Tips for Zoom Users

It seems like the whole world is suddenly living on Zoom. Here are a few tips on making the most of your Zoom experience.

Background Noise

Are you in a meeting or class and someone has their mic on in a room with lots of background noise but they don’t realize it? The meeting host can hit ⌘Cmd+Ctrl+M (PC: Alt+M) to mute everyone on the call at once. This saves trying to figure out where the distraction is coming from in a large group.

Keep my Video Off and Microphone Muted

Want to always join a meeting with your video off and microphone muted? You can go to settings and under “audio” check the box for mute microphone when joining a meeting. A similar option for video is available under the “video” option from the settings menu. This way you can join the meeting now, and turn on your mic or camera when you are ready.

Screen Annotations

Did you know that participants can annotate a screen share? Users can type text, draw shapes, circle or underline items on the screen, or stamp shapes beside items as a few examples. To annotate a screen that’s being shared, look for a green bar at the top indicating the screen is being shared and click on the menu just to the right of this and look for the annotate option. This will open a toolbar with the various annotation options. As the person sharing the screen you can annotate as well, just move your mouse to the top of the screen and the screen share menu will descend, including the annotate option. If you hover over “more” with your mouse a menu will appear that includes the option of disabling annotation by users.

Appearance Touch Up

Worried about your appearance but can’t get away with just not sharing video? In Settings > Video, check “Touch up my appearance,” and Zoom will soften the focus on your camera, theoretically minimizing any issues with your skin.

Start Zoom Automatically

Do you open Zoom first thing every time you turn on your computer these days? In Settings > General click the box for “start Zoom when I start Windows.” This will save you seconds of precious time each morning J


Busy multitasking by reading e-mail during a meeting when the host suddenly calls on you and you have to scramble to get back to Zoom to unmute your mic before it’s obvious you were doing something else? Go to settings and find the keyboard shortcuts menu. You can both change the keyboard shortcuts for specific actions as well as turn on “enable global shortcut” so that the keyboard shortcut will work even when you are not in Zoom. This way you can unmute yourself from your e-mail app and start talking as you get yourself back to Zoom.