How to share documents from the cloud during a Zoom meeting

You can share documents directly from Dropbox, OneDrive, and other online storage services. Here are the steps.

Student on video call from his home during lockdown

Image: Alistair Berg / Getty Images

Sometimes, you need to share a document during a Zoom call. But it's not stored on your computer or mobile device; it's stored in the cloud. How can you get to it and share it directly without having to first download it to your device? Among Zoom's Share options is one that lets you access your cloud-based storage. You can share files from Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, and Box.

SEE: Zoom 101: A guidebook for beginners and business pros (TechRepublic Premium) 

When you wish to share a document during your Zoom meeting, click the Share Screen icon. At the screen to select a window or application that you want to share, click the heading for Files. You can now choose from the four different cloud services (Figure A). Let's cover each one.

Figure A

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Dropbox

Click the icon for Dropbox and then click the Share button. Sign into your Dropbox account if and when prompted. At Dropbox, browse to the folder that contains the file you wish to share. Click the checkbox for that file and then click the Choose button in the lower right corner (Figure B).

Figure B

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The document appears in your meeting's sharing screen, which offers you a few options for displaying and highlighting it. The up and down arrows surrounding the page number let you move up and down each page in the document. For a long, multi-page document, click the button to Show Sidebar and you can more easily jump from one page to another (Figure C).

Figure C

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Click the minus or plus icons to zoom out or zoom in, respectively. Click the double-arrow to display the document full screen. Click the print icon to view the document in a separate window where you can print it.

To draw attention to a specific area, move your cursor to the start of that area until it turns into a cross icon. Hold down your left mouse button and drag across that area to create a highlight box. You can resize the box by dragging any of its corners. After you've highlighted an area this way, you can add a comment. To do this, type your comment in the field in the upper right that says: "Enter your thoughts." Selecting the highlighted area displays your comment (Figure D).

Figure D

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You can also annotate the document using Zoom's own tools. Move your mouse cursor to the top of the screen to display the Zoom toolbar. Click the Annotate button. You can now add text, draw lines and shapes, highlight specific areas, add stamps, and format text with different colors (Figure E).

Figure E

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Next, you can hide the right sidebar by clicking the icon to Close Sidebar. When you're done sharing this document, either close the browser window or click the icon at the top of the Zoom screen to Stop Share (Figure F).

Figure F

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Microsoft OneDrive

From the Zoom sharing screen, click the icon for Microsoft OneDrive and then click the Share button. Connect to OneDrive. The first time you do this, you'll need to give OneDrive permission to access your Zoom account. Click the Authorize button. Sign into your OneDrive account. Then click Yes to allow ZoomOneDrive to access your info.

At your OneDrive screen, browse to the file you wish to share and select it. If you're using OneDrive Business within an organization, you can leave the box checked at the bottom for "Anyone in your organization (only available for Microsoft work/school accounts)." If you're using OneDrive Personal or want to be able to share the file with anyone, check the box for "Anyone with the link." Click the Share screen button (Figure G).

Figure G

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The document appears in Zoom. Move your mouse to the top of the screen to display the toolbar. Click the Annotate button to mark up your document (Figure H). Click the Stop Share button when you're finished sharing the document.

Figure H

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Google Drive

From the Zoom sharing screen, click the icon for Google Drive and then click the Share button. The first time you do this, you'll have to give Google Drive access to your Zoom account. Click Authorize. Sign into your Google account. At your Google Drive screen, select the document you wish to share. If you're sharing the document within your organization, leave the box checked at the bottom for "Anyone in your organization." Otherwise, check the box for "Anyone with the link." Click the Share screen button (Figure I).

Figure I

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Move your cursor to the top and click the Annotate button to annotate your document. Click the Stop Share button when you're finished sharing (Figure J).

Figure J

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Box

Back at the Zoom sharing screen, click the icon for Box and then click the Share button. Authorize the necessary access. At the Box screen, select the document to share. To share the file with people in your organization, keep the box checked for "Anyone in your organization." Otherwise, change the selection to "Anyone with the link." Click the Share screen button (Figure K).

Figure K

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Move your cursor to the top and click the Annotate button to annotate your document. Click the Stop Share button when you're finished sharing (Figure L).

Figure L

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