10 Lync Client Tips for Power Users

In this post, I am taking a bit of break from usual Lync Server/Infrastructure write-up and introduce some not so obvious features in Lync client. Some of them are not strictly features but just little hacks to do cool stuff. Lot of these features/hacks are perhaps bit geeky but you will be surprised what you can do with the Lync client.

I am assuming anyone reading this is reasonably familiar with the Lync Client interface. Most tips work with both Lync 2010 and 2013 clients.

  1. You can copy an email address directly off your Lync contact list for single or multiple users without opening each Contact Card.
    1. Copy a single contact


    2. Copy multiple contacts selectively (to do this press the Ctrl key while you click on the contacts you want to copy, and then right click)


    3. Copy users from all the groups from your Contact list

      To do this just collapse all your groups, then press Shift and while you are holding it click the first group and the last group. All the groups should be highlighted now. Just right click and select Copy.


    Now what you get after a copy (paste into a notepad), something like this:

    joe@allthingsuc.co.uk; jim@allthingsuc.co.uk;kate@contoso.com; bill@fabrikam;stella@allthingsuc.co.uk; vik@modalitysystems.com; lisa@outlook.com.

    Well now that ain’t pretty, is it? To make it bit nicer quickly, in your Search bar find and launch Powershell. This will open a new window as below. Enter everything here you copied earlier, along with what’s highlighted in red as below. This will produce a nice little list as below.

    (” joe@allthingsuc.co.uk; jim@allthingsuc.co.uk; kate@contoso.com; bill@fabrikam; stella@allthingsuc.co.uk; vik@modalitysystems.com; lisa@outlook.com“).split(“;”)


    Why in the world would I ever want to do this? Well now you are not a Lync admin and you don’t have those great powers bestowed upon you which allows you to see everyone’s contact list and back it up. Or maybe you are just paranoid about your Contact list and can’t even bear the thought of losing it – whatever the case may be you now you have a got a list of all your contacts – as a backup or for sharing with someone. Wouldn’t it be nice if a new colleague joins and you can just send him you entire contact list to add into his contact list!

     

  2. Following on from the above tip when you right click you can start an IM, Conference Call, Video Call, etc. not with just one person.(and other actions in the right click menu) but with all the contacts at the same time, specific group or you can just choose contacts selectively.


     

  3. Check Call quality

    Anyone using Lync for Voice is probably aware about the Check call quality option in Lync. It is an extremely useful way to quickly check the quality of your audio device. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do something like that from your Lync Mobile client as well (it’s a different thing it may not be as useful, but then we are not here to discuss useful things, just cool things although sometimes cool things happen to be useful as well)! Well, you can exactly do that. Just search for Audio Test Service in the search box and add it to your contact list. Once added to your contact list you can just call Audio Test Service from Lync Mobile (or any other Lync voice enabled endpoint) irrespective of if does have Check call quality option or not.


     

  4. Check Call quality…again!

    Now let’s extend Check Call quality bit further. Typically when you perform Check Call quality it actually makes a call to Audio Test Service on your Lync server (did you say what is a Lync server? Perhaps this will be helpful and if you really like it than this will be useful, and if you are still in the game, perhaps this is where you want to be ) where your account is hosted. But say for whatever reason you want to test your call quality to not your own server (some IT guys say it Lync pools as well, which is just a bunch of Lync servers which behave as one) but another Lync server. To do this just search for Audio Test Service in the search box, if you have more than one Lync Server, you will see multiple Audio Test Service coming up. You can just connect to any one of them.


    Use case: Assume you are on a UK Lync server. You have a conference call with your colleague on US Lync server. He keeps complaining about your poor quality. Well, now you can trust him and take his word that your audio quality is bad (your headset maybe), or you can take matters in your own hand and test it for yourself. You can anytime just ring his Lync Server Audio Test Service and check the sort of quality you are going to have. Ok, great, but how do I know which one is my Audio Test Service and which is my colleagues Audio Test Service. Well, the easy way is to ask your Lync admin to run this cryptic command Get-CsApplicationEndpoint | ? {$_.displayname -eq “Audio Test Service”} | select sipaddress, registrarpool . Ask him to interpret the output for you and you should be good. Alternatively, if he/she isn’t very helpful, you can always find the SIP address of your Audio Test Service and you colleagues Audio Test Service from Audio Test Service Contact card! Hang on, since when do automated systems even have a contact card….ummm…since Lync! I think we are having an overdose of Audio Test service now so let’s leave this topic for another day.

     

  5. Other phone number field in Lync

    Imagine those guys in your IT department and HR don’t really get on very well. Your old/contact number is still displayed in Lync contact card and seems like the HR guys won’t be speaking to IT guys anytime soon to update your phone number. So people keep seeing your old phone number in there Lync contact cards. Now, Lync certainly cannot get your IT department and HR guys talking (although it may help) but it does give you the power to choose if you want to display your number in your contact card or not. Just go into Phones section and uncheck Include in my contact card. Now when someone else looks at your contact card they will not see those incorrect phone numbers populated.


    In fact what you can than do is take this a step further, and populate the Other Phone field and select Include in my contact card. Now whatever you enter here will be displayed in your contact card.


    Now one benefit the Others get is they see you correct phone number. But what is it in there for me? Well what you get is this – you might have noticed that when someone calls you in Lync you have an option to click and redirect the (by clicking Options) call to – couple of different places – Voicemail, Reply with IM, Set DND. In those options you will also see an option to transfer that call to one of your phone numbers which are listed in Phones section.


     

  6. Search by title in the Lync address book

    If you have used Lync for even few minutes one of the first thing you probably would do is search for someone to start a conversation. You would typically enter their first or last name. But did you know you can just search in Lync by Title as well. Obviously this does assume this information is populated in Active Directory (it’s just a database which keeps information about you like name, login id, and password).


    So to quickly find all the Managers in your organisation you can just search for Manager in the search bar. This will displays all the users who have Manager in their Title. BTW, Lync will only display the first 50 matches.

    And also you can search by entering the Company name. It’s not as useful as searching by title but can be useful when you have multiple companies sitting within a single Lync deployment.

     

  7. Change the sound settings of your Lync client.

    Now I am not talking here about changing your ringtone which you can quite easily do by going into Options>Ringtones and Sounds but all other sounds you hear when you are using Lync – e.g.: what sounds is played when someone sends and IM to you, when the call disconnects, when the call is connecting or ending, etc. Unsurprisingly, as Lync client runs on top of Windows it’s at this level where you configure these sounds.

    Simply got to Control Panel > Sounds and go to Sounds tab. From here scroll until you find Lync. Just underneath it you will find all kinds of Lync Client sounds which you can change to your heart’s content.


     

  8. Change inactive status to more than 5 minutes

    As people are adopting Lync more and more I have also noticed that in some organisations the managers are keeping an eye on their employees by looking at the Lync presence – Green is good, anything else, probably the employee is not working! This certainly is not what Lync presence is for. But, hey, you can easily out-beat your manager if that is the gauge of your productivity. Just change your status so that it does not change to Inactive automatically after 5 minutes. Change it to something higher….30…60…100…up to 360, whatever you like.


     

  9. Place a call to the same Lync user from yourself. ( Caller should be using Lync 2010 client)

    I don’t get it what do you mean? Well what I mean to say is if you are talking to Bob, using Lync Client you can make another call to Bob from the same Lync client you are using. Now this seems odd, why the heck in the world I want to call Bob from the same phone (or Lync endpoint) to his same Lync endpoint when I am already talking to him! Well, guess what, I don’t know either why you want to do that…but just in case you want to its good to know you can.

    Now let’s see how it works, an example here will certainly help.

    Vikas Test1 (Lync 2010) called me, Vikas Jaswal (Lync 2013) via Lync call. Now what we want to do is call Vikas Jaswal again. To do this go to your Conversation History as highlighted, and locate Vikas Jaswal (you will only see someone here if they or you have contacted them in the past). Now to make a 2nd call to the same contact hover you mouse over the contact and double click on the Call button quickly (this is really important)


    Once you have double clicked you will get the following window.


    From this window just hit the call button to start another call.


    Now, here’s the cool bit, you can continue to have as many calls with the same person as you want.

    In the screenshot below Vikas Test1 is having 6 conversation with Vikas Jaswal -1 active and 5 On hold.


    In Vikas Test1 Lync client you can see the call status for each call – 5 on hold and 1 Active


    This is what I (Vikas Jaswal) sees on my screen. I have got 6 incoming calls from Vikas Test1!


    Ummm, ok that sounds cool’ish, but I don’t think it’s something I am really interested in.

    Well, now you may not be interested in this but your Lync admin probably is. Next time you want a favour off him tell him this tip, and tell him he can use this to simulate CAC. Hopefully he/she know what you mean and you will earn some brownie points!

    And, there is something little naughty about this tip as well. If you want to quickly stress test your network just do as many calls you want to find the breaking point .Hope you admin has already configured CAC.

     

  10. User browser for Lync meetings rather than Lync Client

    This tip is fairly common but I thought its worth sharing in case you don’t know about it.

    When you receive a Meeting invite from someone for a Lync meeting, it typically looks like https://meet.modalitysystems.com/vikas.jaswal/V544444. When you click on this it launches your Lync client. Now assume for whatever reason you do not want to use the Lync client to join the meeting. You can also use the browser to join the meeting . To do this open your browser, paste the meeting link and add ?sl=1 to end of the meeting. So the meeting invite will look like https://meet.modalitysystems.com/vikas.jaswal/V544444?sl=1

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