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Zoom video-chat: here are 10 tips, tricks and hidden functions

Zoom video-chat: here are 10 tips, tricks and hidden functions

These days, because of the spread of coronavirus, many governments, including the Italian one, are working to reduce contagions by asking the population to stay as much as possible at home and reducing the opportunities for contact with other people. For this reason, many now find themselves working and studying from home and it has helped us to spread free services as well as apps for making meetings, meetings or video calls. Among these, the most famous certainly Zoom: an application for laptops, tablets and smartphones that allows you to make calls, meetings and chats between multiple people. The application quickly spread not only among the millions of people who have to join the smart working, but also among millions of students who have to take lessons from home. Whether you've been using Zoom for years or you've just signed up, there are a number of useful tips and hidden features that you may find interesting to improve the user experience.

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Here are 10 ways to make the most of Zoom

1. Change background behind you

Not everyone knows that possible customize the background that appears behind us during a video call: in this way we can virtually transport ourselves to the beach, space or any other place we want by customizing the background during Zoom calls. a feature widely used these days when you don't want to show the background of your room because maybe we are having a meeting from our kitchen or bedroom. To change the wallpaper during video calls just go to Settings> Virtual wallpaper and select one of the predefined backgrounds or upload the desired image.

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2. Turn off audio and video by default

To have active audio and video as soon as you connect to a meeting with many other people, it may not always be the best choice. We may have to attend a meeting on Zoom without having to hear our audio or watch our video. You can prevent your interlocutors from seeing where you are or hearing the noises in the background in the room by turning off video and audio by default. To do this, go up Settings> Sound> Mute microphone so when you attend a meeting Settings> Videos> Turn off video when you join a call or the connection is not the best.

3. Mute and unmute the audio with the space bar

If you have disabled your microphone, when you are asked to speak you must press the microphone button you see in the video to speak. Alternatively you can hold down the spacebar keyboard to quickly mute and unmute the microphone.

4. React with the emojis on the screen

If you are silent during a meeting, you can still let your hosts know your thoughts with remoji action. Send a thumbs up or an applauding emoji to communicate your approval without interrupting the meeting. To react during a meeting, click the Reactions tab at the bottom of the screen (located in the same box where there are buttons to activate or deactivate video and audio) and choose the emoji you want. The emojis disappear after 5 seconds.

If the meeting organizer enables the non-verbal feedback, participants can place an icon like a raised hand next to their name when they want to speak. Each participant will be able to see the feedback of the others.

5. Discover useful keyboard shortcuts

For those who don't like clicking on the screen, Zoom has plenty keyboard shortcuts which can be useful for navigating without using the mouse.

You can use shortcuts to start a meeting, share the screen, record the video call and many more. There are keyboard shortcuts for both Windows and Mac and they are also customizable. To see the active shortcuts and customize them enter your zoom account, click on your profile photo and then select Settings> Keyboard Shortcuts

You can find the complete list of shortcuts for Mac and Windows through this link.

6. Activate the gallery view

During video meetings with the participation of several people it can be useful to activate the Gallery view which allows you to see all participants simultaneously, instead of just the person speaking. To activate it, click on the "Gallery View" tab in the upper right corner. If the meeting has 49 or fewer attendees, you will see all their screens displayed on one page. If there are others, you will have the option to move between multiple pages. You can change this function and choose to see only the speaker by clicking on "Speaker View" in the upper right corner.

Call Zoom

7. Hide participants who don't use the video

During a video call with several people, you may want to see only the participants who have the video on. For this Zoom gives the possibility to choose to hide the participants who do not use the video by going to Settings> Videos> Meetings and select Hide non-video participants.

8. Share the screen

During some meetings or during some school lessons it can be useful share your screen with the other participants. You can share the screen by clicking on the Share screen icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the meeting screen. You will have the possibility of share the entire desktop or just one of the windows you opened. Click the red Stop Sharing button at the top of the screen to return to being a regular meeting participant.

If you were looking for an application to use a kind of whiteboard, Zoom is probably not the right tool for you.In this case we recommend you go to our article on the best apps to use virtual whiteboards of 2020.

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<h3><span id=9. Activate the beauty filter

If even during smart working days you continue to dress and prepare like when you went to work, but despite everything you think you are not at your best in the video, you can use the "Touch Up My Appearance"(Touch up my appearance) of Zoom. This feature is nothing more than a filter that helps improve your appearance, smoothing the skin and making you look more rested. If you've ever used the beauty mode filter found on the selfie camera of many phones or in many social networks, you know what we're talking about.

To turn it on, click the arrow next to the video symbol> Video settings and check the box "Touch up my appearance".

10. Record the meeting

Both free and paid Zoom subscribers can decide to record the meeting on your laptop or computer using the desktop app. These recorded files can then be uploaded to a file storage service such as Google Drive or Dropbox or to a video streaming service such as YouTube or Vimeo. To enable the local registration, go to Settings> Registration and activate it. When hosting a Zoom meeting, you can also click on the Record icon located on the bottom toolbar.

These are the main tips we give you for today, do you know other tricks or functions? Let us know through the comments!