6 amazing features you need to use in Microsoft Office and Teams

Many of us use Microsoft Office and Teams constantly in our daily lives — so we should be sure to make the most of it! In this article, I’m going to show you 6 amazing features you're (probably!) not using in Microsoft Office and Teams. Get more out of the Microsoft applications you use on a daily basis by discovering these super useful tips and tricks, which are great for time saving and working more efficiently. Watch this video on YouTube for a visual tutorial or keep reading for the key ideas. Tip #1 — THE BEST time-saving tip in Excel At one point or another, we’ve all probably had to sort through a long, laborious list of contact information. One annoying task is taking a long list of email addresses and extracting people’s names. In the past, maybe you went through and manually did this. Well, no more! Go to the first cell in the list and type the person’s name in the desired format. For this example, let’s say that you want the surname first, followed by the first name, like so: Kerr, Joe. Once you’ve typed out the first name, press enter and then hit Ctrl+E.

And like magic, your work is done!

Tip #2 — Reply directly to previous messages in Microsoft Teams Did you know that you can quickly quote a previous message when you reply in Chat in Microsoft Teams? We’re all having many conversations at once and it can be hard to keep track of them all. This tip can help give context to your replies to help improve communication and efficiency. You can use this trick on the desktop and mobile apps. On the mobile app, swipe from left to right on the message you want to reply to then type your message.

On the desktop app, hover your mouse over the message, click on the ellipsis for more options, then click reply and type your message.

Tip #3 — How to share a PowerPoint correctly in a Microsoft Teams meeting We’ve all had an embarrassing moment where we shared the wrong thing on our screen and had to scramble in front of everyone to fix it. Here’s how to avoid that and share your PowerPoint correctly during a Microsoft Teams meeting. Start by opening up the share tray in the upper right corner. There are two options. One option is to share your entire screen which will share everything on your screen.

The other option is to just share a window, which will allow you to share only one application.

If you’re trying to just share a PowerPoint, then select window and then find your PowerPoint within the options under PowerPoint Live. If you cannot find your presentation under PowerPoint Live, then either open up your PowerPoint from OneDrive or from your local computer.

The great thing about PowerPoint Live is that you can see your notes alongside your presentation slide deck.

Another advantage of PowerPoint Live is that attendees can click through the slides at their own pace if they think you’re going too quickly or too slowly. After they’ve clicked around, they can select “Sync with presenter” to get back to the live slides that the presenter has on their screen. If you want to disable the ability for attendees to click around in the slides, you can turn that off in the menu at the top of the screen.

Tip #4 — Hide email addresses when sending a meeting invite to multiple recipients When sending a meeting invite to multiple people, you can hide the email addresses from the recipients. This is useful when you need to keep recipient’s personal details private. Log into Outlook for the web through office.com or outlook.com. Set up a new event. At the top, click “Response options” and click “Hide attendants list” in the drop-down menu.

However, it is important to note that this setting won’t hide their emails when they join a Teams meeting. Tip #5 — Covert a Word document into a PowerPoint This is a great new feature that was released in 2021. It allows you to easily convert a Word document into a PowerPoint presentation with just a couple of clicks. Open your Word document in Word Online. For best results, format sections in your Word document with headings using the Styles Pane.

Once your document is ready, go to File > Export > Export to PowerPoint Presentation. A pop-up window will appear with design options for you to choose from. Select the design that you want to use and hit export. Don’t worry if the designs aren’t exactly what you want, because you can personalize the images and layout later. Wait a moment while PowerPoint works its magic and then hit “Open presentation” to view your automatically generated presentation. Change any images by right clicking on the image and selecting “Change image.” You can upload your own images or browse Word’s selection of stock photos. Change the layout of the slide by choosing one of the other suggested options on the side. Tip #6 — Make images more interesting in your presentations Animations have historically had a bad reputation in PowerPoint, but not anymore due to the introduction of great new transitions. Using the built-in transitions feature means that images in PowerPoint no longer need to be boring and static. Start by making a copy of the slide with the image by right clicking on the slide in the left-hand sidebar and hit “duplicate slide.” Next, resize the image in the duplicated slide so that it is focused on the area of the photo that you want to zoom in on. Repeat this as many times as


necessary. Then select all the slides with the zoomed in images and select “Transitions” from the top menu. Select “Morph,” which I think is the best transition in PowerPoint.

Watch to the end of this video to see the full effect of this great transition. Learn more There are so many great tips and tricks for Microsoft office that you probably haven’t heard about. Don't get left behind your colleagues. Visit readysteadyxl.com to learn more, subscribe to our YouTube channel for weekly videos, and find us on social media below. Reach out via email to AskTony@ReadySteadyXL.com with any questions.

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Tony Laskowski

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Ready Steady Excel was set up by Tony to help a wider audience to achieve more with Microsoft 365.

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