I hope this email finds everyone safe and sound during this pandemic. Unfortunately, I have learned that one of my longtime clients succumbed to COVID-19 and my heart goes out to her family. As the country plans to lighten up on the stay-at-home orders please consider staying-at-home as much as possible anyway to continue to help flatten the curve and give our healthcare workers a fighting chance.
Zoom Video Meetings
[This newsletter is long so I made some "Quick Links" if you want to jump back to a topic later: Installing | Using | Hosting | Schedule Meetings and Email Invitations | Send Invitation on Cell Phones and Tablets | Virtual Backgrounds | More Info]
Zoom Gallery View
While we are all spending more time at home, Zoom has emerged as the new "go to" video meeting app to connect with others face-to-face. We used to Skype, now we Zoom. Everyone is doing it so I thought it would be a good time to learn a few tips on how to use it best. There has been some negative press on Zoom (FBI Zoom Warning), but for most people, it is perfectly fine to use it. So if your family or friends, your book group, your homeowner’s association, or your work colleagues are using it, here is how to set it up and join the conversation.
Zoom free plans include:
Zoom has a free and paid plans, so if you want to host a meeting of 3 or more people for longer than 40 minutes, or a meeting of more than 100 people any length of time, you will need to sign up for a paid plan starting at $15 per month.
- Unlimited number of meetings (one meeting at a time)
- No time limit for 1-on-1 meetings
- 40 minute limit on meetings with 3-100 people
- 100 people max
Everyone Is Working From Home
You can install the Zoom software on your Mac & Windows computers, iPhones & iPads, and Android cell phones & tablets. All laptops and all-in-one desktop computers have a webcam built in. All cell phones and tablets have a webcam, so you are all set if you use those devices. Regular Windows desktop computers with separate monitors do not have a webcam so you will need a separate one. It plugs into the USB port on your computer and you place it on top of your monitor (right picture below).
Webcam built in (left) and external
Techradar-Best webcams for 2020
Tip: The first thing to learn is that when you are installing the Zoom software it is called "Zoom Client Meetings" or "Zoom Cloud Meetings", so look for that.
How To Install Zoom On Your Windows & Mac Computer
- Go to www.zoom.us
- In the upper right corner click "Resources"
- Click "Download Zoom Client"
- Click the first blue "Download" button under "Zoom Client for Meetings"
- You may be asked to save the file, click "Save"
- Once the file has downloaded to your computer, double click it or click "Run" to start the installation
- If asked, click "Yes" to allow changes to your computer (Windows) or enter your computer password (Mac)
- Follow the onscreen instructions to install the program
- In Windows you will end up with a Zoom icon on your Desktop. (Tip: On Windows computers, if you want to keep the icon on the Taskbar (the bar at the bottom with easy access to frequently used apps), once open, right-click the Taskbar icon and click on "Pin to taskbar".)
- On a Mac, click Finder, then "Applications", then scroll down to find and double click Zoom. (Tip: On Mac computers, if you want to keep the icon on the Dock (the bar at the bottom with easy access to frequently used apps), once open, right-click the Dock icon, move the mouse to "Options", then click "Keep in Dock".)
How to Install Zoom On iPhone & iPad
- On your iPhone or iPad touch the "App Store" icon
- Bottom right touch "Search" (magnifying glass icon)
- Touch in the search box to bring up the keyboard and type "Zoom"
- Touch the blue Search button
- To the right of "Zoom Cloud Meetings" touch "Get". (Tip: If it says "Open" or is a cloud icon then you already own it, just touch those icons.)
- Enter your Apple ID password if asked
- You will end up with a Zoom icon on one of your screens (remember to swipe to other screens if you can't find it)
How to Install Zoom on Android Cell Phones & Tablets
- On your Android cell phone or tablet touch "Play Store"
- Touch in the top search box and type "Zoom"
- To the right of "Zoom Cloud Meetings" touch "Install" (Tip: If it says Open you already have it, touch Open.)
- You will now find Zoom in your list of apps on your device
Account or No Account
Tip: You do not need to have an account with Zoom if all you want to do is join meetings. Meeting "Hosts" will send you an invitation to join a meeting and it will have a link and/or a meeting ID and password to join the meeting. You will still need to install the app, but generally all you must do is click the link to join the meeting. You can also manually type in the Meeting ID and password using "Join" button on the Zoom Home screen.
Zoom Cell Phone & Tablet Home Screen
Tip: If this is the first time you are starting the app, click "Sign In" and you will see "Sign Up Free" to create an account. If you want to be the "Host" for a meeting, then you will need to create an account.
Zoom Windows & Mac App Screen
Tip: In the tech world you are often given a chance to sign in to one service with your account information from another service (such as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, etc.). My standard practice is to never do this. I do not like the idea of entering my password for one service on another service's website, so I always create a new account with a new password. Yes, I know this is a pain, one more password to keep track of, but it gives me peace of mind and does not allow any "funny business" with information sharing between services. Despite the assurances, tech businesses are always sharing information ("Big Data"), and when found out, they ask for forgiveness instead of being clear upfront and asking for permission.
To create a Zoom account, click Sign In and you will find the link to "Sign Up Free".
Now that you have Zoom installed let's look at using it. Generally, when someone wants you to join a meeting, they will send you an email or text message with the details. In that message will be a link that you can click/touch. Alternatively, they might just give you the meeting ID and password, in which case you will manually enter it using the "Join" button (see photos above).
Windows & Mac: When you click this link on a computer your default browser (Safari, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, etc.) will open and you will see one of the windows below. (Note to AOL software users only: AOL software is a problem here. If you are still using the AOL software and the "Open Zoom" window does not appear, the solution I have found is to forward the invite email to your Gmail account and click on the link from your Gmail Inbox in the Google Chrome browser. If you don't have a Gmail account you can get one free at www.gmail.com. You don't have to use Gmail. If you have another email address besides AOL, forward the invite email to that address and open it from your other Inbox.)
- Windows: Click "Open URL: Zoom Launcher" which will open the Zoom app.
- Mac: Click "Open zoom.us.app" which will open the Zoom app.
- Cell Phones & Tablets: When you touch this link the Zoom app will open.
Windows Launch App
Mac Launch App
Admit From Waiting Room
Once you have clicked on the link or entered the meeting ID and password, the host of the meeting must "Admit" you into the meeting from the waiting room. Once the host does that, you will have joined the meeting. It may take them a few minutes to do that.
Internet Audio (If you are not able to hear anything)
Some people have been having trouble hearing the meeting. If you are asked to "Call using Internet Audio" you must click/touch that or you will not be able to hear anything. If you forget to do that, click/touch "Join Audio" bottom left (Tip: In Zoom you click/touch the screen to bring up buttons) and then click/touch "Call using Internet Audio". And of course, make sure your speakers are turned on/turned up.
Tip: If you have not been able to hear others, then you missed this step. Next time make sure to click/touch "Call using Internet Audio".
You Must Click/Touch "Call using Internet Audio"
Zoom Main Screen (Computers)
Once you have joined a meeting, on the main screen you can ("Hosts" have more options than "Participants"):
Computer Main Screen
Zoom Main Screen (Cell Phones and Tablets)
- Mute/Video: Start or stop your microphone (Mute) and video camera. A red diagonal line through the button means "Off".
- Invite: Normally, as the meeting host, you will schedule and invite people ahead of time (see below). But if you have already started a meeting and you want to invite someone you can use the "Invite" button. (Tip #1: Don't worry about trying to have your contacts show in this window. Just use the "Copy Invitation" button and paste in a new email message and send from your email as you normally do.) (Tip #2: Paste is CTRL+V (Windows) or Command+V (Mac)). (Tip #3: You can experiment with the "Email" button in this window and see if the standard email buttons that Zoom provides works with your device. But again, if those buttons don't work for you, just "Copy & Paste" the meeting details into an email message and send an email as you normally do.)
- Participants/Admit: Click the "Participants" button to see a list of people. If you are the meeting host this is where you can click the "Admit" button next to someone's name.
- Chat: Click the "Chat" button to start typing messages to others. During the meeting, you can type messages to each other.
- End/Leave: Click "End Meeting" or "Leave Meeting" when you are done. (Tip: If you are the host of a meeting you will be given the option to end the meeting for everyone or just leave the meeting and assign someone else to be the host for the remainder of the meeting. Passing host controls and leaving the meeting)
- Camera: On the main screen on a cell phone or tablet, you can change which camera (cell phones & tablets have front and back cameras) you want to use in the top left. This might be useful if you want to walk around and show your surroundings to the Zoom meeting.
- Join Audio: If you see the "Join Audio" button, touch that and touch "Call using Internet Audio" so you will be able to hear the meeting.
- Mute/Video: After you join audio, there will be "Mute" and "Video" buttons bottom left. Touch them to turn on/off your microphone or video camera. (Tip: Red diagonal line through the icon means "off". Touch the button to turn on/off.)
- Swipe: If there are other participants in the meeting, swipe the screen left/right to see other people.
- End/Leave: Touch "End" or "Leave" to leave the meeting.
Cell Phone & Tablet Main Screen
Hosting Zoom Meetings
If you will only be joining other's meetings, you can stop reading here and happy Zooming, but if you will be hosting your own meetings, read on.
When you sign in to the Zoom app, you have a number of buttons on the Home screen.
- New Meeting: This button starts a new meeting immediately.
- Join: This button is where you manually enter another's Meeting ID to join their meeting.
- Schedule: This button is where you schedule a future meeting (more on that below).
- Start: This is how you start a meeting that you previously schedule for a later date. At the meeting date and time, click this button to start your meeting. (Tip: If your meeting has a large number of participants, it is good practice to start your meeting 10-15 minutes before the scheduled start time to allow them to chat with each other before the meeting "officially" starts.)
Zoom Home Screen
Schedule Meetings and Email Invitations
(Tip: Experiment, experiment, experiment. To practice, you can schedule as many meetings as you want and no one will know (if you don't actually "send" to anyone). The way to email an invitation for each calendar (iCal, Google, Outlook) and each device (computers vs. cell phones) is different, so it might be a good idea to experiment with all the choices to see which one works best for you. When in doubt simply use "Other Calendars" and just "Copy and Paste" the meeting details into an email message and send as you normally do.)
- Click the "Schedule" button
- Change the meeting name (Topic) if you wish
- Select the day, start (and end) times or Duration (Tip: Screens are different depending on what device you are using.)
- Meeting ID: Always Generate Automatically (Tip: This is so no one can randomly join your meetings by already knowing your Personal ID number.)
- Password: Always use a password (Again, so no one can randomly join your meeting.) The password given is fine, you don't have to make up one if you don't want to.
- Video: As Host, select if you want your video to be on or off at the beginning of the meeting (can be changed during the meeting). Also, select if you want your Participants video on or off at the beginning of the meeting (also can be changed during the meeting)
- Audio: To keep it simple, always select "Telephone and Computer Audio"
- Calendar: Since you are scheduling a meeting for the future you can select which calendar of yours to add this meeting to. (Tip: These options are different depending on what device you are using. If you are not sure which to choose or you don't use a calendar, select "Other Calendars"):
- iCal for Mac users (only shows on Mac computers)
- Google Calendar for people who use google.com/calendar
- Outlook for people who use Microsoft Outlook desktop software (not outlook.com)
- Other Calendars (you can simply copy and paste the meeting details into your email message)
- Advanced Options: Click "Enable Waiting Room" (Tip: This prevents random people from joining, you must "Admit" each person from the waiting room). Uncheck "Enable join before host" (Tip: This feature does not work with "Waiting Rooms".)
- Click "Schedule" button
Schedule Meeting Options
Send Invitation on Cell Phones and Tablets
If you are using a cell phone or tablet to host a meeting, when you touch "Send Invitation", you will be given the choice to "Send Message" (text) or "Send Email".
- For Mac users, if you selected "iCal" your Calendar app on Mac will open and a new event will be created. Open the event on your calendar and click in the "Add Invitees" box and type the names of the people you want to invite and then click the "Send" button. Email(s) will be sent to those people.
- If you selected "Google Calendar", your google.com/calendar will open and a new event will be created (select your Google account and click "Allow"). Click in the "Add guests" box and type the names of the people you want to invite and then click the "Save" button. Email(s) will be sent to those people.
- If you selected "Outlook", your Microsoft Outlook desktop app will open and a new event will be created. Click in the blank "Required" box and type the names of the people you want to invite and then click the "Send" button. Email(s) will be sent to those people.
- If you selected "Other Calendars" a new window will open with the meeting details. Click "Copy to Clipboard" (Windows) or "Copy Invitation" (Mac) then open an email message and paste where you type emails. (Tip: Paste is CTRL+V (Windows) or Command+V (Mac)). Send the email as you normally do.
Send Invitation Cell Phone and Tablet
- Send Message: If you touch "Send Message" a new text message will open. Touch in the "To" box and type the names of the people you want to send the text to. (Tip: If you type more than one person you will be creating a "group" text message. Group text messages can be tricky, so if you don't want to do that it might be better to send the invitation as an email.)
- Send Email: If you touch "Send Email" a new email message will open. Send it as you normally do.
Cell Phone Send Text
Virtual Backgrounds (Computers Only)
If you would like to hide your surroundings, or you just want to have some fun, on a computer you can change your background to be a picture or video. (Note: Not all computers have the necessary hardware to use virtual backgrounds. If the Zoom app tells you that, your only choice is to get a newer computer.)
Shhhh! Oprah is sleeping
- Once in a meeting, click the white arrow next to the Video button bottom left.
- Click "Virtual Background".
- Select one of the sample backgrounds or click the plus sign to select one of your own.
- If you want to go back to no background, select "None".
- Close the window.
- If you want to permanently change your background, open Zoom anytime and click the gear icon top right. Then select "Virtual Background".
Select Virtual Background
Happy Zooming! Let me know if you get stuck with any of this.
This week Colorado has begun to loosen the stay-at-home restrictions. We are not out of the woods yet, but I can understand everyone's needs to get back to work and earn a living. I just hope we strike the right balance and not overload the healthcare system and I hope they come up with a vaccine safely/quickly. If you are able, please stay home as much as possible and stay safe until we all get through this difficult time.
Zoom support for Windows and Mac
Zoom support for iPhones and iPads
cNet-How to do Zoom meetings like a pro from your iPad
Yahoo-If you're using an iPhone here's probably why you shouldn't use Zoom
Zoom support for Android cell phones and tablets
Zoom getting started videos
Zoom scheduling meetings
Zoom passing host controls and leaving the meeting
PC Magazine-8 Tips for Better Video Conference Calls
cNet-Ultimate webcam tips-How to look and sound great online
TechRepublic-How to turn on virtual backgrounds in Zoom
ZDnet-Why are we all Zooming and not Skyping?
FBI Warns of Teleconferencing and Online Classroom Hijacking During COVID-19 Pandemic
Zoom could be vulnerable to foreign surveillance, intel report says
PC Magazine-How to Prevent Zoom-Bombing
MasksOn.org-Low-cost and high-quality protective gear for healthcare workers at the frontline of the COVID-19
MasksOn GoFundMe website