Tag: Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Teams Pinned Channels

“Pinned” channels are basically links to channels that get a listing at the top of your Teams list for quick access. The way they list the pinned teams is kind of backwards in my mind — the big text is the channel name and the small text is the team name. So I’ve got a channel named “IT Maintenance and Outage Notifications” in the “NBI/NDI” team.

If you don’t want them pinned to the top, hover your mouse over the listing and an ellipsis will appear to open more options.

Click on ‘unpin’, and the pinned link to the channel will go away.


New Microsoft Teams Feature – Dragging Attachment from Outlook to Teams

Can’t say I’ve needed to get an Outlook attachment into Teams myself – I try to store my files in OneDrive and e-mail links instead of e-mailing a copy of the file. When I need to update something, there’s no need to send an updated copy; and no one needs to figure out if they’re looking at the “right” version. Click the link now, and you have the right version. But there are certainly scenarios where you’d have attachments to share in Teams – especially if you interact with people outside of the organization. And you used to have to save the attachment and then share it into Teams. Not anymore – you can now drag attachments directly from Outlook into Teams (this works with the Teams web client too – but you cannot use the Outlook web client for this method. The message with an attachment needs to be opened in Outlook).

If you’ve got multiple monitors, this is easier … but, if not, shrink the Outlook window so you can see both the message and Teams. Then drag the attachment icon into the message composition box in Teams. You’ll see text that says “Drop your files here” appear in Teams.

Release the mouse, and the file will be uploaded to Teams.


Did you know … Outlook can share OneDrive files for you?

Collaborative document editing in Teams and SharePoint is a huge time saver – instead of trying to merge multiple versions of a document together, we can all edit the same document (we can even edit it at the same time). OneDrive offers the same benefit, but it’s a bit of a hassle going into OneDrive, setting up sharing, and then sending people a link to the document. But Outlook handles this for you.

I have a private file saved to my OneDrive for Business space.

In your message, select ‘Attach’ and then ‘Cloud locations’.

You will see your OneDrive for Business files – select the file(s) that you want to share and click “Next”.

You will see the file as an attachment to the message – the OneDrive cloud logo lets you know that the ‘attachment’ is actually a link to a OneDrive document. Address and send the message as you normally would.

Check OneDrive again, and you will see that the document is shared.

The recipient will see an attachment to the message, and they will be able to view and edit the file.


Did you know … you can cancel sending an e-mail in Outlook?

Anyone who has mis-addressed a message or hit ctrl-enter and prematurely sent, well, some of a message has probably found the message “recall” option. Unfortunately, “recall” depends on the recipient having “Automatically process requests and responses to meeting requests and polls” enabled, cannot recall the message if the recipient has a rule that moves the message out of their inbox, and doesn’t work if the recipient isn’t using Exchange. Many times, your attempt to recall a message yields another message like this:

Which is better than someone thinking I meant to send them half of a thought that stopped mid-sentence. But it’s not what I expected. You can, however, configure Outlook to delay sending messages … allowing you a little time to cancel the message.

Outlook Client:

On the ribbon bar, click “File”. On the ‘Account Information’ screen, click “Manage Rules & Alerts”

Click “New Rule…”

In the new rule wizard, select “Apply rule on messages I send”

Do not select any conditions – just click “Next”.

You will see a warning that the rule will be applied to all messages you send – click “Yes”.

Click the check-box before “defer delivery by a number of minutes”, then in the text below click the hyperlinked ‘a number of minutes’ and enter the number of minutes you want to delay sending messages. Use a small number – if you close Outlook before the message is sent, it will not be sent until you re-open Outlook! (Plus it’s confusing if you’re on a call with someone, tell them you are sending them something, and it doesn’t actually send for fifteen minutes). Click ‘Next’ to continue.

Give your rule a descriptive name, then click “Finish”.

You will be warned that the rule will only run if Outlook is running – click OK. If you routinely use Outlook on two different computers, you’ll need to create this rule on both computers.

Now when you send a message, you will see a counter next to “Outbox”. The message will sit there for the time you specified, then it will be sent. Once the message is sent, the counter will disappear.

If you want to stop the message from being sent, click on “Outbox”.

Right-click on the message – you can select “Move” and move the message back to your “Drafts” folder or you can delete it.

Outlook Web:

Click the “Settings” gear in the upper right-hand corner of your screen.

Click on “Mail” to display the mail-related settings.

Expand “Automatic processing” and click on “Undo send”

Click the radio button to select “Let me cancel messages I’ve sent for:” then click the drop-down to select how long sending will be delayed. Pending messages won’t be sent if you close your browser or put your computer to sleep – they’ll still be there when you open Outlook again. Click save.

Now when you send a message, it will be deferred in your “Drafts” folder for the selected time period. While the message is deferred, you will see a “Cancel send” option in the upper right-hand corner of your Outlook Web screen. If you don’t want to send the message, just click “Cancel send”.

The message will be opened to allow you to continue editing it. You can save it as a draft or discard it as well.

Did you know … you can reply to an e-mail message with a meeting request?

Sometimes it is easier to take a few minutes, get everyone together, and talk about something. Switching from an e-mail thread to a meeting invitation, though, means you’ve got to copy/paste all of the recipients and provide a message summary so attendees have a clue about what you want to meet. Did you know that you can reply to a message with a meeting request? All message recipients are included in the invitation, and the message content is copied into the meeting request.

Web Mail:

Click the drop-down next to reply and select “Reply all by meeting”

A new meeting request will be constructed – complete with attendees (addresses in he ‘to’ line become required attendees, cc’s become optional attendees), a meeting subject, and the entire e-mail thread in the meeting body.


In Outlook, click on the “Meeting” button in the ‘Home” ribbon bar.

Again, a meeting request is created with attendees, subject, and message content.

Anything you can do in a manually created meeting request can be done here – if you want to add a Teams meeting space or set up recurrence … this is a normal meeting request, it’s just got a lot of information pre-populated.

Did you know … Outlook can display the time in multiple time zones?

In one of my prior jobs, I worked in Boston. I had colleagues in Hawai’i. Scheduling a meeting was a mental undertaking – 8AM in Honolulu is 1PM in Boston (and I had to count through Alaska, the west coast, the mountains, the next one over, and then me all.the.time). Beyond the time wasted figuring out what time it is elsewhere … you forget to think about it when you’re in a hurry. I’d book the guys in Hawai’i for mid-morning meetings at dark-o-clock, and the guys in Hawai’i would schedule mid-afternoon meetings that were 8PM for me. The Outlook calendar can show two time zones concurrently – both reminding you that time zones are a ‘thing’ and quickly showing you what time it is over there.

Click “File” on the ribbon bar

Select “Options”

Select “Calendar” from the left-hand navigation bar. Scroll down and find the ‘Time Zones’ section. Check the box to ‘show a second time zone’, and select that other time zone. I add a label both to my time zone and the secondary one. Click OK. If you have the monthly update channel, you’ll be able to select a third time zone too.

Now check out your calendar:

Did you know … you can ignore entire conversations in Outlook?

You can! Of course, you don’t want to ignore important conversations; but we’ve all been accidentally included on message (or been caught up in the dreaded reply-all blizzard) and been inundated with messages that really can be ignored.

Within the Outlook client, click on one of the messages. On the left-hand side of the ‘Home’ ribbon, click “Ignore”

Or from within the message, “Ignore” appears on the left-hand side of the “Message” ribbon bar.

If you haven’t previously selected “Don’t show this message again”, you will see a warning that the entire conversation and all future messages will be moved to “Deleted Items” … click “Ignore Conversation”

If you change your mind, all of those messages are in “Deleted Items” and you can easily move them back.

If someone changes the message subject, those messages become a new thread that you’d need to ignore again. When you’ve been erroneously included on some message, the subject rarely changes … but I usually have to block five or six different threads in reply-all blizzards.

Did you know … Microsoft Office programs can grab a screenshot for you?

You’ve encountered some odd error in an application and need to send IT support a picture. Or you’rewriting documentation. There are lots of reasons you need a picture of your computer screen. You can hit the “Print Screen” button on your keyboard (even hold Alt and hit print-screen to isolate the image to the active window). But did you know Microsoft Office programs can do that for you? On the ribbon bar, select “Insert” and locate “Screenshot”

Click on one of the “Available Windows”, and an image of the window will be inserted into your Word document, Excel spreadsheet, Outlook e-mail, or PowerPoint presentation.

Use the “Screen Clipping”selection to grab part of a window. Minimize all of your Windows. Bring up the Window of which you want an image. Now bring up the Office document into which you want the image inserted. Use Insert => Screenprint => Screen Clipping, and wait a minute. Your Office document will be minimized, your screen will get washed out, and you’ll have a cross-hair instead of a mouse pointer. Click and drag to draw a rectangle around something. When you release the mouse, whatever is in that rectangle will be pasted into your Office document.

Wait – what about those rectangles I use to highlight the image? From the ribbon bar, select “Insert”and “Shapes”. I took a University course where debugging screen shots had to have the “important bit” highlighted with a red square – that stuck with me. You’ve got an array of shapes and colours available. Pick one. Draw the shape over your image – yes, it looks like the shape covers the important part. Draw it anyway. While the shape is still selected, click “Format” in the ribbon bar. Select “Shape Fill”

Select “No Fill” (you could also use a highly transparent fill colour if you’d prefer).

Click “Shape Outline” – pick a colour, and if the line is not thick enough select “Weight” to increase the line width.

When I’m writing documentation with a lot of images, I’ll still use an image editor and ‘print screen’. There are filters that just don’t exist in the Office image editors – sometimes I want to selectively blur screen text so my work conversations are not included in documentation. Sometimes I want to create a composite image. But for small documents – showing someone the error I get on their web site, “click here, type this” – using a single application is efficient.

Did you know … you can automatically dismiss past Outlook calendar reminders?

Sometimes opening Outlook and getting reminders for, say, the meetings you missed when you were out sick yesterday is quite helpful. But frequently, reminders for old events are just an annoyance. Like when you create past-dated meetings to remind yourself of what you were doing and forgot to select ‘None’ as the reminder time. That’s not just me, right? Did you know you can automatically dismiss reminders for past calendar events? From your Outlook client, click the file tab of the Outlook ribbon bar

Select “Options”

On the new window that appear, select “Advanced”

In the “Reminders” section, you’ll see a check-box to “Automatically dismiss reminders for past calendar events” – by default, this is unchecked. If you would like to avoid reminders for old meetings, click to check it then click OK.