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How to Use the 7 Best Features in Zoom

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The popularity of video conferencing apps has skyrocketed recently. Among all available video conferencing apps, Zoom was the most popular. Zoom became an instant hit in businesses and educational institutions.

Zoom has a wide range of features that you can access directly. However, most of the features remain hidden in menus that you might have never accessed earlier. If you're not familiar with Zoom's extensive features, here's a list of the best Zoom features you should know about.

1. Virtual Background

Zoom’s Virtual Background is one of its highlight features among all and the most used one. For example, if your room is messy and you don't want everyone to see it, you can use the Virtual Background feature on Zoom to hide it.

Zoom allows you to choose from a set of in-built backgrounds. Additionally, you can use custom backgrounds. To add a virtual background to your Zoom feed, follow these steps:

  1. Open Zoom's settings by clicking on the gear icon in the top-right corner.
    Zoom general accessibility setting
  2. Select Background & Filters from the list on the left side, and choose a background of your choice. Additionally, you can click on the “+” icon to set a custom background of your own.
    Zoom background & filters setting

    If you have a green screen, you can select the “I have a green screen” checkbox to remove the background accurately.

  3. Once done, you’ll see the results when you join a Zoom call with the video turned on.

You can also change the live feed while you’re on a Zoom video call. To do so, follow these instructions below:

  1. With a Zoom call ongoing, click on the little arrow next to the Stop Video button.
  2. From the submenu, click on the Choose Virtual Background option.
    Zoom choose virtual-background option
  3. Afterward, you can choose the background you want or select a custom background by clicking on the “+” button.

Once done, you’ll see a live preview of your background, and you’ll be able to change it on a live video call.

2. Keyboard Shortcuts

Zoom also offers many keyboard shortcuts, which come in handy when you don’t want to use a mouse. To check the complete list of keyboard shortcuts, head over to Settings on your Zoom app and select the Keyboard Shortcuts menu from the left-side list.

Zoom keyboard shortcuts

If you don’t want to memorize them, here are some useful Zoom keyboard shortcuts that might save you time.

  • Start or stop video: Alt + V (Command + Shift + V on macOS)
  • Mute/Unmute microphone: Alt + A (Command + Shift + A on macOS)
  • Mute the entire group at once: Alt + M (Command + Control + M on macOS)
  • Start recording a meeting: Alt + R (Command + Shift + R on macOS)
  • Pause/Resume screen recording: Alt + P (Command + Shift + P on macOS)
  • Pause or resume screen sharing: Alt + T (Command + Shift + T on macOS)
  • Switch camera: Alt + N (Command + Shift + N on macOS)

3. Integrate Third-Party Apps

Zoom is open to third-party integrations as well. With support for third-party plugins, you can ease your tasks. For example, you can join a Microsoft Teams meeting by using Zoom. Or, you can use Zoom's third-party plugins to import your Outlook agenda.

You can find a huge list of supported third-party apps on the Zoom Marketplace. Follow these instructions to add a plugin to Zoom:

  1. Open the Zoom app, click on Apps from the top menu.
    Zoom my apps section
  2. Select the Discover tab, and choose the app you would like to install on your Zoom account.
    Zoom discover apps section
  3. Once selected, click on Add to install the application. The app will be added to your Zoom account.
    Zoom integration for Asana app

4. Touch Up Your Look

Your appearance matters when it comes to professional video calls, but since we’re mostly making video calls from home, it’s hard to maintain that fresh look on your face. In such situations, Zoom comes with a handy feature—Touch up my appearance.

touch up appearance option in Zoom

This feature lets you smooth out your skin, removes dark circles under your eyes, and beautifies your face. All this with the help of AI, and it works just right.

To enable it on Zoom, head over to Settings and select Video from the list. From the multiple options, check the Touch up my appearance. You can drag the slider to the left and right to decrease and increase the effect, respectively.

5. Audio Transcript

If you’re someone who likes to keep track of what’s being said in a meeting, then Zoom's Transcribe feature is handy. Zoom can transcribe your meeting’s audio and import the transcription into a .VTT file. Here’s how to enable this feature if you want to use it.

Note: You need to have an account with a Pro, Business, Enterprise, or Education account to use this feature.

  1. Go to Zoom’s web portal (not the app). From there, head over to your Profile Page.
  2. On the left navigation pane, click on Account Management > Account Settings.
    Zoom cloud recording menu
  3. Select the Recording tab, and enable the Cloud Recording setting.
  4. Once enabled, you can now start a Cloud Recording in the Zoom app. This cloud recording comes with the Audio Transcript feature.
  5. Once the meeting ends, you’ll receive a notification that says, “Your Transcript is now available for Download.”

6. Breakout Rooms

When it comes to teaching, Zoom is a great tool. But it could be difficult to handle a bigger group of participants. That’s why Zoom comes with Breakout Rooms to make the task easier for you. Breakout Rooms on Zoom allow you to take care of a large group of participants and divide them into subgroups if needed.

Once a room is created, the host assigns a sub-host to each sub-group of participants to manage a large project. A Breakout Room can accommodate up to 200 members, or you can go for 30 Breakout Rooms with 400 people or even 20 Breakout Rooms with 500 people. Follow these steps below to enable Breakout Room on your Zoom account.

  1. Head over to the Zoom web portal, and select your Profile Page.
  2. Click on the Settings from the navigation pane, and choose In-Meeting (Advanced) from the Meeting tab.
    Zoom in-meeting advanced setting
  3. Find Breakout Rooms from the list, and toggle it ON.
    Zoom Breakout Room settings

7. Disable Audio/Video When You Join

To avoid disruptions to others, you might need to turn off your camera and microphone. However, doing it manually takes some time. Zoom allows you to automatically turn off your camera and mic when joining a meeting. Here's how to do it.

  1. Open the Zoom app, and tap on the Settings icon in the top-right corner.
  2. Click on Video from the left navigation pane, and check the Stop my video when joining a meeting option.
    Zoom hide my video option
  3. Similarly, click on the Audio tab from the navigation pane, and check the Mute my mic when joining a meeting option.
    Zoom mute my mic option

This will disable your mic and camera automatically whenever you join a Zoom meeting next time.

Get Better at Zoom Meetings

You can level up in Zoom Meetings with the features listed above. The Zoom app is one of the best video conferencing apps as it provides many features over other conferencing apps. These standout Zoom features set it apart from its competitors and make for a better online meeting.

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