When you're in a Zoom Meeting, sometimes you see a single speaker, sometimes a grid display of all participants, sometimes a presentation, and sometimes yourself. Sometimes you find a list of participants, and sometimes chat messages. Did you have experience trying to find a screen but couldn't find what you want?
If you ever thought about it, how many different screens are there in a ZOOM meeting?
This article explores into this question, analyze the complicated scenario which normally require time-critical operations. And at the last part of the page, there is a setup recommendation - the Two Screen Setup. Hope this will help make life easier for those who need.
One of the reason for the complication is terminology. If the meaning of the same terminology is different, it will cause a lot of misunderstanding.
|Term||Meaning / Understanding|
|Screen||Different people may understand screen with different meaning. On a computer, multiple windows or applications can be launched. In a ZOOM meeting, sometimes the speakers share their screen.
When screen is shared, it can be entire screen, a particular window, a particular application, or a file.
One thing to note is that, when speakers are sharing their screen, that is the screen originally on their own computer. It is not a screen delivered by Zoom, and they actually can't see how their screen sharing look like on the participants' side.
|Participants View||The camera views of all participants. On different devices, it may appears in rows, columns or in grid, which is normally switchable by the users. Note this is different from the participants list, which is textual.|
|Speaker View||The camera view of the current speaker. ZOOM will switch automatically to whom who is speaking|
|Screen Sharing View||The time when the host, co-host or participants assigned the right to share their screen, the shared-screen will appear on all other participants' devices, and display automatically. Probably the most complicated situation is when participants are using smartphones.|
|Participants List||This is different from the Participants View above. This list consists of text, not camera views. It can be expanded, collapsed or detached by the users.|
|Chat View||Chat areas can be expanded, collapsed or detached by the users.|
View Modes on Different Devices, Using Different Software
When joining Zoom meeting using its desktop software on computers, there are a total of 4 different view modes switchable by the users, and they are:
- Side-by-side: Speaker
- Side-by-side: Gallery
However, when joined using browsers or on iPad, there is only 1 screen, with all the views integrated on the same screen.
On smartphone, however, there are more views. Users need to swipe through different pages to reach different views.
More details with pictures follow below.
When the host / co-hosts / participants share their screens, say PPT slides, it goes into a screen sharing mode. Starting from screen sharing, Zoom enter a different operating mode, which will switch the screens / views. However, this should not be a big issue, because attentions are drawn to the screen shared.
Don't forget there are 2 screens too in PowerPoint for the presenters. When speakers share their screen in an online ZOOM event, they have to choose which screen to share. It is not uncommon to see the wrong screen is chosen. This 2 screens in PPT for presents creates another complication in the time-critical moment.
The Use Dual Monitor Setting
There is a 'use dual monitor' setting available in the native application from Zoom, but is not enabled by default. There are more details described about this below.
Use Dual Monitor Setting
As mentioned above, when using the native desktop software from Zoom on Windows, there is an option 'use dual monitor' which is not enabled by default. A lot of users do not know about this feature. The description is a little bit mis-leading. It is actually dual windows, not dual monitor. Monitor can be understood as physical display monitors, but it actually is 2 different display windows.
When enabled, 2 display windows will appear:
- The default window as shown on the left contains the grid view mode of participants' camera views.
- The other window will display is the speaker view mode, or shared screen.
On iPad, there is only 1 screen, embedding all views into one. It looks easier and not easily getting loss. Below pictures show different speaker / gallery view modes on the same screen as the shared screen.
On an Android Phone, the different views split between different screens. Users has to swipe the screen in order to switch from one to another. New users without experience may get into trouble not finding the right view.
|Screen / View||Host
(host / co-host)
|Default Screen(s) in ZOOM Meeting|
|Zoom Default Screen||auto||auto||auto||auto|
|-- Speaker (default) / Gallery view (toggle)|
|-- Screen being shared (default auto)||n/a|
|-- Participants List (toggle, default hide)|
|-- Chat Area (toggle, default hide)|
|Screen Sharing Mode (host / co-host only)|
|Screen to share (by speaker)||your own screen|
|-- Screen share control bar||available|
|-- Participants List||available|
|Screen being shared (default screen)||auto||auto||disappear||auto|
|Speaker view / Gallery view (toggle)||available||available||disappear||available|
|Share of screen||yes||yes||yes||n/a|
|What Screens / Views You Should Really Need|
|Zoom Default Screen||on||on||disappear||on|
|-- screen being shared||auto||auto||disappear||auto|
|-- speaker view / gallery view||good||good||disappear||opt|
|-- Participants List||on||on||disappear||opt|
|-- Chat Area||on||on||disappear||on|
|Screen to share (by speaker)||your own screen|
|-- Screen share control bar||auto on|
|-- Participants List||opt|
|-- Chat Area||on|
Recommended Setup on Screens - The Two device Approach
Understanding the different possible screens, what can we do to solve the problem? This short 3 min video below gives a good example which the author fully agree.
In this video, the computer monitor displays different screens that are important and needed for the hosts or speakers. There is an iPad displaying the participants' screen to see what the participants are seeing.