UCL News


Today's Zoom Tip – 26 November 2020

26 November 2020

This week’s Zoom Tips offers hints on how to get the best out of sharing your screen content.


Sort out your settings

There are a number of settings for screen sharing that you can change in your Zoom profile on the Zoom web portal. You can find these under the ’In Meeting (Basic)’ section and most can be changed while in a meeting.

Top Tip: one thing that can only be set in your profile settings is ‘Show Zoom windows during screen share’, which determines whether or not the Zoom meeting window itself is visible when screen sharing. This is useful if you (or another participant) are demonstrating a feature in Zoom itself.

Once you have started the meeting, you can control sharing permissions by clicking on the little arrow to the right of the ‘Share Screen’ icon. Choose ‘Advanced’ to decide who can share (Host or All Participants) and to allow people to share simultaneously. You can also decide who can start sharing if someone else is already sharing.

Top Tip: once you click on ‘Share Screen’ to select what to share, make sure you enable ‘Share computer sound’ if you want participants to hear the sound on an audio or video clip.

There is an option ‘Optimise Screen Share for Video Clip’ which provides better quality video playback but this puts more load on your computer and internet, so only enable this feature if specifically required.

What can you share?  

As with Microsoft Teams, you can share your whole Desktop or a specific window and a Whiteboard.  You also have the ability to share your iPhone or iPad screen and under ‘Advanced’ you can also share a ‘second camera’ (for things like visualisers or microscopes), ‘computer sound’ only or just a particular ‘portion of screen’. 

You can even share PowerPoint as Virtual Background so that your video feed remains visible to participants as a smaller ‘picture in picture’ while they are viewing your slides. For this option you need to browse for the PowerPoint file you want to display rather than sharing an open window.

Top tip: if you have dual monitors enabled you can use Presenter View in PowerPoint. It means you can view your notes on one monitor while everyone else sees just the slide show on the other.

Full details of how to enable dual monitors in Zoom on different operating systems can be found in this dual monitors support article.


The ‘Share screen menu’ is the floating toolbar that appears when you are sharing and allows you to control many aspects of a meeting if you are the host. 

Click on ‘Annotate’ to bring up an additional toolbar which allows you to add ‘Text’ and shapes (‘Stamp’) and ‘Draw’ on the shared screen, or add a bright red ‘Spotlight’ to your cursor.

Top Tip: you can ‘Save’ your annotated version as a screenshot.

Finally, other participants can also annotate your shared screen. Under ‘More’ on the Share screen menu there are options to ’Allow/Disable participants annotation’ and ’Show/Hide Names of Annotators’ so that annotations can be either attributed or anonymous.

If you have any tips for using Zoom which have really helped you make the most of the product, please email isd-webcomms@ucl.ac.uk or post your tip on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #zoomtips. If you are having any specific issues with the set-up of Zoom, please contact zoomsupport@ucl.ac.uk.