Conferences and OneNote – updated

In-person conferences are back! And while we all managed to attend a lot of conferences online with very few issues, it is great to be able to meet face-to-face again, get swag and rejoice or complain about the catering! 😁

A few months before the pandemic I wrote a post about using OneNote to capture screenshots of presentations. When you do not want to wait until the slides become officially available, you can quickly grab screens and add them to your notes, provided you have two devices.
You can also use this at online meetings of course – just take a picture from your computer screen.

I have updated the post, as the way to take photos with OneNote has changed somewhat. You will see the button with link below, as the “reblogging” that I did the other day (for the new Microsoft365 Homepage) does not provide a good user experience. πŸ˜’

Additionally, I am adding an excerpt that you can use during the conference. You can download it as a PDF (and print and fold it), or use the image op top of this post.

As always, feel free to share with your colleagues. I will appreciate if you mention me when sharing it on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Enjoy many in-person conferences!

SharePoint Holmes and the not-so-Dynamic Description

The case

“Can you help me? I have edited my SharePoint News post two days ago, but the old text is still visible on the News page, under the title. How can I update it?”

SharePoint Holmes had not had a request for help recently, so he was eager to jump in! 😁

The investigation

Not everyone knows that the text underneath the post title on a News web part is determined by the text in the Description field. You can find the Description field in the Page Details on the post or page in question. I recently wrote about the behaviour of this Description field.

On my site’s Homepage I changed the News web part into a List view. This shows a good portion of the Description text.

I created and published a new post.

The new post, with part of the first paragraph in the Description

I checked the Description, and it matched the text; it showed almost the entire first paragraph.

As expected, the Description matches with the body text.

I then made a change to the first part of body text, republished, and checked the Description field.

The Description field still contained the old text, and on the News page the old preview text was still visible.

New body text, but still the old Description.

I then manually changed the Description text into a short summary. I had to change it manually anyway, so I tried to improve it.

As I had to redo the Description text anyway, I thought I’d make it a one-sentence summary.
This is the new Description. I think it looks much better than a sentence that trails off halfway.

The solution

Unfortunately, the Description field does not update itself when you make a change to the introduction text of a news post or page. You will have to manually update it if you want to reflect any edits.
Of course, this behaviour does not always have to be a problem. If you only make small edits, or edits in another part of the text, you do not necessarily need to change the Description.

But even if you do not need to change the text, you may want to change the Description into a snappy one-liner that immediately informs your audience about the essence of your post.

And by the way, I have now found #7 of my post 7 things to know about the Description field in SharePoint pages and news! Told you! 😊

I accidentally I have also found #8: The Description field is shown in the Newsletter digest. Not unexpected, of course, but now it has been confirmed.

The Description is also shown in the Newsletter.

About SharePoint Holmes:
Part of my role was solving user issues. Sometimes they are so common that I had a standard response, but sometimes I need to do some sleuthing to understand and solve it.
As many of my readers are in a similar position, I thought I’d introduce SharePoint Holmes, SharePoint investigator, who will go through a few cases while working out loud.

Teams Housekeeping for beginners

Most organizations will have been working with Teams for about two years now. There was an explosion of usage early in the pandemic in March/April 2020. I remember getting tons of requests for new Teams, as many people thought you need a Team site for chatting and conferencing. πŸ˜’

Many of these Team sites have never been used, at least not in my organization. Of course, the Microsoft365 admin has a role in deleting obviously unused Teams, but that is not sufficient. Team Owners and users have their own responsibility in making sure they are in the right Teams, but I know very well that not everyone has, or wants to spend, the time to do a good review and cleanup. And sometimes they do not even know how to go about it! (The psychiatrists and therapists I worked with, were not all very digitally savvy)

So, in order to avoid confusion and mess in your colleagues’ Teams setup, and colleagues complaining that “their Teams is a mess and that is Microsoft’s fault”, please help them checking their Teams on a regular basis. There are many ways that you can make Teams work for you if only you spend some time on it.

I have created a simple housekeeping flowchart. I love flowcharts and it was a good way to test-drive Visio Online! The functionality is great, but I miss the “arrange nicely” option that is in the desktop version, so please forgive me if things are a bit askew. 😊

Underneath the flowchart you will find a more elaborate description with texts and screenshots.

Feel free to use this flowchart with your audience.

You will find some more detailed instructions and screenshots below.

Step 1: Review the Teams that you are a member of

You will find all your Teams in the left-hand rail of Teams. You can manage most Team-level actions by clicking the … next to the Teams name and selecting the desired action from the popup.

The 2 Teams in my tenant.
The Team actions, with highlights on the ones that are relevant for this post

Is the Team still in use?

For each Team, first check if it is still in use. If not, you can Leave the Team and it will no longer be in your list. If you are the Owner of the Team, please Delete the Team, except when the Team has Private or Shared channels. In that case, please check with the owner and users of those channels, as those are managed differently than the regular channels.

Update 16-11-2022: You can also Archive the Team and make it read-only. This can be an intermediate solution when you want to keep the info from an important project for some time, or when someone is afraid to delete the Team altogether. My personal experience is that nobody ever looks at an Archive, so you may as well just delete the Team, but not everybody knows that yet 😁.
Instructions for archiving. Thanks to Thierry Barthel for pointing this out.

Do you still need to be a member?

❌ If you have changed jobs since you were added to this Team, you may no longer need this. Or perhaps the project in this Team has been completed or stopped, or any other change may have occurred that makes this Team no longer relevant for you.
If you do not need to be in this Team anymore, Leave the Team.

❓ If you do not know, you can Hide it. The Team will then be moved to the bottom of the list of Teams, under Hidden Teams. You can occasionally check if something has happened by clicking on the Hidden Teams and checking the Team. If the Team is useful after all, you can unhide it by clicking … next to the Team’s name and selecting “Show” from the popup.

The Demo Team is hidden and no longer clutters my list of Teams, but can be made visible easily

Alternatively, you can keep it where it is and check now and then whether you still need this. It may be a good idea to collapse the channels so you only see the Team’s name. You do this by clicking the little triangle to the left of the Team’s name. To reverse this, click the triangle again.

Teams expanded, so you see the channels that are not hidden)
When you hover over the Teams names, you will see the triangle to expand or collapse the Teams.

βœ… If this Team is still relevant for you, please check the channels as in Step 2.
If you have many Teams, you can drag the most important Team(s) to the top of the list by selecting the Team name. By default, they are sorted in order of creation.

Step 2. Review the channels in the remaining Teams

If you are certain this Team is important for you, check each channel in this Team. You cannot leave a channel, but you can hide it to make it less visible (except the General channel). It is also possible to mute notifications.

You can manage most channel-related actions by clicking the … next to the channel name and selecting the desired action from the popup.

The channel actions, with highlights on the ones relevant for this post

You will have the following options:

❌The channel is not important
Please Hide it. Once there is a new message, the channel name will show in bold letters, but if you have hidden the channel, you will not see that until you click on “Hidden channels”. You can also decide to turn off notifications.

When there is a new message in a hidden channel, you only see it when you click on “x hidden channels”. 3 channel names are bold, so there are new posts.

❓You do not know yet whether this is an important channel.
Just leave it there until you know. You can also Hide it to see if you are missing something and decide to turn off notifications.

βœ…The channel is important.
Make sure you can easily find it and get notified whenever something happens in the channel.
You can Pin it to the top of your Teams list so you can quickly find it.

A Pinned channel on top of the list, so I can easily find the most important one. 😊

With the Notifications you can make sure you will quickly know when something has been added or you have been mentioned.
You will set notifications for all your Teams and channels in your Teams settings, (click the … top right of your Teams app, next to your name, and select Settings > Notifications) There are quite a lot of options so please check it out yourself.
You can deviate per channel where necessary by using the Channel notifications in the channel actions popup.

Channel notification settings. You can set these in general in your Teams settings, and individually per channel where necessary.

Hopefully this is a good first step for most colleagues! You may want to remind them once a year that they should spend some time reviewing – once Teams have been set up properly, it will most likely only need a small revision.

7 things to know about the Description field in SharePoint pages and news

My former colleague recently asked me how to add metadata or tags to SharePoint news or pages, in order to be able to make them link to a certain common topic, and be able to find them in Search.

My first thought was to add metadata to the pages in the Pages Library, but I quickly dismissed that thought as it would mean that every publisher would have to go into the library after publication to add their metadata. It would also mean that every Page Library would have to have those fields added and back-filled and oh well, I got tired just by thinking about the implications! πŸ˜„

But then we remembered that we had once added something on the page, “somewhere in a popup to the right”. I started investigating.

It turned out that the place to look for is the Description field. You can find it by clicking on the link “Page Details” during or after creating a new post or page.

There are a few things to know about this field.

1. The Description field is almost on top of the popup

It is directly under the thumbnail of the header image.

After clicking on Page Details (1) the popup will open and you will see the Description (2).

However, the popup often opens “in the middle” so you need to scroll up to see it.

If the popup opens like this, please scroll up!

2. The Description field is auto-populated after publishing

It will be populated with the first 255 characters of the body text.

SharePoint will tell you how many characters you have left.

3. You can change or remove the text after publishing

Now why would you want to change the description text manually? Items 4 and 5 will provide the answer!

4. The text in Description is shown in the News web part

Rather than having a text that suddenly ends in the middle of a sentence, you may want to edit the Description to provide a good summary to your readers.

The number of characters displayed is depending on the configuration of the web part, e.g.

  • If you have no image, you will see more characters than with an image.
  • If your News is in a page-wide column, you will see more characters than when it is one of three columns.
  • Hub, Carousel and Tiles layouts do not show descriptions.
In the red-lined example, we can remove all text behind the ! in the Description and have one proper sentence.

This preview is not relevant for pages, as these are not shown on web parts.

5. The text in Description is shown in Search results

When you have executed a search, in all of Microsoft365, SharePoint or your site, the Description text will show in the Search results, at least the text around the keyword.

Please compare this screenshot of a news web part, where the word “peregrine” is only

  1. In the title
  2. In the body text
  3. In the Description
  4. In a different text web part

To this screenshot of a search on the word “Peregrine” in the Microsoft365 homepage search box. The numbers correspond to the list above.

The search word ‘peregrine” is in various places in the news posts, but they will all turn up in search.

Please note that I have filtered the search for News, to avoid that the various images that have been auto-uploaded to the Site Assets library during news creation, clutter the list. How was it again with images in SharePoint news? This post will tell you all.

6. The text in Description is searchable

From the screenshots you can see that the keywords can be on various places on the page, but the posts all turn up in Search.
This means that you can add keywords or metadata in the Description, without having to use that text in the title or body of the post or page.

For News, you’d best add the keywords at the bottom of the field after the summary text, so you do not show the keywords alone in the news preview. My news post 3 only has “peregrine” in the Description, and it makes a meagre preview on News.

For pages, you want to make sure that you have a good text for Search, but you do not need to worry about any preview.

Please note that I chose the word “peregrine” in my example because I have not used it before in this tenant. In real-life you will get more search results so you may need to filter.

7. The text in Description is not dynamic

When you are editing your post after publication, the description will not be adjusted. This does not have to be an issue, but you need to be aware, especially when you have edited the first paragraph of your post. My post SharePoint Holmes and the not-so-dynamic Description tells you more.

You can leave the description as is, replace it with the new intro, or even better, replace it with a summary of your post so your readers get the gist immediately!

8. The Description shows up in Newsletter

It will be no surprise, but just to be complete. The Description is also displayed underneath the title in the SharePoint Newsletter.

Conclusion

The Description field in the Page Details can be very useful in the following scenarios:

  • Providing a one-sentence summary of your news post on the News page(s) and Newsletters instead of the first words that trail off somew…
  • Making sure the post or page can be found in Search results. You can add the relevant keywords without having to add them to the title or the text. For instance, if it is related to a certain project or topic, but you do not want to use that word all the time.

Do you have other scenarios?

Are you using the Description field consciously or do you have another scenario where it comes in useful? Please let me know!

Diverting SharePoint News comments to the Author

K: “Hi Ellen, can you post this on the ICT News page for me, please?”

E: “Sure Karla, will do and I’ll let you know when you can review it.”

K: “Can you make sure all comments are directed to me?”

E: “Uh…I do not know if that is possible, I will try to find out.”

The other day a reader of my blog asked me how you can send the News comments to the person mentioned as the Author (rather than the person who created the post). I did not have an answer ready, so I decided to find out and report. I love investigating these kinds of things and finding as many workarounds as I can!
And yes, I have found a few workarounds.

Recap of the basics:

1. Read my earlier post on the topic

I suggest you read my earlier post “4 ways to manage comments on SharePoint news and pages” as a starting point.

2. By default, the Creator of the News post = the Author

When you use the defaults, the post will appear with you as the Author.
When you post something on someone else’s behalf, it is possible to click on the Author field and insert name or email address of the author. The author’s name will then be displayed on various places as the responsible person for this post.
You can simply click on the field below the title and insert the name/email address of the author. BTW, this is called the Author Byline. You can make the Author Byline visible in the Site Pages library (see screenshot with #6)

You can add the Author (when this is someone else than the publisher) by clicking on the highlighted field.

3. Readers can Like and Comment to posts and comments

There’s a simple thumbs-icon for Likes and a field to add comments. Anyone who can read the News post can give feedback.

This setting is enabled by default. If you find it is not, check with your SharePoint or Office365 admin because this is a setting in the SharePoint admin center > Settings >Pages.
The Author can decide to turn Comments off, but for News I do not think this is good practice. For Pages it can be a good idea, especially if they are meant for long-term usage.

You can Like or Comment at the bottom of the post, when enabled.

4. You can receive or stop email notifications of Likes and/or Comments

  • Check your settings on the SharePoint Homepage.
  • Click the gear wheel top right
  • Select Email Notifications Settings
  • Make sure you have the first 3 enabled if you want to be notified.

Please note this setting is for all sites you have access to, so you cannot set this per site.

On the SharePoint home page, you can click gear wheel and then Email notifications settings
The top 3 buttons should be enabled to receive notifications

5. External publishers (Creators or Authors) NEVER get email notifications

I do not think this will be a big deal for most organizations, but in my own tenant, where I am the only user, I always need externals when I want to test things like these.
So I need to plan my tests carefully. 😊

6. You can show Likes in the Pages Library

You can make the column Like Count visible in the Pages Library. This can be helpful if you do not want to receive an email every time, but you do want to keep track of Likes.
You cannot show Comments in this way, nor is there a list of Comments in the site, as far as I know.

Like count is a column that you can add to a Site Pages library view. To the right you see the name of the Author of the post (Author Byline). In most cases this is me, but some posts have another author.

7. Email notifications only go to the Creator of the post

And this is where the problem is. Although Karla would like to receive a notification of the comments, they will always be sent to me.

How can I make sure that the Author gets notified of comments and likes?

There is no simple straightforward way to set this, but workarounds a. to d. may help:

a. Train people to ALWAYS @ the Author when making a comment

As you do not see who the Creator is (unless you go to the Site Pages library) this will have to become a habit for every post within the organization. This will need education and change management!

These comments will go to the Creator (when mentioned) and also to external Creators and Authors, so this is very dependable. 😊

However, if you are a Creator who has disabled Comments on the SharePoint homepage, you will still get these messages. πŸ˜’

@mentioning the Author is workable, but will need change management

b. Use an Outlook Rule to forward Comments to the Author

The Creator must be internal and needs to make sure he or she has comments enabled on their SharePoint Home Page. They can then forward notification mails to the Author.

If they always create News for someone else, or for the same person, they can add a simple Forward rule based on the word “Comment” in the subject.

This Rule will forward all comments and replies to comments to Mystery Guest.

If they only occasionally post News on someone else’s behalf, they will need to be more specific and create a new Outlook Rule for every post, based on the title. πŸ˜’

In case the Creator only posts something on someone’s behalf occasionally, they will need to set a Rule for each post, based on the title of the post.

If the Creator does not like to have the comments, they can add an additional rule that these messages are deleted immediately after forwarding.

This also works for external Authors, providing your organization has not blocked external forwarding.

c. Use PowerAutomate

I tried to find a “trigger” for the addition of a Comment or Like, in order to notify the person in Author Byline if this was different from the person in Modified By, but could not find it. Whenever I thought I had a good trigger, I could not select the Site Pages library, so I guess Power Automate does not want me to automate something from here. (Which is strange, as the Power Automate link is visible in the Site Pages library)
Does anyone know if this is correct? Or have I just selected the wrong triggers?

Of course you can use Power Automate to forward the email that goes to the Creator, but I find Outlook Rules much easier to use.

d. Add a web part with instructions to move the conversation to Yammer or Teams

You can also disable Comments and divert the discussion to a Yammer or Teams community. The Author can set notifications there and join the discussion.
(For external Authors, please make sure you have externally facing communities!)

This will be most useful for updates for important projects that will stay in the organization for some time, as it will allow you to have an ongoing conversation about the project and its outcomes.
For a very temporary news post I think it is too much work, unless you have a generic News discussion community.

An example of diverting Comments to an open Yammer community with the relevant Yammer web part to the right.
You can also divert Comments to an open Team site. There is no web part, so I used a button, but if you publish this news in a Teams-connected SharePoint site, people can find the Team easier.

There are also some options that do NOT work or are not advisable:

e. Set Alert for Likes

Likes or Comments do not count as a “Modification of an existing item”. The Modified column shows no change when a Like or Comment is added. So, an Alert does not work for this purpose.

f. Set SharePoint Rule “when column value changes”

Sadly, this type of Rule, available for most types of modern Libraries and Lists, is not available for Site Pages libraries. πŸ˜’

For more information on this nice, but rather obscure functionality, read my earlier post: List Alerts Rule.

Rules available on all types of Lists
Rules available on all types of libraries, except the Site Pages libraries

g. Add a web part with instructions and Author’s contact details

You could disable Comments and add the Author’s contact details and ask people to message or email them. (Just clicking on the Author’s name will already bring these details, but you may need to be more specific)
Apart from being extra work for the Creator, this will make the comments invisible to the rest of the organization. Comments are meant to start some open discussion in the organization. Moving this discussion to a personal email conversation is not the way to go.

You can try to redirect people to email but that is really not the way to go.

Conclusion

I think being able to redirect Comments to the Author of a News post or page is useful functionality. There are a number of items on this topic in the Microsoft Feedback Portal and you may want to add your votes.

Depending on the situation one of the following workarounds may work:

  • The best option for now is to train your users to always use the @mentioning in Comments. This will always send a notification to the person in question, external or not.
    However, this will override disabled notifications for Comments on the SharePoint home page. πŸ˜’
  • If you post for the same person on a regular basis, you can set an Outlook Rule to forward the comment email to the Author.
  • If the News is part of an important organizational topic or project (and you post on behalf of the Project Manager, for instance) you may want to switch off Comments on the page and direct people to a Yammer or Teams community for any comments and discussion.

Please let me know if you have found other options!

From Stream (Classic) to Stream (on SharePoint) – summary

Redirecting the Stream tile to Stream (on SharePoint) will roll out to standard release tenants from now.

Office365 support folks may ask themselves what to do – enable it now or wait until more is known? Please note Stream will only be decommissioned when the functionality in SharePoint is comparable to Stream now – which is not the case at the moment. I expect you will have a year at the very least.

I have done some experiments in the last few weeks (June 2022), to give you a better idea of the current consequences of this change, and this is my advice:

  • Is Stream new for (or not yet used by) your organization?
    Redirect the tile as soon as possible, and instruct everyone in the new ways of working (video creation and storage, web parts etc.) via SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams.
  • Is Stream an important app for your organization? E.g. you have created a video portal?
    Wait until more is known. At the moment there are quite some functionality gaps, although these are being addressed as we speak.
    • You may want to do some pre-work such as checking out how many videos you have, which department is the most active, and which sites would be the receptors for videos migrated from Stream. Housekeeping could also be a good idea, if you own many videos.
    • You could also start instructing people where to create new videos and how to embed videos on pages, how to manage video in SharePoint etc.
    • Do you have an idea about how to approach the migration project when it is time? You may want to think about that now as well.
  • Do you have a few active pockets of video on Stream, and the number of likes, views and comments are not very important for the owners?
    Suggest a manual migration (download from Stream to PC and upload to SharePoint) to the owners, which will reduce the complexity of your migration project later, by doing a few things now.

I have written a few posts to help you with each of these scenarios:

What experiments have I done?

  • I have redirected my Stream tile in Office365 to Stream (on SharePoint).
    I found that this redirects to a new page in SharePoint, comparable to the Office365 homepage, where you can see all videos on OneDrive, Teams and SharePoint you have access to.
    Videos that are in Stream stay there and will eventually be deleted. This means any video on Stream that you want to keep, needs to be migrated by you.
  • This means you suddenly have a migration project. Although I expect it will be some time before Stream gets decommissioned, it will take thought, preparation, communication and other work.
    I have a few suggestions for that project.
  • Microsoft will provide a Migration tool, which I have not seen yet. I expect this will move videos with all their metadata (including comments, views, likes), but YOU will have to decide where the videos will go.
    If you do not want to wait, and/or if you have a few Stream channels where the metadata are not terribly important, you can reduce complexity by moving those videos manually. I have checked what happens when you download from Stream and upload to SharePoint.
  • Do you have Stream videos embedded on your SharePoint intranet and other pages? You will need to change web parts and link to videos in SharePoint.
    I checked which web parts are best:
    • Highlighted Content for videos from one site
    • Quick Links for a hand-picked selection of videos
    • File Viewer for a single video, illustrating a News post
  • As video is treated as a document, I have also checked if the Document Library web part would be a good web part to display video, as you can configure it more than the Highlighted Content. However, it is a lot of extra work and it is not better than the Stream or Highlighted Content web parts.
  • Do your colleagues use Stream (desktop or app) to create video’s? You may want to wean them off and suggest another app from the Office365 suite. These are my recommendations:
    • the OneDrive mobile app for their impromptu and personal videos
    • a recorded meeting on Teams desktop for more official videos, such as instructions or speeches.

When you have access to the SharePoint Admin and Message centers, you can see some improvements for Stream being planned, e.g. inline playing in the Hero web part.

The SharePoint message center will keep you informed about Stream (on SharePoint) improvements

What’s next?

I hope I have saved you some time by doing and sharing my experiments. If anything new pops up, like further improvements to Stream (on SharePoint) I may create a new post.

Good luck!

Can the document library web part look like Stream?

OneDrive and SharePoint will be the storage location for video in Office365. I have already shown earlier how to display your videos on SharePoint pages.

I was curious to learn what you can do with the document library web part for this purpose, knowing that the recommended Highlighted Content web part lacks some functionality compared to the Stream web part. I also liked the Card view for the Document Library, so I wanted to check what it can do. Not just because I like playing around with these things, but also so you, Office365 support person, does not have to do it yourself! You are already busy enough.
So the question is:

Can the Document Library web part show videos in a way that is closer to the Stream web part?

What are we aiming for?

As a reminder, this is a Stream web part for multiple videos. You see thumbnail, title, # views and #likes.

Stream (Classic) web part displaying “All of Stream”

And this is the web part for Highlighted Content, displaying Stream (on SharePoint) videos. You see thumbnail, title, uploader, date.

Highlighted Content, most recent. This displays videos in SharePoint.

So, how do we go about when we want to tweak the Document Library web part? This is the basic display, using a card view – more about that later. You see the thumbnail, name (with extension), Modified by and Modified date. Almost the same as the Highlighted Content, but less compact.

So, can we tweak the Document Library web part to be more like Stream? And if yes, how?

1. Add Title column to the All Documents view

The Document Library web part displays the file name, with an extension. If this does not bother your audience, you can skip this item.
If you want to display the title, you need to add the Title column to your All documents view. In most cases you will need to manually add the titles to your videos. This is work, but it will give you the opportunity to use a better title than the file name.
Do not remove the Name (linked to document with edit menu) column because you may need it to make individual adjustments.
Please note the Title column does not show in bold. This makes it slightly harder to notice than the Name column.

2. Create a Tiles view

In your document library you will need a view in Tiles mode before you can create Cards. So, first of all, save your standard All Documents list view again as “Page View” and then save it again as Tiles. This will be the view to add to the page, after some configuration.

If you want to display other columns in your Page view, please add them now.

The view to add to the web page (after tweaking).

3. Use different views

You now have the following views:

  • All Documents for maintenance, adding columns etc.,
  • Page View to display on your page.

Make sure you know what’s what and do not delete either. You can create other views if needed.

4. Configure Cards

You can only configure Cards in the document library itself, not on the web page. So go to your document library, open the Page View and select “Format current view” from the bottom of the view menu. (see screenshot above)

Then click on “Edit card” and the Card view will pop up with options to change it.

You can create and edit the Card view in the document library.

You can select which columns to show, and decide if you want people’s pics or not.
You can also decide if you want to show the column names. They can provide extra information, but take up vertical space, so it is up to you to see what works best.

Document card designer. The … allow you to move an item up or down

Below an example without the column names and the Modified By (as this is often not relevant), but with an extra choice column called “Topic”.

Example of configured card.

5. Showing the number of Views πŸ˜’

I know you want to see what the end product looks like on a page, but we are not there yet!
I have tried to find a way to easily show Views and Likes, as they are shown together with every Stream video.

Unfortunately I could not make the Views visible on the Card. The number of views are not stored in a column.
The only way you can see how many hits this video has had is in the document library itself. Select a video (1), click the “document details” icon (2) and you can see the number of views in the popup. (3) πŸ˜’

You can not make this visible on the page, not even when you have enabled the command bar.

You need to go to the library to see the number of views.

6. Showing the number of Likes πŸ˜’

Another thing I want to show is the number of likes. I know there is a Rating option in document libraries, so I checked out this post from Gregory Zelfond to see how I enable that again.

I did not see the Rating option in my document library and in the video Greg confirms my suspicion that this is only available in Team sites. But my Intranet site is a Communication site, obviously, and it makes much more sense to me to have a rating option in a large-audience Communication site than in a limited-access Team site!

So, just for the sake of it, I replicated my video library in a Team site and enabled the Ratings.

With Likes it looks like this:

Video library in a Team site – likes

And with Star ratings it looks like this:

Video library in a Team site – with Star ratings

Well, that looks cool, huh?

It does, BUT you can not click on the heart or the stars to give your feedback – you can only do that in the list view in the document library itself…

Another disappointment!

7. Showing the number of Comments πŸ˜’

This is not available on the Stream (Classic) web part, but you can see it in the Stream (Classic) portal and on every video page.

You can see number of views, likes and comments on the My Videos page in Stream (Classic)

I checked if there is a column that shows comments, to add to the Card. Indeed, in the View configuration there is a column called Comment count but it does not get added to the View when you select it.
(Number of) Comments are only visible when you open the video.

Comment count column – but it does not show up when you add it to the view.

8. Configuring the page

Now it is time to add the web part to the page. I used the following setup for the web part:

  • One column with the Document Library web part
  • Page View
  • Hide the command bar
  • Show “See all” button
Web part configuration

And this is the best I could do (in a Team site)

Document Library web part in a Team site, non-clickable likes.

Conclusion:

The Document Library web part is a little more flexible than the Highlighted Content web part, so you can vary in what you show on your SharePoint page. It takes some work to make it ready (you need to create and configure an extra view at least).
It does not show exactly like the Stream web part, so if you are looking for views, likes and comments we will have to wait until Microsoft comes up with a web part more like Stream.

There will be a SharePoint video collections page for Teams, that may do the trick. I have not seen that yet. More information here, please scroll to “In development – Release June 2022” for the announcement.

In any case I enjoyed myself with all the investigative work!

Where to create a video in Office365

This Stream project is a gift that keeps on giving. There are so many things I want to find out and write about! Not just for myself, but especially for you, to help you understand what this change will mean.

This change also means that you will have to change the ways your colleagues create videos. I do not know if many people in your organization are using Stream right now, but even if they don’t, you may want to create a campaign on video creation, as video is an important medium and it may be a good idea to increase the creation and usage of it in your organization.

My goal for this post is to help Office365 support folks guide their colleagues in a simple way to other video tools. “Please no longer use Stream, use …”

I have reviewed the options.

Where can you create videos in Office365?

  • Stream Classic (desktop and app – please note F3-licensed users can only view, not add!)
  • Teams (desktop and app)
  • OneDrive (app)
  • Yammer (app)

At this moment the Office mobile app does not support creating videos, but I have just learned this will be added in future as the Office mobile app is very much focused on documents. You will be able to create 90 second videos with annotations.

Stream (Classic) – desktop

You can record a screen or a video with your web cam. (Instructions from Microsoft)
You can trim the video, but it can only be 15 minutes max.

πŸ‘ Trimming options

πŸ‘ Stable image as this is usually done from laptop

πŸ‘Ž Max. 15 minutes

πŸ‘ŽType of videos is limited to web cam options or screensharing

πŸ‘Ž Created and saved in Stream which is Office365 but an app that will be discontinued, so you will have to move it to SharePoint

Stream (Classic) – app

The Stream mobile app is a bit more flexible than the desktop version. There is no time limit, and you can use the smartphone camera.

Instructions from Microsoft

πŸ‘ Quick to start

πŸ‘ Freedom in topics as this uses the smartphone camera

πŸ‘ Created and saved in Office365 (but in Stream, so you will have to move it to SharePoint)

πŸ‘ Editing options, see example below: (Not sure if I need to add that I am not an experienced video creator πŸ˜€)

πŸ‘ Trimming options (in the Stream desktop app)

You can add some effects while creating your video.
You can use the effect buttons at the bottom of your screen during recording.

Teams – desktop

Using a Teams meeting recording option, you can create a

  • meeting recording
  • “talking head” video (using the webcam)
  • screensharing recording, e.g. for Office365 instruction videos

When you use a Live Event and/or add a different camera, you can also create face-to-face event videos, such as conferences, lectures and physical town halls.

I generally use the Meet Now option to create a screensharing video.

Meet Now is a quick way to start a meeting with yourself

Instructions from Microsoft.

At this moment, it is not possible to trim or edit your video in Teams or SharePoint. You need to download your video, upload it to Stream, trim and then download and upload to SharePoint. I hope that this will be available on the other apps shortly!

πŸ‘ Created and saved in Office365 (OneDrive > Recordings folders or in a Teams channel)

πŸ‘ Stable image as this is usually done from laptop

πŸ‘Ž No trimming options, so the video generally starts with the standard Teams meeting screen

πŸ‘Ž No effect options

πŸ‘Ž Type of videos is limited to web cam options or screensharing

πŸ‘Ž You need to start a meeting first and then push the record button

Teams – app

The Teams app uses your camera phone, so you are more flexible when it comes to the topic of your recording. You can use the options from the desktop, but also flip the camera from self-view to world-view.
Instructions from Microsoft

πŸ‘ Freedom in topics as this uses the smartphone camera

πŸ‘ Created and saved in Office365 (OneDrive > Recordings folder or in a Teams channel)

πŸ‘Ž No trimming options, so you start with the standard Teams meeting screen

πŸ‘Ž No effect options

πŸ‘Ž You need to start a meeting first and then push the record button

πŸ‘Ž Video quality is not so good

πŸ‘Ž You need to give your microphone access to Teams – if you forget this there will be no sound, as in this example:

No sound, video in Teams mobile app of part of the Singel (city moat) in my hometown Utrecht
Create a “Meet Now” by tapping the camera top right.

OneDrive – app

The OneDrive app allows you to record audio or video with your regular phone camera. You are very flexible. You can flip the camera from self-view to world-view. Your video is saved in your OneDrive (root folder) and can not be edited. You can move it from there to a suitable SharePoint/Teams site for sharing. (Moving deletes it from your personal OneDrive).

πŸ‘ Automatic upload to Office365 (OneDrive root folder)

πŸ‘ Freedom in topics as this uses the smartphone camera

πŸ‘ Quick to start, compared to Teams

πŸ‘ Good video quality

πŸ‘Ž No trimming options

πŸ‘Ž No editing options

Example:

Video created with the OneDrive mobile app

Yammer app

The Yammer app also works with your phone camera. Just click the “new message” button

You can use self-view and world view, and add texts, emoji etc but it is displayed vertically, even if you film horizontally. Check out the example below. You can create a video from your feed, a community or your inbox, and the end result is stored in Yammer. The resulting message (=video + other info) can be moved to another community, but not to SharePoint, so you will have to download the video to PC and upload it to SharePoint. It is also not shown on the Stream (on SharePoint) landing page.
I expect that with native Yammer (which I am not using at the moment) you will be able to move it to another SharePoint site.

The effect options in the Yammer app

πŸ‘ Automatic upload to Office365 (Yammer)

πŸ‘ Effect options (texts, emoji etc.)

πŸ‘ Quick to start – just open Yammer and create new message

πŸ‘Freedom in topics as this uses the smartphone camera

πŸ‘Ž Needs downloading to share outside of Yammer (when using New Yammer in any case)

πŸ‘Ž No trimming or editing

πŸ‘Ž Effect options are shown vertically, even when you film horizontally

πŸ‘Ž Video quality is better than Teams, less than OneDrive

Video created with the Yammer mobile app. You can add text, emoji, drawing but only vertically.

Phone video

You can also use your phone camera to create a video and then upload it to OneDrive or SharePoint/Teams. I have not made an example as most people will know how this works.
It takes discipline to upload work videos to Office365 and delete them from personal records. If you think this is a challenge for your employees, you’d better teach them using the OneDrive app as the preferred option.

πŸ‘ Editing options including trimming, colours, filters, formatting

πŸ‘ Quick to start

πŸ‘ Good video quality

πŸ‘Ž Needs discipline to remove video (if it is a private device) after upload to Office365

Recommendation: Teams desktop or OneDrive mobile app

Stream will go away, so you will have to use another way to create videos in your organization.

In my opinion, the most useful options are

  • Teams desktop, for more formal videos, such as demo’s and talking heads
  • OneDrive app, for impromptu videos or when on location

We are really missing trimming and editing options, so I hope Microsoft will add them to SharePoint soon! This Excel file with functionality planning does not have info about the editing options. (Unless I am overlooking something). But Marijn Somers told me that a good tool (Clipchamp) will be built into Windows 11, so we can look forward to that!

Of course there are a zillion other video tools available, with excellent editing options, but my goal for today is a simple swap of Stream with another app from the Office365 suite.


How have you or will you tempt your colleagues to move away from Stream and use another option instead? Please let me know!

Manual migration from Stream to SharePoint

You will have noticed I am currently trying to find out as much as possible about the consequences of the decommissioning of Microsoft Stream.

There is no hurry, as only the Targeted Release has been able to redirect the Stream tile to SharePoint, and the standard release will only be able to do it from July 2022 onwards. When Stream will be disabled, no one knows, but I guess it will at least be a year until that happens.

Still, I like to be prepared and to know what will happen exactly, before I do something that has unpleasant side effects. And I guess you will want to know, too! So, let me save you some time by doing some experiments.

If I would still be working at the mental health care organization (I retired in January) I would have moved my small video collection manually from Stream to SharePoint in the upcoming summer period.
I owned just a few instruction videos, and although I would miss the likes and views that my videos received on Stream, those are not really important.
I can imagine that there are more small pockets in organizations that feel that way.

Migrating manually (Downloading to PC and uploading to SharePoint) will result in some data loss but it may offset the freedom to to this at your own time. Also, it will save the project manager time and complexity.
One of my readers asked what will happen to transcripts, comments and stuff. I have not used the migration tool that Microsoft will provide. But I can check what happens when you do a manual migration.

Hey ho, let’s go! 😁 (Hello, former colleague Annica, I hope you are well)

Test setup

  1. I have recorded a Teams meeting with a transcript. By default, this video has been stored in my OneDrive. I have also added a comment.
    A recorded Teams meeting may sound like a limited business case but we have created many instruction videos this way.
  2. I have downloaded it to my PC and uploaded it to Stream (Classic). There I liked the video, added a comment and a Form.
  3. I have downloaded it from Stream and uploaded to a SharePoint library. This will be the scenario for a manual migration.
  4. I have copied the OneDrive file to a SharePoint library, just to see if there is any difference.
  5. I have also downloaded the file from OneDrive and uploaded it to SharePoint, without the Stream step.

Let’s see what happens with transcripts, number of views, Forms and comments. It is already known that “likes” from Stream (Classic) will not be a feature of Stream (on SharePoint).

1. OneDrive

When I open the video the transcript pops up immediately.

Video and transcript in OneDrive

I do not get a signal that there is a comment, but that may be because I added it myself. I can open the comment section and read my comment.

Video and comment in OneDrive

2. OneDrive > download > Stream

When I download the video and upload it to Stream, and open it there, the transcript is shown top right. It has timing next to it. Please note I added comments and the like after this video was uploaded to Stream, as well as a Form.
The comment from OneDrive has disappeared.

Video, transcript, like, comment and Form (top right, under Interactivity) in Stream

3. Stream > download > SharePoint (manual migration scenario)

This leaves you with the plain video – the likes, comment from Stream, transcript and the Form are not migrated. That is strange, as the download from OneDrive to Stream migrated the transcript.

Video in SharePoint, downloaded from Stream. by default, the transcript option is disabled. πŸ˜’
Enabling the transcript option in SharePoint

When I enable the transcript, I have the option to generate a new transcript in English, or to upload the transcription file in any language.

When the video-to-be-migrated has a transcript in Stream, you can download that by going to the video, clicking the … underneath the video, selecting “Update video details”, and then you can select to download the captions.

Downloading the transcript from Stream

It is a VTT file that you can use to upload in SharePoint. It will provide you with a timed transcript.

I have generated the transcript in SharePoint.

I have also generated a new transcript and this looks almost the same as my original transcript, and it is timed, but the times are slightly different. It is nice that it can be done, but it will be extra work, of course.

I have looked at the Library settings to see if I could enable the transcript option by default, but could not find it. Perhaps I need to add a content type Video, but I could not add new content types. Someone with more experience in content types may want to jump in!!!

4. OneDrive > copy > SharePoint

When I do the regular Copy To from my OneDrive to the shared SharePoint library, the transcript (not timed) is copied and opens up when the video starts playing.

The transcript is copied from OneDrive

And also the comment from OneDrive has been copied.

The comment on my OneDrive video is copied to SharePoint.

5. OneDrive > download > SharePoint

Downloading the file removes the transcript and the comment, so this is really not a good idea.

When you download from OneDrive and upload to SharePoint, all extra’s are lost. Copying or Moving will leave the extra’s intact.

Conclusions

When looking at my proposed manual migration scenario, please be aware of the following:

  1. Likes, number of views and comments from Stream will not be migrated when downloaded and uploaded to SharePoint. For Likes this is already known, for views it is obvious, for comments it was a surprise.
  2. You can see the number of (new) views in the details pane.
  3. Forms will not be migrated – you will have to create a new SharePoint page and add the video and the Form as separate web parts. (Let’s hope better options will be developed)
  4. Transcripts will not be migrated to SharePoint and you will have to activate the option after upload of each video.
  5. You have two options to create the transcript:
    1. You can create a new transcript in SharePoint automatically when the language is English
    2. You can download the transcript from Stream and then upload it to SharePoint for all other languages.

This scenario will not work for everyone, and perhaps, knowing all this, you now want to use the Microsoft Migration tool even more! No problem, now you can explain why you want this, without having to do the investigations yourself! 😁

Coming up next:

Next time I will show the differences in video creation using Stream, Teams and OneDrive.

Alternatives for the Stream web part on your SharePoint page

So, the other day I switched the link of my Stream tile and I found out I needed to plan for a migration project of videos currently residing in Stream. Now my one-person-tenant does not have a lot of important videos anyway, let alone that they need to be migrated, but I can image that it would be an unpleasant surprise for anyone maintaining an Office365 tenant.

As I currently have some time on my hands, I have already thought about the approach of this migration project and shared that in my most recent post.

Part of your migration project will also be to replace all Stream web parts on SharePoint pages with other video player web parts. Let’s find out how things work, shall we?

Stream web part

I expect this web part to be disabled together with Stream. But you may want to know what it can look like when you look for Stream web parts to be changed.

By default, once you add this web part, the web part will show “All of Stream” with all videos you have access to. You can Sort by “Trending” (default), “Upload date”, “Views” or “Likes”. You can also filter on a word.

The default settings when you add the Stream web part

When you publish the page, you will see an array of cards, with thumbnails, titles, views and likes. On the top right you will see “View more in Stream”, which takes you to the Stream (Classic) landing page.

The default Stream web part on a published page.

When you click on a video, it will open on the same page, in a large format.

You can also use a single video as a source. In that case you will need to add the URL and you can decide the starting point of the video. This looks like the screenshot below:

Stream web part with Stream (Classic) video.

Please note there is not much to see before you hit the Play button. Only when you play will you see indications in the corners of the video that this is a Stream web part with a video living in Stream. (Especially the Stream logo bottom right). See my previous post, scroll to the bottom for screenshots.

You can also use a Channel as a source. After adding the URL you can Sort by the same options as above. This will look like the All of Stream web part, but then just a selection.

Do you see a larger web part with the text “Microsoft Stream” in bottom right? Then you do not have to do anything; this will be a video living in SharePoint or OneDrive, embedded in a File Viewer web part.

File viewer web part with SharePoint video – please note that it mentions Microsoft Stream at the bottom!

Alternative web parts

When you select web parts, search for “Video” and these options pop up:

Potential video web parts

I have not done anything with Viva Connections yet, so I will skip that one. YouTube is also out of scope – we are dealing with videos that live on SharePoint.

I have used a SharePoint page with one column, to keep things comparable.

As it turns out, videos on Stream (on SharePoint) have a different opening behaviour compared to Stream (Classic): Clicking on a thumbnail will open the document in SharePoint (or OneDrive), so you will no longer be on your page.
When you click the x top right after playing, you will open the library where the video resides, not go back to the page.
Perhaps there will be a “video portal” web part one day, or there might be a PowerShell script to change the behaviour, but I am currently not aware of that.

Update June 28, 2022: From mid-July 2022 you will be able to play videos in the Hero web part inline, so without leaving the page. Nice!

πŸ‘ File Viewer

File Viewer is excellent when you want to show just one video.

  • Easy to pick the video from the site.
  • Has a nice large display on the page (depending on the column width of course).
Published page with the File Viewer web part with one video

πŸ‘Ž Hero

The Hero web part can be used for multiple videos, but it has downsides:

  • You need to manually add each link.
  • Displays thumbnail, but not a nice card.
  • You can only add 5 per web part, so you have to manually add multiple web parts if you want to display more.
Published page with Hero web part and 5 videos.

πŸ‘ Highlighted content

This is a good alternative for the “All of Stream” or “Channel”.

  • The actual sorting is displayed on top of the web part. (“Most recent videos”)
  • You can show a library, or use a filter. I filtered for content type Video and all videos in the site are shown.
  • You can filter (on word) and sort (Most recent, Most viewed, Trending, Managed property).
  • You have various display options – screenshot below is “Grid”, but you can also use List, Carousel, Compact and Filmstrip. This Grid, Carousel and Filmstrip show cards.
  • You can select how many items you want to display.
Highlighted content – configuration

The final page looks nice, with the cards and the play button. There are no views or likes displayed.

Published page with Highlighted Content web part

If you are looking to build a portal-like site, you can check out this blog by Chris Hoard, aka Microsoft365Pro. He also uses the Highlighted Content web parts.

πŸ‘Ž Link

The Link web part can be used to embed just one video. I do not think it has any advantages over the File Viewer.

  • You need to find the video, then copy and paste the link.
  • It shows only a small thumbnail.
  • You need to remember to remove the ugly link before you publish.
  • There is very little information except the title and that is in file format (.mp4)
Configuration of the link – remember to remove the ugly URL before you publish
Published page with the link web part

πŸ‘ Quick Links

This is another good option for multiple videos, especially if they are not living in the same site/library. I have already sung the praise of this web part before.

  • You can easily pick the videos to display. You need to be careful with linking outside of your site due to permissions, though.
  • You can select different display options – I have used Grid because it shows the thumbnail, but you can also use Compact, Filmstrip (shows thumbnail as well), Button, List and Tiles.
  • The video shows the title only, but with the length of the video in the corner.
Quick links web part – configuration
Published page with Quick Links webpart

πŸ‘Ž Saved for later

This web part is useless as it displays only your own saved items and these include News items, documents etc.

πŸ‘ Document library

This is not mentioned in the video web parts but an option when you have a dedicated video library. It will show a more elaborate card, that you can tweak, but needs some work, so I would use the Highlighted Content if that looks good enough for your purpose.

  • First you will have to change the default view from List to Tiles. Save the view.
  • Click on the Views dropdown and select “Format current View” from the menu.
  • Select the “Document Card Designer” radio button and then “Edit card”
Going to the Document Card Designer from the Tiles view

You can now select the columns you want to show in the card, and if you want to show the column name.

The Document Card Designer with the default card.

Only you can determine whether this is worth the extra work.

Conclusion

None of these web parts show or play the video exactly as the Stream web part does, but in many cases the following web parts will be good alternatives:

  • For just one video, e.g. on a page with an explanatory text, or as a side column with a News post, I would suggest you use the File Viewer web part.
  • If you want to quickly display all (or most) videos from a site, the Highlighted Content is your best friend, but the Document Library web part with some modifications can work, too.
  • If you want to pick videos from a site or different sites, the Quick Links may be a good option.

Hope this was helpful and please let me know if you have any questions or tips for others in the same boat!