Take your videoconferencing skills from zero to Zoom!

Take Control of
Zoom

Glenn Fleishman
(1 customer review)

Work, school, and even socializing increasingly take place remotely, and Zoom has quickly become one of the most popular tools for videoconferencing—one-on-one or with a group. Take Control of Zoom explains how to use the Zoom service from start to finish. It offers detailed instructions, warnings, and tips from installing and configuring the Zoom software, through setup and participation, and how to host meetings. The new, much-expanded 1.2 release of the book adds details about end-to-end encryption (E2EE), using polls and breakout rooms, having your meetings transcribed automatically, and other important features.

All Take Control books are delivered in three ebook formats—PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle)—and can be read on nearly any device.

Clear

Many of us rarely touched a video chat or videoconferencing tool until the pandemic hit. Now, we videoconference daily (or more often) for work meetings, to talk to clients, to stay in touch with friends and family, and for school—we’ve gone from zero to Zoom!

Despite Zoom’s broad adoption and frequent usage over several months, users sometimes struggle to keep up with the service’s features and interface. Zoom changes constantly, and often spreads useful or important features across two or three different places. Take Control of Zoom helps demystify powerful features in the Zoom apps, while also making sure you can customize and control the software to meet your needs, whether as a participant trying to see and hear everyone in a meeting or a host making a presentation.

The book covers a broad range of topics, from which Zoom app to use and how to configure your account and app even before your first meeting, to how to work among Zoom views and chat in a meeting, to creating and managing your own meetings.

It also dives extensively into sharing your screen and making presentations. The book offers step-by-step instructions on working with macOS and Windows full-screen modes, and using PowerPoint and Keynote for static or interactive presentations that are fed through Zoom, how to manage on a single- or dual-monitor computer, using multiple computers and devices at once, and integrating multiple video sources for real-world demonstrations or sharing hard-copy documents.

You also learn about virtual cameras, software that can take one or more media sources—still images, video, animation, app windows, and sometimes more—and mix into a camera feed you can simply select and broadcast as a host or participant in Zoom. That category includes Camo, mmHmm, OBS, and Zoom’s new built-in Slides as Virtual Background feature.

For those who host meetings or plan to, this book provides comprehensive advice and directions on planning a meeting, starting it up, and managing it, including running polls and offering breakout rooms. It also provides extensive insight into keeping meetings safe, and warning or removing problematic participants.

But what about privacy and security? Zoom started 2020 with a lot of security and design flaws, some of which even misled users about how secure Zoom sessions were. As time went on, the company fixed bugs, promised improvements and delivered them, and came clean about where it fell short. The book covers the current state of Zoom security and privacy, including the introduction in the second half of 2020 of an end-to-end encryption (E2EE) preview available to all hosts. You can find out how E2EE works, Zoom’s implementation of it, how to enable it, and how to make sure your E2EE session remains free of snoopers.

Here’s what you will find in Take Control of Zoom:

  • Learn how to install and configure Zoom.
  • Decide if a web app meets your needs or it’s something to recommend to other meeting participants.
  • Configure your physical setup and your hardware for best results on video.
  • Upgrade your audio for better comfort and quality.
  • Master participating in a meeting, including the various methods of “speaking up.”
  • Get to know Zoom’s many mobile and desktop views for seeing other people and shared screens.
  • Discover the best ways to present in PowerPoint and Keynote.
  • Learn important workarounds for Keynote that give you full control and flexibility.
  • Figure out the best combination of screens and devices for manage each of your presentations.
  • Become a host and start meetings with one other person or 1,000.
  • Conduct polls and manage breakout rooms.
  • Use automatic transcription and captioning features.
  • Find out how to preserve your privacy when sharing apps, presentations, or other parts of your screen.
  • Record a meeting for later playback, presentation, or a podcast.
  • Decide whether upgrading to a paid Zoom tier offers enough improvement and features for meetings you host.
  • Understand Zoom’s security options, including enabling and validating end-to-end encryption for meetings
  • Learn how co-host and alternate host roles work in helping manage a meeting
Glenn Fleishman

About Glenn Fleishman

Glenn Fleishman is a veteran technology writer who has contributed to dozens of publications across his career, including Macworld, Fast Company, and Increment. He has also written dozens of editions of books in the Take Control series. He spent 2019 and 2020 building 100 tiny type museums full of real printing artifacts—a few remain available for purchase. Glenn lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.

What’s New in Version 1.3

Sometimes, if you wish hard enough, things become true: Apple updated Keynote for version 11.0 on March 24, 2021 for macOS 10.15 Catalina and later, and added the last piece in its presentation puzzle: you can present in a window and have your presentation notes and some other tools appear in a separate window. This finally allows the use of Keynote within Zoom (and other videoconferencing apps) in a way that makes sense!

As a result, I modified several sections of “Present in Zoom” to account for this Keynote option, and look particularly at the reworked section “Present in a Window in Keynote.”

However, Microsoft PowerPoint remains mired in the past in which presenting in a window doesn’t give you access to notes and other tools so that all remains the same—for now!

Zoom updated a few of its own features:

  • When you share a window, screen, or selection from a desktop app, Zoom briefly displays a label over what you’re sharing as soon as other participants can see it. See “Pick What You Share.”

  • If you’re a meeting host, you can now report abuse by participants in concluded meetings, and you can review abuse reports you’ve submitted. See “Report Abuse.”

  • Read Me First
    • Updates and More
    • What’s New in Version 1.3
  • Introduction
  • Zoom Quick Start
  • What Zoom Can Do
  • Get Set Up with Zoom
    • Download or Use a Zoom App
    • Figure Out Hardware Needs
    • Set Up Your Zoom Service
  • Trust and Verify Zoom
    • Explore Zoom’s Security Model
    • Consider Your Privacy
    • Evaluate Zoom’s Safety
  • Prep for Meetings
    • Set Up for Video
    • Consider How You Appear
    • Pick Default Settings for Joining
  • Participate in a Meeting
    • What Makes a Meeting
    • Join the Meeting
    • Adjust the View
    • Be Part of a Breakout Room
    • View a Shared Screen
    • Interact in a Meeting
    • Stay Safe in a Meeting
  • Share Your Screen
    • Pick What You Share
    • Protect Your Privacy While Sharing
  • Present in Zoom
    • Work with Full-Screen Apps
    • Use Presentation Apps in Zoom
    • Present with Different Display and Device Combinations
  • Chat in Zoom
    • Chat in a Meeting
    • Chat Outside a Meeting
  • Set Up a Meeting
    • Configure Meeting Options
    • Plan for Safety as a Host
    • Create a Meeting
  • Manage a Meeting
    • Divvy Up Host Roles
    • Start the Meeting
    • Validate End-to-End Encryption
    • Manage Participants
    • Manage Screen Sharing
    • Manage Chat
    • Protect a Zoom Meeting
  • Record a Meeting
    • Configure Recording Details
    • Make a Recording
    • Use Resulting Audio and Video
  • Add AI Transcription and Captioning
    • Use Live Notes
    • Enable Live Captioning
  • Appendix A: Virtual Cameras
    • Camo
    • mmHmm
    • OBS (Open Broadcaster Software)
  • About This Book
    • Ebook Extras
    • About the Author
    • About the Publisher
  • Copyright and Fine Print

Zoom Tweaks Meeting Access and Changes What It Calls a Password

Posted by Glenn Fleishman on June 23, 2020

Zoom is constantly tweaking its privacy and security settings, and they announced some minor changes today that I will fold into the next update of the book, slated for July.

Zoom will no longer use the term “password” to refer to the secret you use to join a meeting. Because your Zoom account has a password, this may have confused less-sophisticated users, who could have been sharing their account password instead of one required for a meeting.

Instead, Zoom is updating their apps and web interfaces to use the term “passcode,” which they say more accurately reflects the nature of the secret. This doesn’t change behavior in any way, but it does make it clearer what you’re talking about. The company didn’t state a timetable for those interface changes, but watch for them in the coming weeks.

The more significant change only affects people with paid accounts. Starting July 17, 2020, Zoom will require any meeting without a passcode has a Waiting Room enabled. You can also have both a passcode and Waiting Room, which I highly recommend and cover in the book from the user and host perspective.

For people with paid accounts, from the single-host Pro up through enterprise flavors, it’s a change for any host who had omitted a passcode and disabled the Waiting Room.

Zoom had turned on Waiting Rooms by default for all accounts in May, but hosts can override that on a per-account or per-meeting basis, and administrators for business accounts can set Waiting Room policies that require them or disable them by default for all users.

As of May 9, 2020, hosts with free-tier (Basic) accounts must have a passcode set, so the Waiting Room remains an added option for those accounts.

Glenn Fleishman Zooms In on Zoom with Chuck Joiner

Posted by Joe Kissell on May 19, 2020

Glenn Fleishman joined Chuck Joiner on MacVoices in a two-part interview to discuss his new book Take Control of Zoom. Needless to say, the interview itself was also conducted using Zoom!

In Part 1, Glenn offers some Zoom tips and discusses Zoom’s privacy and security challenges.

In Part 2, Glenn discusses Zoom vs. the competition, recording options, and more.

1 review for Take Control of Zoom

  1. mikekwasniak@me.com (verified owner)

    This little book has been invaluable in getting up to speed with Zoom. Packed with information, but easy to read, it has broadened my knowledge of the platform no end. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

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