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Queen's University

Lync Quick Tips


Here is a repository of tips and tricks to provide assistance with using Lync. New tips are being added on an ongoing basis, and whenever it is necessary to communicate changes or enhancements to the service.


These Quick Tips are also being sent out through email via the LYNC-L distribution list. If you would like to receive these Quick Tips or any other news about the Lync service, you can subscribe to the mailing list by signing up on the Listserv page.


Please note: The LYNC-L distribution list was set up to provide those using the Exchange email and calendar service with information that is specific to their version of Lync. Therefore, these Quick Tips may not cover topics related to Lync Online, which is available to Office 365 users. If you are using Office 365, please be aware that the information provided here may not correspond with your version of Lync.



Missing Lync? (October 30, 2013)


If you haven't already used Lync, you might be wondering what it's all about… Lync is a unified communications and collaboration tool that you can use to connect with people virtually anywhere. It gives you access to real-time presence, instant messaging (IM), audio and video calling, rich online meetings, and extensive web conferencing capabilities.


When we say "unified," we really mean it.


Lync is integrated with Microsoft Exchange and can be used in conjunction with many of the applications that we use daily - including Queen's email and calendaring services. Because Lync uses the Global Address List (GAL), you can quickly locate and contact people in other departments and offices across campus or off-site. And you don't even need to use Lync to initiate the contact - you can launch a chat or conversation directly from Microsoft Outlook and other Office applications.


Lync eliminates the need to manage multiple programs and contact lists for email, chat, IM, and audio/video/web conferencing. It means you no longer have to resort to using personal accounts or social media for business communications. Your Outlook contacts are in one place and can be accessed from any device that's signed into Lync.


Where to Find Lync

These Quick Tips are being sent out to anyone using Queen's email and calendaring service on Exchange. If you are receiving this email, chances are that you have an Exchange account and you're probably using Office 2013 or 2010.


  • If you are using Office 2013, you should already have Lync 2013 installed on your system. To launch Lync, simply look for it in the list of installed programs in your Start Menu.
  • If you are using Office 2010, you will need to download the Lync Basic client from MyQueensU in the Software Centre.

There are a few differences between these versions. To find out which features are supported in each version, you can refer to this Client Comparison Table. It also includes other versions of Lync, including web and mobile clients that you can use in addition to your desktop version.



Lync Up with Your Contacts (November 8, 2013)


The quickest way to find someone on Lync is to search for them by name or email address, and the results are automatically pulled from the GAL.


You can verify if you've found the correct person by right-clicking their listing in the search results, then selecting "See Contact Card." The contact card contains details from the GAL, such as the person’s office location, phone numbers, as well as availability information from their Outlook calendar. The contact card can also be used to contact someone directly via email or IM, or to schedule a meeting with them.


If you don't plan to contact someone right away, but you also don't want to search for them again, you can always add them to your Contact List by clicking "Add" at the top-right side of the contact card.



Let Outlook Manage Your Presence (November 15, 2013)


Ever have those days when you seem to spend more time running between meetings than at your desk? Remembering to update your presence status is probably the last thing on your mind, but there's an easy way to let people know when you are busy or free. Lync can be set up to automatically change your presence based on your Outlook calendar availability. So when you're booked in a meeting, Lync will tell others that you're busy, and for how long.


Click on the Options icon, then choose Personal in the left side menu.


Under "Personal information manager," check "Update my presence based on my calendar information."


Other options allow you to display meeting details to your Workgroup, such as the room location. You can also set Lync to automatically display your "Out of Office" message while you're away.



Playing Lync Tag (November 23, 2013)


If you need to get a hold of someone who's not available but you don't want to keep checking their presence, Lync lets you set up alerts that will notify you as soon as their status changes.


Simply right-click the person in your contact list and select "Tag for Status Change Alerts." The next time their status changes, you'll see a notification pop up from the taskbar. You can even initiate a conversation directly from the popup.


If you only want to be notified once, the popup gives you an option to remove the tag right away, so you can carry on with whatever you're doing. 



Presence in Office Applications (November 29, 2013)


Presence is a "unified communications" feature that is subtle and can go largely unnoticed when you first start using Lync. But once you understand how it works, you'll see that it has far-reaching potential.


After Lync is installed, presence icons will conveniently start appearing in other Microsoft Office applications. These will tell you who’s online, and who can be contacted - without even having to use Lync.


In Outlook, you'll see presence icons in email messages next to the names of the sender and each recipient. By hovering your mouse over a contact, you can view more details about their presence, and bring up options to contact them directly.


You can also find presence in Office documents such as Word or PowerPoint. When viewing comments made by other contributors, their presence is immediately available. If someone is online, the thumbnail beside their name will show a green strip on the left side. If you need to get feedback about something in the document, it's easy to copy a snippet of text, then instantly send it to them in an email or an instant message.



Minimize the Clutter (December 6, 2013)


If you tend to work with many windows open at a time, you might find that having a Lync window that continuously stays open in your task bar is one too many. But it doesn't have to be this way! Lync can be set up to minimize to your notification area instead of the task bar.


      Click the Options icon and look under General >Application window.


      Check the box beside, "Minimize to notification instead of the task bar."


Now when you close the main window, Lync will continue to run and can be accessed from the notification area (at the right side of the task bar.) Any instant messages or program alerts will still pop up from the task bar, but most of the time Lync will quietly run in the background, letting you focus on all of your other multiple tasks.


You can also minimize the number of Lync windows by using tabbed conversations.


      Under the Conversation Window area at the top, check "Enable tabbed conversations."


So when you have multiple conversations going, they can all be managed in a single window.



A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words… (December 13, 2013)


Lync lets you instantly share whatever is on your screen with your contacts, without the complicated setup and administration required for many other conferencing tools.


This is especially useful for teams who work in support roles to remotely assist their clients. Having the ability to share screens with a click of a button can dramatically reduce the time it takes to troubleshoot complex issues over the phone.


Presentation Options


When you start a Lync conversation or meeting, click on the presentation (monitor) icon at the bottom of the window. On the Present tab, you have the option to share any of the following:


  • your desktop (including any or all monitors, if you have a multiple displays)
  • an open program window
  • a PowerPoint presentation
  • a whiteboard view
  • a poll
  • a Q & A session

(The poll option is another great way to get instant feedback. For example, you can use it to do a quick survey of your co-workers to find who wants to go for lunch, and where!)



Give Your Inbox a Rest (January 10, 2014)


Lync is most useful for getting that quick answer that you wouldn't get using email. In just couple of clicks, you can reply to an email with an instant message or even a group chat, avoiding those endless email chains.


You can even track your IM conversations like your email, so you'll always have a record of that "quick answer." Lync allows you to save your conversation history in a number of ways.


  1. By default, Lync doesn't automatically save your conversation history, but it can be set up to save all conversations in an Outlook folder:

          Click the Options icon and look under Personal > Personal information manager.


          Check the box beside, "Save IM conversations in my Conversation History folder," then click OK.


  2. If you don't want to save every conversation, you can them individually by using Ctrl+S before closing the window.


  3. You can also save a conversation to a file by pressing F12.



Organize Your Contacts (January 17, 2014)


Using Lync at work means no longer having to manage multiple communication tools. Lync does everything, while seamlessly integrating with your Outlook contacts. And because Lync uses the Global Address List, you don't need to exchange contact info with others to initiate communication with them. You can just do a quick search in Lync to add them to your contact list.


Lync also makes it easy to organize your contact list by letting you view contacts by Groups or Relationships.


Groups: Add the people that you contact most often to your Favorites group. Just right-click a contact, then select Add to Favorites. (This works in Outlook too!)


Create new groups to keep related contacts together. For example, you could create a group for members of a project team or a business unit that you work with regularly.


Relationships: By default, contacts are added as “Colleagues,” but you can change their Privacy Relationships to “Workgroup” or “External Contacts.” To learn more, check out this Presence & Privacy overview.



Location, Location, Location! (January 24, 2014)


If you do a lot of travelling or telecommuting, here's another simple way to let people know where you are. Lync lets you add any number of custom locations and will remember them each time you sign in.


To add a custom location:


  1. On the Lync main window, click the Location box to the right of your photo, below the Status box.
  2. Type a location name, such as “Home,” “Library” or “Pub.”
  3. When you click anywhere outside the location box, the location name will be saved.

Once you've added a location, you can select it at any time using the Location drop-down menu. But the best part is: you don't have to!


Lync will automatically associate the location name with the network where it was assigned; and will display that name whenever you're connected. That means your presence always stays current, no matter where you are.


Of course, you can always choose to hide your location, by deselecting "Show Others My Location" in the Location drop-down.



Productivity at Your Fingertips (February 4, 2014)


Since Office 2013 was designed with touch optimization in mind, here are some ways that Lync simplifies user experience for both touchscreen and mouse/keyboard users:


  • No matter where you are, you can easily join a Lync Meeting with a single touch or click on your smartphone, tablet or PC. No need to remember dial-in numbers and passcodes – just use the link provided in an Outlook meeting reminder, or join from the calendar or meeting pane on your mobile device. Or, access it directly from Lync by clicking or tapping the Meetings icon in the main window.
  • It's also easy to add contacts to meetings and conference calls. Simply find them in the main Lync window, then drag and drop them into the Group Conversation window.
  • Another great time-saver is the Quick Lync bar. When you hover over, click or touch a contact’s photo, the Quick Lync bar will appear with buttons you can use to start a chat, a call, or to view their contact card. So you don't have to right-click to bring up a menu to do the same thing, which is pretty useful if you're not using a mouse!


If you still prefer the good old fashion mouse/keyboard setup, then keyboard shortcuts can make life easier. You’ll find a list of keyboard shortcuts for your version of Lync here:



Concerned about Accessibility?


Microsoft has a page devoted to Lync accessibility. For all Microsoft products and services, please visit the Microsoft Accessibility website.



Ditch Your Dropbox (February 18, 2014)


Forget having to deal with countless cloud storage options and file sharing applications. You can transfer files quickly and securely using Lync. Files can be sent in an instant message or through a phone or video conversation, simply by dragging and dropping them into the conversation window.


All the recipient needs to do is accept the transfer. To accept the file, click Accept (or Save As…) once it appears in the conversation window. Then click the highlighted path where the file was saved to retrieve it. Lync will let the sender know when the transfer is complete.


You can send files this way to multiple recipients in a group chat, meeting or conference call. Or you can add attachments using the presentation options, which gives you more control over the viewing and versioning of files.


  1. At the bottom of the meeting window, click the presentation (monitor) icon.
  2. Click on the Attachments tab at the top.
  3. Click Add Attachment and browse to select one or more files.
  4. In the Attachments window, you can open a file, change download permissions, or rename it.
  5. Click Close at the bottom when finished.
  6. If you need to remove or modify an attachment, click Manage Attachments at the bottom of the window.



The Finer Nuances of Presence (February 25, 2014)


A "Busy" status can be open to interpretation, depending on how it is set. If your presence is based on your Outlook calendar availability, then you'll appear as Busy whenever you're in a meeting or have blocked out time marked as "Busy." You can also use Lync to manually set a Busy status whenever you need to.


However, it's not always apparent when someone who is "Busy" is at their desk, reachable by cellphone, or unable to communicate at all. This means it’s generally acceptable to send them a message to see if they are able to chat, or to ask a quick question that can be answered when it's convenient.


Presenting: "Do Not Disturb"


What's important to know is that "Busy" is not the same as "Do Not Disturb," and should not be used in situations where the receipt of an instant message is inconvenient or embarrassing. For example, you wouldn't want a message to appear while presenting your desktop in a live demonstration, particularly if it's displayed on a projector to a room full of people.


Sharing your desktop allows others to see everything, including notifications. It is most useful when you need to switch between applications in support or troubleshooting scenarios, or when collaborating with others on multiple documents. Otherwise, you should choose to present a program or a secondary monitor. Others will see only that program, document or screen, and nothing else.


If you must share your desktop, you can have Lync automatically change your status to "Do Not Disturb," to prevent notifications from appearing while you are presenting. Go to Options > Status, then check, "Show me as Do Not Disturb when I present my desktop."


There are additional options for how alerts are handled while in "Do Not Disturb," based on your Privacy Relationships. These are found under Options > Alerts, in the section, "When my status is Do Not Disturb."



Manage Meeting Notes in OneNote (March 11, 2014)


If you haven't tried OneNote, now is a good time to check it out. It's an incredibly versatile tool for storing and organizing all of your notes in one place. (In fact, these Quick Tips get drafted in OneNote before they're sent out!)


OneNote integrates well with Outlook and other Office applications, and Lync adds a new level of interactivity for managing your meeting notes.


If you're planning a Lync meeting, you can create your notes in OneNote before the meeting, or while it's in progress. You can then use Lync to update your notes during the meeting.


  • Click the presentation (monitor) icon at the bottom of the window, then click the OneNote tab to select an existing note or create a new note.
  • OneNote will open the note and automatically insert the meeting subject and a list of participants. The list is collapsible, which keeps things tidy if there are many attendees.


Another tip: If you mouse over a participant, you can bring up their contact options and view their presence status. This actually works with any linked email address for any contact - from anywhere in OneNote. So, if you ever need to follow up with someone after a meeting, they're just a click away.


In OneNote, you can also combine details from multiple Lync or Outlook meetings. Use the Meeting Details button on the Home tab to a select a meeting. Its details will be added to your note the same way as with Lync. It will also include the date, location and invitation message.


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