Alamo Colleges District

Navigating Microsoft Teams

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Microsoft Teams is a collaborative communication platform that allows faculty, staff, and committee members to connect, chat, and collaborate effortlessly.

From file sharing to memes, private chats, Microsoft Teams has everything you need to bring a team to success.

This guide will cover a few of the basics for navigating Microsoft teams. You will learn how to:

And more! Continue reading to discover everything you need to know about navigating Teams.

The home screen

When you enter Microsoft Teams, you may be prompted to select a Team. Choose your team.

Here are some quick directions on where and how to find important tools in Teams:

  1. The left navigation panel: Your first point of navigation within Microsoft Teams, sift through Private Chats, Teams Chat, Assignments, Calendar, Calls, Files, and discover other Microsoft apps.
  2. Channels: Depending on your team, you may have multiple of these. Pay attention to the channels as they are sort of like group chats for your team to collaborate on important files, dates, agendas, and more.
  3. The Channel Navigation Bar: At the top of the channel page, select Posts, Files, Notebooks, and other tabs that your team leader may have added to the chat. This is important for reviewing important information, files, or media posted in the different categories. Depending on your team, you may have just a few of perhaps many tabs within the channel navigation bar.
  4. Posts/Threads: In the Teams channel, someone may make a post, and others can reply to the post, notice the Reply button directly underneath each single post in the channel.
  5. New Conversation: Have a new idea you want to share with your team? Important announcements or just seeking some general advice or feedback regarding a project? Start a new conversation to get your team involved!
Start a Conversation

With the Team: Select Teams, pick a team and channel, write your message and click Send. 

teams conversation channel
begin typing a message in teams

Private Chats

With an Individual Person or Group:

1. Click chat.

2. Select the new chat icon.

3. Type the name of the person or group in the To field.

4. Write your message, and press Send.

teams new individual chat
teams type a name to start chat
teams type message in chat
Pick a team and channel

A team is a collection of people, conversations, files, and tools--- all in one place. 

1. Select Teams and choose a team.


A channel is a discussion in a team, dedicated to a department, project or topic. 

2. Pick a channel to explore Posts, Files and other tabs. 

Schedule a Teams meeting

Click Schedule a meeting under the message box to schedule a team meeting. Microsoft Teams will open and allow you to schedule a video conference meeting instantly.

schedule a meeting in teams
Reply to a post

You can reply to a specific thread in the channel. To reply to a message one of your team members sent out, click the reply button below the message.

reply to a post in teams
@Mention someone

To get someone's attention, type @, then their name (or pick them from the list that appears). 

Type @team to message everyone in a team or @channel to notify everyone who favorited that channel. 

@mention someone in teams
Add an emoji, meme, or GIF

Click Sticker under the box where you type your message, then pick a meme or sticker from one of the categories. There are also buttons for adding an emoji or GIF. 

add emoji, gif, sticker, meme in teams
Share a file

Click Attach under the box where you type messages, select the file location and then the file you want.

Depending on the location of the file, you'll get options for uploading a copy, sharing a link or other ways to share.

share file in teams
Search for stuff

Type a phrase in the command box at the top of the app and press Enter. 

Then select the Messages, People, or Files tab. 

Select at item or use the filters to refine your results. 

search teams
Get help in Teams

Click Help on the left, then choose Topics, Training, or What's new. 

In help, browse the tabs or search for a topic you're interested in.

get helps in teams
Customize settings in Teams

Change your profile picture, update display settings, schedule out of office messages and so much more.

To access Teams settings, select your profile picture icon the the top right corner.

Select Manage account.

To change your profile picture, select Accounts, and click the profile icon.

Select Upload picture.

Tip: have your headshot or profile picture uploaded to your computer desktop, downloads, or OneDrive account for quick access.

Under General, you can change theme to light ot dark, change the chat density (how it appears on your screen), update layout, change language settings, and schedule out of office messages.

Additional Resources

We hop this guide helped you master the fundamentals of navigating Microsoft Teams. Curious to learn more? Checkout Microsoft Teams Video Training.


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