard app. The benefit of doing it like this is I could do this from any device in this case that has a web browser, right? So that really gives me a lot of room to work with this, not so great though, on a cell phone, just because you need screen size for this, remember it’s made to go on a surface hub and if you’ve seen a surface hub, they’re amazing, but they’re huge. So first of all, up here, we do have the drawing toolbar, and it’s pretty limited with colors, right? You’ve got black, red, green, and blue, the pencil for erasing.


Elissa (08:19):

And then you also have the typing text and the sticky note. So for example, if I want to start by drawing on my canvas, that’s what this area is called. I’m going to come in and select whatever color of pen that I want with the limitation of there being four colors. And then I could use my stylist or my mouse to draw shapes and all kinds of things on the screen, right? It does work with your mouse pointer and I can change colors just by selecting a different color and clicking on it. See the color that’s selected. It’s really pretty intuitive, right? This is not going to take rocket science to figure out, but you can come in and you can create something like a simple table. And now for typing inside of it, that’s where I’m going to come to the letter T button, which is the add text button.


Elissa (09:02):

It does create a text box. Now this text box, notice the trash can over the top. If you want to drag it, here’s the thing, just like many drafting applications. You have to be careful about what your mouse pointer looks like. So notice that when I have it inside, it thinks I’m going to type, but when I bring it to the edge, it’s going to look like for white arrows in this case and where they really want though in this case is the white hand that lets me drag it with the entire table to just drop the text box itself that I just typed in and be aware. Sometimes this is a little bit glitchy because we’re dealing with the web browser. This will allow me to drag it up and above. So what I’m really doing is I’m creating text boxes and I’m typing in those text boxes, right?


Elissa (09:46):

So for each one that I type after I’m done, I can come back and click on it and get again the ability to drag it and place it where I want it to go. Okay, fair enough. You guys are probably like, okay, that’s great. I can do that without even thinking the sticky note is something where you can do this. It is like an electronic sticky note. It is part of this current Whiteboard. But when we get into the desktop app, we’ll see that you can do a lot more with the sticky notes. I almost think of these as like a virtual representation of the physical sticky notes. So you click on it. Unfortunately in the online app, we really only have one color, which is the yellow. So traditional sticky note. And what I can do here is I can type in the topic that I want when I click away from this sticky note.


Elissa (10:30):

Again, if I want to move it, I like to use the white hand, the white hand lets me use drag everything to just drag the sticky note itself. I want the four white arrows. And again, you’ll see here that even on my computer, it’s a little bit cliquey. If you create one and then you want to get rid of it, you can click on delete. We’ll see the sticky notes again. When we get to the desktop app. Now, what can we do with this white board that we’ve just created in the online app? Because we’ve pretty much maxed out what we can do up here with the toolbar to erase. Hopefully you saw this, you click on the eraser and then come in and run your mouse over the things you want to take off. And right now this is what the eraser mode looks like.


Elissa (11:10):

Notice I can come up here and click on this and that will turn it off. Also, when I click on this, it allows me to use my full bar wheel to zoom in and out. They call this the pan and zoom. But as soon as I click on one of the pens or the eraser, one of the other tools, it turns it off. So really it’s a very simple app. Now over in the top, right? I can share this right here in the online app. The share button allows me to come in. I notice right now the share link is off, but if I turn it on, I can create a link that I could then copy. And for example, go in an email to someone, but I’m going to show you how to do this in the desktop app. So that’s something that you have a lot more power within the desktop app.


Elissa (11:52):

So stay tuned for that one. Also open an app, which is what we’re going to do in just a minute, but do notice that if you have come into the online app and you have made some changes, one useful thing that you can do here is take the current white board app and actually export it as a ping to your device. This is something you can also do inside of a teams meeting if you’re doing the Whiteboard. So this will take your white board app. You can see here that it’s getting it ready to export. It actually is going to download it to the bottom left hand corner of the browser window. You can actually say open file or click on the three dots, right? And say, show in folder. And then I could move it to again, a useful place for me. It always is going to default to call it Whiteboard.


Elissa (12:35):

So I can, the idea here is, yeah, I can work inside of the online version of this application. It’s limited, but I could do it if I needed to now, what is this going to look like now that I’ve finished it? Well, let’s say for right now, at least for finished with it, if we go back out to the welcome screen, we would see that there’s really not a lot to see. It shows me the time that it was created. It does show me a purple or blue. Don’t argue with me about the color there with two heads on it. This means that I did open up the share link box and went ahead and started to create a link to it, but I haven’t actually finished it yet. And so I could go in and do that, but that’s what this means is that the Whiteboard has been prepared or shared with someone. And so if we come to the three dots, the one thing I am going to do is go ahead and give it a name and then let’s go,


Elissa (13:31):

This Whiteboard. Now that I’ve given it a formal name, we’ll see it update. And I click on it again and let’s actually open it in the app. Now I do want you to know that on many devices, especially older ones, the Whiteboard app is not actually going to be installed now on these devices. It is. Okay. So as soon as I click on open an app, you’ll notice that it asks me, what do you want to do? I’m going to go ahead and use the windows app. And you can see here, if it’s not installed, it will actually take me to the Microsoft store, okay. Or whatever story you use for apps on your device. And it’s giving me an opportunity to, in this case, it’s already here on my device so I can launch it, or it would give me an opportunity to install it.


Elissa (14:13):

And it’s totally free. So as long as your org is good with that, you can install it. And once you’ve installed it, it will actually take you into it. We’re going to go ahead and launch it. And you’ll see down here that it’s taken me into a past Whiteboard that I was working on in this case. And I think it’s because it got a little bit messed up when I was showing you the the play store. So again, if you were to just go to the play store on your own, just look for the, my Microsoft app and you can install it for free. All right. And it’s, it’s really not a very big app, but let’s take a peek at what the welcome screen looks like in the desktop app. And really if want the full experience, this is the version of the app I recommend you use.


Elissa (14:54):

This is where the fun stuff is. And also this is where they’re putting in the new fun stuff as well. So this is, again, going back to that old school of the desktop app is still better than the online app I’m hoping. And I, I’m pretty sure on the roadmap that the online app is geared to try to, they’re going to try to make them exactly the same, like they’ve done with teams, but it’s not quite there yet. So what I do want you to see is now that we’re in the desktop app, that, that directions planning Whiteboard that I created in the online app just a few minutes ago is here. And it’s a card. And notice how here in the desktop app, it looks exactly the same. And so really in a lot of ways why I use the online app, when you can use this one.


Elissa (15:35):

Well, the benefit of the online app is it follows you, right? So right here, I’m going to go ahead and open up this again, canvas that we just created a few minutes ago, just so that you can see that the stuff is all still there. Now you’re probably thinking Lissa doesn’t look all that different. It doesn’t, but believe it or not, there’s a lot more here. And that’s what we’re going to go in and look at is some of the cool features that you actually have in here. But I did want you to see that what we did in the online app was saved. It’s part of, again, your Office 365 account, and you can see it here. Now let’s go ahead and make a brand new white board in here and look at some of the cool features that you have in the desktop app.


Elissa (16:13):

So again, we have a new canvas it’s white, but the first thing I want to do is maybe apply a background color to this canvas to give it a little bit of depth. So in the top right hand corner, you’re going to see the settings menu. Now, if you remember in the online version, we had one choice and that was to export as a ping look at this list, right? So really there’s a lot more here. Now, first of all, active pen, this means that you’re using a stylist. So notice that you can toggle that on and off, depending on your, on your again, device type. But what I want to show you is we’re going to come down to format background. Cause as I mentioned, I’d like to go ahead and be able to come in and apply a background color. So they do have a couple of backgrounds that are going to make you feel like you’re more on a traditional for example, graphing grid.


Elissa (16:59):

You can see those here, or you can just go with a solid background color. So again, one of the reasons, sometimes people like these is that you can actually come in and have, for example, to help you line things up. And when I’m done, all I have to do to go out of that menu is click right here and it closes it. So now I’ve kind of got the light orange. We are in September with the grid lines. Okay. This is great. So I would like to create a table. All right, now there is no insert table button here. So to start with, I’m going to draw my table, but then I want to show you a really cool feature where it’s going to take my ugly table. Cause I remember I tried to draw a table in the last example, it didn’t go so well, but you know, in a normal meeting, if I had a white board, I just get out my expo marker and go to town.


Elissa (17:41):

So right here, I’m going to come in and notice that we have an option down on this middle tool bar to allow us to switch to inking mode or we can click and we can get the drawing toolbar. And we have several more colors to pick from here. And I want you to see that within these. Also, if you click right above, for example, the pen tool, you’ll see that you can also pick thicknesses and also colors. So let’s say for example, I want the border to actually be a blue color. I can click on that. I can pick the thickness of the line, I’m going to draw and then I can come in and start creating my table. So here’s my table. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to go ahead and notice what it just did. And I want to show you why it did that.


Elissa (18:27):

I created a square right for my table. Now, inside of that, I’m going to start drawing some lines. That will be the columns. And then I’m going to start creating some rows. You’ll notice here sometimes it’s good. And again, if I do this and it doesn’t quite work, I can use the eraser to come in and erase it. Notice right here, we have the eraser still, what this is doing is it’s actually allowing me to create a table by drawing. And this is a built in tool in the desktop app. Apologies. While I add just two more rows here, you can see how it’s helping me out a lot. Now, why is it able to do this up in the top right hand corner? We have again, the settings menu. And you’ll notice that when we come in here that I have two switches turned on.


Elissa (19:11):

One of them is eight to shape and the other one is ink to table. We are seeing ink to table right now. I’ll show you ink to shape in just a minute. But notice these are toggles in generally by default, they’re turned off, but in Megan’s account, I turned them on so that we could see how they worked automatically. Now, can we actually click inside of this and type? Absolutely. So we’re going to go ahead and come back down, turn that off and notice that again. When I have the small toolbar on that, I do have an add text option. This is going to remind you a lot more of that online app that we were in because it just creates a little text box. And right here I can go ahead and I can type in the item that I want. Okay. When I hit enter, it adds a line. So if you’re done typing, what you want to do is just click outside of it. And then again, these boxes, you can come to them, notice that you can left drag them and drop them inside the table. So it’s very similar to the desktop app, but it’s a little bit easier to work with. I’m going to go ahead and do one more.


Elissa (20:16):

All right. So now we’ve got these two. I want to show you the other one that I think is pretty cool. We don’t want to pan to zoom. Sorry guys. I get that shape selected. It thinks I want a pan design and we’ll give it a second. Come on now, do you notice if you come to the bottom, you can make the boxes bigger. And when you do that, it will change the size of the box right here. You’ll see that. If I want to, for example, edit the text. This would open up my, my mouse. I should say my cursor again. The other thing you have in toolbar is the ability to change the font color. So if I don’t want green and I want red, I can do that also to copy the box, the three dots on the right. I always remember that those would let you cut it and alternative text, but because this already has the text inside of it, we’re probably good.


Elissa (21:02):

When I click away that deselects all those options. And then if I click on it again, it would bring them back. So this is to size. And then this guy right here is for the width and then to drag it, I almost find it’s easier to come to like the top right hand corner and drag it. Okay. Now with shapes, what I’m going to do for this one is I’m going to make sure that I have ink to shape turned on K. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to add a couple of, I’m just going to, in this case, draw a couple of words here, and we’ll go ahead and use a blue for this one. We’re going to just drag these out. And so what I’m showing you here is that yeah, if you had a stylist, you could just draw your words on, like, if you were on a Whiteboard, all right, fair enough. So I’ve drawn that, and now I’m going to come down and I’m going to draw a circle around that word. Now, as long as I enclose it inside. So there’s no empty marks. Notice how it turns into a circle for me, the reason for this. And I can even do this around a word that’s been tight.


Elissa (22:08):

If I want to have a first example rectangle around this, I could come in and I could draw the rectangle. When I do the rectangle. The important thing is that I just make sure that it’s enclosed. And then because I have that ink to shape turned on, it automatically applies the shape. If I don’t want that really formal, look with my shapes. I don’t have to do it. But again, the benefit is it takes what you’ve drawn and makes it a lot easier to have it look good. Now, another option you have when it comes to drawing really straight lines is down here again. When we have the marking pins on you have a ruler and what you can do with the ruler, because it comes in at 45 degrees is actually used your scroll bar on your mouse. If you click on it, you can actually use your scroll bar to straighten it out.


Elissa (22:54):

You can see here, this allows you to write, to really draw lines at all different angles. You can also drag it down for example, and say, I want a straight line. The ruler can be, again, my guide because straight lines have always been hard when you’re drying, for example, even with a stylist. So what I’m going to do is pick the color of wine I want and then bring it right along the ruler. And you’ll notice that as I left drag it, it makes it perfectly straight. So again, I can use this to help me create lines anywhere in the drawing that are perfectly straight. And it’s just like having a ruler in your, in your bag for school, because you don’t have to worry about erasing. Remember, and when you’re done to turn the ruler off, all you need to do is come right here and click on the ruler.


Elissa (23:38):

And that allows you to turn it off. And it will be gone. Now, another thing that you can also do is select objects all together. And this is another thing that’s not new. It’s called the lasso select. But right here, for example, I have my manager and my associate that I’ve drawn and I would like to take those. And I would like to select them at the same time. And right now, if I try to do that, you know, if I come in and I, for example, got to turn this guy off so that we have it back to non-thinking and I click on one, I can hold down my shift key and try to click on another one. But you’ll notice here that it, it doesn’t really do a good job of grouping them together. So what I’m going to do is come back and turn on again, the marking pen side of the toolbar and use the lasso select again, not a, not an old, this is not a new tool by any stretch, but we, while the last will select is on, you can left drag around the area where you want to get everything selected, right?


Elissa (24:33):

And it’s like a grouping tool. And notice when it’s grouped, you can come in and you can copy it. And I just want to have it copied like this. Then I could come over and I could paste it using my control V and it actually takes it. And you’ll see right here, it paste it as something that you could put into another Whiteboard and you’ll let us, what it’s doing is it’s opening up another Whiteboard, align me to come in in this case, it’s taking me to the online app. And guess what? It’s got a little bit of a, a, a bug in it. So we’ll give that one a minute and we’ll go back to the desktop app to see if it was going to let us paste it in. All right, guys. Sorry about that one. Yeah, there’s a little bit of a glitch in my software. So let’s go back in again. Sorry. It’s being very slow here. Let me get back to our main screen and back to the one that we were in before it’s taken me back to that one.


Elissa (25:26):

Right. So guess what we’re going to do. Let’s go into another one and I want to show you some of the templates, so, sorry. Yeah. That one, when I copied the lasso, it, it it kind of had a flake on it. So little bit glitchy sometimes. So let me show you a couple of other things that are cooler. These are going to be down here right now. Sticky notes we already did, but here’s the nice thing about sticky notes in the desktop app. So say these are Adam’s notes. You can, after you create the sticky note, you’ll see, there is a toolbar here to help you edit. You can actually like a sticky note. Okay. And this is because if the note, if the Whiteboard is shared, other people can like your sticky note, you can also change colors. So you’re not stuck with the yellow note.


Elissa (26:08):

Okay, copy the notes, delete the notes. And then over here, you’ll notice that you can cut them add alternative text, but I like the notes. And you might kind of be thinking, what’s the idea with the notes? Well, you could have a shared Whiteboard and different people could add their sticky note ideas. Now, once the sticky notes being created, if you click on it, right, you can actually move the sticky notes to different places. Also, you can come to the corner and make them smaller, and so make them so that they’re not taking up the entire, the entire Whiteboard, but multiple people could add sticky notes. Now, in addition to sticky notes, what other content can we bring into a Whiteboard app in the desktop version right here, you’ll see that there is an images menu. So I can bring images from the web, from my camera, or I can also bring images from the being image search.


Elissa (27:06):

So I’m going to click on being image, search. Now camera. That means I’ve taken a picture with my device, but I want to bring in, I’m going to start by showing you library image. This would mean somewhere on your device or shared drive. And so right here, I have a couple of pictures that we’ve brought in to give us ideas on. Maybe we’re building a new training room and we’re trying to bring these ideas into the Whiteboard to share with people. So notice how I can bring these images in line them up. Okay. And this is part of the snap to grid that’s turned on right now. You saw it kind of do the live layout guide. And I’m just going to bring in like two of these images. And these are just locally from my computer. And they’re really easy to bring in. You can size them in the corner.


Elissa (27:47):

Now, the other thing that you will see here is the ability to lock. And all this means is that it locks this image to the background so that it can’t be edited or moved. Okay. Now the other option I have when it comes to images is to actually bring an image in from being searched. So for this, I’m going to come here and I know sometimes people shy away from being, but in this case, the nice thing about the Bing image search is it allows me to go right online while I’m inside the Whiteboard app. And this is not something that’s supported in the online version. So it’s really nice that we can do it right here inside of the desktop app. So you can see here and again, remember creative comments is a way to keep yourself you know, in, in good standing with how things are, how things are going with copyright.


Elissa (28:31):

So all we do is click on the image and it just posts it right in. And it’s just like the other images we can move it and drop it wherever we want. But as far as having really powerful tools to Emmett to edit the images, no, this is not Adobe Photoshop. It doesn’t do that kind of stuff, but I was able to bring an image in from the internet. So what about, say, for example, a screenshot of a document that maybe we’re using to help plan around these ideas for that I’m going to come over here again to the same toolbar and look at this insert menu. This is my favorite thing in the Whiteboard app. You’ll see that as far as bringing outside things in, you can bring in PDFs, word documents and PowerPoints. I want to start with a PowerPoint because I know you’re probably thinking, okay, is this like the OneNote app where you can bring in a screenshot of your PowerPoint slides, very similar, but what’s cool about this is that when you come in and actually select the PowerPoint, and in this case, I’m selecting a PowerPoint that saved locally on Megan’s computer.


Elissa (29:31):

It’ll actually show you the PowerPoint. And do you know that if it’s a really big PowerPoint, it could take a few minutes for it to open. We can see here. It is a little bit naughty. Let me try a different one again. Sorry guys. Sometimes, sometimes it’s happy and sometimes it takes a minute. We’ll try this one. It’ll actually let you select which slide in the PowerPoint it will bring in. Yeah, it’s been difficult. So let’s do a word doc. Instead, we’ll come in and try word. We’ll do PowerPoint again. In a minute, it was working. But like we said, sometimes they like to be a little bit persnickety. So it’s showing me that with this proposed agenda topics document, I’ve got two pages. Now I could do all the pages or I could just select one and it basically screenshots and brings it in.


Elissa (30:20):

Now it doesn’t, it doesn’t give you control over where it drops. It. That’s going to be up to you after you bring it in, then you can drag it and drop it where you want it to go. So PowerPoints, PDFs, and word docs, and really we can make a PDF out of just about anything. So think of it as that, you know, same idea. If you can PDF it, you could bring it in here. I’ll try one more PowerPoint guys. And if it doesn’t work, just know that with any PowerPoint, what it will let you do is select the specific slide. If you don’t want the whole thing and you can actually bring in just one slide and keeping my fingers crossed up. There we go. Now this is actually showing some screenshots of a, for example, a cell phone version of software, but I’m going to bring in one of the slides.


Elissa (31:05):

Again, we have no control where it gets posted. We just have to come in and drag it to where we want it to go after we get it into the app. And so it is a drag and drop and it’s being kind of difficult. So the other thing I could do is come to the corner, size it down a little bit, and then drag it to where I want it to go. So we can bring in graphics. We can bring in screenshots of a word document, a PowerPoint slide, again, very same options. Now, what other choices do we have from this insert menu? I’m going to come in and I want to show you a brand new thing. I noticed quite a few things that you’re seeing in my list say preview next to them. That means that they may not be turned on in your Whiteboard app yet what Microsoft does is Dell put things out in preview before they basically send them out to the masses.


Elissa (31:50):

So that’s why we’re seeing that here. And for this one, you know, what I want to do is let’s go ahead and do one more new canvas because some of these other features take up a lot of room. So let me go ahead and click on the back arrow. And let’s go ahead and come right here to a new canvas. And I want to show you a templates. This really is my favorite thing. So you’ll see that right here. When I go to the insert menu, we have templates. What Microsoft has done here is they’ve said, Hey, we know that many, many times when people are doing brainstorming on a Whiteboard, they’re building specific types of things. And so there are just a few canvases right now that you can see here in this list. There’s a brainstorming one, one for Kanban boards. And then down here, we’ve got one that allows you to come in and do planning together.


Elissa (32:37):

Alright, so what we’re going to do here is going to come in and we’re going to go ahead. And this one you can see it’s already created is one about what you can do really well, what can go better? And these are all sticky notes. And the idea is that you click in the sticky note and you type, but the one I really want to show you is going to be the Kanban board. So let me come in and show you that one. We’re going to go back again. We’ll do another new white board. And for this one, let’s look at the Kanban board. This is one that a lot of people ask me about. Now I’m more, I’ll be honest with you. I’m more of a fan of apps like planner for Kanban boards. And of course there are a lot of other third party apps that do them, but this is very visual.


Elissa (33:18):

So what you’re seeing here at the top is I’ve got a, an untitled box and notice right there that when I click in that box, it’s asking me, do I want to draw it? Or do I want to, in this case, you can say, do alternative text. If I say edit right then I can come here. And once I click on the edit button, it’s going to allow me to actually type in my title. So we’re going to type in that. This is for project XYZ. Then to start adding text to the sticky notes, I’m going to click on the given sticky note in the specific board, come to the edit button, and then I can start typing in the text.


Elissa (33:56):

But here’s one nice thing about this. It’s very more like a physical, a combined board, right? If that’s what you would prefer for your look and it can be shared, which is what we’re going to do next with it. So these templates are also available. They are, like I said in preview, but they have been around for a while. So if they’re there, check them out. They’re kind of fun. Now let’s say, as I’m starting this, I would like to share this Kanban board with some of my coworkers. So for that, I’m going to come to the top right hand corner, and I want to use the share button or the invite button to share this with some of my coworkers now, for this to start with someone inside my organization, I’m going to go ahead and type in their name. And you’ll notice that from the company active directory, it brings these people’s names in. I want to share this board with both Patty and nester, a couple of my coworkers. Okay.


Elissa (34:50):

And you could share it with the distribution list. I did want you to see that if we come back in, it would allow me to go in. If I have a distribution list set up, I could actually share it with the whole group. But the thing to know is that it’s inside my organization. Now, after I’ve selected them, notice down here, it’s asking me, do you want them to be able to edit or just read only? So that’s another setting. That’s very common in Office 365. It will email them a link and an invitation to the board. It can be opened, but for, especially these templates, they’re only going to be able to do the editing and actually see the templates in the desktop app of the Whiteboard app. So when it takes them in, it may tell them if they open it in the web app, that they can’t see everything that they’ll need to actually go in to the to the desktop app to do their editing.


Elissa (35:39):

Now, when I’m done doing that, that’s one option. Okay. What if I wanted to create, I want to show you one more, excuse me. Let’s create one more. And this one we’re going to do is going to actually bring in some Microsoft lists, which is really interesting, right? Because that’s a topic that we’re going to look at in our next session. So you’ll see that again, also in preview our lists, and that’s something that allows you to basically have a list of information inside your Whiteboard app, because how many times do we go into a meeting and Whiteboard list information? So really all it is is a fancy little text box where we can come in and we can actually add list, list items, right? Like this is going to be the things that we’re trying to get out of this meeting that we’re having.


Elissa (36:25):

I notice I can just come in. So I’ve got this list, right? That I’ve created a notice that if it was shared, team members can come in and actually like things in the list. Right? So what about other lists that we can add? Just so we can compare apples to apples. There is also one called a followup list, and this one’s a little bit different because it gives you the ability to have your list. Right? Notice right here, I can click on “assign” and Megan is the only one in here right now, but it would actually assign her that item. If it had been shared by multiple people, we could actually assign more than one person in the Whiteboard app. The final one that’s also in preview is going to be the note grid. Okay. And this is just basically a grid of sticky notes, but again, all of them are editable. So as soon as you click on one, you can come in and we could say, these are Adam’s notes. And then this is going to be Priscilla’s notes.


Elissa (37:36):

You guys get the idea, right? So we’re creating very visual, active, sticky notes really is all. These are. So with this, I would like to share this with my team, with the idea that in Microsoft teams, I’d like them to see some of the new capabilities that are inside of the Whiteboard app. So for that, I’m going to come back up here to the top right hand corner. And again, we’re seeing the different options. I want to show you some different ways that I could share it. Not saying I should, but different options. The first one, like I showed you in the online app, I could export it. Okay. This would export it as either a ping or an SPG. This time I’m going to do an SVG. It’s going to send it to my device and then I’d have to email it so many steps, not my recommendation.


Elissa (38:21):

And again, it’s only an image. Okay. But if you’re trying to share it with someone, say that’s maybe a contractor or outside your org, that’s one option. Now another one, when we go up there is to send an email summary. But what it does when you do this is it sends it to you, the person who is the owner of the Whiteboard. So you could actually send this to yourself. Okay. But the one that I really am excited about is the being able to send it to the team. So what we’re going to do for that is we’re actually going to click on the three dots, come right here and say, post two teams. And you’ll see here, this takes a little bit of time. The first time you do it. So do know that you might have to wait a few minutes because it’s making connections.


Elissa (39:04):

These are all the teams inside of this organization that Megan is currently part of after she selects her team, she’s going to select the channel of the team where she wants this to be posted. And then she’s going to go ahead and post it. Now, does it end up in teams? And this is a good time for us to take that kind of approach, jump into Microsoft teams. So I’m going to go ahead and let’s come down and we’re going to go into teams for my buddy here. And I know I’m kind of going the white DIA the long way, but that’s okay. So she is in teams. And if you remember, we put it into her market project team in the general channel. Now what you’ll see when I go there is, it shows me, Megan was the one that added it and it says it’s a shared Whiteboard and it has a link.


Elissa (39:52):

So I know you’re thinking, man, I wish it would show a picture of the Whiteboard I do too. This is something that’s brand new and Whiteboard. So it’s still not quite up and running yet. And that’s a little bit hard to see, but if I click away, you can see it. So what I would do is I’d click right here on this link and it actually takes me to that Whiteboard. Okay. So it does take me to it, but it is an extra step. It’s not going to show it right inside of a Microsoft teams. Could that change in the future? Absolutely. Because you know, they’re adding new stuff to teams almost every week right now, but every 10 days is their average. So I think it will come. Now, the last thing I want to look at and guess what great news this does not take very long is if I go into a meeting, both an ad hoc meeting, which means a meeting that’s on the fly or a scheduled meeting, that’s in teams, the Whiteboard app is also part of that experience.


Elissa (40:43):

Now for this, I’m going to actually go into my calendar and I’m going to do just a meet now, right? And there are so many places and teams to do this, but this would be an ad hoc meeting. And you’ll see that it just says meeting with Megan because she’s the only one. But once I get into this meeting, it’s going to allow me to use again, the participant pain to ping one of my coworkers. I could also do this from a chat inside of Microsoft teams. Now, again, my coworker would get a, that little reminder that I have asked them to join me in the meeting. It’s Patty Fernandez. And once she comes in, once she joins, I’ll see that she’s been added as being currently in the meeting too. So in any team’s meeting, how does the Whiteboard app come in? So as many of you know, in teams meetings, you can share all kinds of content from your device using the share tray.


Elissa (41:33):

And right now I’m demonstrating the older version of teams. Remember that in the newer version, the share tray is going to be up here in the top right hand corner. So I’m going to come to the share button and to bring in, in this case, the Whiteboard app, we’re going to see it over here on the, on the right, do know that this is going to be the Whiteboard app that we saw in the online, online version of the Whiteboard app. Unfortunately, it’s not full fledged like the desktop app. So all the fun stuff like the templates and the text, the text to shape and the text to table, or I should say the draw to table. It doesn’t do that stuff yet. But the benefit here is that if we’re in a meeting with the Whiteboard app, every member of the meeting can participate equally inside the Whiteboard together.


Elissa (42:19):

So let me show you what I’m talking about right here. We see, in fact, almost the exact same toolbar, the four colors, right? So I can click on any one of these and come in and start drawing for example, but anyone who is from inside my org and sorry, it looks like it decided to quit there. So let’s open it back up. This isn’t you guys, this is my fun little environment. I’m going to try to restart it really quick, but anyone who’s in the meeting can actually participate. As long as they’re from the organization, they can actually participate in the drawing experience. I’m going to see if we can re shoot at one more time and if it doesn’t behave, I’m going to do a different approach. Plan B guys. So let’s look at it. If we go into it from a planned meeting.


Elissa (43:03):

So let me go ahead and hang up from that meeting. Sorry about that one. Now in a planned meeting, it’s still the same experience. Okay. And I apologize that I’m having to kind of book it out. I’m going to see if I can find another one. That’s actually a teams meeting. Let me see if I’ve got one here, seeing apologies. I thought that one was going to be, Hey, we’ll see if maybe this one is Nope. Okay. So guess what we’ll do. Let me go in one more time. We’ll try it this way. One last time. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to go ahead and get it up before I bring her in this. We can show it to you, but big thing here that I love is that not only can you have everybody draw on the Whiteboard together after your meetings over, you can actually also see that Whiteboard.


Elissa (43:57):

And it looks like it’s decided that the Whiteboard app is just not being happy right now. So I apologize for that. So, you know what, for the sake of time, what I want you to know is after the meeting’s over and during the meeting, just as I showed you in the online app, you can actually export those Whiteboard app drawings as ping images, and they can be shared separately outside of your meeting. And also, if you remember when you’ve had a meeting, if you go to the chat screen that any meetings you’ve had, it keeps track of them in your chat history. And those Whiteboards are also part of those meeting chat histories that are stored in your chat, but it’s being a little bit naughty. So here’s our recap on what we looked at today. And again, I apologize that it has been a bit naughty, but one thing to know is that a lot of this stuff is fairly new.


Elissa (44:48):

So sometimes it’s happy and sometimes it is a little bit sensitive as we’ve noticed, right? But what they really are trying to do is give you the ability to not only use the Whiteboard out from inside Office 365, like I showed you, which, you know, the benefit of that is that you can get to it from anywhere like we showed you. You can always come in and open up the Whiteboard app from any device where you have a web browser and get to your Whiteboards. Because remember all the white boards I created, even the ones in the desktop app are here, right? And then from here, if I do get on my normal work computer, I can actually come in and just select open an app. And this will transition me to being able to just open it right inside of the app on my device.


Elissa (45:29):

And I can then have access to all those tools that are going to make it an even more useful tool, including the ability to share those Whiteboards with your coworkers. Right? And the last thing I am going to show you is that when you do share a white board with someone, one of the things you can do, rather than sharing it with a specific person, you can actually create a sharing link. And what this does, you have to make sure when you do this, that web sharing link is toggled to on is it creates a URL to your Whiteboard and notice that it tells you here, anyone with access to this, your idol, who is from your organization will have access to this board. If you are using a personal account any other personal account with user access would also have access to stop sharing it.


Elissa (46:17):

You could just turn it off. So sometimes what you can do is copy this link and then actually go into teams and paste the link, and then people can access it that way. But again, that’s going to be inside your organization. It’s not going to allow you to create a Whiteboard and then share it with someone outside. It’s still all part of being part of the same office, three 65 account. Okay. We talked a lot about Whiteboards, right? And I hope you’re seeing that it’s a really useful, useful app in the idea that it’s very simple. There’s not a ton there, but really for the power you’re going to want to go to the desktop app. Let’s have some time for Q and A really appreciate everybody who’s joined. I know it’s a little bit simpler than some of the ones we’ve done before. Okay.


Elissa (46:59):

Great question here. That’s already posted to the chat. How do you share a Whiteboard with someone if they don’t have the Whiteboard downloaded? Well, they get the option. I hope you saw that when I was in there that if they don’t have the option, it will give it to them. So as soon as you share it with them, when they click on that link in their email, one of the things they’ll see is that they can go in and it will take them to the Microsoft store and ask them to download it in a lot of cases. It will also ask them for their work email. It’s entirely free, but it’ll download it even if they don’t put that. And it’s a really small app. So yes, the answer to that question is yes, there’ll be given an option to download it so they can start so they can start doing it.


Elissa (47:37):

Okay. Hey guys, what other questions do you have at this point? What I can say is a huge, thank you to ZAACT, for helping us host the event. I know it’s a little bit lighter content and you’re more than welcome to go to the participant pane and unmute yourselves. We’d like to talk to people. We really appreciate everyone who’s joined us. Here’s another question. As we’re kind of getting on our downhill stretch here, isn’t it a Friday. Is that the question is, is there a functionality that adapts photos to drawings there is not what I showed you is pretty much all there is right now. It’s, it’s very limited. So you can insert the photos. You can copy the photos, you can delete the photos. But there is no way right now to edit those photos in the app. If you want to edit them, you need to take them.


Elissa (48:24):

For example, to the Microsoft photo editing program or Adobe Photoshop, let’s be honest, right? For the really good stuff, make the changes there and then re-insert them into the Whiteboard. The Whiteboard is not about creating fancy, awesome drawings. It’s just about creating something in a meeting is really what it is that you want to just share some ideas with. So those ideas of brainstorming, things like that, that’s really where I would use it. Will this recording be available for later? Absolutely. It’s going to be posted to ZAACT’s website. We also have recordings there for sessions we’ve done on SharePoint online and also on teams and teams meetings. Those are also because we’ve been doing these seminar events about once a month. And over the next couple months, we’re going to be probably doing them about every two to three weeks. So like I said, our next one just as again, a shameless pitch is going to be on October 2nd and it will be about Microsoft lists and believe it or not, we were actually seeing a few of those inside of the Whiteboard app with that list option that I showed you.


Elissa (49:22):

And also the followup options. Those are lists, believe it or not, but they’re really being turned into a text box and being put into the Whiteboard app, but it was kind of a great shameless pitch for what we’re going to be doing next time. And really Microsoft lists is a SharePoint list with a fancy new dress on it. And it’s pretty cool. I’m excited about the lists app because it’s making something that’s been pretty painful for end users. Very much easier to use.



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