Month: September 2021

Reply to messages in Microsoft Teams

The Microsoft Teams mobile clients (iOS, iPad and Android) have, for some time, allowed users to create contextual replies by adding the original post as part of the reply.


This feature is now available for Desktop versions of Microsoft Teams and should roll into the web version in due course.


To use the feature, click on the elipsis for the comment that you wish to reply to and select reply …

Screenshot showing the reply option in Teams chat


When you click reply, the original message appears in a quoted format …


Screenshot shoing the reply to teams message once reply is clicked


New ways to Share Content in Microsoft Teams meetings

With continued remote and hybrid working, Microsoft have introduced new methods for sharing content into meetings in Microsoft Teams.


These new features are rolling out now and should be fully available by mid October 2021 at the latest.


You can now share content from an additional camera – so if you have a plug in USB web cam you can use it as an alternate visualiser to deliver details from a document into a meeting.  Clearly for best results you will want to find a means to ensure that the camera is held at a steady and regular position – so mounting using a clip or bulldog clip will keep a fixed position for the camera.


You can also use the build in webcam on a laptop to project a physical whiteboard into the meeting.


To enable and use these features go to the share option in your Teams meeting …


Share tray options in a Teams Meeting


Select “Content from camera” …


Then choose what you want to present into the meeting …


Content from Camera sharing dialogue

Microsoft Teams – Breakout Room Enhancements

Microsoft have released a number of Breakout Room enhancements into Public Preview in Microsoft Teams.


To use these features in advance of General Availability, you will need to enable the Public Preview mode (see this blog post on how to do this).


Pre-Meeting Breakout Room Configuration

You can now set up breakout rooms in advance of your meeting and, if you wish, pre-populate the attendees, either manually or automatically.


Creating Rooms

To do this, create your meeting and then double click on the meeting entry in the Teams calendar.  You’ll find a new “Breakout Rooms” tab.

Screenshot of breakout rooms tab in meeting controls


When you first go into this tab you will see an option to create rooms …


Screenshot of breakout rooms tab - create rooms


Clicking on the create rooms button then brings up a dialogue box which will allow you to set up an initial number of breakout rooms.  You can create between 1 and 50 rooms.


Screenshot of create initial rooms dialogue

Clicking on the “Add rooms” button adds the required number of rooms to the meeting.


Assigning Participants

Once the rooms are created you can assign participants to a room.  Click on the “Add Participants” button on the breakout room page to set automated or manual assignment of users to rooms and then as appropriate choose participants.

Assign participants button


automatic or manual participant assignment


dialogue shoing manual assignment of particpants

Edit the Room Settings

Once the rooms are created you can edit the rooms to give each room a name, and you can edit the meeting room settings for each room (so you can set presenters for a breakout room).

To edit the name of the room click on the elipsis on the room and choose Edit

Edit rooms settings and name


Set the name for the room


Screenshot of dialogue shoing room name change


Use the settings to set specific meeting options for a breakout room


Meeting Options for a breakout room


Adjusting General Breakout Room Settings

Click on the cog wheel on the top right of the Breakout Rooms tab

Editing General Breakout Rooms settings


In the settings you can assign other presenteres to manage breakout rooms – wehn you do this only one person can manage the breakout rooms at any one time so you might just want to add a single co-organiser to the manage rooms function.


You can also set time limits for your breakout rooms, turn on or off the automatic movement of people to rooms when you “open” the breakout rooms from your meeting and you can enable an option that allows people to manually return to the main meeting.

Setting co-orgainisers and other general breakout room settings



Microsoft Teams – Enabling Public Preview Features

A number of features are now being made available by Microsoft in “Public Preview” to ensure that the features meet the requirements and work as expected.


Public Preview gives Teams users the opportunity to try these new features before they reach “General Availability” for all users.


Imperial College staff can now enable access to Public Preview features in Microsoft Teams by clicking on the elipsis beside the user initials or profile photo, choosing the About section and clicking on Public Preview.


Screenshot of how to enable Public Preview mode in MS Teams

If you choose to enable Public Preview then you should be aware that some features may be removed by Microsoft if they are not functioning as expected.  Preview is an advance option and not all your colleagues will choose to use this function.


ICT’s Service Desk may ask you to turn off Public Preview when asked to assist with fault diagnosis to eliminate preview functions as the cause of issues.