QueerJoe

QueerJoe's Knitting Blog
Wall of Yarn Virtual Background Zoom Photo

Zoom Tips and Tricks

Until a week or two ago, I had never heard of Zoom.  But like most technologies, I got up to speed very quickly with some of Zoom’s functionality. And even learned some great Zoom tips and tricks.

Learn Some Good Zoom Tips and Tricks

First of all, if you don’t know, Zoom is a audio and/or video conferencing software. Many schools and workplaces are replacing in-person meetings with Zoom meetings.

Here is my list of Zoom Tips and Tricks:

  1. Zoom can be run via your browser or via the app.  There are still some security concerns about the software, so if you’d prefer not to download the app, you just run the browser version.  This photo shows me hosting a meeting using the app and attending it via the web browser.Zoom App and Browser
  2. You’ll note that it looks like I’m in a different location in the app versus the browser. That’s because you can change your background by using the “virtual background” feature.  They deliver 4 or 5 backgrounds you can choose, or you can upload one of your own photos or videos too.
  3. Since Zoom allows you to record video conferences where you can have any virtual background you want, it’s a perfect way to record episodes of Knitting With QueerJoe.  For me, my wall of yarn isn’t in a great location for recording video. So, I just take a photo of it and put it behind me for video blogs.Wall of Yarn Virtual Background Zoom Photo
  4. Also since you can replace your background with a video, why not have a video of yourself looking like you’re paying attention to a Zoom meeting and replace your background with it when you need to go to the lavatory? George Jetson used to have a cardboard cut-out for situations like that, remember?
  5. Be careful with virtual backgrounds. Sometimes if you want to show something to the other participants (like a knitting project), Zoom doesn’t know how to discern background from foreground, so your object disappears.  Whenever you want to show something, set your virtual background back to “none” before displaying it.
  6. Zoom has a video “beauty filter” to make you look your best! Zoom’s Touch Up My Appearance feature smooths over your appearance, making you look refreshed and well-rested. To turn it on, click the up arrow next to Start Video. Click Video Settings, and under My Video, check the box for Touch Up My Appearance.The feature goes on at the 10 second mark in the video below. Not much change.
  7. Zoom is a video AND/OR audio conference software. Which means, you can join a meeting with audio only. Either via your phone or computer. So if you’re not looking your best and Touch Up My Appearance wouldn’t help, then you can just dial in to the conference and listen/talk with audio only.
  8. Most Zoom users know that there is a “Speaker View” and a “Gallery View” to see the participants. Regardless of which view you prefer, you may want to consider hiding the non-video participants. Hide the participants who aren’t using video by going to Settings > Video > Meetings, and check Hide nonvideo participants.
  9. Ever have your husband start talking to you while you’re on a call and you scramble to grab you mouse and look for the mute button at the same time?  There is a deliver keyboard shortcut for muting and unmuting your audio, but you can change it to something easier. I changed mine to <shift>SPACE so I can quickly mute myself when necessary. In the app home page, there’s a settings section in the upper right corner of the app. Click on the Settings button and then the Keyboard Shortcuts button. Click on the specific shortcut to edit it to something different and easier to remember.
  10. If you’re just attending meetings, the free app or web browser account is great. If you want to host meetings and want them longer than 40 minutes or with a larger number of participants, consider the paid app.  It’s $15 per month (which I think is really cheap). There’s a small discount for getting a full year, but not enough for me to consider paying for a full year. Especially if I’ll no longer need it after COVID-19.

Play around with the features and let me know if you have any great tips or tricks that you’ve found!

Current Knitting

The Chevron Striped Scarf is nearing completion.

Chevron Striped Scarf 04-10-20 02

Just a few more stripes to go before I begin decreasing the final triangle insert at the end.

I’m more pleased with this colorway than I expected to be. It’s VERY long and will be a real fun scarf.

The other project…also a Chevron Striped Scarf, but on a miniature basis is moving along.

ZigZag Striped Scarf 04-10-20 01

I’m about as pleased as I expected to be with the colorway in this garment.  Which is very pleased.  Love these colors and love how the mottled gray yarn is mixing with the vibrant variegated yarn.

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