Teams testers can now open Office documents in desktop apps by default

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Microsoft is testing a new option for Teams that gives people more of a choice regarding opening Office documents. The public preview version of Microsoft Teams now allows people to open Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents in the desktop versions of the apps by default. Before this change, Teams would open Office documents within Teams and then show the option to open them in the web or desktop Office apps.

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Microsoft explains the feature in a Tech Community post:

The Teams desktop and web apps for Windows and Mac now enable users to configure the default app used to open Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files that have been shared in Microsoft Teams.

Users can configure Teams to open the file directly in Teams (default), open in the web browser, or open in the Word, Excel, or PowerPoint desktop apps.

Prior to this feature rollout, clicking a PowerPoint, Word, or Excel file shared in Teams would open the file in Teams. Users could then select the option to open the file in the browser or Office desktop app.

Teams Default Office

Source: Microsoft
This feature should save people a few clicks, especially if they always want to open a document in a specific version of an Office app.

The option has been available in Teams public preview since July 23, 2021 but was highlighted by a Microsoft engineer in a UserVoice forum (via MSPU).

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