Part one, section 2
Guide terminology: ‘Handhelds’ refers to smartphone and tablet devices; ‘PCs’ = desktop or laptop, Windows or Mac. A ‘toolbar’ is a strip (usually horizontal) with icons and/or text ‘buttons’ – tap or click them to start/stop something or show a menu of options. ‘Chat’ means instant messaging – by text (file attachments usually allowed), to the whole meeting group or one to one.
For a tablet or smartphone, find the app ‘Zoom Cloud Meetings’ and install, free of charge.
On a Windows or Mac desktop or laptop, go to https://zoom.us/ and find ‘Download the Zoom Client’ under the ‘Resources’ drop-down top right (Zoom Client for Meetings). Or you can wait until you get a meeting invite, when it will download – quite quickly – as part of the joining process.
For Chromebooks, go to Extensions on the Chrome Web Store.
You don’t need a Zoom account to join a meeting, but it might make life easier in the long run – see ‘Getting more from Zoom’. You can set one up in the app/program, or go to their website and select ‘Sign up, it’s free’ – direct link https://zoom.us/signup. First provide your email address (plus, in the app, the name which will be displayed when using Zoom). When confirmation email arrives, click on the link to finish the process by entering a password – other options can be skipped.
The easiest way to join a Zoom meeting is to click/tap on the meeting link contained in an email sent by the host or group admin. This should take you direct, opening Zoom on the way – you may have to confirm the choice of Zoom first time you do this. Or, if you can’t access emails on your tablet for instance, you can join the meeting call by starting Zoom, select ‘Join’ or ‘Join a Meeting’ (as per image below) and typing in a Meeting ID (9 to 11 digits ignoring the hyphens or spaces), followed by a 6-digit password. Do ask for this if needed and it isn’t in the joining email.
The default is now to join via a ‘waiting room’, from where the host then has to admit you.
Or you may need to wait for the host to start the meeting, as per cropped image, left (Android).
Depending on your settings, a ‘Join with video’ query can need confirmation immediately after clicking on the link or putting in the meeting details.
If ‘Join Audio’ shows, usually a box to confirm ‘Call via Device Audio’ appears too (bottom left of the screen as in image below) – tap or click this to connect to the sound stream. You may need to tap/click on ‘Join Audio’ to bring up the text box. Ignore ‘Dial in’ option if it shows.
If you want to do anything other than watch passively, check your device’s camera and microphone are working! Find some guidance under ‘Ensuring the computer is set up properly’.
You can leave the meeting call at any point by clicking/tapping the red ‘Leave’ label, to the right in top toolbar on handhelds, bottom toolbar on PCs. Unless switched off in settings, a confirmation pop-up will then need action.
The main meeting toolbar displays at the bottom of the screen but disappears automatically, along with the less busy top bar, to give more space. Tap the screen or move the mouse to bring the bars back up. Bars can have a transparent grey background (smartphone image above), or solid black (Windows cropped image below).
For basic use, you can usually ignore the feature buttons on the bottom toolbar. They can be useful however, and include: Mute or Unmute microphone (on PCs, when muted press + hold the space bar to temporarily unmute, if not turned off in Settings/Audio), Stop/start video (of you),
Share items to the group (see Part 3), see a list of Participants (that you can chat to),
Chat * – info on Getting More from Zoom, Reactions * with options such as thumbs up, clap, raise hand (to get host attention), plus heart, surprised face, laughing face, party emoji all added in August 2020 version.
To stop incoming sound, ‘Leave/Disconnect … Audio’ is under More on handhelds but part of Mute Microphone ‘up arrow’ options on PCs.
* Both Chat and Reactions are under ‘More…’ on handhelds.
Note: image of Home page for PCs is on ‘Getting more from Zoom‘.
Small screens, such as on a smartphone, may reduce your ability to see what is going on, but they don’t prevent you from joining in. For larger meetings, when using most handhelds, it would be difficult to see many other users unless you know how to connect through to a larger display e.g. television screen. Presentations (with slides etc.) could also be a struggle to follow on phone or smaller tablet. With ‘Safe driving mode’ active on a phone you can swipe right to mute mic (and video). There is also a button on left of top toolbar (image right). It can also be quite easy to accidentally cover a sensor with your fingers which may automatically blank the screen. Don’t worry, just move your finger away. Note: the mode can be disabled in settings.