Zoom: Presenting

This article details the basics of presenting and screen sharing in Zoom, including using the chat during a meeting.

This article covers the following topics:

Screen Sharing in Zoom

  1. The host and participants can share their screen by clicking Share in the meeting controls.

    Screenshot of Zoom toolbar with green Share Screen button circled

  2. Choose the screen you want to share. You can choose an application open on your computer, a web browser window, the desktop, a whiteboard, or an iPhone/iPad.

    Screenshot of screen share options with whiteboard option highlighted

  3. (Optional) Enable these features on the left side of the screen share pop-out menu:
    1. Check Share Sound to share any sound played by your computer shared in the meeting (you can choose between mono and stereo sound).
    2. Check Optimize for video clip if you will be sharing a video clip in full-screen mode. Do not check this otherwise, as it could make the shared screen blurry.

  4. Click the blue Share button in the lower right corner of the window.

Sharing a Portion of the Screen

  1. Click Share Screen.

  2. Select the Advanced tab at the top of the window.

  3. Click Portion of Screen.

    Screenshot of Zoom advanced screensharing options with "Portion of Screen" option highlighted

  4. A green box will appear, to drag over the part of the screen you would like to share. If you drag the portion you're sharing to a new location, screen sharing will pause and the green box will turn orange until you have finished dragging it to a new area.

    Screenshot of example of sharing a portion of the screen (green box appears around the portion being shared)

Share Screen Menu

When you start sharing your screen, the meeting controls will move to the top of the screen. You can click and drag this to another location on the screen if you would like.

Screenshot of the meeting controls when screen sharing in Zoom

The functions of these controls are described in the image above from left to right.

  • Mute/Unmute: Mute and unmute your microphone.
  • Start Video: Start and stop your video.
  • Security: View options on how to manage the security of your meeting. See image below.

    Screenshot of the dropdown menu under the "Security" button on the Zoom meeting control panel

  • Participants: View and manage the participants (if you are the host).
  • Chat: View and manage the chat.
  • New Share: Start a new screen share. You will be prompted to choose which screen you want to share again.
  • Pause Share: Pause your shared screen.
  • Annotate: Display tools to annotate your screen.
  • More: Access a menu of less commonly used options, shown in the image below. 

    Screenshot of the drop-down menu options when "More" is selected from the meeting controls

Obstructed Window While Screen-Sharing

Other participants may report seeing gray boxes obscuring the screen while you are screen sharing. These gray boxes are the windows for your Zoom controls and chat. This can be fixed by changing your screen sharing settings:

  1. Click the green New Share button in the control panel.

    Screenshot of Zoom toolbar with "New Share" option highlighted

  2. In the window that pops up, look to the right side of the window. If the Optimize for video clip checkbox is checked, click it to deselect this option.

    Screenshot of the pop-up window with screenshare options. The "Optimize for video clip" checkbox is unchecked.

  3. Select the window you want to share, and click Share in the lower right hand corner.

For more information about screen sharing, please see this Zoom "Sharing Your Screen, Content, or Second Camera" documentation.

Sharing a Pre-recorded Video

Zoom allows participants to share video with audio to participants. 

  1. Click Share in the meeting controls.

  2. Select the video from the available screens. We suggest having the video open in a separate tab, to make it easier to find.

  3. Select Optimize for video clip from the bottom of the "Share" window. This should automatically select Share sound as well. If it doesn't, select that option as well.

  4. Click Share.

Sharing a PowerPoint

By default, your PowerPoint presentation will take up your whole screen, hiding the "Chat" and "Manage Participants" controls. Follow these instructions to contain your presentation in a browser window, rather than on a full screen.

  1. Open the PowerPoint you want to present.

  2. Click Slide Show in the top menu toolbar, then click Set Up Slide Show.

    Powerpoint slide show presentation settings

  3. Under "Show type," select Browsed by an individual (window) and click OK.

    Powerpoint individual window presenting setting

  4. Open your presentation by opening the "Slide Show" tab, then click Play from Start or Play from Current Slide.

    Powerpoint slide show play from start

    Your presentation will display in a window.

  5. Start or join the Zoom meeting you are presenting in. 
  6. Click Share Screen in the meeting controls.
  7. Select the PowerPoint window and click Share.

For more information about screen sharing a PowerPoint, please see this Zoom "Screen Sharing a PowerPoint Presentation" documentation


The chat function allows you to send messages to other users in a meeting. You can send messages to the entire group or to an individual. The host can choose to decide who participants chat with or disable chat entirely. The chat can be saved manually or automatically.

Accessing the Chat

  1. Click Chat in the meeting controls.

  2. This will open the chat window on the right of the meeting display. You can type a message to send to the entire group ("Everyone") or click the drop-down arrow next to "To:if you want to send a message to a specific person. 

  3. When new chat messages are sent to you or everyone, a preview of the message will appear and "Chat" button on your host controls toolbar will flash orange.

While Screen Sharing

  1. To open the chat while screen sharing, click Chat in the meeting controls. If this option is not present, click More, then Chat.

  2. A floating chat window will appear.

Chat Settings

To change the chat settings:

  1. Click Chat in the meeting controls. If this option is not present, click More, then Chat.

  2. Click the three dots to display in-meeting chat settings.

     Menu brought up by selecting the three dots above the chat box in the chat pop-up

  3. This brings up a drop-down menu of options.
    1. Save chat: Saves the chat as a file
    2. Adjust who participants can chat with:
      1. No one: Disables chat
      2. Host and co-hosts: Participants can still send private messages to the host, but only the host and co-hosts can send messages to everyone.
      3. Everyone: Participants can send private messages to the host and public messages to everyone in the meeting (participants cannot privately message anyone but the host).
      4. Everyone and anyone directly: Participants can send public or private messages to anyone in the meeting. Public messages are visible to everyone in the meeting. Private messages sent to a specific participant are not visible to the host.

For more information about chat, please see this "Using In-Meeting Chat" documentation from Zoom.

KeywordsZoom, "Zoom settings", "Zoom chat", chat, "screen share", present*, "video share", "grey boxes", "obstructed window", shar*   Doc ID124862
OwneriSchool U.GroupSchool of Information Sciences
Created2023-03-15 11:03:13Updated2024-07-09 11:53:46
SitesUniversity of Illinois School of Information Sciences
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