Microsoft's digital canvas, known as the whiteboard, is not only free, but smart. With features like pattern, table and ink recognition, Whiteboard offers an infinite canvas that works well with touch, digital pen and keyboard.
Consider this message as your Microsoft Whiteboard Tutorial. Here you will find basic and advanced tips and tricks. Let them check.
1. Move the canvas
You can move or browse the canvas by holding down the left mouse button and dragging the canvas. On touch devices, you can also drag it with one finger. Another way to achieve the same result is to hold down the CTRL key while dragging the mouse while holding down the button.
2. Select an individual object
Anything you add to the whiteboard can be selected. To do this, click on the object with your mouse or press it. You can also use the tab key on your keyboard to select and move objects. Keep pressing until the desired object is selected. Blue dashed lines identify the selected object.
3. Select multiple objects
To select multiple objects, you must use the Lasso Select tool. It is available directly in the lower bar (devices compatible with the stylus) or under the pen icon (devices other than the pen). Click on the tool to activate it.
Point: Lasso selection can also be used to select individual objects.
Once activated, draw a closed figure around the content you want to select. You can draw it as a circle or square / rectangle using your fingers, a pen or a mouse. You will notice that all the content of the box is selected. Once grouped, you can move or delete them together.
4. Reveal the toolbar of objects
All objects offer additional features accessible from their respective toolbar. To open it, select the object and the toolbar will appear. You can also right-click the object or anywhere on the canvas.
5. Resize objects
All objects are resizable – whether it's a drawing, text, images or tables. To do this, select the object with the Lasso Selection tool or by clicking / tapping on it. Then click / tap the small icon in the lower right corner and drag your mouse to increase or decrease the size. You can also use the pinch gesture with two fingers to enlarge or reduce the object.
6. Delete an object
The eraser can be used to delete drawings made with the help of a pen. For other objects, you must use the Delete button. To do this, first select the object, then press the delete icon from the toolbar or press the Delete key on your keyboard.
7. Clear all canvas
Instead of deleting individual objects on a single canvas, you can delete it completely with the help of the provided button. To do this, double-click the eraser icon in the bottom bar and click the Erase Canvas option. You can also press or click the three bar icon at the top and select Clear Canvas.
8. Zoom on canvas
On touch devices, use a pinch and zoom gesture (two fingers) to zoom in / out on the canvas. You can also scroll by using the middle mouse wheel button.
9. See all the whiteboard
Because the whiteboard is infinite, you can only display the area that corresponds to the view you are using. Fortunately, if you want to display the entire whiteboard or get a bird's eye view of your whiteboard, just double-click or click on an empty space on the whiteboard. This will zoom out on your whiteboard. You can also zoom out using the methods mentioned in the trick above to get a complete view.
10. Change the thickness and color of the pen
What good is a drawing application if it does not allow you to change the thickness and colors of your pen? Fortunately, you can do it here. Double-click or tap one of the pens to display the options. Use the dots to select the pen size and choose any color from the available palette.
11. Add an image from the web
Instead of searching for an image from your browser and then downloading it to your PC, you can simply add it in the application. To do this, click or tap the plus icon in the lower toolbar and select Image Bing. Look for the required image on the next screen. Click on the image and click on the Add icon to insert it into the canvas.
12. Use the clipboard
Whether you have text or an image on your clipboard, you can easily paste it directly into the whiteboard. Right-click on the canvas and use the Paste option or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + V.
13. Convert writing to text
Although Microsoft supports handwritten notes and text notes, it offers a feature that connects both. That is, once you have written something, you can convert it to a textual form using the provided functionality.
To do this, start by writing something on the whiteboard using your mouse, pen or fingers. Then select the text and press the magic wand (ink embellishment button).
14. Convert and restore the shape drawn by hand into a real object
Not everyone has a good design. For these people, Microsoft is kind enough to convert hand-drawn shapes into their real form. For example, if you draw a circle, it will automatically convert to a real circle without pressing a button.
To use this feature, you must activate it once in the settings. To do this, click or tap on the three bar icon at the top and activate Ink to Shape.
Pro TipFor best results, be sure to close the figure and draw it at once.
If you do not want the object to take its actual form, press the undo button at the bottom or use the CTRL + Z keyboard shortcut to return to a hand-drawn shape.
15. Convert a hand-drawn table into an organized table
Similar to objects or shapes, the application also converts tables with appropriate straight lines. Again, you must first enable it in the settings (three bar icon) by activating the Ink to Table option.
Here's how to create and edit a table in the whiteboard.
1. draw a square
Draw a free-form square on the canvas. Once the square is detected and converted to a real square, go to the next step.
2. Place Bisect
Draw a horizontal line (if you want to add a single line) or a vertical line (for a column). You can also draw both. However, be sure to draw these lines in the center of the box. That is, you have to divide the opposite ends in two. Only then will the rows and columns of the table be detected.
3. Add more rows and columns
After you add the first row and the first column, the header line turns gray. Now, to add more rows and columns, click the Lasso Selection tool. Doing this will bring up the + and – symbols next to the table. Use the symbols at the top to add (+) or delete (-) a column and the symbols to the left to add / remove a line.
4. Change the height and width of the row or column
Again, click the Lasso Selection tool and move your mouse or stylus over the row or column border. The pointer will change to a double-sided arrow. Take it up or down and left or right to change the size.
16. Writing on sticky notes
Besides the ability to write plain text and manuscript text anywhere on the canvas, you can add a sticky note to the group text. When you move a reminder, the text (inked or textual) is moved.
To write on a sticky note, pick a pen and start scribbling on it. To write it with text, click on the sticky note. When the cursor with type appears here, start typing on the keyboard. If this does not happen, select the sticky note (or right-click on it), then click on the pencil icon above the sticky note.
17. Change the color of the sticky note
Just like the normal adhesive notes available in Windows, you can also change their color here. To do this, select the sticky note first. Then press or click on the color palette icon and choose the color of your choice.
18. Move and hide the rule
Instead of providing straight lines, Microsoft Whiteboard offers a rule for drawing lines and aligning objects. You must draw a line along the edge of the ruler. Here are various tips for using it as a pro.
Once the rule is added by clicking or tapping on its icon in the bottom bar, use a finger to move it (touch devices) or click and drag it with the mouse. To hide the rule, click or tap the same rule icon again in the bottom bar.
19. rotate the ruler
To rotate the ruler, use two fingers to change direction. You can also place the mouse pointer over the ruler, and then scroll the mouse wheel button to change the angle.
20. Lock an image in the background
If you move an image and place it on another object, only the image will be visible and the second object will be hidden. To avoid this, you can keep the locked image on the background and add other items on it. This can also be useful when moving objects.
To do this, open the Image toolbar by right-clicking it and then pressing the three-dot icon. Click or tap the Lock in Background option.
To revert it, again right-click on the image and select the unlock icon.
21. Group Objects
Whiteboard allows you to group or stack all kinds of objects. Be it text, sticky notes, or images. When you group them, they occupy less space, and you can move them together.
To group objects, drag one onto another. After that, you will see a circular stack icon and you can drag other items onto it.
22. View Objects in Group
To view the contents of a stack or group, double-click or tap on it. Alternatively, to cycle through various objects, hover your mouse over the stack and use the mouse wheel button to scroll through them. You can also hold the top object using mouse, pen, or finger and slightly drag it outward in any direction as if you were turning a page.
23. Remove Objects from Group in Whiteboard
To remove an object, first, double click or tap on the stack to open it, then drag that particular image away from the stack to remove it from the stack.
24. Multiple Whiteboards
If you thought there was only one infinite canvas to work on, my dear friend, you are wrong. You can create many whiteboards for different purposes. For that, tap or click on the back button present at the top-left corner of any whiteboard.
You will then see all the available whiteboards. Use the Create New Whiteboard box to make a new one.
25. Name Your Whiteboards
To easily identify your whiteboard on the screen having multiple whiteboards, you can set a name for them. To do so, go to the screen housing all whiteboards by pressing back button on any whiteboard. Then click or tap on the three-dot icon present on the whiteboard. Type or write the name in Untitled Whiteboard section.
26. Delete a Whiteboard
Apart from erasing or clearing the canvas, you can also delete it completely. When you do so, all data inside the whiteboard will be removed.
To delete a whiteboard, click or tap on the three-dot icon and select Delete from it.
27. Change Toolbar Location
By default, the toolbar is present at the bottom of the app. If you want to change its location to left or right, you can do that it in the settings. For that, tap/click on the three-bar icon at the top of the whiteboard and select Toolbar location.
28. Change Background Color and Grid Design
Microsoft provides two customization options for your canvas. You can change the background color and choose the grid type individually for each canvas. Changing the background color also reflects on the main screen, thus helping in the identification of the whiteboards.
To do so, go to the whiteboard settings from the three-bar icon and select Format background.
29. Save Whiteboard as PNG
Apart from saving whiteboards to your Microsoft accounts (happens automatically), you can even save it as a PNG or SVG file. However, it’s a manual process, and you need to use the Export option.
For that, click/tap on the three-bar icon at the top and select Export followed by image type (PNG or SVG).
Use It to the Fullest
Microsoft Whiteboard is quite an interesting product. You can use it for brainstorming projects, project planning, problem-solving, and even for jotting down notes. Sadly, it's currently unavailable on Android and limited to iOS only. Do let us know your thoughts about the app in the comments below.
Ensuite: Snip & Sketch will soon replace the Snipping tool on Windows. Here is a useful guide to learn Snip & Sketch tips and tricks to get ready for the change.