Tag: Office 365

Microsoft Teams: Private Channels Arrive

WooHoo! When creating a channel, I have a privacy setting!!

Individuals who do not have access to the channel do not see it in their Teams listing, and posts made to a private channel cannot at-mention the Team or individuals who do not have access. I’m glad Microsoft landed on the side of privacy in their implementation here.

It would be awesome if MS would have added the ability to move channels into other Teams with this rollout so we could consolidate Teams that were set up to restrict access to content. But at least we’ll be able to consolidate general-access and restricted-access content in a single Teams space going forward.

 

Upcoming Features from Ignite 2019

  1. Private channels should be coming this week … not my tenant yet, but soon
  2. Multi-window functionality where chats, calls, and such can pop out into another window
  3. Live captioning should land later this year — this is an obvious great feature for people with reduced hearing or frequency loss, live “closed captioning” is awesome if you’re working from a noisy location too
  4. Microsoft Whiteboard moved into general availability — it’s been a preview for quite some time now
  5. “Attendee” roll will prevent people from inadvertently sharing their screen in the middle of a meeting
  6. My Staff portal that allows managers to perform password resets (and maybe unlocks) for their employees. This is something I’ve done as custom code in IDM platforms, but it’s nice to see Microsoft incorporating ideas that reduce down-time due to password challenges.
  7. I’ll be curious to see if the healthcare-specific features move into other verticals — MS rolled out a feature that allows you to designate a contact when you’re in surgery (basically redirect all of my messages to Bob because I’m busy right now) that seemed like it would be quite useful in enterprise or education uses. The “patient coordination” feature they talk about might work as a contact management tool out of the medical realm too.
  8. URLs in Teams will be protected like the links in other Office 365 programs — if you click on a link and see something about “Advanced Threat Protection” … that’d be why 🙂

Microsoft Teams: Cross-posting to multiple channels

Click on “Post in multiple channels”

To post in additional channels, click “Select chann…”

Check off the channels into which you want the post written – this can be a channel in any Teams space where you are able to post messages. Click “Update”.

When your message is posted, an indicator will appear letting everyone know it was posted in multiple channels. No, there doesn’t appear to be a way to see which channels – that’s probably a permission / information leakage nightmare (post something into the “Mass Layoffs” channel that I shouldn’t know exists … I shouldn’t be able to see that channel name). But the glif gives you some confirmation if you think you’ve seen this info elsewhere.

Note – the posts are not linked to each other. If someone replies in one channel, the post in the other channels will not include the reply. So while this is a quick way to disseminate the same information to various teams … you’re starting multiple conversations too.

Also note — there doesn’t appear to be a way to edit cross-posted messages.

Did you know … you can add a “Share to Teams” button to your web content?

If you can add script tags to the page head, you can add a “Share to Teams” button on your web site. This can be used to allow employees to share internal sites to Teams, but it can also be used on public sites to allow visitors to post links to their Teams organization.

How? There are two steps – add “<script async defer src=”https://teams.microsoft.com/share/launcher.js” ></script>” in HEAD. The post that is made to Teams is *prettier* if you have  meta properties for title, description, and image within the linked page.

Then add a div with class “teams-share-button”. The “data-href” value is the URL to be shared. If you don’t want a page preview to render, you can set “data-preview” to false.

Sample page content:

<head>
    <title>Teams Share Test</title>
    <meta property="og:title" content="Lisa Rushworth Home Page">
    <meta property="og:description" content="Lisa Rushworth's Home Page">
    <meta property="og:image" content="https://www.rushworth.us/lisa/RedR.png" />
    <script async defer src="https://teams.microsoft.com/share/launcher.js" ></script>
</head>
<body bgcolor="black" text="white">
    <div class="content">
        <P>Here is the really cool information contained on this web site. It is so interesting that you want to share it to Teams.</P>
        <P>Click the Teams button at the bottom and you'll see a form that allows you to share the URL as a thread in a Teams channel.</P>
    </div>
    <div class="teams-share-button" data-href="https://www.rushworth.us/lisa/teamstest.php" data-preview="true">
    </div>
</body>

Visitors will see a small Teams logo in the teams-share-button div. To share the URL in Teams, they just need to click on the Teams logo.

A new window will load. If the user is not logged into the Team web site, they will be prompted to log in. Once logged in, the share dialogue will be displayed. If your site has title, description, and icon meta tags, a preview card will be included at the bottom.

Click in the “Share to” field and type a Team or Channel name – Teams and Channels from the user’s organization will be displayed.

The user can add text to the thread. Click “Share” to share the link to the selected Teams channel.

A confirmation page will be displayed.

In Teams, a new thread will be created. This is the thread for my shared URL.

The URL used in the teams-share-button DIV doesn’t have to match the page on which it is used — I can add a ‘share to Teams’ button that posts any URL to Teams.

Did you know … you can customize Teams channel notifications?

Microsoft has created additional notification options in Microsoft Teams – and you can now customize those settings for individual channels to ensure you’re getting notifications when and were you want to see them.

To access your general notification settings, click on your avatar in the upper right-hand corner of the Teams window. Select “Settings”.

Click on “Notifications”. You will be presented with a long list of activities and can select the type of notification you wish to receive for each activity. Notice “Show only in feed” is now an option – this means new activity will appear in the “Activity” section of Teams but not display the big purple notification box (a.k.a. “the banner”) in the lower right-hand corner of your screen.

You can also customize notifications for individual channels – maybe you want a banner notification for a really important channel, or you don’t want to be notified about every reply to a message. Click the ellipsis next to the channel name and select “Channel notifications”

Here you can customize the notification you will receive for channel posts and at-mentions (you’ll still get notified about Team or individual at-mentions). You can also un-check the “Include all replies” box to get notified about new threads.

All of the channels that you followed previously will use your Teams-wide notification settings. Channels that you weren’t following will have notifications off. Newly created channels will have new post notifications turned off and channel mentions set to “Only show in feed”.

** If you still see “Follow” and not “Channel Notifications”, click on your avatar in the upper right-hand corner of the Teams app and select “Check for updates”. Once the updates have been applied, click the tip to “refresh” Teams.

 

Do you know … where you saved that Office 365 document?

Being able to save documents directly to Teams, to sync documents and work on them locally, and to just store documents locally provides a lot of options when you’re saving a document. For me, though, a lot of options also means I’m not always sure which option I chose 😊 In which Teams space is this document saved? Did I stash it locally because I’m not ready for other people to peruse it?

Luckily where the document is saved can quickly be displayed in the Office 365 applications. Click “File” on the ribbon bar.

The “Info” section contains the path to the document – a document that is stored in a SharePoint document library (be that a Teams Channel file space or some other SharePoint document library) will include the SharePoint site name (the Team name in the case of Teams Channel files). Clicking “Open file location” will open a browser tab to the SharePoint document library which contains the file.

A document on a local or network drive will have a path starting with the drive letter. Clicking “Open file location” will open a File Explorer window to the folder containing the document.

And a document that hasn’t been saved won’t have any file information listed.

 

Did you know … Microsoft Teams Chat can help you find messages others post into Teams spaces?

I am a member of multiple Teams, and I can remember that Keith posted something about creating a Q&A a few days ago … but I don’t remember where he posted that message. I cannot reply to it until I find it. Search can help — chat conversations are searchable. But did he type QnA, Q&A, Q and A … 

Instead of clicking through all of the channels in all of my Teams spaces trying to find a single post or working my way through the various ways of phrasing “questions and answers”, I can look at my chat with Keith. Click the “Activity” tab. Now I am looking at things Keith has posted to our shared Teams spaces in the past two weeks.

The Team and channel into which the activity was posted is included before each message. An icon indicates if the activity is a reply to an existing thread or a message starting a new thread.

You can click on any entry in the activity log.

Your Teams client will show you the message in its context – you are in the correct Team and Channel, and the message is briefly highlighted. This makes replying to the message we found in the activity feed quite quick.

What if you’ve never chatted with the person? Start a new chat and type in their name. You don’t have to send a message to them (although I could totally see myself writing “ignore this message – I just needed to get you listed in my recent conversations”), just click away and there will be a draft chat with them. Click on that draft chat, and you’ll have an “Activity” tab.

Did you know … Excel performs logical tests?

I have been writing a lot of “did you know” articles as part of our Microsoft Teams reintroduction, and I have an Excel file that lists topics for which we want articles. To avoid posting the same article twice (or worse, writing the same article twice!), I mark off when the article is written and posted. With a long list, though, it is difficult to identify which articles still need to be posted (yeah, I know I’m not apt to have posted an article that hasn’t been written so I could have just used a filter on the ‘Posted’ column … but there are plenty of cases where a simple filter does not suffice). Sometime you can build an advanced filter that isolates the specific data you need, but there’s an easier way — the Excel IF function.

In my spreadsheet, I added a column, named “Status”. The “IF” function displays different text when the test evaluates to TRUE and FALSE: if(B2=”x”,”Written”,”Not written”) displays “Written” in all of the rows where column B has an x, and “Not written” in the remaining columns.

In conjunction with IF, I can use the Boolean AND function to display “Finished” in any row where both columns B and C contain an X:      =IF(AND(B2=”x”,C2=”x”),”Finished”,”In Progress”)

The content of the Status cells can be used as a filter. On the “Data” tab, select “Filter”.

Click the drop-down menu on the “Status” column, deselect whatever values you do not wish to display, then click “OK”.

Voila! Now I see only the articles where the status is not “Finished”.

Did you know … A OneNote notebook and Planner board are automatically created for each Microsoft Team space?

They are! But to make them reallyuseful, add them as tabs to one of your channels. Pick the channel where you want the OneNote and/or Planner tabs to appear. In that Channel, click the “Add a tab” button. 

OneNote is straight-forward – select OneNote 

And then select the notebook with your new team’s name. Click “Save” and the notebook will be available as a tab on the channel.  

Planner is a little trickier – the automatically created Planner board does not show up until it is used (you’ll be asked to create a new Planner board if you try adding a Planner board before the automatically created one has been used). But how do you use the one that’s already there instead of making a new one? Open Planner from https://portal.office.com and select “All plans”. Find the Planner board with your new team name. Click on it to open it.

And then close it 🙂 Now you can add the Planner board to your Teams space. Click on the “Add a tab” button within your channel.   

Select “Planner” 

Click the radio button before “Use an existing plan”, then click the inverted caret, and the automatically created Planner board is a valid selection.  

  Click “Save” and the Planner board will be available as a tab in your channel.