Software Tips and Tricks

As we start using the LSC software and tools more, we discover new things about them. I created this to share new tips and tricks that will help you and your students use them more efficiently.

Office 365

  • Bookmark any of the Office 365 tools that you plan to use so you have easy access to them all.
  • After you’ve logged into one of the Office 365 tools, the rest are available from the 9 square (Sudoku like boxes) icon in the upper left corner.
  • In Outlook, use the Scheduling Assistant option when creating a meeting to be able to find a date and time that works best for the people attending.
  • In Outlook, remember to create automatic replies when you’re going to be out of the office.
  • Some of the Microsoft 365 products have the Dictate feature that will let you use Speech-to-Text to create documents, emails, notes, and slides. The Dictate in Microsoft 365 article has help guides on using Dictate in Word, Outlook, OneNote, and PowerPoint as well as some common voice commands to use for each one.
  • Some of the Microsoft 365 products have the Immersive Reader feature that will read a page to you, as well as help focus on what you’re reading by changing the text size, spacing, font, and themes; and learn using grammar tools such as Parts of Speech and Picture Dictionary. To learn more about this tool, please see the Microsoft Office Help search results for the Immersive Reader in Office 365.

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OneDrive

  • If someone shares a file or folder with you from their OneDrive, it will be listed in your OneDrive account on the Shared tab. Click the Shared icon in the left navigation column to see these files/folders.
    • If you plan to use the file or folder regularly, after you follow the link in the email message, bookmark it in your browser so that you can find it again later.  You might want to create a separate bookmarks folder for shared file links if you receive a lot of them.
  • If you’ve deleted a file by accident while in your OneDrive in the online version, you might be able to recover it from the Recycling Bin or in the Second-Stage Recycling Bin.

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PowerPoint

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Teams

  • You can make calls from the Teams Desktop app. It calls from one Team account to another, no need for a phone number.
    • In the Chat feature, select the person you want to call and click the telephone icon in the upper right corner of the Chat window.
    • You can add more people to the call by selecting the Add people icon in the upper right corner. Note: You can do this for text conversations as well.
    • Everyone needs to have the Teams Desktop app for this to work.
  • Put your Teams app into do not disturb mode while creating videos in VidGrid or having meetings in Zoom by typing /dnd in the Teams app Search text box.  Team app notifications won’t display until you turn the do not disturb feature off.

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VidGrid

  • Add Thumbnail images to the video, especially if you aren’t recording a PowerPoint presentation that already has a title slide.
  • VidGrid links in D2L sometimes don’t play on mobile devices and you need to embed the videos using Insert Stuff in the HTML Editor.
    • You can embed a video anywhere the HTML Editor is used – New announcement, Content Create a File, Discussions, Quizzes, etc.
  • If you’re embedding a video in a D2L Course using the Insert Stuff option in the HTML Editor and you don’t see the video you’re looking for, you should use the Search option at the top.
    • The number of videos that are displayed is limited, but your videos are still there in your VidGrid account.
    • If you have folders in your VidGrid account, you may need to change the location that D2L is looking for the video in.

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Zoom

  • Test your computer’s audio and video settings in Zoom’s Test Meeting.  This is an open meeting that Zoom has created for this purpose.
  • You might want to disable private chats during your meetings because people can accidentally send private messages that they meant to be sent to everyone.  There also might be the inappropriate use of private messages during the meeting.
    • To do this, select the Chat icon, select the three dots (more options) icon, and select the Everyone Publicly in the “Participants Can Chat With” section. You can also use this to turn off Chat completely.
  • Are private chat messages included in a recording or saved chat file? What’s included in a recording or chat file only shows what that person is able to see during the meeting. There are a couple of ways that private messages could be shared with others, but it’s limited to:
    • If you’re the host and record the session, any private messages you send or receive will be included in the recording and the chat file.
    • If you’re a participant and share the saved chat file from a meeting where you sent or received private messages without removing them from the file.
  • After your expected participants have joined the meeting, lock the meeting so no one else can enter.
    • To do this, select the Manage Participants icon, select the More dropdown menu near the bottom of the Participants window, and select the Lock Meeting option.
  • During the meeting, some people may be listed as their StarID, make sure they change that to their name so you know who you’re talking to.
    • They can select the Participant icon, select the More option next to their name, and select Rename to fix this.
  • Take attendance after a Zoom Session from your Minnesota State Online Zoom account.
    • To do this, after signing into your account select Reports in the right column, then Usage, and click the members/participants.  When the window opens, click the Export to Excel button to see the attendance.
  • If you’re a participant in a Zoom session and need to use other programs on your computer, select Exit Full Screen mode from the View Options menu at the top of your screen to be able to see the desktop icons.
    • You can also use this to add the Chat and Participants dialog boxes to your Zoom meeting window instead of having them as pop-ups.
  • If you delete a Cloud Recording, you’ll have 30 days to recover it before it’s permanently deleted. You’ll receive an email reminder about 7 days before it’s permanently deleted.
    • You can recover deleted recordings by selecting the Trash link on the right side of the Recordings screen in your Minnstate.zoom.us account. On the Trash screen, select the Recover option for the recording(s) you’d like to restore. Note: The Trash link will only appear if you have deleted at least one recording.

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Zoom Meeting Setting Recommendations

  • Use the Schedule a Meeting option in the upper right corner to setup your meetings ahead of time.
  • Use your Personal Meeting ID for just in time or quick sessions.  Personal Meeting IDs don’t change and the meeting stays available so someone with the meeting ID could join it anytime.
  • When creating a meeting,
    • Give it a name other than “My Meeting”. If you create recordings, you’ll be able to find it easier.
    • For the Meeting ID, select “Generate Automatically”. This will create a unique ID for each meeting you create. Save your Personal Meeting ID for spur of the moment meetings.
    • In the Security section,
      • Leave the Passcode box checked and use the randomly generated passcode. Note: You can type your own passcode with numbers and letters if you’d like but make sure it isn’t something that can be easily determined. Do NOT use something like pass1234.
      • Leave the “Enable Waiting Room” checked – this will allow you to approve any guests who enters your Zoom meeting.  Your participants would be able to start Zoom, but not enter the room until you’ve approved them.  Make sure you know who you’re approving to enter and that they aren’t outside users that shouldn’t be joining you.
    • Turning the Video (webcams) off for the host and participants. You and they will still be able to turn them on during the meeting but in the beginning it won’t be a resource people have to worry about.
    • Leave the Audio at “Computer and Telephone”, so if people are having difficulties with one, they can switch to the other.
    • In the Meeting Options section, I recommend to:
      • Uncheck “Allow participants to join anytime” if you don’t want participants to join the meeting early. Note: If you have recurring meetings with no set time, you’ll want to leave the “Allow participants to join anytime” checked.
      • Leave “Mute participants upon entry” checked –  this means you won’t get the participants’ environmental noise as they’re getting set up.
      • Leave “Starting the recording automatically” unchecked – if you enable this, you’ll get the early chatting, environmental noises, etc. in your recordings.

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