The COVID-19 pandemic and the work/school from home have taken Microsoft Teams' popularity to a whole new level. Millions of new users have linked with Teams over the past two years and the number is just growing. Another reason behind the growth and popularity of Teams is its extensive features list. So, if you are a regular Teams user, you should know all the important features and tricks that can enhance your Teams experience. Below we have listed down 25 Teams tips and tricks you should definitely know about.
- PowerPoint Presenter View
Instead of sharing your desktop screen and then navigating to PowerPoint presentation, Teams now allows you to directly open PowerPoint presentation. Once you are in a meeting, click the "Share content" icon next to the call end button. Afterward, on the bottom right side, you will see the "PowerPoint" option. Click "Browse" and then open the PowerPoint presentation from your computer. This way, meeting participants will start seeing the presentation.
As a presenter, you will also be able to see videos of the participants and presentation notes. If you don't want to see notes, then click the "More actions" button located next to the "next slide" button and then click "Hide presenter view". You can also stop participants to move through the shared presentation on their own by clicking the "eye-shaped" icon located near the "Stop presenting" button.
- Focus Mode
If you are a participant in a meeting and someone is going to share a screen, then you can become more focused by turning on the "Focus Mode". The focus mode removes the other participants' videos from being displayed on your screen, while enlarges the shared screen. To turn on the focus mode, click the "3-dots horizontal" icon from the top bar and then click "Focus".
- Full Screen Mode
If someone is sharing the screen and you want to see it in full screen, you can use Teams full screen mode. To access that, click the "3-dots horizontal" icon from the top bar and then click "Full screen". It will remove the bottom taskbar and the top bar.
- Built-in Meeting Options
Microsoft Teams provides a number of meeting options that you can access while on a meeting. Once you are in a meeting, click the "3-dots horizontal" icon and then click "Meeting options". There you will see multiple options, such as who can present, who can bypass the lobby, allow reactions, and similar other options.
- Add a Team Picture
If you create a team in Microsoft Teams, you can add a picture to it for giving a unique touch. Go to the "Teams" tab from the left menu bar and click "Join or create a team". Now click "Create a team", give it a name, add a description, and set privacy. Once done, your new team is created. Now bring the mouse cursor close to the team logo and click the pencil edit button. From there, you can either use the pictures provided by Teams or upload your own from your computer.
- Practice CTRL + Shift + X while Typing
Whiling chatting on Teams or posting in the group chat, if you accidentally hit "Enter", it will send the message. To avoid this, press the "CTRL" + "Shift" + "X" keys whenever you start typing in any chat. It will open the compose window where the "Enter" key no longer sends the message. In addition, it also provides other writing features, such as add bullet points, make content italic, etc.
- Create Announcements
In your team group conversation, if you have an announcement that you like all the team members must watch it, you can showcase it prominently with the Teams "Announcement" feature. So, once you start typing, press "CTRL" + "Shift" + "X" keys first, then click the "New conversation" drop-down button, and lastly click "Announcement". This way, you can now add a headline and subhead. You also get to change the background color of the heading or add a new background by clicking the "image-shaped" icon.
- Saving Messages
You can easily save the important messages from your team conversation. Bring the mouse cursor close to any message and click the "3-dots horizontal" icon located at the top right corner of that message. From the drop-down menu, click "Save this message".
You can view your saved messages by clicking your profile picture located at the top right corner and then clicking "Saved". There you will see all your saved messages. Once you are done with the saved messages, you can click the red flag and it will remove that message from the saved list.
- Sharing Message to Outlook
You can also share messages to Outlook and send them to another person's email address. To do it, bring the mouse cursor close to any message and click the "3-dots horizontal" icon located at the top right corner of that message. From the drop-down menu, click "Share to Outlook". It will open Outlook's new email window with the message and then you just have to enter the email address and hit "Send".
- Immersive Reader
The Immersive Reader feature is one of the best features you get in Teams. It is meant to make reading messages much easier. To launch immersive reader, bring the mouse cursor close to any message and click the "3-dots horizontal" icon located at the top right corner of that message. From the drop-down menu, click "Immersive Reader".
You will notice that the message is now shown on a full screen and it removes all the side distractions. There is a play button at the bottom that you can use to make the tool read the message for you. You can even set voice speed or voice selection (male or female).
If you click the "AA" icon located at the top right corner, it offers you many features, such as increasing the text size, increasing spacing, setting font, or adding background themes. In addition, if you click the "book-shaped" icon, you can set line focus to 1-line, 3-line, or 5-line for extra focus, you can use a picture dictionary to get the instant meaning of words in the text, and you can translate the message into other languages.
- Muting and Hiding Meetings
If you are a part of a team chat but you are not currently involved in its discussion, then you would probably don't like to keep receiving new alerts on it. So, you can mute that chat for a while. Click the "Chat" tab from the left menu bar, bring the mouse cursor to the chat that you want to mute, click the "3-dots horizontal" icon, and then click "Mute". If you don't want to see that chat in the list, you can click "Hide". You can follow the same steps to "Unmute" any team chat.
- Pinning Apps to the Messages
You can also pin apps to your message area. When you start a new conversation in team chat, you will see different apps below the compose box. Click the "3-dots horizontal" icon and you will some suggested apps or you can search the apps you want to pin. Once you see the app, right-click it and then click "Pin". This way, that app will appear in your message area.
- Dark Mode
You can shift Teams into dark mode quickly. Click your profile picture located at the top right corner and then click "Settings". Under "Theme", select "Dark" and close the window. You will see your Teams app turned into dark mode.
- Filtering Chats
In the chat list, you can filter the chats to quickly navigate to the targeted chat. To do that, go to the "Chat" tab from the left menu bar and click the "3-vertical lines" icon. You can also use the shortcut key "CTRL + Shift + F" to turn on the filter mode. Now search by name so that the related chat popups. If you click the "3-dots horizontal" icon next to the "X" button, you can even filter the chats by unread, meetings, or muted nature.
- Get Email Address for a Channel
You can get the email address of any channel in Teams so that anyone else with that email address can quickly navigate to that channel. To do that, go to the "Teams" tab from the left menu bar, click any team, bring the mouse cursor near to the channel name, and click the "3-dots horizontal" icon. From there, click "Get email address" and then copy the address.
- Set Channel Notifications
Microsoft Teams gives you 3 options to set notifications for the channels, i.e., All activity, Off, and Custom. The "All activity" option lets you receive notifications for all activities that happen in the channel. The "Off" option lets you receive notifications only for direct replies and personal mentions. The "Custom" option lets you receive notifications on the replies you made or messages you added. You can choose between these notification options by bringing the mouse cursor near to the channel name, clicking the "3-dots horizontal" icon, and then clicking "Channel notifications".
- Add a Whiteboard to a Channel
Microsoft Teams empowers you to add a whiteboard in a channel to get a more creative in-office feeling and better team discussion. To add a whiteboard, open any channel, click the "+" icon from the top menu bar, search for the "Whiteboard" app and click it. Give it a name and click "Save". Afterward, it will ask whether you want to present or collaborate. So, pick the option as you like. Once done, you will see the whiteboard added to the channel.
- Add Emoji in Channel Name
While creating a channel, Teams also allows you to add emojis with the channel name to give it an attractive look. To do that, add a new channel to your team, and in the name section, press "Windows" + "." keys. It will pop up the emoji window from where you can select and add emojis in your channel name.
- Edit File Sharing
You can easily share files in Teams just like other tools. Simply click the "pin" icon to upload the files from OneDrive or your computer. But before sharing or sending your file, click the small drop-down icon located beneath the file name. It lets you customize who can view the file, who can edit, set a password, and do other customization.
- Drag Outlook Attachment to Teams Files
You can simply drag and drop attachments from Outlook into the Teams files section. To do that, split your desktop screen into two halves where on one side you have opened the file section from Teams, and on the other side, you have opened the Outlook inbox. Now simply drag the attachment from the Outlook screen to the Teams file screen and release it. This way, the attachment is uploaded to the files section.
- Add and Pin Apps to the Menu Bar
In Teams, you not only see different default icons in the left menu bar, but you can even add more apps to it. Simply, click the "3-dots horizontal" icon from the left bar, search the app, and click it. Once it shows in the left bar, right-click it, and then click "Pin".
- Pop Out Apps from the Menu Bar
You can also pop out apps that you have pinned in the left menu bar. Right-click any pinned app and then click "Pop out app". Teams will pop out the app into a separate window.
- Use OneNote in Teams
You can conveniently use the OneNote app in Teams. Pin the OneNote app into Teams by following the steps mentioned in about 21st tip. Once done, click the OneNote app to launch it. This way, you can access notebooks inside Teams and keep a track of them.
- Keyboard Shortcuts
There are tons of keyboard shortcuts in Teams. You can view them all by clicking the "CTRL" + "." keys. It will show you all the shortcut keys and their functions. You can memorize the ones you like and become smart while using Teams.
- Control Notifications in Teams
Microsoft Teams ensures that its users don't get distracted with frequent notifications or don't miss out on important messages without getting notifications. Therefore, it offers a full range of notifications control options. Click on your profile picture from the top right corner and then click "Settings". Click "Notifications" and there you will see all the wide range of notification settings that you are set as you like.
The above 25 tips and tricks of Teams show how much effort Microsoft has put in this tool to provide an extensive set of features to the users. As a regular Teams user, you must practice some of these tips and enhance your daily experience with Teams.
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