Teams Tips #2

Microsoft Teams Logo

by Eric Goldman


Welcome to our second Teams Tips post!
In case you missed it, our first Teams Tips post is here.

If you’re new to Teams and need some background on the basics, please check out our Teams Concepts.

The first post provided you with 6 tips, so we begin this one with Tip #7.

In this post we’ll cover Tips for:

7 Microsoft Teams Polls

At the end of a chat discussing various options, you may want to take an instant poll. Amaze your team mates by doing that in a flash by using Microsoft Forms.

7.1 Use Microsoft Forms

The graphics for this tip span two rows, the first row shows you the message bar…

Start a new conversation in the channel and click on the More Option, “…” You can see it on the right-hand side of the list of icons at the bottom of the bar shown below. You’ll get the dialog for adding an app.

Find the app, called Forms (no Microsoft), and click it.

It launches, and the second row of images show you that you can enter your question, and options for the answer checkboxes.

Choose how you want to share the results and click Save. You’ll get a Preview.

If the Preview looks good, hit Send.

Your poll is sent into the channel.

As you can see below, the results are tabulated live, but as we said, you can suppress the results if you prefer to work on the answers and then report.

7.2 Pinning apps to the bar

In the example of the message bar above, Forms, the last icon in the row, has been pinned to the bar’s extensions. To pin Forms, click “…”, find Forms, and then Option/Alt click it to select Pin. Option/Alt click the icon to unpin it.

8 PowerPoint Presentations

The usual way people in Teams show other people their PowerPoint presentation, is to open the PowerPoint app in a window, and then share the window, or their entire screen in Teams. If you don’t set PowerPoint to full screen, your presentation drowns in the chrome, like in the image below.

And if you do set PowerPoint to full screen, you can’t see the chats, and you can’t see if people raise their hands. Not ideal.

There are two ways around this problem.

8.1 Use PowerPoint Live

Click on Share and scroll down to PowerPoint live.

Browse Onedrive or your computer to find your presentation and select it.

You’ll see the live streaming display and then you’ll be in your presentation.

The image below shows your view of the presentation; Your viewers only see the top window, not your notes or the thumbnails below. The red around the thumbnail indicates the current slide. And yes, Microsoft, it is confusing because the audience’s view appears to include the first thmbnail!

Notice the set of controls below the main screen. They can be disabled by you, but the first allows attendees to page ahead or back in your deck, and the second allows one to take control.

PowerPoint live doesn’t work well with custom fonts; to avoid formatting errors, or if you feel more comfortable using the PowerPoint app directly, you can still remove the chrome.

8.2 Using PowerPoint in Teams

Launch PowerPoint in the usual way and open your presentation. Navigate on the top ribbon to the Slideshow pivot. And then select Set Up slide show.

When you click OK, you can now go to Share in the usual way, find your presentation’s window and share that. You can resize the window, reposition it, and you run your slideshow just as you do normally, and get to see all the chat messages and anyone who raises a hand.

9 Emails to…


9.1 Email to a channel

Select the channel in the Teams left-hand panel and click on the ellipsis (…)

You get the pop up shown here. Choose the “Get email address” option and click the Copy button

Paste the address into an email, compose your email and send.

How to send an email to a channel

9.2 Email a message to Outlook

Hover your cursor over the message and on the right-hand side, click on the “…” option.

Select the Share to Outlook option, complete the details, and approve the email.

10 Meeting Options


10.1 Live Captions

You may want to record a transcript of the meeting, or possibly a presentation, so attendees can grab the presenter’s words along with their slides.

Switch on Live Captions. It’s in the “…” option at the top of the Meeting screen. Live Captions is about two-thirds of the way down.

Tip 10.2 Meeting Options continued

It’s worth taking a look at what’s available in the meeting options tab.

There are options for:

  • who may join the meeting,
  • to set up meetings to allow people in without waiting in the lobby
  • who can present,
  • Have Teams record meetings automatically or not.

11 Templates

Templates in Teams behave the same way they do in all apps: they allow you to design a specific instance of something and then replicate it on demand, precisely according to the design.

Templates in Teams can be used to set up Lists, which can be manipulated using Power Automate. This is a powerful feature and it deserves some research.

For now, though, let’s focus on setting up a team using a template.

Click Join or create a team at the bottom of Left-hand rail.

Microsoft Teams Templates - creating a team

Hover over Create a team block, then click the Create Team button.

Microsoft Teams Templates - creating a team or joining one with a code

Select the Template you want to use, or create one from scratch. You can also import one from Office 365.

Creating Templates in Microsoft Teams

In this example, we’ve selected the Manage a project template.

Not shown in the graphics is the dialog where you can add a description and  customize the names of the channels. And then you hit create and Bingo! Your team is now ready for you to add members and take it live.

Creating a template in Microsoft Teams

12 Rich Text Messages

Want to exclaim in a message? You can!

Rich text formatting improves the readibility of your messages, and helps people find items more quickly.

Click on A, the font icon, below the message input area of the bar, to access the options.

Lastly, and because it’s a repeat, we won’t give it a number: Kippa is the app you can’t afford to forget. Keep your team rolling like clockwork.

Did you find this post useful?

Let us know in the comments!

Till next time, stay safe, will ya?

Bit-by-Bit #189

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