Over the previous yr or so, Microsoft has added a number of recent capabilities to Teams, its chat and videoconferencing hub, targeted on enhancing video conferences with co-workers and different colleagues. Here’s a rundown of the important thing new options to know and methods to use them.Note that this information refers back to the Microsoft Teams desktop app for Windows and macOS included with Microsoft 365/Office 365 enterprise and training subscriptions. Some of those options aren’t provided within the net or cellular apps or in client variations of Teams, together with the free model.1. Breakout roomsBreakout rooms are mainly mini-meeting rooms which might be related to a bigger assembly. Each breakout room has many of the ordinary assembly options together with participant audio and video feeds, a chat pane, and screen-sharing capabilities.If you might have a small group that should communicate and current in a gathering, they might profit from prepping and conferring with one another in a separate breakout room whereas the principle assembly is going down. In one other situation, you may put all assembly contributors into breakout rooms to facilitate small-group discussions earlier than bringing everyone again to the principle assembly. Microsoft
Breakout rooms allow small-group discussions aside from a bigger Teams assembly. (Click picture to enlarge it.)
To arrange breakout rooms, you should be a gathering organizer or a presenter with breakout room supervisor privileges. During a gathering, you’ll be able to entry this function by clicking the Breakout rooms icon (a smaller sq. on prime of a bigger sq.) on the higher proper of the assembly window. This will open a panel the place you’ll be able to create a number of breakout rooms and both manually assign individuals within the assembly to them or have the assignments made robotically.Alternatively, you’ll be able to arrange breakout rooms earlier than a gathering by opening the assembly invite in Teams and deciding on Breakout rooms > Create rooms.Breakout room managers also can rename breakout rooms, set cut-off dates for breakout classes, enter and depart numerous breakout rooms, ship bulletins to breakout rooms, and extra. For particulars, see Microsoft’s assist web page on organising and managing breakout rooms.2. Improved whiteboardTeams has lengthy built-in with Microsoft’s Whiteboard app in order that assembly contributors can collaborate on a shared digital whiteboard in actual time. Team members can add textual content, pictures, diagrams, notes, sketches, and extra to a board. The lately revamped model of this app provides a number of enhancements together with greater than 40 new templates, the flexibility to insert pictures and paperwork, response icons, and quite a few inking instrument enhancements. Microsoft
The Microsoft Whiteboard has an overhauled interface and new capabilities. (Click picture to enlarge it.)
To launch the Whiteboard app whereas in a gathering: At the higher proper of the assembly window, click on the Share content material (up arrow) icon. On the panel that opens, click on Microsoft Whiteboard.Outside of a gathering, you’ll be able to add the Whiteboard app to any of your Teams channels. (It may be helpful to work on a whiteboard earlier than or after a gathering.) Open the channel and click on the + icon on the prime of the channel. On the “Add a tab” pane that opens, click on the Whiteboard icon. Another pane will open the place you sort in a reputation for the whiteboard. Click the Save button on the decrease proper, and your new whiteboard might be added to this channel.You also can add a whiteboard to a chat. Open the chat. Whiteboard could already be listed as a tab alongside the highest of the chat window. (Or you could have to click on More to open a small menu that lists Whiteboard on it.) If Whiteboard is listed as a tab, click on it to launch the Whiteboard app within the chat. If it isn’t listed wherever alongside the highest of your chat, then click on the + icon and comply with the identical steps above for including a whiteboard to a channel.3. Live transcriptionTeams has lengthy provided textual content transcripts of recorded conferences after the conferences are over. Another helpful longtime function is AI-driven textual content captioning that reveals what assembly contributors are saying in actual time. A more recent reside transcription functionality combines these two options, providing a Transcript sidebar that reveals every little thing that’s been stated in a gathering, full with speaker attribution. Microsoft
A reside assembly transcript may also help contributors sustain with every little thing that’s been stated in a gathering. (Click picture to enlarge it.)
Live transcriptions may also help those that can’t hear properly or who aren’t fully fluent within the language being spoken within the assembly. And anybody who arrives late to a gathering or is momentarily distracted can rapidly catch up by scrolling again by the Transcript sidebar. The full transcript is out there after the assembly is over for invitees who missed the assembly or contributors who need to evaluation what was stated.To begin reside transcription in a gathering, click on the three-dot More actions icon on the higher proper of the assembly window, and from the menu that opens, click on Start transcription. Meeting contributors will see a notification saying that the assembly is being transcribed.Alternatively, if you happen to document a gathering (click on the More actions icon and choose Start recording), reside transcription is robotically turned on on the identical time. Meeting contributors will see a notification saying that the assembly is being recorded and transcribed.Teams at the moment helps reside transcription in 28 languages. If everybody within the assembly is talking a language aside from English, you’ll be able to change the transcribed textual content to the one which they’re talking. Click the three-dot icon on the prime of the Transcript sidebar, choose Change spoken language, choose a special language, and click on Confirm.After the assembly, the transcript might be out there for obtain within the assembly occasion on the calendar.Live transcription should be allowed by your Teams admin. For extra particulars, see Microsoft’s assist web page on reside transcriptions in Teams.4. Spotlighting individualsMeeting organizers and presenters can “spotlight” sure assembly contributors — as an illustration, at an all-company assembly the place a number of leaders are incessantly known as on. When you highlight somebody, their video feed is displayed prominently within the assembly window for all contributors, mainly pinning it in a outstanding place onscreen. Up to seven individuals may be spotlighted at a time. Microsoft
You can highlight sure contributors for everybody within the assembly. (Click picture to enlarge it.)
To highlight somebody, right-click on the particular person’s video (or your personal) and choose Spotlight from the menu that opens. (If the video of not less than one different particular person has already been spotlighted, this selection will say Add highlight.)Alternatively, you’ll be able to choose the Show contributors icon (with two individuals on it) on the prime of the display to see a listing of each particular person within the assembly. Right-click on an individual’s title and choose Spotlight from the menu that opens.To take away an individual from a highlight, right-click on their video and choose Stop spotlighting from the menu that opens. You can cease spotlighting everybody within the Show contributors listing.Note that the Spotlight function is not out there in case your view of everybody’s video feeds is ready to “Large gallery” or “Together” mode. Also, in case your assembly is being recorded, an individual’s spotlighted video will not seem as spotlighted within the last recording.5. PowerPoint grid view and extraThere’s an improved method to current a PowerPoint doc in a gathering, the place you’ll be able to present particular slides and never need to flip by all of them. At the higher proper of the assembly window, click on the Share content material (up arrow) icon. On the panel that opens, scroll to the “PowerPoint Live” part and click on Browse OneDrive or Browse my pc, whichever has the PowerPoint doc that you simply need to current.After the PowerPoint doc is loaded, you’ll see the slide that’s being offered to assembly contributors in the principle space of your display, with a strip of thumbnails for different slides alongside the underside of the window. You can click on any thumbnail to go on to that slide.Below the slide that’s being offered, there’s a Grid view icon (with a number of squares). Click this icon or press the “G” key, and the slide thumbnails might be organized in a grid. You can click on one among these thumbnails to current it for individuals within the assembly to see.Meeting contributors watching a PowerPoint Live presentation in Teams have a Grid view icon as properly; they’ll use it to leap to any slide within the deck after which click on the Sync to Presenter icon to return to the slide being offered.For extra particulars on grid view and PowerPoint Live, see Microsoft’s assist web page on sharing PowerPoint slides in a Teams assembly.Also new is the flexibility to cease presenting a PowerPoint deck after which choose up the place you left off later in the identical assembly — useful for while you need to break up an extended presentation with a special presenter or exercise.6. Presenter modeThis function brings collectively your video feed and the doc or picture you’re presenting to others within the assembly to see in one among 3 ways:Standout removes the background behind you and replaces it with the content material you’re presenting.
Reporter locations the content material above your proper shoulder in a structure like what you see on the TV information when an anchorperson is onscreen.
Side-by-side is solely your video feed and the content material you’re presenting set subsequent to at least one one other.
Presenter mode combines your video feed with the content material you’re presenting.
At the higher proper of the assembly window, click on the Share content material (up arrow) icon. Under the “Presenter mode” heading on the prime of the panel that opens, click on the icon in your most popular presenter mode.To begin your presentation, select an merchandise below both “Screen” or “Window” within the panel. (Presenter mode doesn’t at the moment work with PowerPoint displays, although Microsoft says that functionality is coming sooner or later.)For extra particulars, see Microsoft’s assist web page on utilizing presenter modes.7. Content from digicamThis function enhances the picture of an object in your room, akin to a whiteboard, e book, or paper doc, so that folks in your assembly can see it extra clearly. It additionally features a particular impact to make you seem barely clear when your physique, arm, or hand is in entrance of the whiteboard or different object or over the doc.Microsoft
Use the “Content from camera” function to sharpen whiteboards or different written materials.
At the higher proper of the assembly window, click on the Share content material (up arrow) icon. On the panel that opens, click on Content from digicam and select Whiteboard, Document, or Video. (Video is for displaying product demos or different reside motion.) In a preview window, you’ll be instructed to level your gadget’s digicam or a related exterior digicam on the whiteboard or doc. When your whiteboard or doc comes into focus, this function will improve the legibility of the phrases and pictures on it. You can then click on the Share button to current it to individuals in your assembly.For extra particulars, see Microsoft’s assist web page on sharing whiteboards and paperwork by way of your digicam.8. Call high quality monitorIf the audio or video of your assembly is spotty or missing, you’ll be able to test on what stands out as the trigger. At the highest of your name window, click on the three-dot More actions icon. From the menu that opens, click on Call well being. A sidebar will seem alongside the fitting displaying the technical statuses of your community, audio, video, and display sharing. For particulars on methods to learn the decision well being stats, see Microsoft’s assist web page on monitoring name and assembly high quality in Teams.9. Keyboard shortcuts for digital hand elevatingTeams’ “raise hand” function lets assembly contributors sign to the host that they’ve a query or remark with out interrupting the speaker. In 2021, Microsoft added a keyboard shortcut to make this faster.To increase or decrease your hand and see who else has theirs raised, press Ctrl-Shift-Ok on Windows or ⌘-Shift-Ok on macOS. To have your display reader learn aloud a listing of others who’re elevating their hand, click on Ctrl-Shift-L on Windows or ⌘-Shift-L on macOS. (See extra Microsoft Teams keyboard shortcuts.)10. Meeting recapsAfter a gathering ends, you’ll find a abstract of it within the chat group that’s robotically created for the assembly. In the left sidebar of the Teams app, click on the Chat icon. In the second column, search for the title of the completed assembly and click on it.The recap window contains the chat textual content, notes taken, and recordsdata shared through the assembly, in addition to a video recording and transcription in the event that they had been created. If you are the organizer of the assembly, an attendance report may even be included; it may be downloaded as a .csv file. Microsoft
Teams assembly recaps embody assembly notes, recordings, transcripts, recordsdata shared, and extra after a gathering. (Click picture to enlarge it.)
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