Email or print work items

VSTS | TFS 2018 | TFS 2017 | TFS 2015 | TFS 2013 | Visual Studio 2015 | Team Explorer Everywhere

Using work items to track your work provides a host of benefits, including the ability to easily share information. You can capture most information within the work item Description or other rich-text formatted field. If you need to maintain the information in a different format, you can easily link to or attach a file.

Here's a list of the most common ways in which teams share information and plans using work item tracking.

Note

Feature availability: Some features are only available from the web portal or a Team Foundation client such as Visual Studio or the Eclipse plug-in, Team Explorer Everywhere (TEE).

Task/feature Web portal Visual Studio TEE (Eclipse plug-in)
Email summary list with links to work item(s) checkmark checkmark checkmark
Print work item(s) checkmark
Email link to a work item query checkmark checkmark
Email query results list checkmark checkmark
Release summary (VSTS) checkmark

In addition, if you have stakeholders who don't contribute code but want to contribute to the discussion and review progress, make sure you provide them stakeholder access so that they can view work items and dashboards.

Some of the most common ways information is shared within a team or across teams is by emailing lists or links to work items.

Email a single item

You can quickly email a summary of one or more work items. Summaries include the values assigned to these fields: work item ID, title, work item type, assigned to, state, and tags.

Note

You can only send the email to addresses that are recognized by the system, that is accounts of team members or stakeholders. If you add an email account that the system doesn't recognize, you receive a message that one or more recipients of your email don't permissions to read the mailed work items.

VSTS


From the web portal, open the Actions icon Actions menu and choose the email option.

Email work item from VSTS

TFS, Web Portal

From the web portal, open the work item and click the mail icon mail icon.

Email work item from on-prem TFS

Note

If you connect to an on-premises TFS, your TFS admin must have configured an SMTP server for the email feature to work.

Another way to share items is by emailing summary lists, such as a sprint summary plan or active bugs list. You can do this from a backlog or query results list.

Depending on the option and client you choose, summary lists may or may not include a hyperlink to the work item ID.

VSTS, TFS 2017

To email items from the web portal: Open a backlog or query and highlight the items from the list. Open the context menu for one of the selected items and select to email them.

Email selected items from a list

If you want to mail a list of all items in the backlog or query, simply click the mail icon mail icon.

Email full backlog or query results list

TFS 2015

Note

Your TFS admin must have configured an SMTP server for the email feature to work.

To email items from the web portal for TFS 2015: Open a backlog or query and highlight the items from the list. Open the context menu for one of the selected items and select to email them.

Email selected items from a list

If you want to mail a list of all items in the backlog or query, simply click the mail icon mail icon.

Email full backlog or query results list

Copy formatted list of work items

With this option, you can copy an HTML formatted table of selected items. You can then email this list using your choice of email client.

  1. From the web portal, open a backlog or a list of query results.

  2. Select the work items you want to copy.

    Copy as HTML selected work items

    The formatted table contains a link to each work item included in your selected results list.

  3. Paste the contents of the clipboard into your email client or other application. To open a linked work item, requires users to have read access to the project or area node for those work items.

To print the details of a work item, open a query in Visual Studio that contains the work item(s) you want to print, and select or highlight those items that you want to print. Then, choose the print option from the context menu.

Print work items from Team Explorer

Copy the URL to a single work item

Note

All URLs you copy, regardless of the client you use to copy them, opens the work item in the web portal.

VSTS, TFS 2017

From the web portal, simply copy the URL from the web browser address or hover over the title and then click the Copy to clipboard icon copy-to-clipboard icon.

Copy hyperlink for a work item from web portal

TFS 2015, TFS 2013

From the web portal for an on-premises TFS, open the work item and then from the context menu for the browser, choose the copy link option.

Copy hyperlink for a work item from web portal for TFS item

Email release summary

From Build and release>Releases, choose a specific release and click the email Send Email icon to share the results of that release.

Note

Feature availability: This feature is available from VSTS and TFS 2018 and later versions.

Release summary, send email

In the To box, start typing the name of the team member you want to send the summary mail to.

Email of a release summary

Optionally, enter a note about the release or un-check any section you don't want included. The default is to include all details, environmental summary, issues, and work items associated with the release.

As you can see, there are many ways to share information using work items alone.

See also the following topics: