16 Zoom tricks and better features to manage video meetings

zoom tricks
Among the most used applications in the world for video conferencing is Zoom, which came to the fore during the forced quarantine for Coronavirus. His online solution for videoconferencing and webinars is truly among the best ever and there are few alternatives that can compete (although there is no shortage as seen in the guide to best apps to do free webinars). After writing one Zoom guide, it is worth going to find out all the functions of this program to manage video resonations, tricks and options to improve its skills, to maximize the video conferencing experience with Zoom and also to make it less boring and more fun.
For most tricks you need to download the Zoom program on Windows or Mac1) Add a virtual wallpaper
The most interesting function of Zoom is certainly the one that allows you to change the background during a video call, that is, to make sure that something else appears behind us instead of our room. With the Virtual Background function you can add a personalized background, a photo or a video, during a Zoom video meeting. To enable the personalized wallpaper, press the Settings button at the top right and go to the “Virtual Background”To be able to choose a background such as the sea or the space or you can press the + key to add an image or video taken from the computer. This function can also be activated on iOS.

2) Mute and unmute the microphone quickly
If you participate in a meeting with many participants, it would be better if only the speaker keeps the microphone active, while the others can deactivate it and then activate it quickly only when we want to intervene, holding down the space bar on the computer keyboard. The bar enables the microphone when held down and turns it off when released. In this way, even a meeting with many people will still remain fluid and without confusion.
To use this function, check that the “Press Space ..“in Settings -> Audio and that the “Mute Microphone …“.

3) Disable video in a meeting
If we use Zoom a lot, when we receive a meeting notification, it is possible to join by keeping the webcam turned off, at least until we are in order and presentable. To use this function you can activate the option that deactivates the video when you join a meeting (Turn Off video whjen join …) found in Settings -> Videos .

4) Useful keyboard shortcuts
To become a Zoom expert and master the instrument perfectly, you should learn the keyboard shortcuts. In addition to the one to activate and deactivate the microphone with the space bar seen in point 2, other important shortcuts for Windows and Mac:
– Enable / disable video: Alt + V (On Mac Command + Shift + V)
– Enable / disable screen sharing: Alt + S (On Mac Command + Shift + S)
– Take a screenshot: Alt + Shift + T (On Mac Command + T)
– Enable / disable video recording: Alt + R (On Mac Command + Shift + R)
– see active speaker: Ctrl + 2 (On Mac Command + 2)
– Mute all: Alt + M (Cmd + Ctrl + M on Mac)
In addition to this, in the Zoom Settings you can activate the global option under the section of the Keyboard Shortcuts (where you can see all the keyboard shortcuts) so that you can make Zoom shortcuts work even if the Zoom program window is not in the foreground.

5) See all participants
During a video meeting with Zoom, you can view the speaking person on the screen. Instead, you can press the button next to the meeting time button at the top right to see all the participants of the video conference in a grid on the same page at the same time.

6) Automatically copy the URL for the meeting invitation
If you need to invite many attendees to the Zoom meeting, you can enable a feature that automatically copies the invitation URL to the clipboard as soon as you start the meeting, to save time sharing it. In Settings, in the card General, enable the option to automatically copy the invitation URL once the meeting starts (automatically copy invitation URL …).

7) Screen sharing
Screen sharing is one of the best Zoom features. While many organizations use it for remote assistance, you can also use it to watch movies and videos with friends. To use it, start a meeting and then press the “Share screen” button at the bottom. After that, you can enable sharing for the whole screen or only for the active window. You can also share computer audio for a better experience. During screen sharing you can also use annotation tools to highlight specific areas on the screen.

8) Integrate third-party apps
Zoom can expand its functions by installing apps to integrate. For example, you can join a Microsoft Teams meeting from Zoom or import the meeting schedule from Google Calendar or Outlook or even start a video conversation from Slack. All Zoom apps can be found in its Marketplace. Zoom to Google Calendar, Outlook and Exchange can be integrated into profile settings (https://zoom.us/profile)

9) Enable local logging
Another important and free Zoom function is that of recording, to save the videos of all the meetings made from the PC. During a video conference just press the Record button. The recording is saved in the Documents folder.

10) Add effects and filters to Zoom
The Snap Camera program allows you to use Snapchat filters and effects to improve your appearance taken by the webcam or camera. Although I don’t know how useful it is, integrating Snap Camera with Zoom is quite fun, especially if you are using Zoom in a group call with friends. To use it, you need to download the Snap Camera application for Windows or macOS, install it and then choose one of the many effects. Keeping the Snap Camera open, restart Zoom and then in Settings> Video, change the Camera option by setting the Snap Cam in place of the default webcam. The image taken by our webcam will now have Snapchat filters during each video meeting and you can change every effect from Snap Cam in real time.

11) Improve your appearance
In addition to the integration with Snap Camera, Zoom also offers a native option to be more beautiful in videoconferencing. This option (Touch Up My Appearance) is located in Settings> Videos. The effect is to soften the skin tone and smooth any imperfections of the face. This option can also be used from the Zoom iPhone app.

12) Audio transcription
With Zoom it is possible to automatically transcribe the audio of a meeting or a webinar and it is ideal if you must then write a report or take notes. This fantastic feature is, however, only available to paid users who use cloud video meeting recording. Those with a premium subscription can activate the option for audio transcriptions in the Cloud recording settings.

13) Schedule meetings
A trick to schedule Zoom meetings is to use the account web page (Zoom Meeting) without opening the application is to install the Zoom Scheduler extension (free) on Chrome.

14) Waiting Room
To avoid cases of Zoom Bombing, where strangers and hackers present themselves in a meeting without authorized access, you can enable the Waiting Room function to be able to admit participants one at a time. To enable the Waiting Room, open the Zoom account settings site (paying users only).

15) Breakout Room
For paying users only, there is the possibility of dividing large renuations into small groups, Zoom allows you to create 50 breakout rooms for up to 200 participants, 30 breakout rooms for up to 400 participants and 20 breakout rooms for up to 500 participants. This option is also enabled on the Zoom account settings web page.

16) Remove the 40 minute limit for free accounts
If you want to make video meetings that do not stop on their own after 40 minutes, you need to pay the subscription for a month, from 14 Dollars (see here). Unfortunately there is no trick to remove this limit without paying, but it is possible that zoom could allow long calls during the emergency period for the COVID-19 virus.

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