How to annotate the screen in a Microsoft Teams meeting?

Here’s a question from one of our readers:

Hi, I recently got introduced to Microsoft Teams to run online classes with my students. I have some of the PowerPoint presentation which I use to teach. I might need to annotate the PowerPoint to provide clearer explanations, but I do not see any annotation tools for that in Teams (unlike in Zoom, where you can easily annotate your screen share.). Can you help me on how we can annotate when screen sharing using Microsoft Teams?

Thanks for your question. There are a few ways that you can use in order to draw, markup and annotate in your Microsoft Teams meeting:

  • Use PowerPoint Live annotations.
  • Use an external tool like SysInternals ZoomIt.
  • Use the out of the box Whiteboard

Using PowerPoint Live to annotate your Teams presentation

If you are using the desktop version of Microsoft Teams, you can use the annotation capabilities of PowerPoint Live to draw on your Teams screen or markup your slides.

You can share and add text to your slides with PowerPoint Live by following these steps:

  • Launch a Microsoft Teams meeting.
  • Hit the Share button.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the dialog, hit on Browse my computer or Browse OneDrive to upload your PowerPoint to Microsoft Teams.
  • Once your Presentation uploads, you’ll notice the Annotation tools available for you in the Presenter View. You can use them to markup your slides as needed. Be aware that unlike with normal PowerPoint slides, Teams do not offer to save your markups into your pptx file.

Annotate your slides with ZoomIt

  • Download ZoomItfrom the the SysInternals site.
  • Unzip the downloaded file and execute ZoomIt.exe.
  • Here you can see the list of options we can use in ZoomIt.
  • Once ZoomIt is enabled, you can click the shortcut keys to check the features.

Annotate using ZoomIt in Teams

  • Once you join the meeting, click on Open share tray icon.
  • Open your PowerPoint presentation via Desktop view.
  • Zoom – This will freeze the share and we can zoom In and Out during the presentation.
  • LiveZoom – This is same us Zoom but this feature allows us to use interaction with the machine even during zoom.
  • Draw – It provides us a brush tool with which we can highlight, draw during the presentation.
  • Type – This will allow us with a text box and we can enter inside the box. We can format font type in ZoomIt options.
  • Break Timer – This will display a timer default as 10 which we can increase or decrease by up and down arrow keys.

Use Teams Whiteboard to annotate

  • In teams meeting, click on Share tray and select Whiteboard.
  • Whiteboard allows us to gather more data from everyone and come up with lot of ideas.
  • We have Pen tool with different colors, Eraser, Add text and Add note for the whiteboard.
  • We can allow or deny participants to edit the whiteboard and export the whiteboard image.
  • Below is an example output of a meeting session.