Tag: microsoft office 365

Did you know … Conditional Formatting can highlight data based on date?

As we are upgrading groups to Microsoft Teams, we need to be able to identify which activities need to be performed each week. While highlighting today’s date is a start, it is better to identify which tasks need to be performed in the upcoming week so we can plan ahead.

To accomplish this, I use a conditional formatting rule. It highlights all of the date values that fall between today and seven days in the future. How? In conditional formatting, you can use a formula to determine which cells to format. My selection rage is E2 through J20, so the conditional formatting formula is based off of the E2 cell.

The formula AND’s to IF functions. If the difference between the cell date and today is less than 8 (less than 8 days in the future) AND if the difference between the cell date and today is greater than or equal to zero (today or a future date), the rule evaluates to TRUE and the highlighting is applied.

=AND(IF((E2 – TODAY()) <8,1,0),IF((E2 – TODAY()) >= 0,1,0))

The result – every activity we need to plan for in the upcoming week is highlighted.

 

Did you know … the Teams mobile client lets you configure you time?

Mobile access to the company’s communication platforms is convenient – and you can use Teams on your Android or iOS device. A training class or a trip out to a customer’s site no longer means you are disconnected from the day’s routine discussions. But sometimes I want to disconnect – watching my daughter’s gymnastics performance, my husband’s birthday dinner, listening to a band at the local club, painting en plein air at the local park. Oh, and certainly dark-o-clock when I’m sleeping. Configure “quiet hours”!

Tap the hamburger menu in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

Tap “Notifications”

Tap “Quiet hours”

Move the “Quiet hours” slider to ‘on’

Select the times when you want Teams notifications to stop and resume. If you want to disable Teams notifications for entire days (regularly scheduled days off or temporarily for vacation days), tap “Quiet days”

Move the “Quiet days” slider to “On” and tap the days during which you wish to suppress notifications.

Return to the menu and you will see that quiet hours are scheduled.

During quiet hours (or days), the notifications logo will indicate that notifications are disabled and tell you when notifications will resume.

The hamburger menu on the Teams app will also indicate that notifications are temporarily suspended.

 

Did you know … you can use Microsoft’s Whiteboard in your Teams meetings?

Microsoft Whiteboard, in Teams, is currently a public preview. Like other previews available in the Office 365 ecosystem, there will be glitches and things that don’t work properly. If something isn’t working quite right, turn off the preview and verify the problem persists before reporting an issue. You can submit feedback directly to Microsoft through their UserVoice site, but previews are not supported by Microsoft.

Now that the warning bit is out of the way – we’ve been using the Whiteboard for a week and the only oddity I’ve encountered occurs when both a Whiteboard and desktop are shared simultaneously. You must keep minimizing the Whiteboard to view the shared desktop.

How do you use a Microsoft Whiteboard in your meeting? When you are in a meeting, click on the “Sharing Tray” in the meeting tool bar.

In the “Whiteboard” column, select “Microsoft Whiteboard”

A whiteboard will be opened and shared with everyone on the call. To draw on the Whiteboard, select “Inking mode”

Click on a pen (or the eraser) along the right-hand side to select a pen color.

Draw on the screen. Click on the blue check-mark to leave inking mode. To close the whiteboard, click “Stop presenting”.

After the meeting, how do you access the Whiteboard? Visit https://whiteboard.microsoft.com – the Whiteboard will be stored for the person who initiated the Whiteboard in the meeting. To share it with others who had attended, click the ellipses on the Whiteboard preview.

Select “Invite”

Select “Create sharing link” and paste the link into the Teams meeting chat.

Team members can use the link to view the Whiteboard.

Whiteboards from Teams meetings are also available through the Whiteboard app. The app expands on the basic Whiteboard functionality available in Teams or online. In the app, you can select text ink and convert it to more readable text. Use the lasso tool to select a region of text ink.

Click on the magic wand

Voila, more legible text!

Click the hamburger menu in the upper right-hand corner of the screen for additional options — including “Export” which will create a PNG or SVG image from your Whiteboard data.

Did you know … Teams displays an alert when a new Planner task is assigned to you?

You will now be alerted in Teams when Planner tasks are assigned to you – this is another step toward making Teams the single hub for collaboration. Task assignment only creates activity when the Planner is a tab in one of your Teams spaces. If you create a Planner board that does not appear as a tab in a Teams space, new tasks assigned on that board will not create activity in Teams. To start getting Teams alerts for a board, just add it as a tab to a Teams space.

You’ll see an alert in your “Activity” feed

And in “Chat”. The card contains the task title, the name of the individual who assigned the task to you, the Teams space where the Planner is stored, and a link to view the task.

Click “Open Task” and you’ll be brought to the Planner board within the appropriate Teams space. The task will be open and ready to edit.

* If you have the mobile Planner app installed, you will receive push notifications in addition to seeing the task in your Teams activity.

 

Did you know … e-mails can be sent to a Teams channel?

I’ve mentioned before that we can send e-mails to a Teams channel – forward a message in my mailbox to a channel so we can discuss it. But did you know Teams channels can receive e-mail from outside of our Exchange Online environment too?

That doesn’t mean you’ll be seeing advertisements for low cost (and dodgy) prescription drugs or entreaties from the purported prince of far-far-away show up in your channel conversations. Until someone gets an e-mail address for a channel, it doesn’t have one.

To associate an e-mail address, click the ellipsis next to a channel name and select “Get email address”

Copy the SMTP address. If you want to control which domains can send e-mails to the channel, click “advanced settings”

By default, anyone can send e-mails to the address. Simply select the appropriate radio button for the restrictions you want. “Only members of this team” lets members forward messages from their personal mailbox for discussion.

Selecting “Only emails sent from these domains” allows you to enter the list of domains from which you want to receive messages. Click “Save” to save your changes.

Send an e-mail message from an approved domain. Voila – a message from my home domain delivered to the Teams channel.

You can have monitoring systems, vendor ticketing systems, all sorts of e-mail sources deliver messages right into your Teams channels.

 

Did you know … you can add Teams channel meetings to your calendar?

Holding a meeting in a Teams channel allows channel members to attend if they have time and are interested in the meeting – it also lets Team members access meeting artifacts easily.

But when you schedule a meeting in a channel, only direct invitees see the meeting in their calendar. This is great for people who aren’t going to attend, but I end up joining the call ten minutes late because I didn’t see the meeting when I check my calendar to see what’s coming up.

But you can add a channel meeting to your calendar – if you decide to attend the meeting, click the ellipses on the meeting item and select “View meeting details”

Click “Add to calendar”

Voilà! Now the meeting appears in your calendar.

 

Did you know … you can open Teams files directly from Office 365 Applications?

While you can go into a channel, select the files tab, and open a file from within Teams … that’s a lot of clicking just to open a file in another program. But you can open files stored in Teams (or any other SharePoint document repository) directly from Office 365 programs. How?

Open an Office 365 program – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio. Click on the “File” ribbon bar and select “Open”. SharePoint Online document repositories, including those used by Teams, are listed under “Sites – Windstream Communic…”.

You may already have SharePoint sites listed. To add a new site, you just have to follow it.

Select the SharePoint site that matches your Team name. Click “Documents”

You’ll see a folder for each channel in your Team. Click the channel where the file is saved.

Navigate to the folder where your file is stored, then select the file. It will open directly in the application. When you save the document, the SharePoint document is updated.

Tip: Frequently used documents can be pinned for quick access. After you have opened the file, it will appear in the most recently used list. Click the little push-pin next to the file and it will be pinned to the top of the recently used file list. The Excel files and Word documents that I use frequently can now be opened without navigating through the file structure to find them.

 

Did you know … you can copy files from OneDrive to SharePoint Online (thus Microsoft Teams too)?

Sometimes I work on a document privately before putting it out for my group to review, but it takes time to upload a copy of the document to our Teams space! You can move and copy documents from OneDrive directly to SharePoint Online. Since “Files” in Teams spaces are just SharePoint Online document repositories, this means you can move/copy documents to a Teams space too.

Open “OneDrive” from https://portal.office.com or the side-bar of any web-based Office 365 product.

Select the document(s) that you want to move/copy and select either “Move to” or “Copy to” from the menu bar.

A new pane will fly out from the right-hand side of the browser window. You’ll see some of the SharePoint Online sites and Teams spaces to which you have access listed. If the one you want isn’t listed, click “Browse sites” to see a full list.

Click “Show more” to browse through the list of sites.

If you are unable to locate the site you want to use, open it in SharePoint online and follow it. Click on the site into which you want to move/copy your documents.

For SharePoint online sites, you’ll see the site contents and can navigate through the hierarchy to the location you want the file stored. For Teams spaces, click “Documents”.

You’ll then see folders for each Channel. Click the channel into which you want to store the documents.

Navigate through the Channel’s file structure to the location you want the document stored. Click the blue button to copy/move the document to that location.

Voila, my documents are moved within Microsoft’s cloud from OneDrive to SharePoint Online.

 

Did you know … Power Query can extract a unique list of records?

Remove duplicates is a quick way to obtain a unique list of records; every time the source data is updated, though, you’ve got to copy and ‘remove duplicates’ again. There’s a better way! Use Power Query to create a unique list that can be updated with a single click.

To use Power Query, first highlight the column containing the information for which you want a list of unique values.

On the “Data” ribbon bar, select “From Table/Range”

You’ll be asked to confirm where the source data is located – the highlighted selection should appear. Click “OK” to continue.

A new window will open – the Power Query Editor. On the “Home” ribbon bar, click on “Remove Rows” and select “Remove Duplicates”

A unique list of values has been extracted in the Power Query editor – but you want to insert that data into your spreadsheet. Click the drop-down by “Close & Load” then select “Close & Load To …”

Now you can select where you want your list of unique values to appear – I am creating a table in an existing worksheet. Click “OK” to insert the unique list.

Voila, I now have a unique list.

What happens when new records are added to my source data? The Power Query table does not automatically update as values are added to the source data. On the “Data” ribbon bar, click “Refresh All” to update the unique value list.

 

Did you know … you can use Teams to collaborate with vendors?

There were a few organizations set up to “federate” with Skype for Business – from your Skype client, you could send messages to their Skype for Business account. This will continue to work when you move to Teams. Microsoft calls each company’s Office 365 environment a “tenant” – you are able to send messages from Teams in our tenant to a federated partner’s Skype or Teams in their tenant.

** If your account is upgraded to Teams Only, messages sent from federated partners will be delivered to you in Teams. Otherwise messages sent from federated partners will be delivered to you in Skype.

To chat with a federated partner, simply address a new chat message to them. The “We didn’t find any matches” message lets you know there wasn’t anyone found in our organization. Click to search for the account externally.

If you get an error indicating that the conversation cannot be set up, you may be mistyping the address. It is also possible that the organization is not on our list of allowed federation partners.

If their organization is on the allowed partner list, you’ll be able to start a new conversation. Along the top banner, there are a few indicators to ensure you realize you are sending information outside of our organization. Messages sent to external recipients transit Microsoft’s Skype/Teams interop gateway. Anything that is not supported through the interop gateway – screen sharing, file sharing, multi-party chat, rich text messages – will not be available when you are chatting with an external recipient.

The other person will see your message in their Skype or Teams application – if they’ve been upgraded to Teams Only, the message will be delivered to them in Teams, otherwise it will be delivered in Skype.

Teams expands on Skype’s federated messaging functionality – accounts from allowed organizations can be “guests” in our Teams. This means vendors can participate in collaborative discussions and access shared documents without having an “n99” account with an Office license. Federated partners can add you as a guest in their Teams spaces too.

Team owners add guests the same way they add internal Team members.

When you type the guest’s address, it will not match any records in our tenant and the option to add them as a guest will be displayed.

Once someone has been added as a guest to a Teams space, there are two ways you can send them chat messages – the external account and the guest account.

What’s the difference? Where the “external” listing delivered your chat message to Skype or Teams (depending on the individual’s account configuration) in the other person’s tenant, “Guest” will deliver the chat message to Teams within *our* tenant.

Good news – that means you can use features that aren’t supported through the interop gateway. Bad news – the person may not check our Teams tenant regularly to see if there are new messages.

A person added as a guest to our organization will see a drop-down tenant selector next to their avatar in Teams. They’ll be able to click the drop-down and switch contexts to our tenant.

They will be able to see our Teams … well, the ones of which they are a member anyway!

They’ll also see chat messages sent to their guest account.

You may notice that the person appears twice in your chat history – the guest account in our tenant and the external account in their tenant are separate entities.

How will the person know they’ve got messages waiting for them in our tenant? A message count indicator will appear on the tenant selector. If they’re a guest in multiple tenants, clicking the drop-down will show them how many new messages are in each tenant.

Usage Tip: This notification isn’t immediate (and sometimes the notification is significantly delayed), so time-sensitive communication should be sent to the ‘External’ listing instead of the ‘Guest’ one.

Warning: Conversations and documents in our tenant are under our purview. This means we can restore access if data becomes orphaned, our retention policies apply to the data, documents and conversations will be included in legal discovery activity, etc. Activity in partner tenants are under their purview. Be cognizant of communication and file content before storing information outside of our tenant.