Pro ed tips

Use filters like a pro during Zoom video conferencing

Filters for Zoom? Why not? Go to the Zoom web app’s Settings, click on Video, and check the Touch up my appearance option under My Video. Tip: Under the Touch up my appearance option you’ll find an adjustment for low light which is perfect for dark rooms or cloudy days when you just can’t get the light right.

Always use a mouse spotlight when sharing your screen

Once you start screen sharing your screen or a whiteboard, this bar will pop up once you hover your mouse at the top: First, choose the Annotate button. From here, you can use a mouse spotlight, draw on top of the screen, add text or stamps, or more highlighting options to finally show your viewers what you’re referencing.

Try advanced screen sharing options for more accuracy

Ever seen these? You should check Zoom’s Advanced screen sharing capabilities if you often prefer sharing only a part of your screen, want to use a second camera, or want to share a video. The PowerPoint presentation option is also super handy as it works as a virtual background too: Recording for a video or just want the best quality for the meeting? Use the camera from your phone as a webcam in Zoom: If you want to later publish the video online, make sure the Optimize for video clip box is checked when choosing which screen to share.

Raise a hand [two ways]

The worst part about virtual meetings is that it can be hard to signal when you want to say something. To aid Zoom meeting etiquette, hosts can enable non-verbal cues by going to their profile’s Settings, choosing the Meeting tab, scrolling to the In Meeting (Basic) section, and turning on the Non-verbal feedback capability. Now, when a user goes to their Reactions option, a Raise hand button will appear, making it extra easy for anyone to get their ideas across. A tiny hand icon will be displayed next to the participants who called it so hosts will be immediately notified. Alternatively, you can use the other emoji reactions to signal your thoughts or willingness to say something. For example, a Slow down reaction will tell the host to go through their explanation or demo at a slower pace while the No reaction implies disagreement so the host can get back to you to clarify a topic.

Linking to code snippets

This isn’t so much of a secret, but it’s definitely not known by everyone, and occasionally blows minds. You can link to specific lines of code by clicking the line number when you’re viewing a file. By default, the line number (for example, #L1337) is appended to the URL, which will always take you directly to that line. If that file is edited, deleted, or renamed, unfortunately the link will no longer work as expected. You can press y or  click Copy permalink to generate the canonical URL that will always work. You can also link to a line number range by holding down SHIFT and selecting the starting and ending lines. Added bonus: If you add a code snippet link in a GitHub comment, a nice visualization of the code appears. I recall that this feature was originally built by a few interns several years ago. If you like hacking on fun stuff like this, consider applying to our internship program!

Create your own Zoom background

Ditch the classic office or beach background by creating your own. Photoshop will work but a user-friendly version like Canva provides dozens of ready-made templates you can further customize—animated ones includes: Executives, freelancers, customer support and sales teams, and more can customize the background to match the company’s branding. Depending on the occasion, you can add your contact information, fun or helpful announcements, product features, calls-to-action, general tips for conduct or reminders, or fun easter eggs. Then, go to your desktop app’s Settings, choose Background & Filters, add your custom background from the plus sign on the right side of the screen, and uncheck the Mirror my video option. Another one of the best Zoom tricks is to disable this last feature even when you don’t use a background if you often show things with text or imagery on camera. Note that checking “Mirror my video” only mirrors the display for you, but not for others on the Zoom.

Remove background noises completely

Struggling to hear your colleagues or can’t get your point across because your surroundings are bustling? Use Krisp to automatically mute all background sounds, chattering, construction work, barking, and everything else for both you and your listeners. See Krisp in action: Here’s how to set it up in less than one minute for any Zoom account.

Get your privacy settings right

Have you ever joined a meeting five minutes early only to find your host was still in another meeting? Yup, happened to me. Here’s everything you can do to prevent such blunders:

  • Enable end-to-end encryption (E2EE): This automatically disables entry before the host, live streaming, cloud recording, and more actions that could leak information.
  • Don’t share your meeting link on social media or publicly: Unless you’re hosting a big industry event or webinar via Zoom, share links within other secured communication channels.
  • Keep private Zoom meeting rooms separate from public ones: When hosting a public event, make sure you’re not using your Personal Meeting ID.
  • Remove unwanted or spammy participants: This is especially helpful if you’re hosting a live event where anyone can join. Remove them from the call or block their video/audio entirely. Limit their screen sharing capabilities or disable the chat, file sharing, and annotations options to avoid them sharing spam or dangerous content.
  • Never allow people to join before a host: Head to your profile’s Settings and the Meeting tab to disable the Join before host option. You can also do this for every meeting from the advanced settings when scheduling a call from the desktop app. Note that Zoom has taken extra caution measures and now makes it mandatory for a meeting to have one of the following: a passcode, a Waiting Room, or the Only authenticated users can join meetings feature turned on. You can add these manually but note that passwords are a must and you can’t completely remove them. Don’t forget to stick to our full list of privacy tips to prevent hacking, information theft, and “Zoombombing”.

Use waiting rooms

Zoom has A LOT of privacy settings. When not used correctly, people can get into your common meeting room even if it’s not their time yet. They can get information that’s supposed to be confidential or disturb your current meeting altogether. The first thing on our list of Zoom tips is the safest privacy measure: to set up a waiting room from which the host needs to approve every participant before they can join. To enable Zoom meeting rooms at a user-level, go to your profile’s Settings, click on the Meeting tab, go to Security, and toggle the Waiting Room option. You can also set these for every specific call when scheduling a meeting. Besides this quick hack, there’s loads of other Zoom privacy tips to use…

Schedule your posts

Scheduling your posts in advance means that you don’t have to stress about finding new things to post each day- you can plan weeks or months in advance with caption and all with software like Plann and! And they aren’t expensive, so it’s not going to take much out of your social media budget. You simply schedule your posts, and when the time comes for them to be posted, you get a push notification and press post and then past in the caption- huge time saver.