Everything you need to know about using Zoom

Zoom is an American remote conferencing services company.  Eric Yuan is the founder of Zoom a lead engineer from Cisco Systems. The service started in January of 2013 and by May it claimed one million participants. During the first year of the release, Zoom founded with B2B collaboration software providers, like Redbooth. Since the coronavirus pandemic has increased, news has reported that thousands of educational institutions have switched to online classes and have started using Zoom. So that means Zoom has gained over 2.22 million users in the first few months of 2020. Zoom it's free to talk as long as you keep your calls under 40 minutes. If you want to talk for more than 40 minutes you can upgrade to an entry-level $14.99 monthly plan which allows you to host 100 people and you can keep talking up to 24 hours. Here's everything you need to know about using Zoom.

Some of the services that Zoom offers are:

  • Zoom Meetings
  • The Zoom Premium Audio
  • Zoom Business IM
  • The Zoom Video Webinar
  • Zoom Rooms
  • Zoom H.323/SIP Connector

Let's dive in and teach you everything you need to know about using Zoom.

What is zoom meeting

Zoom is a cloud-based service that offers Meetings and Webinars and provides content sharing and video conferencing capability.  You do not need a Zoom account to attend a Zoom meeting, only the host is required to have an account to enable the scheduling of meetings.  All staff and students at USQ have access to a Zoom account.

Zoom offers video, audio and screen-sharing experience across a wide range of devices and platforms.

This is how a Zoom meeting looks like
This is how a Zoom meeting looks like

How to log in on Zoom

Even if you have never used Zoom the app is really easy to learn. First, you have to download the software in your computer, type in your email, click join, type in your ID code and then click the button join again. Logging in is one of the easiest things on the “everything you need to know about using Zoom” list.

How to join a Zoom meeting

For you to join a meeting in Zoom, the host will first have to set up the meeting. Once the host starts the session, the participants can then join. Alternatively, the host can enable an option that allows users to join before the host arrives, but the meeting will still have to be set up in advance.

Record the call on Zoom

Zoom lets you record the calls as videos which can be very helpful for the people who weren’t able to join the call. When you record you have to chose whether you want a local or cloud option. Local means you store the video file yourself. While the cloud is for paying members only, and Zoom stores the video for you in its cloud storage. You can use these shortcuts to record the call:

Type ⌘  Cmd+R (PC: Alt+R) to start recording any meeting.

Type  ⌘Cmd+Shift+P (PC: Alt+P) to pause/resume recording.

However to record videos you need Zoom on macOS, Windows or Linux. On the other hand, if you don’t see the option to record please check your settings in the web app( under My Meeting Settings option)


Shortcuts to make Zoom easier

There are also some shortcuts you can learn so that Zoom can be easier. For example:

  • Press Cmd + I (macOS) or Alt+ I (Windows) to go to the invite window.
  • Next, press Cmd+ Ctrl+M( macOS) or Alt+M (Windows) when you want to mute everyone when you are the host.
  • Press Cmd+ Shift+ S (macOS) or Alt+ Shift+ S (Windows) is to share your screen. So remember I for an invite, M for Mute and S for Share.

Chat feature

In Zoom you can use a chat feature for instant messaging. You can send a message to the entire group or someone in particular. It’s a great feature because you can continue to communicate without interrupting the speaker. What you may not know is that those chat channels can also be created for use outside of meetings.  They can be categorized for different purposes.

Change the background on Zoom

With this feature on Zoom you can virtually transport yourself anywhere you want while being on the call. There is no size restriction while you add your virtual background.

How you do this you first go to settings – virtual- background and select the picture that you want to be used as your background. Although you have to make sure that your system fulfills the requirements so you can be able to use this feature on your computer or mobile app.

Virtual background on Zoom you can choose from
Virtual background on Zoom you can choose from

Keep unwanted guests out of the meeting on Zoom

Since the zoom is now as popular as ever during this pandemic it is really important that you don’t share your Id meeting. Since an unfortunate trend is flooding around called “Zoombombing” that it’s similar to “photobombing” where someone finds or guesses your URL meeting which is not good. Where not everyone is a good person and the view can be disturbing. That is why some organizations have banned the use of Zoom. So don’t publish your meeting ID and if you are having a public meeting don’t use your personal meeting Id. Use the waiting room feature to make sure that only people you know get in the chat. And if none of these works remember that the host can mute or even kick out everyone at any time.

Beauty filter on Zoom

On Zoom you can also turn on the beauty filter. So if you think you don’t look your best and you have an important meeting you can turn on the  Zoom’s touch up my appearance.  This filter gives your face a little blur which makes your skin look smoother for when you display your video to others. It’s the same as the beauty mode that is on your phone. If you want to turn on this filter click the up arrow next to start Video. Then click Video Settings and under My Video check the Touch up My Appearance box.

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