Instructor Support for Educational Systems

How do I use the Tools in a Zoom meeting?

Updated on

This article explains the tools you can use during a meeting. It is written from the host's perspective and covers the tools in order in which they appear in the meeting(bar):

Audio in- and output

When you start or enter a meeting, you will be shown a pop-up asking how you want to participate in your Zoom meeting:

The two buttons on top offers you the possibilities to:

  • Click Phone Call to dial in for audio.
  • Click Computer audio to use audio from your computer.

When you click Phone Call you will see the dial-in number and you can pick which country or region you're calling from.

  • Click Join with Computer Audio to join the session with the default audio devices as set by your computer operating system.
  • Under Join with Computer Audio the Test Speaker and Microphone button is visible. 
    • Click this if you want to test your audio settings.

As soon as the pop-up appears, a ringtone starts playing over your (selected) speakers. 

  • Click Yes if you hear the ringtone.
  • Click No if you don't hear the ringtone.

Zoom will go automatically go to the next audio output in the ist every time you click No, until Zoom tested all your devices.

If all the tested fail to connect, you get the opportunity to Test Again or Join Audio by Phone.

In the next screen you are able to test your microphone:

Zoom will repeat the same process as mentioned above, but with your microphone.

  • Click  Join with Computer Audio to return to the initial screen.

Meeting information

The Meeting Information icon at the top left of the Zoom meeting contains an overview of the meeting information.

  • Click the gear icon to open your personal zoom settings
  • Hover over the name of the session to change it.
    • Click the pencil icon.

In addition to opening the settings menu and changing the name, you can copy the invitation link of your Meeting room. Also, you will see the necessary information participants need to enter your Personal Meeting Room if they do not use the invite link.

For better security of your Personal Meeting Room, it is recommended to always use an invitation link rather than a separate meeting ID and passcode.

  • Click Copy link to copy the link to your clipboard and share with participants.


At the top right of the screen of the meeting,  you'll find the Full-screen icon to display the session in full screen (if you're alone). The icon looks very transparent and can therefore be difficult to recognize.

Once in full-screen mode, the icon changes to the following icon. Clicking it will leave full-screen mode. You can also press ESC to exit the mode.

For multiple participants in the meeting, the Full screen button changes in the View button:

  • Click Speaker View to see only the currently active speaker(s).
  • Click Gallery View for a raster that shows all attendees.


With the Microphone button at the bottom left of the screen, you can turn the sound on and off by clicking it.  

The icon is shown below when you're not muted:

If you are muted, the icon appears as:

When clicking on ^, a menu appears:

Under Select a Microphone en Select a Speaker you can choose different input and output devices.

  • Choose Switch to Phone Audio if your audio device does not work anymore and you need to continue with the session.
  • Click Leave Computer Audio to turn off the audio completely. The icon will also change:
  • Click Join Audio to use your device's audio settings.

Microphone options when using browser

If you participate in a meeting from the browser, you will be asked to give permission for audio and/or video:

  • Click Allow to use your mic/camera for the meeting.

If you missed this window or did (by accident) not allow, your icons may look like this:

As you can see from the image above, the camera and microphone icons are crossed out. This  means  that  they  are  blocked  for  use  in  this  window.

Click on the icons to open and pop-up as below (this image was  created  within  FireFox  and  differs  depending  on  the  browser).

In this  case, click the  x  behind the camera and/or microphone to unblock the  device.

Another pop-up will appear for permission to use the unblocked device in  this  session.

Click   Allow.


The Camera button at the bottom of the screen facilitates your video feed by clicking on it.

If your video feed is enabled, the icon looks like this:

If your video feed is disabled, the icon looks like this:

Click the ^ button to show the menu:

You can select a camera device in this menu.


The Security button at the bottom left of the screen opens the following menu:

  • Click Lock Meeting to exclude any new incoming participant from that moment on.
  • The option Enable Waiting Room can be disabled, but we recommend for security reasons to enable it.

In the list Allow participants to: you can choose what participants are able to. The default options are:

  • Chat
  • Unmute Themselves
  • Start Video

The button Suspend Participant Activities opens a window asking if you want to suspend all activities for regular participants (not Hosts/Co-Hosts).



To invite participants to a meeting, follow these steps:

  • Click the arrow next to Participants.
  • Click Invite

There are a few possibilities to invite participants: 

  • Through the contact list.
  • By e-mail.
  • By copying the invitation link.
  • By copying the invitation.

Inviting attendees through the contact list:

By default, if you click Invite the Contact tab will be opened.

If you already have contacts in your list, you will see them in a list of buttons with their abbreviated name and their full name. 

  • Click on the button to select them. 
    • Selected names are displayed in blue and are also displayed in the Type to filter bar.

To delete a contact you accidentally clicked, click the highlighted blue button or X before their name in Type to filter.

Inviting attendees by e-mail:

  • Click Email to send the invitation by email.

In the new window, you can choose to send your email from:

  • Your default email program.
  • Gmail.
  • Yahoo mail.

When you click one of these options, the email application opens and opens a new email concept with the necessary information for the invitation.

Inviting attendees by sending the invitation link:

At the bottom left of the Invite screen, you will see two buttons: Copy Invite link and Copy invitation

  • Click  Copy Invite link.

The invitation link is now automatically copied to your clipboard. You can now paste this into an email, chat or elsewhere.

The disadvantage of this method is that the dial-in option is not included. This method is only suitable for attendees who attend on a desktop or mobile device with the Client installed.

Inviting attendees by copying the invitation:

At the bottom left of the Invite screen, you will see two buttons: Copy Invite link and Copy invitation

  • Click  Copy Invitation.

The whole invitation is now automatically copied to your clipboard. You can now paste this into an email, chat or elsewhere. This method includes all the different options, including dial-in.

Waiting Room

Under Waiting Room you will see a list of participants who want to participate in the session.

In the image above you can see, there is only one participant waiting in the Waiting Room. In this case, the only option is the Message button.

  • Click Message to start a chat.

This chat window is meant to send a message to everyone in the waiting room:

  • Click on the arrow next to Everyone (in Waiting Room). 
  • A new window opens:

You can choose to chat to:

  • Everyone (in the waiting room).
  • Everyone (in the meeting).
  • To the first user on the waiting room list.

At the right of Everyone (in Waiting Roomyou will see three dots: '...'.

Click the three dots to select whether participants can send a message to each other.

You can choose between:

  • No one.
  • Host only.
  • Everyone Publicly.

When several people are waiting in the waiting room for admission, the button Admit all appears.

When a new participant joins the session, the host may also be notified:

In the meeting

In the In the meeting section of the Participants you can see who joined the session.

When you hover over a participant in the list who has activated their audio or video, you'll see the following options next to their name:

If a participant has not activated the audio, only More will be visible.

When you click the Mute button, the participants' sound is muted. However, it will not turn off their camera.

The More button opens a window with more options:

  • Ask to Start Video: V
  • Make Host.
  • Make Co-host.
  • Allow to Multi-pin.
  • Assign to type Closed Caption.
  • Rename.
  • Put in Waiting Room.
  • Remove.

Participation icons

The icons at the bottom of the Attendees panel let attendees know what they're finding at this time of the session, or they can answer a quick question from the host.

The icons listed mean:

  • Yes.
  • No.
  • Go slower.
  • Go faster.
  • More.
    • Thumbs down.
    • Thumbs up.
    • Clap.
    • 'I Need a break'.
    • 'I'm away'. 
  • Clear all.

Host/Co-host options

Finally, at the bottom of this Participants window, there are the following options:

The Invite button opens up the possibility to invite a participant. With the button 'Mute all' you can mute all participants.

Click on the (... ) to open more options:

The following options are:

  • Ask All to Unmute.
  • Mute Participants upon entry.
  • Allow Participants to Unmute Themselves.
  • Play sound when someone joins or leaves.
  • Enable Waiting Room.
  • Lock Meeting.


Click the Chat button to open the chat window.

A number of options open up in the side panel:

  • Click Everyone to select whether you want to send a message to anyone or one person.

The File button allows you to upload a file that participants can download from the chat. Currently, the only file types allowed are:

  • .txt
  • .docx
  • .xlsx
  • .pdf
  • .pptx
  • .jpg
  • .jpeg
  • .png
  • .gif

The maximum file size is set to 2 GB.

Share screen

The Share Screen button in the toolbar at the bottom lets you share your screen or part of your screen. Start the process by clicking the button.

You can choose between Basic and Advanced.

Under Basic you will find the possibility to share the following:

  • Screen.
  • Whiteboard.
  • iPhone/iPad.
  • Specific windows.

Under Advanced you can choose between:

  • Portion of Screen.
  • Computer Audio.
  • Video.
  • Content from 2nd camera. 

At the bottom of the screen are two options with checkboxes:

  • Share computer sound: Share the computer sound, useful if you want to play a video, for example.
  • Optimize Screen Sharing for Video Clip: Optimize video clip screen sharing basically sets screen sharing to a higher bit and refresh rate, so that a shared video clip is displayed in a clear way.

Select what you want to share and click on the Share button at the bottom right.



When sharing your display, the following toolbar can be seen in the picture:

Here you can see it is possible to pause, annotate or stop the screen sharing.

  • Click New Share to select another item you want to share (e.g. another window or whiteboard).
  • Click Pause Share to pause sharing.
  • Your toolbar will now look different:
    • An orange bar with Your screen sharing is paused will be visible.
    • Click Resume share to resume sharing.
  • Click Annotate to create annotations.

An additional toolbar will appear with the features:

  • Mouse
  • Select
  • Text
  • Draw
  • Stamp
  • Spotlight
  • Erase
  • Format
  • Undo
  • Redo

You can use Clear to delete all annotations and save the annotations with Save.

  • Click the red cross or Annotate to turn off the annotation function.


If you select the Whiteboard to share, a white screen will appear with a toolbar as shown above. Instead of Annotate, Whiteboard will be displayed.

The Whiteboard has the same editing function as the Annotate function. Click here for a detailed explanation of all functions.

  • Click + at the bottom right to add an additional whiteboard.
  • Click New Share or Stop Share to exit the whiteboard.


To share content from your iPhone or iPad, click iPhone/iPad. It is possible to do this via Apple's Screen Mirroring or via a wired connection.

  • Select iPhone/iPad, and then click Share.
  • Follow the instructions in Zoom.

For more information about sharing content through your iOS device, see this  link.


PowerPoint as Virtual Background

This option is in 'Beta' mode, which means it is still in development, as such we will not discuss or support this option further.

 Portion of Screen 

Instead of a full-screen recording, you can choose to select part of your screen to share.

  • A green frame appears on the screen, you can drag the frame into position by dragging the green edges (the frame will change color to orange during this process).
  •  You can resize the frame by moving your mouse to the outer edges of the frame and extending it there as with any other application window.

Music or Computer Sound Only

Only music or computer sound.

Content from 2nd Camera

Content from a second camera, a great option if you have a second camera/device connected to your computer that allows you to share videos (such as the Visualizer in the library of Leiden University).

  • A Switch Camera button appears in the upper-left corner of the screen, allowing you to switch between the connected cameras.


For GDPR reasons, we disabled recording on a local computer because we cannot verify where the Recording is located if it's on a local device.

Recordings made in Zoom will be stored for 60 days in the Zoom Cloud on European servers in Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Leiden University has a strict processing agreement that protects both students and faculty members.

With the Recording function, you can record (parts of) your meeting.

  • Click Record.
  • A new window opens asking Record this meeting to the cloud?
  • Click Continue.

The participants of the session will be told an audible signal stating that ' This meeting is being recorded'.

Participants will also see a popup window asking if they want to stay in the session during the recording or if they prefer to leave.

If a student objects against a lecture/seminar organized and recorded in Zoom, they have the right to ask to replace the session to Kaltura Live Room or leave the Zoom meeting.

Participants can also see in the upper left corner that the meeting is being recorded:

Hosts will instead have a pause and stop button in the top left corner:

This image will change to the following when the recording is paused:

When a recording is paused or stopped, participants will hear 'This recording has stopped'. If the recording was paused, they will be told 'This meeting is being recorded' again as soon as you resume recording.

Currently, pausing a recording is not recommended. As there is a problem with the Kaltura integration, which causes only one of the multiple parts recorded is being transferred to the Videoportal. We recommend stopping the recording rather than pausing it.

Recordings made in Zoom are automatically copied to the host's 'My Media' in the video portal. The recording can be shared from here. It may take a while for the recording to be published (several hours depending on the size of the recording).

A recording started by someone else than the host will still be uploaded in the host's account in both Zoom and the Videoportal.

Live Transcript

The Live Transcript/Closed Caption button opens a pop-up window where you can choose several options:

  • Assign a participant to type.
  • I Will type.
  • Copy the API token.
  • Enable Auto-Transcription.

By choosing to designate a participant to type, an undetermined number of people can type live subtitles.

When you choose I will type you can type the subtitles yourself.

 When you choose Copy the API token, the API token is copied to your clipboard so that you can invite a third party to create live subtitles.

When you get the rights to type Closed Captions, you get a popup window that is very similar to the chat window where you can type. If you click enter, the subtitles will be broadcast to all participants who can see subtitles on the screen (when Closed Captions is activated).

Finally, click the Enable Auto-Transcription button to start an automatic transcription service that captions your live meeting. The accuracy of this function is quite high.

Breakout rooms

By clicking  the Breakout Rooms button, you open the following pop-up in which you can choose the following options:

  • The number of breakout rooms (up to 50).
    • 20 breakout rooms with a maximum of 500 participants.
    • 30 breakout rooms with up to 400 participants.
    • 50 breakout rooms with up to 200 participants.
  • Assign automatically.
  • Assign manually.
  • Let participants choose a room (this also offers the participants the possibility to switch to other breakout rooms).

See this  link for a detailed explanation of all possibilities with Breakout rooms.


If you click the Reactions button, a small pop-up window will appear in which you can respond via emoticons to display a comment:

The above icons are available as 'shortcut', click on the '... ' to select more emoticons.

These icons appear on the participant's screen (top left) and disappear automatically after 10 seconds.

End meeting

If you click on the End button, a pop-up window will appear that allows (fellow) presenters to choose whether they want to end the session for everyone (End Meeting for All) or whether they want to leave the session themselves (Leave Meeting).

If you have consecutive meetings and you want to join the other meeting, you can do so by clicking the Start Meeting button.

If you were the only host in the first meeting, this meeting will be closed. If there are several other alternative/co-hosts in that meeting, the meeting will remain open.

Previous Article How do I use a Zoom Webinar?
Next Article How do I determine in advance what is heard and visible in my meeting?