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These 11 Microsoft Teams Tricks will Make you Forget all about Skype for Business

Blog February 4, 2020
Microsoft Teams tricks
Joe Beutler


These 11 Microsoft Teams Tricks will Make you Forget all about Skype for Business

Microsoft Teams tricks

Do you know all the Microsoft Teams tricks and tips available to upgrade your collaboration experience? You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish when you go beyond the basics with your enterprise chat tool.

Even if you’ve been using for Teams for some time, you could be missing out on hidden capabilities that can easily boost your productivity levels.

Equipped with AI, video conferencing and instant messaging, here are some handy tricks to get the most out of Teams.

1 – Bridge location gaps with Microsoft Teams features

You work in a large company. It likely has multiple offices. Some could be in different countries. In the age of the freelance economy and remote working, it’s much easier to find the talent you need if you’re willing to search outside of your own country.

Whilst you benefit from an extended talent pool, it also means that you’ll need to make sure that conversations don’t get lost in translation between people speaking different languages.

Teams has you covered.

Inline message translation keeps everyone on the same page and communicating in their preferred language. Just click on the ellipses next to a message to translate it.

Microsoft Teams inline message translation

2 – Chat with external guests in different platforms (without leaving Teams)

Do you communicate with people outside your organization?

Do they use apps other than Microsoft Teams?

If the answer is yes to both of these questions, according to research, they’ll likely be using Slack or Cisco Webex Teams.

When this is the case, it becomes extremely unproductive moving out of Teams, into your external contact’s choice of app, and starting the conversation again.

Or even worse, end up resorting to email like it’s the 90s. (Okay, email has a purpose but you get the point).

That’s why Mio is creating external federation for Microsoft Teams with Slack or Webex Teams…

You’ll be able to stay in Teams and send messages to your contractors, suppliers, or clients that use Slack or Webex. They stay in their platform too and Mio translates the messages across platform.

And it’s not just messages that are supported! GIFs, emojis, channels, DMs, and message edits/deletes are all supported.

If this sounds like something you need, sign up to our waitlist here:

You may also like: The Ultimate Guide to External Federation in Teams

3 – Enhance Microsoft Teams video with real-time captions

You know how to translate your Microsoft Teams messages. But what if you’re in a video call and you don’t speak the other person’s language?

Using the “Translate to” menu, users broadcasting content can choose to add captions in a specific language to suit their target audience. You can select up to 6 languages at once, which is excellent for event administrators who want to reach people from various backgrounds.

You’ll also be able to download your meetings transcript after the conversation has finished. Click on Meetings then Live Event Resources to find your transcript.

Attendees can turn on live captions by clicking Subtitles On in the lower right-hand corner of their screen.

Microsoft Teams live events
Microsoft Teams live events

4 – Find Teams users instantly with @mentions

When you have questions that only a specific expert can answer, you don’t want to have to waste time searching for that individual by scrolling through hundreds of contacts.

@Mention filtration in the search bar is an excellent feature for companies with a lot of employees to cater to. All you need to do is enter the username of the person you want to reach after the @ symbol in the search bar.

@mentions in Microsoft Teams
@mentions in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams will show you the user you’re looking for, as well as any group chats you’re already part of with that person.

Want to send a message? No problem. Click on the user you find and start chatting without leaving your current project or window.

5 – Follow Teams channels to reduce information overload

Information overload is a big problem.

Not only do you have emails and phone calls to keep on top of, but you might be managing various collaboration tools, workforce optimization packages, and people too.

Following channels that matter most will help to reduce the amount of unnecessary information coming your way. To follow a channel:

  • Click on the ellipses next to a channel
  • Click on the Follow option
Follow channels in Microsoft Teams
Follow channels in Microsoft Teams

6 – Have some fun with GIFs

When it comes to finding useful tricks, a lot of companies focus heavily on solutions for productivity and efficiency.

This means that they forget how important it is to build a unique company culture through your communication tools.

GIFs and custom reactions in your messages can help to strengthen bonds between users at a time when remote working is making face-to-face interactions less likely.

All you need to do is click on the GIF button underneath your “Type a new message” box and enter a keyword to find dozens of fun video clips.

GIFs Microsoft Teams
GIFs Microsoft Teams

7 – Customize your Microsoft Teams background

Video conferencing is a great way to bring teams together, regardless of where your users might be. However, people may be reluctant to join a video meeting if their environment is messy or distracting.

The good news? Microsoft Teams changes all that.

You can blur everything behind you in a video, for absolute privacy.

To do this, simply:

  • Click on your audio and video settings screen when you join a meeting
  • Choose the ellipses “…” for more options
  • Tap on Blur my background
Microsoft Teams background blur

You can also add custom backgrounds like an office environment or company logo, rather than blurring out the background.

Not all devices support this feature yet, but Microsoft is working on it.

Microsoft Teams custom background
Microsoft Teams custom background

8 – Learn quick keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Teams

There’s nothing worse than spending twenty minutes trying to find the function you need when you’re in the middle of a meeting or working on a project. That’s why it’s always a good idea to learn the keyboard shortcuts available for collaboration apps like Microsoft Teams.

Here are a few of the basics you need to know:

  • Go to Search (move straight to the search bar): Ctrl + E
  • Turn your camera off Ctrl+Shift+O
  • Mute yourself: Ctrl+Shift+M
  • Background blur: Ctrl+Shift+P
  • Zoom: Ctrl+= to zoom in or Ctrl+- to zoom out
  • Go to your files: Ctrl+6

To get a complete list of all your keyboard shortcuts, enter /Keys into the search menu at the top of Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft Teams keyboard shortcuts
Microsoft Teams keyboard shortcuts

9 – Sync Microsoft Teams with Slack or Cisco Webex Teams

If you’re using other collaborations apps like Slack or Cisco Webex Teams, you should be asking how to use them in tandem with Microsoft Teams.

Mio translates Teams messages into content that users can view on Cisco Webex Teams and Slack – and vice versa.

With Mio you can:

  • Maintain threaded messages across platforms
  • Route direct messages between Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams, and Slack
  • Support file uploads and sharing across platforms
  • Manage rich text formatting across platforms
  • Link public spaces and channels on Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams, and Slack
Sync Microsoft Teams and Slack

10 – Get peace of mind with Data Loss Prevention

Data Loss Prevention in Microsoft Teams appeared as part of the Enterprise Connect update in 2019. DLP is available for Office 365 users with E5 licensing, and users with the Advanced Compliance add-on.

Data loss prevention features are already available in Teams through OneDrive for Business and SharePoint. However, the latest feature is particularly useful for helping to detect sensitive information in chat messages. This is excellent for people worried about things like GDPR compliance.

To get started, visit the Data Loss Prevention section of the Office 365 security and compliance center, and click on Policy. Clicking on Create a Policy will allow you to start building your DLP strategy.

Microsoft DLP
Microsoft DLP

11 – Microsoft Teams meetings with intelligent capture

Finally, one of the best Microsoft Teams tricks we’re looking forward to is coming out later this year (2019).

To celebrate Microsoft Teams 2nd birthday, Microsoft has announced a rang of new features – including intelligent capture within meetings.

Microsoft Teams 2 years
Microsoft Teams 2 years

If you’re writing content on analog whiteboards, and need to enhance brainstorming sessions, Microsoft Teams offers intelligent capture and “content cameras.”

Using USB cameras, Microsoft Teams Rooms service will be able to capture, focus, enhance, and resize your whiteboard images. This means that even if you’re standing in front of a whiteboard, Microsoft will still be able to show off whatever’s written behind you.

There you have it. Plenty of amazing Microsoft Teams tricks that you can use to transform your collaboration sessions!

Read next: Best Microsoft Teams Features: 25 Hidden Gems That We Use

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