Image of lesser-known features of Microsoft Teams.

Using Lesser-Known but Useful Features of Microsoft Teams

Josh Logozar
October 16, 2020

Teams has numerous amazing features that we can access. Here are a few of the lesser known but convenient features that you may find use for.

Logo of Microsoft Teams
+
Logo of SharePoint
Logo of Microsoft 365
Logo of OneDrive for Business

Drive Your SharePoint from Vision to Launch

We take a deep dive into your organization to assess, plan, and execute the optimal SharePoint solution to serve your current and future needs.
Learn More

Microsoft 365 and Teams have so many features that it would take someone that specializes in Teams to know and understand all of them. Let’s look into a few of the lesser-known features that exist to make your workday more efficient.

Working on your documents within Teams

It’s a well-advertised, yet seldomly used feature. Editing documents directly in Teams is quick, easy, and allows for in-the-moment collaboration. There are a few ways to access the files that you have sent. The first, and quickest way, is using the file tab on your navigation bar. The files you will see in here are your recently shared, opened and the files located in your One Drive.

Screenshot of the Files Tab in Microsoft Teams.

The next way is finding the file within the conversation. Each chat has a Files tab on the top of the chat, which are files that are also stored in One Drive. Click on that, and you will find any files that were shared with that person directly.

Screenshot of the Files Tab within conversations in Microsoft Teams.

Once you have located the file that you were looking for, just click on the ... beside the file. You will be given the option of opening it in Teams, in a browser, or the desktop application.

Screenshot of the menu to Edit a document in Microsoft Teams.

Immersive Reader

Immersive Reader may be something that you have heard about from other Microsoft 365 products, but did you know that it can be used in Teams as well? It can be used for accessibility, as a tool used to help learn a piece of information that has been delivered to you, or even just as an aid in helping understand something. When you have found the message that you would like to hear, click on the ... and select Immersive Reader. You can then just select the play button at the bottom of the pop-up, and hear the message sent.

Screenshot of the Immersive Reader feature in Microsoft Teams.

Saving Messages

If you need a message saved for later, whether it be for an email, or an import tidbit of information that you want to keep to yourself to refer to later. Simply find the message that you would like to save, click on the ... and then save the message. It will save to a chat to your saved which is located in your profile menu.

Screenshot of saved messages option in Microsoft Teams.

Commands

While the search bar is widely used to find people or files, some users may be unaware of the quick actions functionality using commands. We have touched base on this in the past, but let's take another look. You can start by putting in / and then it will bring up a list of actions that you can perform. Let us look at a few of the options:

Screenshot of some command bar functions in Microsoft Teams.

Now, it is quite the list, and you will not use most of these, but let us look at a few more of the more used functions:

  • /available, /away, /brb, /busy - These are all setting your status.
  • /testcall - If you got yourself some new equipment and want to make sure it is all working before your next big meeting, use this function. It will connect a call with Teams Echo, allow you to record a quick message that it will playback so you can sample the quality of your microphone. At the end of the call, it will identify what it has detected.
Screenshot of a test call result in Microsoft Teams.
  • /whatsnew -This will take you to the what's new section of your Help section. This will allow you to review what is new to Microsoft Teams. This is one that should be checked regularly to keep up with what is happening in Teams, and what other cool features Microsoft has rolled out.

I hope that we were able to get you a few features that you might want to use soon. There are also a few more less known functions that we have touched on in the past. Take a look at How to e-mail a channel in Microsoft Teams, and How to manage your noise in Microsoft Teams. If you have any other questions about SharePoint or Teams, reach out to us at Blueshift and we will happily discuss how we can help.

Looks like you're using an older browser, so our website may not perform at it's best! We recommend you switch to Chrome the best experience!