Zoom’s Hidden Features

The cloud video conferencing platform hides several hidden features. Here are the ones that might come in most handy during your next online meeting or class

One of the most widely used video conferencing software around the world, Zoom Cloud Meeting has seen its traffic volume and number of users grow exponentially as quarantine begins. And understanding why is not difficult at all.

Zoom is designed to meet the most diverse needs: it allows teachers to teach online, owners to hold meetings with their employees, freelancers to meet with clients and employees remotely. In short, many people have downloaded the software to their smartphones or computers in the last month. Many, however, still don't know all of its hidden features. Zoom, in fact, has a wide range of solutions to make working from home even easier: from keyboard shortcuts to the beauty filter. Let's take a look at the most interesting ones.

Zoom: mute and turn off camera during a meeting

The first hidden feature of Zoom allows you to mute and turn off the camera automatically whenever you connect to an online event. A feature that can come in handy if you're in an unprofessional environment (like a child's bedroom) or if you're watching from a noisy room, or if you simply don't want to be heard or seen while attending a meeting remotely.

How to activate it? To begin, you need to access Settings by clicking on the gear icon located at the top right of the main screen. At this point, there is a column on the left with all the functions of the software, including Video and Audio. Clicking on the Video item, which is the first one in the list, will open a screen. On the right side you can find the different commands: clicking on "Turn off my video when joining meeting" the webcam will be darkened every time you connect to a meeting remotely or other type of event on Zoom.

Similar procedure to disable the audio. Also in this case a screen with all sound settings will open: clicking on Mute "my microphone when joining a meeting" all noise will be blocked automatically at the beginning of the event.

Disable or enable audio with the spacebar

Of course if you have disabled audio, no one will be able to hear your voice and you won't be able to speak during the meeting. But Zoom has a solution for that too.

Are you asked to speak but your sound is muted? Press and hold the space bar and the microphone automatically turns on. When you finish your speech, the audio will mute again by simply letting go of the button. The solution will make meetings easier to manage, without sacrificing your valuable speeches.

Zoom Cloud Meetings: send an emoticon on the screen

Did you turn off video and audio during your meeting? You can still communicate with attendees by sending emoticons: a thumbs up to say okay, a smile, a clap or even a disapproving face. You can express all these emotions without interrupting the meeting. How to activate this feature on Zoom? Click on the emoticon window on the bottom screen while in the meeting and choose the emoticon that best expresses your thoughts. It will appear on the screen for just five seconds, just long enough for you to share your opinion with others.

Zoom Cloud Meeting: keyboard shortcuts

Now let's take a look at a hidden feature that will appeal to lovers of so-called shortcuts. With a specific key combination you can start a meeting, share the screen, mute the microphone, show the full screen and much more. All this is done without touching the mouse.

Zoom's customer support team has created a page with a complete list of these key combinations: discover them all by clicking here. Remember to enable the shortcuts: to do so follow the path Settings > Keyboard Shortcuts. In the screenshot you will find the list of shortcuts that you can check as you like.

Watch who is present in the meeting

Now let's talk about a feature that is very appreciated by users, especially by teachers who are holding online classes in quarantine: the so-called "Gallery view" that allows you to watch all participants of an event remotely.

How is it activated? During the event, just click the Gallery View item located in the top right corner. If the meeting has a maximum of 49 participants, you will be able to watch all their faces on the computer screen. If there are more than that, the different screens will be arranged on different pages. If you want to change the view and see only the face of the person who is holding the meeting, for example the face of the professor during the online lesson, just click on the Speaker View item in the top right corner.

Hide participants with webcam off

The function we have just explained also shows participants with webcam off: in this case a black screen with the user's name will be shown. Zoom allows you to see only those who have their cameras on, so you can save valuable space. Remember that in Zoom you can also block contacts that don't interest you or bother you.

How do I activate it? Just go to Settings from the main screen of the software. Click on Video and in this screen direct your gaze to the right. Under Meetings click on Hide non-video participants.

How to activate the beauty filter on Zoom

You have a Zoom meeting at 9:00 am and you got up at 8:56 am to jump straight to the computer display? Don't panic, the program allows you to activate the beauty filter. It is very similar to the one found on smartphones. In fact, it smoothes the skin of your face and improves your eyes, making you look serene and rested. How to activate it? Just follow this path: Settings > Video > Touch up my appearance.