Microsoft Loop is a new Office app that is going to change how we work. It’ll provide a set of new components to many existing services (e.g., Teams, SharePoint). Last year Microsoft announced it during Ignite 2021 Fall edition and released the first set of components to Teams. I checked them 2 months ago but now I have more time to play with them and show you how you can use them in Teams.
Microsoft Loop is based on Fluid framework (a framework designed to real time collaboration between applications). There are 3 main parts:
Components are atomic functionalities that you can use. For example, a paragraph of text where you can type anything, a table, a bullet list, an image, etc. Each component has specific features and options (e.g., text can be formatted). If you are familiar with SharePoint, you can think of them as webparts.
When multiple people work together on the same component, each change is automatically synchronized with all users. No need to refresh a page or wait a minute – instant update on all instances!
Components can be arranged together into a page. The page can have one or multiple components. You can arrange components to meet your requirements. Each component on the page is automatically synchronized with all users. For example, you can create a page for your meeting and select a few components to gather all the required information.
You can arrange pages into a bigger object – Workspace. You can compare it to OneNote’s workbook with multiple pages inside. The Workspace can be dedicated to a project or department goal.
Loop components in Teams
Right now, you can use only Loop Components in Teams chat. Let’s go and check what we can do with them.
To start open a Teams chat and click on a Loop components icon and select a component.
There are 6 components available from chat window:
Common bulleted list with title.
Active checklist – you can check/uncheck items.
List with autonumbered items.
Text paragraph with basic formatting options.
Table with sorting.
Task list with Title, Assigned to, and Due date fields. Each task can be completed on the list.
Each component can be edited at any time on a chat window. Just click on it and update the data. When you select a text a new context menu appears with additional formatting options (for example, bold text, underline text, change indent, add a link, etc).
That’s not all! When you type anywhere ‘/’ you get a context menu with additional Loop components. You can type it inside a Component or below it. This allows you to create a Loop Page (a container with multiple Components). You can find the same option in WordPress and some other online editors. Easy and quick option to add additional components to an existing page.
When you use a component in Teams it’s saved automatically in your OneDrive in folder “Microsoft Teams Chat Filles” as a .fluid file. The file has the same features as any other files in OneDrive – renaming, moving, deleting, sharing options, and version control. Loop Components can be edited all the time and such options are very important – you can restore previous version or even restore it from a Recyle Bin!
When you click on the file it opens as a page in your browser. All features are the same as in Teams but now you can work on full screen. You can even add the page to your Teams channel as a tab (Web site). You can’t add a Loop component to channel chat so it might be a workaround. Opening it in a separate page is way better for large Pages – you get all Components on a larger window.
On this example you can find 5 different Components.
If you want to discover all your Loop pages/components go to the Office portal and filter your files to display only Loop components. You will get a nice list with all pages containing Loop components.
Loop components in Teams are a great starting point. You can play with components and test a new way of collaboration. At this stage, you can even build complex pages. More components and features are coming this year and will put existing features to the next level. For example, Loop components in Teams meetings, Pages, Workspaces, integration with other services.
I’m excited about upcoming features, and I hope they will come soon. My favorite ones are Components for Teams meetings!