As shown in my previous blog, the enhanced functionality in the Posts tab can be effective for project-related communications in Teams. Depending on the needs of the project, and if you don’t require all the functionality that a Team and Teams channel provides, an alternative is to use a Teams Group Chat to help with project communications. In the context of our training development projects, we often use the Teams Group chat with customers and find the ‘search within a chat’ enhancement in the New Teams to be especially useful.
Shown below are the steps for creating and using a Teams Chat.
How To: Create and Use a Teams Group Chat
1. At the top of the Chat in Teams, click , as shown in the image below, to start a chat.
2. Enter the names, email, group, or tag of the people you want in the group chat, as shown below, then press <ENTER>. The group needs at least two people. They can be internal or external to your organization.
3. You can rename the group to make it more meaningful by selecting the Edit icon, as shown in the image below. Enter the name in the Group name field, then click Save.
Note that you can also name the group when first setting up the group chat by selecting the down arrow as shown in the image below.
4. The messages can be entered in the chat as you would when chatting with one person in Teams. It is a good idea to introduce the chat to the group members. Usage recommendations can also be provided. Also note in the header of the group chat (as shown in the image below) the Files tab that automatically displays the files that have been shared in the chat, the + sign that enables you to add a tab to the chat for app access, and icons for video call, audio call, and screen sharing.
5. For easy access to the group chat, you can pin the group chat so that it shows at the top of your Chat list by selecting the icon (or just right-click), then selecting Pin. An example that shows a pinned group chat is shown in the image below. Also note the other options besides Pin such as Open chat in new window that can be handy when switching between several chats.
6. You can hover over a chat message and select the icon (or just right-click) for options, as shown in the image below. Note that you can select Edit to edit a message after it has been sent, and you can select Reply to a reply to any message in the chat. You can also use Copy link to copy the specific message link to the clipboard to then paste and send. When someone selects the link, they will be directed to that message in the conversation.
7. I’m leaving the best for last! This step relates to the ‘search within a chat’ enhancement. This is applicable to both group chats and regular chats (as well as Team channels). To do this, press <CTRL+F> to open the Find in chat box in the right pane. Enter a keyword in the Enter a search keyword… field and press <ENTER> or select the search icon, as shown in the image below.
An example of a search with its search results displayed is shown in the image below. Select a search result to be directed to the specific chat.
A Group Chat cannot be added to a Team Channel tab at this time. However, remember that the Posts tab functionality has been enhanced as documented in the blog mentioned earlier. Both have been very useful for our projects!
About the AuthorMore Content by Barb Nash