Chris Menard's Training Roundup | Issue #3

Posted on:  09/08/2020
Chris Menard's Training Roundup | Issue #3

Welcome to the third issue of my Training Roundup! Today's issue is packed with updates on multiple fronts. I hope you can benefit from at least a few of them!

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Zoom Meetings Updates

I've been keeping close watch on Zoom Meetings releases and updates. In this issue, I highlight features and improvements to Zoom across at least 3 versions (5.2.0, 5.2.1 and 5.2.2). They've surely had a busy summer!

Zoom August Update: This is probably the best update from Zoom (5.2.0). I'm covering three of the major changes for Zoom Meetings: Video Filters, Adjusting video for low light, add PowerPoint as a virtual background. See them in action.

Zoom's version 5.2.2. allows you to rearrange the videos in the gallery view in any order you want, during a Zoom meeting. Small improvement but some people were annoyed by it. See it in action.

When you share your screen during a Zoom meeting, your Zoom window and meeting control toolbar is not included in the screen share. If you are training users to use Zoom, especially hosting a meeting, you may wish to include them. See how to enable it.

Zoom has always allowed the host to "Mute All" participants, and previously allowed the host to "Unmute all". It was determined it was a privacy issue to unmute all so this was removed in May 2020 but is now back: Unmute all with pre-approved consent. Check it out.

On my Zoom Resource Center, I had 25 video virtual backgrounds that were nature and beach related. We've also created photo/image backgrounds that have an office background, but we didn't have any office video backgrounds. You asked for video virtual backgrounds with an office or professional environment, and they are now available! We have designer 10 so far. Two are demonstrated in this video. Download from here.

Microsoft Teams Updates

Microsoft Teams Chat is one of the most popular features in the Teams platform. My issue with Chat, which I use daily, is the amount of noise and distractions it causes. I created this short video to show three tips for reducing chat distractions and noise.

Microsoft Excel Updates

I've been covering all of Excel's linked data types lately and Microsoft has come out with more templates for various purposes. Here are some of them:

Need to pick out a name for your baby and want to know how popular the name is? You can use the Automatic data type for the names, and the Excel Baby Name Tracker template that uses linked data types to find, not only the most popular baby names but also age distribution, historical naming, charts, and notable people with similar names. Watch my video demonstration.

The Excel Favorite Movie List template is a great way to keep track of movies you love. The Movie List worksheet allows you to put in a movie title, give it a rating, and Excel will use linked data types to return the year released, actors in the movie, directors, characters, genre, rating, runtime in minutes, and US Box Office gross. There is also a cool Cast worksheet showing pictures of the actors in the movie and names their character. See how it works.

Trying to decide what University or College to attend is a big life decision. Microsoft is helping out with their Excel College Decision Helper Template. Type in a college and see data for location, tuition, graduate rates, degree types, grants, scholarships, and loan information. Check it out.

Microsoft Outlook Updates

Outlook on the web has everything you need to be your most productive and connected self. I love the desktop version, but the web version has a few features that aren't available in the desktop version. The good news is you can run both at the same time. They are always in sync. Here are 5 tips to improve your Outlook for the Web workflow, including 'send later', 'snooze', and 'undo send'.

Outlook now has a great time-saving feature called 'Play My Emails'. It works on iOS and Android and it can keep you informed on what's new in your inbox and calendar while you catch up on other things. You can be driving, walking, or working on other tasks while Outlook plays your emails. You can even use commands like Reply, Archive, Delete and Pause while listening. Play My Emails use Microsoft AI. I demonstrate it in this video.

File management and transfers

The "Request Files" feature in OneDrive for Business makes it easy to have files uploaded from customers, vendors, employees, students, potential clients, etc. The HUGE advantage of this feature is they can only upload files. They cannot see what else is in the folder. No account login or password is required. It is simply done with a link you send out. Works on a PC, Mac, or any mobile device, with nothing to install. Check it out here.

If you try to transfer large files to someone and attempt to send the files by email, you may hit the 25 MB attachment limit with most email services. If you need to send one or more large files to someone, you could upload them to the various cloud storage services out there, but that may be too involved, too many steps and sign-ups, etc. Sending the files through the free service I demonstrate in this video is effortless, fast and besides, the service has great security and convenience features.

That's it for this issue, it surely was a long one!

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See you next time!


Chris Menard

Chris Menard is a Senior Training Specialist at SurePoint Technologies. Chris is certified in Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Menard has a YouTube channel with other 600 technology videos covering Excel, Word, Zoom, Teams, Outlook, Gmail, Google Calendar, and other resources that over 7 million viewers have very appreciated. Because of Chris's certification and expertise with Microsoft, Chris is a proud member of Microsoft's Creator Team. Being a member of Microsoft's Creator Teams means many of his videos are available on Microsoft 365 YouTube channel and Microsoft support websites.