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Office tips and tricks to share for better remote collaboration

Has your team had to shift unexpectedly to home working as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, we have some Office tips and tricks to share for better remote collaboration, courtesy of Microsoft MVP David Benaim.

Publish your availability through Office365 Outlook online 

Help clients and colleagues find a time for that meeting easily by making a link to your availability through Outlook. Sign in to your Outlook account on outlook.live.com and go to Settings => Publish a Calendar. Set it to only show when you’re busy and you’ll get a link for your email signature or anywhere else that people can use to arrange a call time with you, but won’t reveal what you’re up to when you are busy.

Inline commenting on Outlook emails

Simplify inline commenting on emails by changing your Outlook settings – go to Options => Signatures => Personal stationary, and you can both set your initials or other marker and tick to select a new colour. Now if you comment on items in a forward or reply email, your additions will automatically be marked with your name and will appear in a different colour from the base email.  

New comments structure for Word and others

Newer versions of Word have revolutionised commenting, allowing you to respond to individual comments similarly to social media discussion threads. This makes discussing a particular edit or phrase all the more easier. And across newer Office versions, you can call somebody in to a conversation easily by using @ followed by their name.

Tracked changes tricks

Working with track changes in Word is a must for collaborative document editing. But formatting tweaks can drown out substantive changes and make reviewing a real pain. Here’s a little trick to accept all formatting changes but leave insertions and deletions flagged for review:

  1. Click Review tab>Show Markup and untick “Insertions & deletions”
  2. Click Review>Accept>Accept all changes shown
  3. Review>Show Markup and re-tick “Insertions & deletions”

Office is full of these little time-savers and helpful options – visit the Tech Faculty blog to see more.