Microsoft Teams: share audio from the computer during a meeting

Microsoft Teams has a screen sharing feature and a presentation mode for meetings. Both make it simple to share content from your local system with other users. The feature isn’t limited to sharing a screen or file but also extends to audio. If you’re in a Microsoft Teams meeting, you can share audio from the computer instead of the mic.

Microsoft Teams: share audio from computer

Microsoft Teams: share audio from computer

When a user joins a meeting, they have the option to choose which audio to use. The audio can come from the mic on your system (or the headphones), or it can come from your computer however, it is limited to audio from the input/output devices on your system and does not extend to apps that can play audio.

Share computer audio in Microsoft Teams

To share computer audio in Microsoft Teams, you must also share the screen or an app, the choice is yours but entering screen sharing mode is imperative if you want to do this as simply as possible.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Start or join a meeting.
  3. Once the meeting has started, click the share screen button at the top right.
  4. Select an app or the desktop to share.
  5. Turn the ‘Include computer sound’ switch on.
  6. Audio from your computer, regardless of which app is playing it, will be streamed to everyone in the meeting.

Note: you can also share audio from the computer if you’re presenting a PowerPoint.

Limitations

Audio sharing in Microsoft Teams has limitations if you stick to the app’s built-in tools.

  • You cannot selectively share audio; once audio has been shared, all audio from your computer will be heard in the meeting.
  • Outside of screen sharing, there is no way to share audio from the computer.
  • You cannot share audio from the computer if you are using the Whiteboard app.

Workaround

If you want to share audio from your computer, but do not want to use screen sharing, you will need to route audio from an app so it can be heard through the mic. Use an app like Synchronous Audio Router which is free and open-source. Setting it up will take a little time and you must set it up before you join a meeting.

Conclusion

When you join a meeting, Microsoft Teams gives you the option to choose which audio you want to use and one of the options is Computer. This option is misleading since it suggests that you’re sharing your computer’s audio when you are, in fact, choosing to use the speakers and mic on your system for the call. The option to share audio from the computer is hidden.

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Microsoft Teams: flip camera horizontally

Microsoft Teams supports video calls and it works seamlessly with whichever webcam is connected to your system. You can use an external camera, an internal camera, or a virtual camera to customize your video feed. Microsoft Teams doesn’t have a lot of features for the camera; there is background blur and mirroring.

Microsoft Teams: flip camera horizontally

Microsoft Teams: flip camera 

Microsoft Teams flips the camera feed for a user horizontally. This became noticeable when you hold up something in writing e.g. a note or a book. The text is impossible to read this way and many users worry how it looks to other people in a meeting.

The good news is, other people in a meeting see the text correctly; it isn’t mirrored or flipped for them. If you’re writing on a board or holding up a sign or book, the image appears as it should. 

The mirrored or flipped text isn’t a problem for other people in a meeting however, the presenter is often thrown by it since they can’t read the text from their monitor and instead have to keep looking at it (or use a physical mirror set-up). Here’s a simple way to fix it so that everyone sees text correctly.

Microsoft Teams: flip camera horizontally

In order to get a camera feed that isn’t flipped for you, but that everyone else can also read you need to use a camera app and the presentation mode in Microsoft Teams.

  1. Download YouCam and install it (use the free version).
  2. Open YouCam and click the gear icon at the top right.
  3. Uncheck the ‘Flip horizontally’ option.
  4. Check to make sure the text is appearing correctly.

  1. Open Microsoft teams.
  2. Start or join a meeting.
  3. Click the presentation mode button at the top right.
  4. Select YouCam to present from.
  5. You will see text appear correctly in YouCam.
  6. Everyone in the meeting will see text appear correctly as shared from YouCam.

Note: You can use any other app instead of YouCam as long as it gives you the option to turn flipping/mirroring off.

Conclusion

The mirroring that Microsoft Teams does is so that a user’s camera feed appears more natural to them. The text flipping is an unfortunate side-effect which users have been asking Microsoft to fix. There is, as yet, no indication that it will be fixed. If you have to use Microsoft Teams to teach, this method may be the simplest, cost-effective solution to the mirroring problem.

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Microsoft Teams: Pin posts, channels, video, and files

A Microsoft Teams team can get quite busy; lots of channels, messages, posts, and files are shared and the more members there are in a team, the busier it will get. The app has lots of great ways to organize everything but at some point, important conversations of files can get lost or overlooked.

Microsoft Teams: Pin posts, channels, video, and files

Microsoft Teams: Pin items

Microsoft Teams has an option to pin various items in their respective feeds; files can be pinned to the top of the Files tab in a channel, posts can be pinned in a channel, and videos can be pinned in a video call. 

1. Microsoft Teams: pin post

A post can be pinned to the channel it was shared in however, there seems to be a limitation where a post cannot be pinned to the General channel of a team by anyone other than a team admin or owner.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams. 
  2. Go to the team and channel you want to pin a post to.
  3. Find the post and click the more options button at top right.
  4. Select Pin.
  5. The post will be pinned to the top. The post is pinned for everyone in the channel

2. Microsoft Teams: pin channel

A pinned channel is easier to find. It will appear at the top regardless of alphabetical order. 

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Go to the team and channel you want to pin.
  3. Click the more options button and select Pin.
  4. The channel will be pinned.

3. Microsoft Teams: pin video

A video can be pinned during a meeting. The pinned video is pinned only for the user that pins it. All other participants in the meeting will be able to pin any other video of their choice.

  1. Join a meeting in Microsoft Teams.
  2. Click the more options button at bottom of a video.
  3. Select Pin from the menu.

4. Microsoft Teams: pin files

Files can be pinned to the top of the Files tab. The Files tab is specific to the channel it belongs to so for each channel, and for each Files tab, you can pin a different set of files and folders to each tab.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Go to the team and channel you want to pin a file or folder in.
  3. Go to the Files tab.
  4. Click the more options button next to an item.
  5. Select Pin to top.
  6. The file or folder will be pinned to the top.

Conclusion

Pinning items make them easier to find. These items are also far more likely to be opened by new members. If you have an important file or post that you need all team or channel members to read, pinning them is a good idea.

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How to join a team in Microsoft Teams

Creating a team in Microsoft Teams is something only team admins or owners do. The process isn’t complicated but it isn’t entirely simple since there are multiple ways to create a team, and import users to it. Invites can be sent automatically and they can be shared via a messaging app.

join a team in Microsoft Teams

Join a team in Microsoft Teams

Joining a team isn’t complicated however, it does matter what sort of invite you’ve received. If you’ve received a link, it is important to know which email to use to sign in. If you’ve had a new email created for you, you will need the password for it. The password may already be set and you may be forced to change it.

Join a team in Microsoft Teams – Link/Email

If you’ve been sent an email to join a Microsoft Teams team, there will be a link in the body of the email. 

  1. Login to your email and open the Microsoft Teams invite message.
  2. Click the Join Now button.
  3. In the new tab that opens, click ‘Use the web app instead’.
  4. Sign in to Microsoft Teams with the same email that you received the email invite on.
  5. If you do not have a Microsoft Teams account, you will be able to create one, for free.
  6. Once you’re signed in, you will join the team.

Note: If you’ve been granted a Microsoft Teams license, it will only be active when you sign into the team/organization that granted the license. 

Join a team in Microsoft Teams – New account

Microsoft Teams for organizations allows new accounts to be created on the domain the team is configured on. 

  1. Ask the team admin for the email address that has been set up for you. The team admin will also share a password for the account.
  2. Download and install Microsoft Teams (or use Microsoft Teams web).
  3. Sign in with the account credentials.
  4. Change your password if prompted to.

Join a team in Microsoft Teams – Code

Team owners in Microsoft Teams can invite users with a code. You must however already know which email account the code will work. Ask the team admin which email account or domain will be accepted on the team.

  1. Open Microsoft Teams.
  2. Log in with your email and password.
  3. Click Join or create teams at the bottom left.
  4. In the ‘Enter code’ field, enter the code that’s been shared.
  5. You will be added to the team.

Note: This method is preferred when multiple teams have been created by the same organization. Instead of inviting users individually, a code is shared and users join the team since they’re already on the domain and have a Microsoft Teams account.

Conclusion

Joining a Microsoft Teams account isn’t only difficult if you do not know which email address to use. If your email hasn’t been used to sign up for a Microsoft Teams account, you will first have to create the account and then accept an invite. No Microsoft Teams invitation can create an account for you. Even when organizations create user accounts, the user has to sign in with the account in order to activate it.

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5 Best Microsoft Teams training courses for team admins

Microsoft Teams isn’t hard to learn for end-users. Its UI is fairly straightforward and a little digging around will be enough for most users to figure out how things work. 

The administrative side of Microsoft Teams is far more complex; it works with Microsoft 365 services and with SharePoint. Managing users is much harder and managing it while you have users actively using Microsoft Teams means causing problems for them while they work.

Microsoft Teams training courses for team admins

Microsoft Teams training courses

Microsoft Teams takes time and practice to learn. You can create empty teams with ghost users and try your hand at managing it but there are plenty of courses that you can take to learn Microsoft Teams more easily. 

1. The Complete Microsoft Teams Course – Master Microsoft Teams – Udemy $ 13.99 (discounted)

This course is normally $129.99 but is presently discounted and available for $13.99. The course offers 7 hours of video instructions and has a 3.8 rating on Udemy. 

It covers the basics such as;

  • Creating and managing a team
  • Adding users to a team
  • Configuring a team
  • Managing privacy and device settings
  • Managing Microsoft Teams settings and Office essentials.

It also covers more advanced topics like;

  • Permission settings
  • Using Trello

Verdict: If you can get this course for its discounted price, it’s worth it to learn how to set up and manage Microsoft Teams. 

2. Managing Projects with Microsoft Teams – Lynda

Lynda is a subscription-based service with a free one-month trial that gives you access to all the courses on the platform.

This Lynda course is a mix of basic Microsoft Teams settings and somewhat advanced features.

  • Creating a team
  • Adding channels
  • Inviting team members
  • Attaching files
  • Connecting a document library
  • Creating and assigning tasks
  • Connecting SharePoint pages and lists
  • Adding OneNote notebooks
  • Scheduling Teams meetings
  • Recording a Teams meeting
  • Creating a survey with Microsoft Forms
  • Using an existing team as a template

This is a 1 hour, 36 minutes course. 

3. Microsoft Teams Administration: Plan, Configure, and Deploy – Lynda

Once you’ve found a basic course or learned the basics of Microsoft Teams on your own, this Lynda course is worth taking a look at. It covers the Microsoft Teams admin panel.

Important areas that it covers are;

  • Upgrading from Skype for Business to Teams
  • Configuring coexistence mode
  • Configuring network ports and protocols
  • Applying policies to users
  • Managing security and compliance
  • Deploying Teams endpoints
  • Configuring Teams Rooms
  • Monitoring usage reports

This is a one-hour, fifty-three-minute course.

4. Microsoft Teams Tips and Tricks – Lynda

If you’ve bought a Lynda subscription, or you’re still within the trial period, this course is worth checking out. It goes over the basics but it also covers;

  • Integrating SharePoint content into Teams
  • Linking cloud storage to Teams

It will help you set up SharePoint and OneDrive for your team. This is a 1 hour, 5-minute course. It’s suitable for Team owners but also for anyone that will be helping to manage the team. You might also consider checking this somewhat older course that covers bots as well.

5. Instructor-led training for Microsoft Teams

This is a set of video-based training courses available from Microsoft. It is free and the trainings are scheduled throughout the week. Look through the catalog of trainings that are available, and what they cover, and join if something looks useful. The trainings are free. 

Conclusion

There is no shortage of trainings available for Microsoft Teams. You can find them on Udemy, Coursera, and Lynda. If you’re on a tight budget, a Lynda subscription is a good place to start. Go through basic courses and when you have a better understanding of Microsoft Teams, you can look for more expensive courses if you need them.

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