Microsoft Teams – Chat

Chat allows one-to-one chats with people in your contacts list, either via typed messages or video/audio calls if the device you are using has a microphone/camera. You can also add more people to a one-to-one chat already in progress.

Recent Chats is a list of all conversations you have had recently – you can right click a recent chat to pin it if important, or add them as a favourite making it quick and easy to find them.

The Contacts tab allows you to view any favourited contacts, or any groups you have set up. You can also add/remove people to/from groups by clicking the three dots next to the group name and clicking Add a contact to this group.

You can also rename or delete an existing group using the three dot menu.

Starting an Audio Call

Once you have searched for a contact, this can be done by entering their name in the top search bar or by clicking on option to the left of the search bar (new chat). Click the phone icon (as below) to start the call:

Below is what you will see when you start an audio call. Within it, you have multiple options on the tab at the bottom of the screen, you are able to do the following:

  • Start a chat while on the call
  • Mute your microphone
  • Enable or disable your webcam for the call

You can add other people to the call, by clicking on the two-contact icon (participants), which will give you the option to see the current participants in the call and allows you to add/invite people too:

Audio calls on Teams are not a replacement for the Chorus telephone system at the University; you will not receive notifications through Teams if you receive a call to your desk phone at work as this runs on an independent system. If you call a colleague using Teams, they will receive the call on Teams and not on their work phone. Users must be logged into Teams to receive calls.

Starting a Video Call

Video call setup is similar to how you would set up an audio call, but you should click on the video icon (below) to start your call.

When the video call has started your video will appear on the bottom right hand side of the screen

Sharing your screen

When you’re chatting with one or more people in Teams, you can instantly share your screen. Go to the chat controls in the upper-right corner and select Share  

Choose a window (such as an opened spreadsheet or word document) to share that specific program and its content, or select Desktop to share everything on your screen.

IMPORTANT: Please ensure you close any confidential information you do not intend to share before sharing your screen with anyone.

The other participants in the chat will receive a notification asking them to accept your screen share. Once they do, they’ll be able to see your screen and continue the chat.

When you’re done sharing, go to your meeting controls and select Stop sharing.

Text Chat

To start chatting with someone, simply find them in your list of contacts or start typing their name in the search box in the top centre of the Teams interface and click on their name when it appears in suggestions to open a chat window with them:

How to add people to a chat

When you have a chat open, you have an option on the top right of the chat to add people, once you click on it will prompt you to add a participant searching for their name, you can add multiple people:

Message Delivery Options 

This allows you to set the urgency of a text chat message if you need to draw attention to it. Click the ! icon below the chat input box to see the delivery options:

There are three delivery options:

  • Standard – this is the default message type and messages should usually be sent in this mode
  • Important – adds the word “IMPORTANT!” to your message in red font
  • Urgent – adds the word “URGENT!” to your message. The recipient will receive a notification about the message every 2 minutes for 20 minutes.

Once the delivery options for the message have been changed, you’ll be able to include files, links, or pictures—whatever you need to get your point across 

Attaching files to your message (from OneDrive or your local PC)  

To attach a file/document from your local machine, click on the paper clip icon below the chat input box.

The screenshot below shows two options, OneDrive and upload from my computer, both will give you access to your local files that you can share in your Teams Group or private chats 

Scheduling a meeting

You can schedule a call while chatting with someone by clicking the calendar icon below the chat input box:

This will bring up a menu for scheduling a chat/voice meeting on Teams. For more information on how to set up a meeting, please see the Calendar section of this guide.

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