What is latest new with Microsoft Whiteboard currently is the capability to save and share your own templates. This way you can design a whiteboard template that can be used again and again. For example you could design a template for your project meetings and saving & sharing that template others can reuse your work, without having to start from the scratch – or content to existing template.
There is a Message Center bulletin for Microsoft 365 Admins that state Whiteboard Templates are rolling out during March 2023. It also states that “These templates can be shared with other individual users or distribution lists. This feature is available for customers with WHITEBOARD_PLAN2 and WHITEBOARD_PLAN3.” Currently all users with existing access to Whiteboard can use templates, but you can expect that in the future there will be several levels to Whiteboard licensing. I suspect that licensing will separate enterprise users from others (like frontline workers or business plans). It might even be possible that this paves way for Whiteboard Premium licensing furthers in the future. But at the moment: if you have access to Whiteboard in your tenant, you have access to templates once they roll into your tenant. I can see them on various demo tenants already.
In this blog post I share you how you can create, share and use custom Whiteboard Templates.
- How to create custom Whiteboard Templates
- Using custom Whiteboard Templates
- Sharing and using shared whiteboard templates
- Copying templates
- Can you share the template to everyone?
- Can you edit Templates?
How to create custom Whiteboard Templates
You can find the capability under Templates creation menu. You have now the option to search a suitable template, My templates and Shared with me.
Before we start to focus on creating a new template, let’s use out of the box template and make slight edits there. Search is something I have been missing from templates since we had them in use.
I chose Sailboat retro and did some customizations.
We could, and should, make the template Whiteboard generic and reusable. Include styles, pictures, texts, logos, note grids and even some instructions for people how to use the template. This way you don’t need additional document or instructions somewhere – instead embed them directly to your whiteboard!
It might make sense to create templates for even a short term need. For example if you are preparing workshops for a project it might make sense to create a good template and reuse it. It is good to keep in mind that you don’t have to create the whole board – templates are actually pre-designed parts you can add to your own whiteboard! This means that you can create a template and then reuse it multiple times even in the same whiteboard. For example: you have state-of-the-art area for innovation and feedback. Then you create a template out of that and reuse the template multiple times for different business areas or products.
Now this is the Whiteboard we want to reuse in multiple occasions. We navigate back to Templates create menu and choose My templates from there. We end up in the region where we can Create new template and see our existing ones.
The creation is simple, we just hit the + Create new template and choose save. Pay attention , that this is the place where you also define your template’s name.
Saving takes a moment, and after that we get the message
Now we can see our custom template in My templates!
There are also couple of other templates I had created before this post.
On default these templates are only for your own use. Under three dots menu you can find tools to rename, share or delete your templates.
Using custom Whiteboard Templates
When you are in My templates menu, you can just click on the template and place it into your board where you need it. Even to the same Whiteboard you used for template.
And if needed, I can add any template to the Whiteboard multiple times.
And of course I had to test rename as well, and it worked as expected.
Sharing and using shared whiteboard templates
When you navigate to Shared with me you can see templates that have been shared with you.
Note: Search doesn’t seem to find your custom templates – not yet at least.
Let’s share our custom whiteboard to other user, so we can see how sharing works. It is easy. Just open Share from the menu.
Then you will presented with the usual sharing dialogue.
Let me share that with Chris.
If you want to know where Whiteboard Templates are – you need to open your OneDrive. Under Whiteboards-folder you can see folder MyTemplates and there you can find your templates. You can share them from OneDrive directly as well.
Switching to use Chris account and going to Templates – Shared with me shows whiteboards that has been shared to him. You may not see the shared template immediately, it can take a while. I found the best practice is to open the shared link directly (for example from the email) and it gets added to Shared with you templates without any delay.
Now Chris can go and use the template. Everything is included – and Chris can resize the template to suit his needs.
And if I remove permissions from Chris in the Whiteboard-file it disappears from his templates immediately.
It is also possible to make copies of templates. I copied the template to the same folder, and renamed it.
And I when I open My Templates in Whiteboard, I can see them both there.
Can you share the template to everyone?
With this copy, I wanted to try out sharing to everyone in the organization by creating an edit link with “People in Metaversed” (the test/demo tenant I use).
Sharing the link to other user and clicking it open gives a greeting
But unfortunately the board created came out empty – without the template.
It has, however, appeared to Shared with me -templates.
And it works from templates. Interesting bug was that when I clicked to apply that template to the board, the template content appeared. But the main thing – when you use when form templates, they work as they should.
The answer to heading’s question “can you share Whiteboard template to everyone in your organization” is yes and no. If you share the link in Teams or Viva Engage, you can make those templates available to everyone who wants to use them, but they don’t automatically appear in their Shared with me templates. Use has to click to link to “add” the template to their Shared list, but after that it is very straight forward.
Can you edit Templates?
The answer is no: You can not. But you can always create a new whiteboard (using the template), make edits and save it as a new template and share it.
3 thoughts on “How to create and use custom Microsoft Whiteboard templates”
This is a great and long requested feature, however it appears my compnay may have the account that doesn’t have it. I keep trying to find a way to check and get nowhere. This is frustrating as there is nothing telling me I can’t have access to it.
That is odd indeed. It is in GA and rolled out already.
Have you tried web version of the Whiteboard?
If all but a single account has it – check that the account has Whiteboard license in MAC (Microsoft 365 Admin Center). And if nothing helps then I suggest opening a ticket with Microsoft.