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11 tricks to have the best video conferences

Zoom is a video calling service that has notably increased its activities in the last year. We don’t have to tell you that the pandemic and teleworking have had a lot to do with this being the case. If you are one of those users who have to deal with Zoom, either attending video conferences or organizing them, this article interests you. We are going to tell you the best tricks to get the most out of Zoom and its application.

Before we start, let us clarify something for you. In this article we focus primarily on the Zoom desktop application. All of your clients, regardless of whether they run on macOS, Windows, or Linux, have identical features. Nevertheless, Zoom applies restrictions to some features depending on the version of the system or the hardware of your computer. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that all the cheats mentioned here are valid on all computers. To compile this guide, we have used the latest version of Zoom released to date for macOS. Made the necessary clarifications, we go with the top tips for Zoom that you should know.

Organize meetings without leaving the application

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Zoom allows you to create future meetings with guests thanks to its function Schedule. On the home screen you will find a button with the same name. Click on it to organize a new meeting. In the pop-up window you must indicate the topic, the date and time and if it is a recurring meeting. You also have security options, such as changing your password or using a random ID. You can even use the Google calendar to annotate the meeting. In the advanced options you will find settings related to the recording of the meeting and the blocking of users by region or country.

Zoom also has a chat

It is logical that when you read the name Zoom, a video conference comes to mind. All in all, the app it will also help you to chat with your contacts. As you can see, Zoom is a complete communication tool that combines audio and video with text messages. As in other applications, it includes bots and channels. Sadly, these latter features are not as comprehensive as Telegram’s.

Send reactions in your meetings

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Within a videoconference you have several reactions to express to others what you feel. Found on the button Reactions, along with the security options. Although some default emojis are displayed, Zoom allows you to send any other emoticon. In the same way, it is in that same place where you will find the option Raise your hand, which places your window at the beginning so that the speaker can see you quickly. Remember that how to use these elements will depend on the rules that have been established in the meeting.

View all the information of your meeting

The Zoom client has a section in which all meeting data is displayed. It is accessible through a button located in the upper left corner in the shape of a shield. Clicking on it will show the meeting ID, topic, password and if encryption is enabled or not. It is also a good place to copy the meeting link to share with other participants.

Get the most out of screen sharing

screen-sharing-options

This video conferencing platform has one of the most comprehensive screen sharing features on the market. Obviously, it allows meeting attendees to see everything that happens on the host’s screen. But that is not the only option.

  • Share a window. In section BASIC, you will be able to select a single window to share. Zoom will project it even if you move it across the desktop or resize it.
  • Share slides. PowerPoint presentations are fully compatible with Zoom. In addition, it allows them to be used as a virtual background for the speaker to add the appropriate explanations.
  • Other advanced ways to share screen. In the same section, you have the modalities Screen part, Computer audio and Video. You can even share the content of a second camera.
  • Share files. Finally, in the section Records Various cloud storage services are available from which to share files with others.

All these functions are available in the menu Share screen which you will see at the bottom of the window. Depending on the version of Zoom you have installed, your operating system and the power of your computer, some features may not be available. Remember that if you also want to share the team’s audio, you must check the box Share sound.

Use keyboard shortcuts to zoom faster

Zoom keyboard shortcuts will help you operate the application without lifting your hands from the keyboard. Here is a selection of the default shortcuts for the Windows version of the application. If you are not convinced, you should know that they are modifiable in the application settings, by clicking on the section Keyboard shortcuts. There you also have the option Enable global shortcut, which enables direct access from anywhere in the operating system, even if Zoom is not the active window.

Zoom keyboard shortcuts in 2021

  • F6: scroll through Zoom pop-ups.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Shift: move the plane to Zoom meeting controls.
  • Page Down: view 25 previous videos in the gallery view.
  • Page Up: view sequence of next 25 videos in gallery view.
  • Alt: enable / disable the option Always show meeting controls in the General settings.
  • Alt + F1: switch to active speaker view in a video meeting.
  • Alt + F2: Change the gallery video view in a video meeting.
  • Alt + F4: close the current window.
  • Alt + V: start / stop video.
  • Alt + A: mute / unmute audio.
  • Alt + M: mute / unmute audio for everyone except the host.
  • Note: Only for the meeting host.
  • Alt + S: Open screen sharing window and stop screen sharing.
  • Alt + Shift + S: start / stop the new shared screen.
  • Alt + T: Pause or resume screen sharing.
  • Alt + R: start / stop local recording.
  • Alt + C: start / stop cloud recording.
  • Alt + P: pause or resume recording.
  • Alt + N: change camera.
  • Alt + F: enter or exit full screen.
  • Alt + H: show / hide meeting chat panel.
  • Alt + U: show / hide participants panel.
  • Alt + I: open the invite window.
  • Alt + Y: raise / lower the hand.
  • Alt + Shift + R: get the remote control.
  • Alt + Shift + G: stop the remote control.
  • Ctrl + 2: read the name of the active speaker.
  • Ctrl + Alt + Shift + H: show / hide floating controls for the meeting.
  • Alt + Shift + T: screenshot.
  • Alt + L: switch to portrait / landscape view
  • Ctrl + W: close current chat session.
  • Ctrl + up: go to chat previous.
  • Ctrl + down: go to the next chat.
  • Ctrl + T: go to chat with a participant.
  • Ctrl + F: search.
  • Ctrl + Tab: go to the next tab (right).
  • Ctrl + Shift + Tab: go to the previous (left) tab.
  • Ctrl + Shift + P: call the highlighted phone number.
  • Ctrl + Shift + A: accept incoming call.
  • Ctrl + Shift + E: end current call.
  • Ctrl + Shift + D: reject incoming call.
  • Ctrl + Shift + M: mute / unmute microphone audio.
  • Ctrl + Shift + H: put call on hold / retrieve call on hold.

Control what other participants can do

security options

Security during your meetings is important so as not to put participants at risk. Controlling what other users can do will also help you maintain order. Click on the section Security to see all available parameters. We recommend that you activate the Waiting room to prevent anyone from sneaking into the video conference or disabling the Chat if this is not used in the proper way.

Improve the appearance of your video

Zoom incorporates some options that will help you improve your appearance during a video call. Access the application settings and select Video. So, do the following:

  • Enable the option Adjust for low light. Then set it to Automatic or modify it manually.
  • Use the option Original proportion if your image appears somewhat distorted.
  • Activate the HD to send the signal with higher quality.
  • Check the box Mirror my video so that the image you see matches your movements.

Show up to 49 participants simultaneously

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With the view Gallery up to 25 participants can be viewed at the same time. However, you may need to increase that number for some reason. Go to Video, in the Zoom options and scroll to the end of the list of settings. So under the statement Maximum participants displayed per screen in gallery view, select 49 participants.

Be careful with the elimination of noise

The option Suppress background noise useful if you connect to a meeting in a low-quiet environment. However, a setting that is too restrictive in this regard can cause others to not hear you well. If you go to the settings and open the section Audio, you will see the available options. Each one comes with a little explanation. Zoom advises you to use noise suppression Come down with slight background sounds. Half It is the right level for fans or pencil strokes. AND High It is used to eliminate the noise of the keyboard or the barking of a dog. Finally, you have an automatic option.

Experiment with backgrounds and filters

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We could not close this article in a more appropriate way. The backgrounds and filters They are one of the functions that bring more personalization to video calls. You will find all the related settings in the section Background and filters configuration. On the one hand, it is possible to select any background image or video (this last feature is not available on all computers). Additionally, Zoom includes several filters that add frames and decorations to the image. It even allows you to use virtual glasses, hats or masks. And if you click Studio effects, you will be able to modify your eyebrows and add a beard or mustache to your face. Our recommendation in this regard is that you create a meeting in which only you participate and try all these options. This will prevent you from messing up during an important video conference.