Tag: microsoft office 365

Exporting A Microsoft Teams Chat

There’s no export functionality in MS Teams chats and conversations. From Microsoft’s standpoint, this makes sense — customer retention. From the customer standpoint, however? There are times I really want to transfer a conversation elsewhere for some reason. You can copy/paste individual text bubbles. If you only need to get one or two bubbles, manually copying the text is going to be quicker. And, for those with special access, there’s the Security & Compliance discovery export stuff as well as an approach using the Graph API. But for the rest of us general users, there’s no easy way to export the bunch of little chat bubbles that comprise a MS Teams chat.  There is, however, a not-too-hard way to do it in the Teams web client.

I’ll prefix these instructions with a disclaimer – your company may have document retention in Teams. When you export your chat content, you’ll need to maintain appropriate retention policies yourself. In IT, we had a few information categories where retention was “useful life” – we could retain system documentation as long as the system was used. If you’re exporting a chat to keep something you are allowed to keep and then keep it outside of Teams … that’s awesome. If you are trying to keep something the company’s retention policy says should be removed … that’s probably not awesome.

Once you’ve determined that the info you are exporting is OK to export and maintain elsewhere, here’s how to export a Teams chat from within the Teams web client. Step 1, of course, is to lot into Teams at https://teams.microsoft.com and go to the chat you want to export. Scroll up to the top of the chat. If you have a really long chat, it may not be possible to export the entire thing using this approach. I might play around with it in the future, by most of my conversations are in Teams channels so I don’t have a chat that’s more than 30 or so messages.

Once you are at the top of the chat, open the developer tools (ctrl-shift-i in Chrome). Clear the errors — they clutter up the screen.

Paste the following script into the console and hit enter:

var strRunningText = "";
var collectionMessageBubbles = document.querySelectorAll('.message-body-content, .message-datetime');

for (let objMessageBubble of collectionMessageBubbles) {
     strRunningText = strRunningText + "\n" + objMessageBubble.textContent;


If you have a long series of chat messages, you’ll get some of the chat displayed and a button to copy the entire chat content to your clipboard.

If you have a shorter series of chat messages, you’ll have the text of the chat in the console window. You can highlight it and copy/paste the text elsewhere.

There’s a little cleanup that can be done – the content of the message-datetime elements have a beginning and trailing newline character along with a bunch of whitespace. You can get a cleaner timestamp (but, if you embed code within your messages … which I do … the code sections have a lot of extraneous newlines):

var strRunningText = "";
var collectionMessageBubbles = document.querySelectorAll('.message-body-content, .message-datetime');

for (let objMessageBubble of collectionMessageBubbles) {
     strRunningText = strRunningText + "\n" + objMessageBubble.innerText;


The same JavaScript works in the Teams channel conversations except the channel conversations tend to be longer … so you’re going to export some subset of the channel conversation around where you are in the web browser.

* I realized, during a multi-person chat last week, that I don’t grab the name of the individual who posted the message to the chat. Grabbing the person’s name should just entail adding the identifier for the name element into the querySelectorAll list … but that’s not something I’ve had an opportunity to check yet.

Did you know … you can list the members of your MS Team?

Without any special Administrative rights, you can list the members of the Azure AD groups that are used in MS Teams. If you don’t already have the AzureAD module installed, install it. In Windows, this is:

Install-Module -Name AzureAD

In Linux,you’ll need the preview of Azure AD:

# To run on Linux, you need the preview mode of AzureAD
Register-PackageSource -Trusted -ProviderName 'PowerShellGet' -Name 'Posh Test Gallery' -Location https://www.poshtestgallery.com/api/v2/
Install-Module -Name AzureAD.Standard.Preview

Connect to AzureAD. There is a separate command to list the group owners (Get-AzureADGroupOwner). I’ve always found the owner(s) in the member list as well, but it’s technically possible to have entries unique to the owner list.

Get-AzureADGroup -SearchString "Group Name Here" | Get-AzureADGroupOwner -All $True
Get-AzureADGroup -SearchString "Group Name Here" | Get-AzureADGroupMember -All $True

Redirect the output to a file if you wish to use the results elsewhere, or stash the returned member list in a variable and use Get-AzureADUser to get additional information for the user records.

$objMembers | ForEach-Object -Process {get-azureaduser -objectid $_.ObjectID}

Microsoft Teams – Background Images

Teams has had the ability to blur your background for a while – a nice way to obscure “stuff” written on the whiteboard behind your desk or hide the stack of papers and books on your desk. It isolates the foreground – hopefully you – and blurs out the background. You can now overlay the identified foreground with a background image. I currently see this feature in the desktop client – my Linux, mobile, and web clients do not have this feature.

When you are in a meeting and have your camera enabled, click on the ellipses in the meeting control bar and select “Show background effects”

Select one of the images – we’ll load custom images in a bit. Select one of the stock options and click “Apply”

Voila, you’ve been greenscreened over some stock image. One of the most useful cases I see for the background image is a call with vendors. Each individual selects their company logo as a background, and participants have a visual clue who is speaking. But that requires a custom image. Luckily, you can add custom images to the background selection.

Now that you’ve selected a stock image, you’ll have a folder on your computer that holds the image. Open %appdata\Microsoft\Teams\Backgrounds\Uploads

Copy in your custom png files

Repeat the process to select a background image in Teams, and you will see your custom image.

A small file can look blurry – a 1920×1080 image looks decent. My 150×120 little glif … not so great. Also notice that the image is inverted – a bunch of balloons or a sunny beach … works either way. My logo? I need to flip it horizontally or you see a backwards R

Note too – if you want to blur your background, that option has been moved into the background effects. It’s the upper right-hand background – right next to ‘no background image’.

When joining a scheduled meeting, you can adjust the background settings prior to beginning the call using what used to be the background blur slider.

Using ‘Meet now’, this slider does not appear. I voted for the UserVoice suggestion to have a default background setting that would apply to all video call types without one-off configuration for the meeting.

Microsoft Teams: End Meeting For All Attendees

Normally, I like that Teams meetings continue after the organizer drops off. It’s a little annoying, as a meeting organizer, to need to stick around just so everyone else can continue talking. But someone may encounter a scenario where they really want the meeting to end, and there wasn’t an easy way to accomplish this. Microsoft has introduced “end meeting” functionality.

Since we don’t use Microsoft’s PSTN dial-in, I’m not sure if that has per-minute accounting that would make someone a lot more concerned about meetings continuing. Honestly, this feature seems like it’s targeted more toward the Education sector – my classroom meeting shouldn’t become a student hang-out once I’m done. (And you can still hang up to disconnect and allow the meeting to continue)

To end a meeting, click the ellipsis in the meeting control bar. Select “End meeting”.

You’ll be asked to confirm that you really want to end the meeting. Click “End” and all participants are dropped.


Microsoft Teams – At Mentioning Shortcut For Multiple Individuals

I usually find myself at-mentioning the same handful of people in Teams channels – the managers, project leads, or SME’s. In a situation where I know everyone pretty well, that’s OK. A little time consuming as I get the three or four names typed in. And it’s not always obvious who the “go to” people in a Team should be. I find myself reading through a bunch of old posts just to figure out who is a good contact for a question.

Microsoft has introduced the idea of tagging individuals in Teams. These tags are defined within a Teams space – so the “managers” in Team XYZ aren’t the same “managers” from Team ABC. Tags both provide a shortcut – instead of typing the three individual manager’s names, I can at-mention managers – and a way of identifying people’s roles within the team – you can find the SMEs, Team Leads, or Tech Contacts just by looking at those tags.

How do you set up tags? You need to be a Team owner. Anyone can view the tags you set up, but creating tags is something only Team owners can do. Click on the ellipses next to the Team name and select “Manage tags”

Select “Create tag”

Give a name to your tag & start adding members

Tags aren’t objects that can be deleted – simply by removing all members from a tag, it disappears. So you’ll need to add someone here, even if that’s you. Click “Create” to create the tag.

You can also manage tags by managing the Team members – you’ll see a column for the tags, and moving your mouse into the tags column for an individual will display a little tag icon you can use to add tags to the individual.

If you enter a tag that does not exist, you can click the button to “Create …” the tag.

For existing tags, you can click the box to select the appropriate tags and select “Apply”

Now any team member can view the Team membership and see who is a project lead and who is an SME

Additionally, any Team member can at-mention these individuals by the tag. The display will indicate how many individuals are included in the tag – asking three people a question is probably reasonable, asking fifty may not be!

The at-mention will resolve as the tag name

Another cool feature — when I look at the members of a tag, I can start a chat with those people.