Teams - Collaborate in teams and channels

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In Microsoft Teams, teams are groups of people brought together for work, projects, or common interests.

Teams are made up of two types of channels — standard (available and visible to everyone) and private (focused, private conversations with a specific audience). Each channel is built around a topic like "Team Events," a department name, or just for fun. Channels are where you hold meetings, have conversations, and work on files together.

The tabs at the top of each channel link to your favorite files, apps, and services.

Add a tab

  • Select the plus sign next to the tabs.

    For example, add Planner to create a project board for tracking team tasks.

Pin and unpin a channel

If you have a lot of channels, pin the most important ones to make them easy to find.

  • To pin a channel, choose one to pin and then select More channels > Pin.

  • To unpin a channel, choose one to unpin and then select More channels > Unpin, and to see what else you can do.

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Teams and channels

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If you need to have focused, private conversations with people on your team, create a private channel.

Most channels are standard ones — everyone on the team can see them as well as view and participate in conversations, share files, and more.

With a private channel, members of a team must be specifically added to it to participate, see content, and to see the channel appear in their list of channels.

Note: Team owners can create private channels, and allow members to create them. Whoever creates a private channel can add people to it.

Create a private channel

  1. Go to a team you want to create a channel for, select More options > Add channel.

  2. Type a name and description.

  3. Under Privacy, select the down arrow and choose Private - Accessible only to a specific group of people within the team.

  4. Select Next.

  5. Type in the names of who you'd like to invite including guests.

    Note: People must already be members or guests of a team to be added to a private channel.

  6. Select Add.

    People you've added will see it appear in their channel list with a lock next to the name. And to see everyone that's been added to a private channel, select the Open people pane.

Share a file and Meet Now

  • When you share a file in a private channel, it's viewable and accessible only to people with access to the channel. These shared files live in a separate SharePoint site away from the standard channels. This ensure access only to members of the private channel.

  • To meet with just the people in a private channel, select Meet now.

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Teams can have standard or private channels

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Show and hide channels in Microsoft Teams to keep up with important channels and hide the ones you don't need.

Hide or show a channel

  • From within the channel, Select More options More options button > Hide.

  • If you want to unhide the channel, select hidden channels > Show.

Customize channel notifications

  1. Select More options More options button > Channel notifications.

  2. Choose the settings you want such as new post notifications or channel mentions.

  3. Select Save.

    Notifications appear based on your preferred settings.

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Show or hide a team or channel in Teams

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Conversations in channels can be seen and searched for by the entire team. You can participate in conversations, like or save important ones, mention specific people so they see your message, and even edit a file that’s been added to the conversation.

Reply to a message

  • Select Select to reply to a conversation. Reply, add your response, and press Enter.

Like or save a message

  • Select Select to like an item. next to a message to show you liked it.

  • Select Select to save a message. to save a message for later. Select your picture to see your saved messages.

Start a new conversation in a channel

  • Enter your message in the Start a new conversation box, and press Enter.

Get someone's attention in the channel

  • Type Select to start an "at mention." in front of a team member’s name while you're creating a message to include them in the conversation. The person will receive an @mention notice. You can @mention a team or channel, if your admin enables it.

See where you've been mentioned

  • Look for the circle on the left next to Teams and Activity to see the number of times your name has been mentioned in a conversation. 

Co-edit a file

  1. If a document has been uploaded to a conversation or Files, select the file to open it. 

  2. Select Edit, and then select where to edit the file in the app or online.

  3. Select Select to start a chat. to continue the conversation while viewing or co-editing the file. 

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Getting the best messaging experience

Managing notifications and staying focused

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Working in Microsoft Teams lets you work on files together at the same time. Also, messages about the document stay with it and will show up in your team conversations.

  1. In a team conversation or in the Files tab, select More options More options button next to the file.

  2. Choose if you want to edit the file in Teams, on your desktop, or online.

  3. Edit the file. Colored flags show who else is working on it with you.

  4. Select Start conversation to add a message about the file.

  5. Type your message or @mention someone and select Send.

Note: Linux users won't be able to open files in the Office desktop app.

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Collaborate on Files with your Team

Microsoft Teams help

Microsoft Teams Quick Start

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If you need to communicate by email, send it to everyone in a channel.

Get and copy a channel's email

  1. Select More options More options button > Get email address.

  2. Select Copy.

  3. Paste the copied email address into a new email.

  4. Select Send.

Forward an email to a channel

  1. Open the email you'd like to forward.

  2. Paste the copied email address into the To line of your email.

  3. Select Send.

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Microsoft Teams help

Microsoft Teams Quick Start

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Create a board with Planner to keep you and your team organized in Microsoft Teams.

  1. In a channel, select Add a tab.

  2. Select Planner.

  3. Select Create a new plan or Use an existing one, and then select Save.

  4. With a Planner board, you can:

    • Create buckets

    • Add and assign tasks

    • Update tasks

    • Chart progress

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Microsoft Teams help

Microsoft Teams Quick Start

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