How to share documents onscreen in a Zoom meeting

Collaboration while telecommuting can be tough, especially if you're working with documents. Learn how to share documents onscreen in Zoom.

Any collaboration tool worth its rack space has screen sharing capabilities, and Zoom is no different. This essential part of online meetings is easy to use--if you know how to do it. 

Whether you want to share a document, a presentation, a video, or an image, Zoom has the capabilities to do it, but don't get stuck making the process more complicated than it has to be--follow the steps in this tutorial.

Note: Increased demand on Zoom servers during the COVID-19 outbreak means that phone dial-in functions may be limited--be sure your computer has a microphone and/or camera to use Zoom to its fullest. Also, this tip was written using the macOS desktop version of Zoom with a free user account, though Windows users should still be able to follow these same tips.

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium)

There are a few hurdles to jump through before sharing documents onscreen during a meeting, and there are two ways to go about it. First, there's the easy method of simply having the document open before starting a meeting and then doing a screen share.

To start, open the document you want to share onscreen during a meeting. With Zoom open and a meeting started, look for the Share Screen button on the bottom bar. When you click on it, you'll see the window shown in Figure A

Figure A

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On the Basic Sharing tab, which will open by default, find the window you want to share, click on it, follow any onscreen prompts asking you to grant Zoom permission, and voila--you'll see a sharing screen like that in Figure B.

Figure B 

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The other way of sharing a document onscreen in a Zoom meeting is in the Files tab of the screen sharing window and is restricted to documents stored in a cloud provider (Figure C)

Figure C

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This entails linking your cloud account to Zoom, which will allow you to navigate through a Zoom-hosted version of your cloud drive and choose a document to share. When you select the one you want, Zoom will automatically open the document in a new tab and begin a screen share. 

Note: The latter option isn't necessary, and only adds steps that can be avoided by doing a basic screen share on a document that is already open.

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