Microsoft Teams Chat: Tips and Tricks

We all love a good life hack, especially when it can make our time at work a little easier. As tech experts, the Propelle team loves sharing our favourite tips and tricks for getting the most out of different platforms – and today we’re deep diving into Microsoft Teams, one of the most popular corporate messaging apps! 

Part of the Office 365 suite, Microsoft Teams has become the go-to platform for communication and collaboration in many busy offices. But by not utilising all of the handy chat features and productivity tools, you’re not experiencing its full potential! 

That’s why we’re here to make sure you’ve discovered more than where to put your email address, or how to use the search bar. So let’s get into it!

A pair of male hands hold a smartphone aloft, a window in the background. On the screen is the log in screen of Microsoft Teams.

Keyboard Shortcuts: Making Short Work of Teams

Let’s start with something cool—keyboard shortcuts! These little gems can save Teams users loads of time with common tasks and make navigating through channels in Teams a breeze. So put on your shortcut hat and check out these nifty combinations: 

  • Ctrl + N: Start a new chat like a chat wizard. 
  • Ctrl + G: Jump to a Team 
  • Ctrl + 1: Zap into the Activity feed with lightning speed. 
  • Ctrl + 2: Dive into the Chat section like a pro
  • Ctrl + 3: Warp to the Teams section in a jiffy. 
  • Ctrl + 4: Time travel to the Calendar for all your scheduling needs. 
  • Ctrl + 5: Connect instantly to the Calls section and dial up the fun.

With these shortcuts up your sleeve, you’ll be navigating Teams like a true chat superhero! 

Notifications: Customise for Your Peace of Mind

We know how important it is to stay focused and avoid unnecessary distractions. That’s why Microsoft Teams lets you customise your notifications to match your preferences. Here’s how you can take control: 

  • Click the three dots beside your profile picture at the top right corner of Teams. 
  • Select Settings. 
  • Navigate to the Notifications tab and embrace the power.
  • Choose the notification settings that make your heart sing, whether it’s banner notifications, sounds, or even email notifications. 

Customise away, and find your zen in the busy office of Teams! 

Mentions and Tags: Grabbing Attention, Smooth and Simple

In the bustling realm of chat, sometimes you need to shout ‘Hey, you!’ to make sure your messages in Teams are heard. Well, good news! Microsoft Teams has got your back with mentions and tags. Here’s how you can summon the attention you deserve: 

  • To mention someone in a chat, simply type the ‘@’ symbol followed by their name. Watch the magic happen!
  • Need to tag an entire team or channel? Easy peasy! Use the ‘@’ symbol followed by the team or channel name. Your message will reach them all, like a chat superhero calling the team owners to action. 

With mentions and tags, you’ll never be lost in the chat abyss again!

Express Yourself in Style

A screenshot of a sent teams message that reads 'Let's make things bold!'. The word 'bold' is bold formatted.

Sometimes words need a little extra flair, and that’s where formatting comes in. This Microsoft Teams tip lets you jazz up your messages to make them stand out. Here are some formatting features you can play with: 

  • Bold: Make your text bold with CTRL+B or by surrounding it with double asterisks (*EXAMPLE*). It’s like giving your words a stylish power-up.
  • Italics: Want to add emphasis? Hit CTRL+I to give your text a suave slant.

You can also get creative and let your messages shine with formatting magic! (Secret tip: play with background effects in Teams meetings and private video calls! You can blur out your surroundings, set a neutral backdrop, or pick a fun location!) 

Collaborating on Files: Work Together, Seamlessly

Why juggle between different applications when you can collaborate on files right within Teams? Microsoft Teams lets you work together with your teammates in private channels on files, making file sharing and collaboration a piece of cake. Here’s how you can join forces: 

  • Click on the paperclip icon in the chat message box to attach a file. 
  • Select your desired file from your local storage or integrated applications like OneDrive or SharePoint. 
  • Once the file is uploaded, the magic happens—you can view and edit it within the chat interface. 
  • Your teammates can jump in, make edits, leave comments, and track changes, all in real-time.

No more file frenzy—just seamless file sharing and collaboration! 

A screenshot of the dialogue bar in Teams, with the icons below. The paperclip has been highlighted yellow.

More Microsoft Teams Chat Tools

Hold on tight because we’re not done yet with our Microsoft Teams tips! Here are a few more tips and tricks to take your Teams chat experience to the next level: 

  • Slash commands: Unlock superpowers with / commands! For example, try ‘/goto’ followed by a team or channel name to teleport there instantly. 
  • Message importance: Make your message stand out by marking it as important. Just click on the exclamation mark icon in the chat message box, and voila!
  • GIFs and stickers: Add some pizzazz to your chats with GIFs and stickers. Click on the GIF icon in the chat message box and let the fun begin! 
  • Poll power: Need to gather opinions? Create polls within a chat by clicking on the ‘+’ icon and selecting ‘Forms.’ It’s decision-making made easy. 
  • Scheduling made simple: Click on the calendar icon in the chat message box to schedule meetings with meeting participants. No need to leave the chat interface—it’s seamless and convenient. 
  • Immersive Reader: got a lot of messages to get through, why not have Teams read them out to you. Click on the … next to a message and select Immersive Reader. Teams will read you the message and remove distractions from the screen.

With these additional chat tools up your sleeve, you’ll be the champion of your project team! 

Discover more tips and tricks for Microsoft Teams with Propelle

And there you have it—our collection of Microsoft Teams chat tips and tricks! We hope these little nuggets of wisdom will make your Teams experience even more enjoyable and productive. Remember to have fun, experiment, and explore all the amazing features in Teams, including accessibility features, message threads, and productive. And if you can’t find what you are looking for, there are always Teams Apps to help you. These third-party tools build on the out of the box functionality and allow you to do more. 

Want a guided tour through Teams? Skip the training videos and come straight to an expert. Propelle’s inhouse Microsoft consultants have a comprehensive knowledge base for all things Teams, and can help your workforce get the most from their Teams meetings and other in-app conversations (without having to rely on the search box to get all their answers). 

How can I search for specific messages within a chat?

Searching for messages is a breeze in Teams! Simply use the search bar located at the top of the Teams interface. Type in the keywords or phrases you're looking for, and Teams will display the relevant messages in the search results. Easy peasy!

Can I edit or delete messages in Microsoft Teams chat?

Absolutely! You have the power to edit or delete messages in Microsoft Teams chat. Just hover over the message you want to modify, click on the ellipsis icon that appears, and unleash your editing or deleting prowess. It's like having a magical undo button!

How can I schedule a recurring meeting in Microsoft Teams?

Recurring team meetings are a breeze in Teams! Follow these steps: 1. Click on the calendar icon in the left-hand sidebar. 2. Click on the '+ New meeting' button. 3. Enter all the meeting details, including the date, time, duration, and participants. 4. Toggle the 'Recurring' option to enable it. 5. Choose the recurrence pattern (daily, weekly, monthly) and set the frequency to your liking. 6. Click on the 'Save' button, and voila! Your recurring meeting is all set.

Can I use Microsoft Teams chat on my mobile device?

Absolutely! Microsoft Teams has got you covered on the go. You can download the Teams mobile application for iOS and Android devices from the respective app stores. Stay connected, chat, and collaborate in Office 365, no matter where you are!

How can I create a private chat in Microsoft Teams?

Privacy is important, and Microsoft Teams understands that. To create a private chat, follow these steps: 1. Click on the 'Chat' icon in the left-hand sidebar. 2. Click on the 'New chat' button. 3. Enter the name or email address of the person you want to have a private chat with. 4. Once their name appears, click on it to start the private chat. 5. Chat away, privately and securely!