Month: August 2021

Office 365 Champions – Join the crew!

Here at Imperial we have a group of Office 365 champions.  We encourage all who are interested in sharing their knowledge and helping others to become a champion.


We don’t set hard and fast qualification criteria, nor do we limit the numbers – we want you to come and join, share what you do with Office 365 and how you use the tools in your area.


We have champions who are gurus in Power Apps, Forms, Power Automate, Teams, SharePoint and the common Office apps.


What’s in it for you?


A chance to join a group of likeminded staff (and students) who are happy to share what they are doing and how they use the tools to make life simpler, easier or more productive.


A pin badge – we have some specially made Office 365 Champions pin badges which we will distribute to our champions – you can add it to your work lanyard so that your colleagues know you’re one of our champions – that might mean you get asked some questions that you don’t know the answer to, but as a group we can solve most things!




Meet-ups (currently virtual, but we hope to have some “in person” sessions in the future) where you can hear about what others have been doing or even have a go at telling us what you have been doing.  If nothing else it’s a great place to practise those presentation skills in a friendly environment.


What’s your commitment?


Being a champion – being the mouthpiece for collaboration tools and telling people about the new features and ways in which they can use Office 365 to collaborate.


Being a first contact – your colleagues may come and ask you first about Office 365 features – it’s OK you really don’t have to know everything.  We are a growing community of interested people who help each other out.  You might know about Teams or Word in huge detail, while others will know about forms or bookings.  We have a team where you can find others who can help if you have questions that are outside your comfort zone.


Join Us.


Complete the form to sign up and join the other Office 365 champions around College.


Webinars in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft have recently launched the long awaited webinar functionality.

This allows users with the appropriate access to create meetings with a registration page, record the details of those registering to attend and to then see who has attended the session after it finishes.  You can brand the webinar registration page with a suitable banner image and add speaker names and biographies.


ICT have set the feature to off for all users as this is a specialist function and we want to ensure that anyone using the functionality has been appropriately trained.


To join a 1hr training session during August or September book a space by clicking here.


Once you have undertaken the training you can register to have the Webinar functionality added to your account by completing this form.


Microsoft Teams meetings allow for up to 1,000 active participants and up to 10,000 attendees in total using the webinar functionality.

Word – Track Changes

Have you ever shared a Word document and wondered which elements people are changing or adding?


When you share a document via your One Drive for Business or SharePoint you enable people to work on the original document without having to co-ordinate multiple edits at a later date (no more copying and pasting), but how do you know what has changed?


You may have come across track changes in the full version of Word – it has been available for a very long time, but it’s also come to Mac OS versions of Word and most recently to the Web and iOS versions of Word.


This means you can now see all those edits (and who made each one) and choose which ones to accept and which to reject.


There’s more information on Track Changes in Word within this Microsoft Support Page – just pick the right version of Word to see how to use Track Changes within that version.

Teams Meetings – Presentation Modes

Two new modes for presenting content and video into a Microsoft Teams meeting will be introduced during late August and early September.

What is available?

  1. Side by side mode – allows the video of the presenter alongside the content being delivered – similar to the effect that has been available in a live event.
  2. Reporter mode – superimposes the content over the shoulder of the presenter’s video in a similar fashion to that of a newsreader in a broadcast.

Meeting presenters:

  • Can customize the background image before starting the presentation
  • Can easily enable or disable the video feed during the presentation from the sharing bar



These new presentation features are rolling out now and will be available to users by mid September ’21 at the latest.

Microsoft Whiteboard Enhancements – September and October 2021

During September ’21, Microsoft will be releasing a number of enhancements for the Whiteboard product.  Ultimately the goal is to provide a unified experience across all versions whether on Surface Hubs, Windows 10, Android, Teams Web or iOS.


Some features have already started to roll out for the web and Teams versions of Whiteboard with more coming during September.  The native clients (Windows 10, Surface Hub, Android and iOS) will roll out during late September and October ’21 and will be completed by the end of October ’21.


The following features are already available in the Web and Teams versions


  • Sticky note colours: 10 colourful sticky note shades to choose from.
  • Note grids – insert a grid of sticky notes in one of 12 available colours to help in workshops and ideation sessions.
  • View objects created in native apps – Objects such as lists & templates inserted on native apps can be viewed on web and Teams as well.
  • Ink pen colours: 15 new ink pen colour options with a range of thicknesses to help visualize your content and bring your text to life.
  • Highlighter colours: – 15 new highlighter colour options enable users to emphasize content on the board.
  • Ink shape recognition: – draw shapes with ink and then watch them straighten automatically.
  • Improved mouse inking: – create smoother ink lines, making your strokes easier and cleaner when drawing with a mouse or trackpad.
  • Read only mode for education accounts: – as a meeting facilitator or an educator, determine when and how students participate and collaborate by enabling or disabling their editing capabilities.

Further updates coming soon include

Modern look and feel:

  • Streamlined user experience: an unobtrusive app UI maximizes your canvas space.
  • Creation gallery: a highly discoverable, simple way of finding and using objects and features in the application.

Collaboration features:

  • Collaboration roster: see who is on the board and collaborating with you.
  • Collaborative cursors: see where other people are on the canvas and what they are editing.
  • Laser pointer: get other people’s attention as you share your best ideas.
  • Improved performance: quickly open boards, pan and zoom, create content, and collaborate in real time with numerous editors at once during large working sessions.

Interactive content features:

  • More than 30 customizable templates: get started quickly and collaborate, brainstorm, and ideate with brand new templates.
  • Stickers: provide lightweight, contextual feedback with a set of fun stickers.
  • Images: add images from your local drive to the canvas and annotate them to build visual interest on your boards.

Facilitation features:

  • Copy/paste: copy and paste content and text within the same whiteboard.
  • Object alignment: use alignment lines and object snapping to precisely organize content spatially.
  • Format background: personalize your whiteboard by changing the background colour and pattern .

Inking features:

  • Ink arrows: smoothly draw single and double-sided arrows using ink to better facilitate diagramming.
  • Ink effect pens: express yourself in a creative way using rainbow and galaxy ink.


Features coming to Native Applications

  • Ruler: for straight lines, users can now insert lines from the shapes menu or hold down shift when inking.
  • Erase entire ink strokes: for faster erasing, users can now erase the entire ink stroke instead of a portion of it.
  • Lock image: the ability to lock images and other canvas content will be available shortly after the update.
  • Insert document: the ability to insert documents from local storage along with OneDrive and SharePoint will be available shortly after update.
  • Like/unlike sticky notes: users can use stickers instead as a workaround for lightweight voting and liking. We will be releasing more enhanced voting capabilities in a future update.
  • Sorting: the ability to organize and sort lists and note grids are being rebuilt and will be included in a future update.
  • Export template to CSV and email summary: these features are being rebuilt and will be included in a future update, including different ways to export content from the board.
  • Ink grab, Ink to table and Ink to text: these features are being rebuilt and will be included in a future update.
  • Accessibility checker and alt text: these features are being rebuilt and will be included in a future update.
  • Bing image search: users can download and insert images onto the canvas with the insert image feature.
  • Easy share on Surface Hub: this feature is being rebuilt and will be included in a future update.


You can find out more about Whiteboard and the features available by clicking here.

Internet Explorer 11 – No Longer Supported

As of 17th August 2021, Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported as a valid browser for accessing Microsoft 365 apps.


If you are still running Windows 7 and Internet Explorer you should, in the first instance, contact the ICT Service Desk to enquire about an upgrade to Windows 10.  ICT can advise appropriately on use of Windows 7 as an operating system where there is an operationally insurmountable reason for continuing to run Windows 7.


Unless there is an absolute reason for running Windows 7 (lab equipment / microscope / imaging applications that cannot be upgraded), all systems should be upgraded to Windows 10.


If you need to access Microsoft 365 applications from a machine where you were using Internet Explorer 11, please install the latest version of Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge and use those instead.


Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms Managers

During September Breakout Rooms Managers will become available as a feature in Microsoft Teams.


Meeting Organisers can assign the role of Breakout Rooms Manager to one or more presenters in a meeting, either before or during the meeting.  Only ONE person with the correct rights can manage breakout rooms at any one time.  If Person A organises the meeting and assigns Presenter B and Presenter C with the Breakout Rooms Manager role then either Person A (the organiser), Presenter B or Presenter C can take control and run the breakout rooms.

This feature will ONLY work in Desktop versions of Microsoft Teams.


What will the experience look like?

Organizers who will configure and manage Breakout Rooms on a Teams desktop client will have access to appoint Presenters as Breakout Room managers. Currently, only users who are named presenters from the same tenant are supported to become Breakout rooms managers.

When Breakout rooms managers join the meeting, they will see the Breakout rooms icon in toolbar.

Breakout rooms managers will have to take control to manage rooms. (Only one manager can manage rooms at the same time).

Once in control, Breakout rooms managers can perform operations to manage Breakout rooms, such as:

  • assign users to rooms
  • add/delete rooms
  • open/close rooms
  • re-assign users to rooms
  • send announcements
  • recreate rooms
  • set timer
  • adjust other Breakout rooms settings


When rooms are started, all Breakout room managers (also those not in control) can join opened Breakout Rooms by clicking on the … menu next to each room and selecting Join room.



This functionality will roll out during the second half of September 2021 and will be available by the end of September at the latest.


Enhancements to Microsoft Teams Breakout Rooms

During September 2021, Microsoft will add some much anticipated enhancements to the Breakout Rooms functionality in Microsoft Teams.

Once live, organisers will be able to configure Breakout Rooms ahead of the actual meeting using an additional tab within the meeting.  From this tab it will be possible to create and rename rooms and organise participants in advance of the meeting.   The full set of features to be enabled are as follows:


  • Bulk creating / deleting rooms
  • Adding / deleting / renaming individual rooms
  • Configuring meeting options for each room
  • Adjusting settings for breakout rooms session (timer, selecting breakout rooms managers and more)
  • Pre-assigning participants via both manual and automatic assignment options


The “Breakout Room Manager” is a new role which the organiser will be able to assign.  This user will then be able to run breakout rooms even if the organiser of the meeting is not present.  The Breakout Room Manager will also be able to control and update breakout rooms, start and stop them and set features such as the room timer, and room meeting options.


The new features are expected to be live by the end of September but may be available earlier in the month depending on delivery to the Imperial Office 365 tenant.

NOTE this functionality will only be available in the Teams Desktop client initially.


For more information on Breakout Rooms and settings (this document will be further updated when Microsoft release the new features) see this link.