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Annotation tools (workaround) on MS Teams

HI Lightbulbers !


I need to try and run an activity asking people to annotate a slide.  MS Teams doesnt have this (to my knowledge!) and wondered if anyone has a nifty workaround?  I am pretty good at most MS Teams Hacks - but this one is escaping me.


Any help would be fab !



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  • Hi Ian, love your salutation! :D

    We have a thread here which might have something on it to help you: https://lightbulbmoment.community/groups/opencommunity/forum/extern...

    What other hacks can our Lightbulbers help Ian with?

    External company email addresses not able to see whiteboard on Teams
    Hi All  I am hoping that someone will be able to give me some advice and guidance.  I am currently using Zoom to deliver online classrooms however th…
  • Create a blank slide and ask them to use the pens highlighters etc to write on the slide as a shared document 

    • Thanks guys.

      Just to update the team, as we are a M365 organisation, what I did was created two whiteboard in PPT,

      - one with a scale and everyone's inititals set up that they could drag and drop

      - one with the question and a grid they could type into

      I shared both of these as one drive links in the chat box, and then shared the document in the Teams window once the exercise had been done.

      If I hadn't had the drag and drop I would probably have used a sli.do or menti for the whoteboard - but these worked well enough - I like to think there is always a way despite the limitations sometimes, we just have to find it :)


      • Hello Ian Can you upload a screen capture of the actual slides so there is a visual of what you have described please or upload the files themselves 

  • Using the actual Whiteboard App that you can download via a prompt from the whiteboard (top right next to the cog), it will take you to the MS store to download. You and all the attendees will need to do this prior to the session or for the attendees potentially during the session. It does not take long but you leave yourself open to firewall, admin access and user error issues.

    From the app, you can insert images, pages from PDF, slides from PowerPoint and most office documents.

    Using this we can add an image such as a table we would use for swim lanes or an icebreaker question. You can lock this image to the background, it now won't move around or overlay the text or notes that you then add onto it.

    You can set up multiple whiteboards ahead of time with all your images and lock the images so that they won't get moved around by the attendees.

    You will need to send an invite link (URL) for each whiteboard you have to the attendees, beforehand or via chat in the live session.

    Once you have created the whiteboards you can navigate between them and your attendees will be able to navigate between the ones you have provided links to and they have been in already.

    It is by no means as easy as something like in Adobe Connect, Webex or Zoom with annotation tools but you can achieve similar results albeit in a more convoluted way!


    • Great tips my organisation has complete lockdown no access to any MS Store Apps . 

    • Thanks so much - our experience of MS Whiteboard (either built in within Teams or the standaone M365 app) has been too unstable for us to feel comfortable using it, and we now have splinter groups with Miro and Mural !  I am hoping MS get the whiteboard to be a bit more stable as then we can defintiely use much more than we do !

  • Thanks Salim and Ian for your comments.

    MS Teams is awkward and annoying with many issues like you say. You have to fight it to achieve what you can easily do in a different platform. I cross my fingers it gets updates soon and that they make your lives easier!

    Please let us know any successes you have as it will help everyone in the Community!

    Good luck!

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