Zoom is an excellent service that you can use to have online meetings with co-workers, catch up with your family members, or even have happy-hours and drink cocktails with friends. It’s a convenient and necessary tool for many people, especially due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
If you want to use Zoom like a pro, follow the tips that we’ve collected for you right here!
Backgrounds and filters
Why do you need a background? Maybe you don’t want to tidy up before a work meeting, or just want to sit with something fancy behind you or feel like a news anchor. Whatever the reason, Zoom’s variety of backgrounds comes to rescue! Also, you won’t need a green screen. Here’s what you should do:
1. Start Zoom on a computer.
2. Click on the Gear icon (you can find it in the upper-right corner of the screen). This will open the Settings menu.
3. Click on the Background & Filters on the left.
4. Below the Virtual Backgrounds, pick your favorite background from the built-in ones; for example, you can choose a lovely beach for a relaxed feel, a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, or something else. There’s also a live preview to help you with the choice.
5. And if you’d like to have a custom background, push the Plus (+) button, which you can find near the Video Filters. In this case, you’ll be able to have your photo or video. The possibilities are endless, really. Have a board meeting from Mars or the bottom of an ocean.
Note, however, that live backgrounds might cause distortions around your face’s edges if you move a lot. Also, you won’t be able to use your hands; the algorithm will cancel them out. Remember how we’ve said that the green screen isn’t necessary? Well, it’s still true, but it would make things much smoother.
6. If the video doesn’t look great, try changing its brightness, you can do it in the video settings. Open the Settings menu, choose Video, next tick the box near Adjust to Low Light. After that, you’ll see a drop-down menu. Click on Manual, drag the slider to adjust the brightness, and make your background look more realistic.
7. Thanks to Zoom’s newest update, you can now use filters. To start, go to the Settings => Background & Filters => Video Filters. There you’ll be able to pick from a broad range of pictures and color-correcting filters to make your video more fun.
Shortcuts in Zoom
Most people know and use some keyboard shortcuts, for example, to undo something, to copy or paste, because it’s very convenient. Zoom also has some shortcuts that can come in handy when you need to mute or unmute your microphone fast, use your web-camera, etc.
These ones are the most useful:
Mute the whole group: Alt + M
Start/end video: Alt + V
Begin recording: Alt + R
Pause/unpause sharing your screen: Alt + S
Pause/unpause screen recording: Alt + P
Mute/unmute the audio: Alt + A
Raise/lower your hand: Alt + Y
How to look better instantly
Even if you don’t look your best today, you can still look presentable at your Zoom meeting. A feature that we’ve seen many times on most Android phones is now on Zoom, too. Here it’s called “Touch Up My Appearance,” and it makes skin look smoother; it also helps you get rid of under-eye bags.
It’s also great that this feature looks quite real, so you don’t have to worry that your colleagues won’t recognize you.
Here’s how you can enable this function:
1. Open the Settings menu.
2. Select the Video option in the panel on the left side of the screen.
3. Go to My Video section, and click on Touch Up My Appearance.
You’ll see a slider next, which you can move to make it more prominent or more subtle.
When you meet with a big team, it’s possible to improve the gallery view. Simply click on Display Up to 49 Participants Per Screen in Gallery View. Normally, Zoom shows up to 25 people, but you can use this setting if you want to see more. However, for this feature to work correctly, your Internet connection has to be pretty fast.
So, as you can see, Zoom has a number of features that can make your work with it more convenient and fruitful, and we hope that you found this information helpful. If you want to read about some problems that can occur when you work with Zoom and how to fix them, you’ll find this information in this article.