Microsoft Teams meetings are about to get a lot more colorful

Teams Whiteboard
(Image credit: Microsoft)

As organizations around the world begin implementing hybrid work policies, Microsoft is making it even easier for workers to visually share their ideas in Microsoft Teams with a series of new updates for Microsoft Whiteboard.

Microsoft Whiteboard is an online collaboration tool that allows users to brainstorm and come up with new ideas in a shared visual space. While the software giant's whiteboarding app can be used on its own, it can also be used with the company's video conferencing software.

When users open the new Whiteboard, they'll be greeted with a brand new user interface that combines a clean, modern look and feel with improved functionality. As part of this new visual refresh, the app's features are also easier to access and find.

On desktop, laptops and tablets, all of the app's inking tools and content creation menus are separated to reduce cognitive load while an app bar at the top of the canvas provides access to all of Whiteboard's collaboration features and board-specific properties. However, on mobile, the creation panel and board controls are hidden to optimize screen real estate. The addition of large, colorful icons also makes Microsoft Whiteboard easy to use for mouse, touch and pen users alike.

Templates, sticky notes, reactions and new inking tools

As part of Microsoft's new updates to Whiteboard, the company has added more than 40 new, fully customizable templates to help users get started faster. There are templates for a number of common scenarios including brainstorming, problem solving, group projects and more.

To help Whiteboard become more colorful and organized, Microsoft has also added new sticky notes with 12 colorful shades to choose from. While these new colors can be used to create a color code system for projects, users can also assign one color per person to make it easier to see who came up with which ideas. In order to further facilitate collaboration, Microsoft has also added lightweight contextual feedback with a set of fun and engaging reactions.

Images and shapes can also be added to projects in Microsoft Whiteboard to grab attention as well as to convey abstract and complex concepts. Shapes can even be used to create flowcharts and diagrams.

As digital ink is an important part of Whiteboard, Microsoft has also added 15 new pen and highlighter color options and a range of thicknesses to help users visualize content and bring their ideas to life. Microsoft Whiteboard users can now ink straight lines, arrows, and shapes with ink to shape recognition. Meanwhile, keyboard shortcuts for ink tools make it easier to switch between tools so that users can stay focused on their content without having to change focus to the toolbar. 

Whether you're using Microsoft's all new Surface Studio Laptop, the Surface Go 2, the Surface Duo 2 or even your smartphone, creating and collaborating with colleagues in Teams will now be even easier thanks to these latest updates to Microsoft Whiteboard.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.