The ultimate guide to using Zoom Chat
So, you’ve finally discovered that there’s much more to Zoom than just video meetings and have started using Zoom Chat to expand your horizons of communication. Chatting on Zoom is quite simple to use but what you see at first glance is not the whole package.
Zoom Chat is full of features, some hidden deep inside, that not just new users but even a lot of old users end up neglecting. This mix of tips and tricks will completely change your Zoom chat experience and you’ll be left wondering how you were ever coping without them in the first place. So let’s sally forth!
Pop-Out Your Zoom Chat Window
Let’s start with the most simple, yet one of the most useful features of Zoom Chat, especially when you are absolutely slammed with work and chatting with multiple people simultaneously. In Zoom, you can pop out each chat and open it in its separate window. So you could have different chat windows all spread out on your screen instead of having to go back and forth.
To pop the Zoom chat, click on the ‘Open in New Window’ button (the square with an arrow coming out) from the toolbar at the top of the Chat window that has the recipient’s name. You can pop it back in the same way.
Edit a Message
This little bugger is a lifesaver, especially for people who end up with typos in almost every other message they send. Zoom chat has a convenient little edit button tucked in the menu that lets you edit sent messages with utter ease. The recipient can see that you edited the message, but they cannot see the original message.
Go to the message you want to edit, and a few options will appear on the right of the message as soon as the cursor starts hovering on the message. Click the ‘More’ option (three dots), and select ‘Edit’ from the pop-up menu. Edit your message and click ‘save’ to successfully rectify those mistakes.
Enable and Share Code Snippets
If you’ve ever had to share code over a chat, you must know what a headache it is as the code formatting gets completely messed up over messages. Well, not with Zoom Chat! Zoom Chat has a special feature that allows you to send any code snippets by simply copying and pasting it.
First, you’ll need to enable Code Snippets for the chat. Go to Zoom Settings from the main screen of the app, then open ‘Chat’ settings from the navigation bar on the left. Check the option for ‘Show Code Snippet button’. It saves the changes automatically.
And now, when you return to your chat window, that extra ‘Code’ button will be waiting for you. You can now use the ‘Code’ button to send any code easily over the Zoom chat. You will need to download the code snippet package the first time you use the button.
Receive Notifications only for certain Keywords in a Message
In Zoom Chat, you can turn on notifications for messages that contain specific keywords. This highly innovative feature can come very handy when you need to filter through all the unnecessary noise that can accumulate in form of piles of notifications from all your private and group chats and make sure that important messages don’t get lost in the perpetual wave of messages.
To turn on notifications for messages containing certain keywords, go to Zoom settings. Then under Chat settings, scroll down to go to the ‘Receive notifications for’ option and specify the keywords. You can specify as many keywords as you want and they are not case sensitive either.
Save an Image to Emoji for Repeat Use
You are completely going to love this hidden gem of a feature in Zoom Chat. The emoji section of the chat lets you add images to it, making them easily accessible for repeat use. So if there are any images that you need to share frequently, this trick will help you save quite a bit of time.
To add an image, open the emoji picker by clicking the ‘smiley face’ in the message field. Go to ‘Saved emojis’ (heart icon) and click on the ‘Edit’ menu in the lower right corner and upload images from your computer by clicking the ‘Upload emoji’ button. You can also add images from your phone similarly if you are using the phone app.
To quickly add images from a conversation, simply right-click on the image and select ‘Add to Emoji’ from the available options.
Take a Screenshot and Doodle over it Directly in Chat
There are times when we need to send screenshots to our peers with instructions over them, or other times when you just want to share a quick shot with friends and family, but opening a tool especially for this purpose feels like too much work. Well, Zoom has thought of all these little things for you.
Zoom chat not only offers the feature to take a screenshot directly from the message field, but you can also doodle over the images while taking a screenshot. Whether you need to draw shapes like arrows, rectangles, circles, write text, or draw freehand on the image, it has all the tools already in place. Just click on the ‘Screenshot’ button in the message field and capture the part of the screen you want to send.
Star or Pin a Contact
This is less of a trick and more of a reminder to pay heed to this feature as it can be quite useful. Many users often overlook this feature because of its simplicity and yet in its simplicity lies its magic. Our work phonebooks can often get flooded with contacts, and especially Zoom contacts since you have to add people as contacts to chat with them in Zoom.
To order the chaos that can ensue from the overflow of contacts and to make sure that important contacts with whom you frequently connect with are always at your fingertips, you can ‘Star’ important contacts. Starred contacts are pinned towards the top on the left navigation menu in the chat screen. To star a contact, click on the ‘arrow’ next to the contact name in the chat list and select ‘Star this contact’ from the menu.
Get Notified when a Zoom Contact is Online and available for Chat
Waiting for someone to come online to have an important discussion with them? With Zoom Chat, you don’t have to wait. With this nifty Zoom feature, you can simply turn on the notification for when the person comes online and is available for a chat instead of having to stare at the screen and wait for the little dot next to their profile to turn green.
To turn on the notification for when a contact comes online, click on the arrow button next to the contact’s name in the chat list, and click on the ‘Notify me when available’ option from the menu.
Share Screen in a Chat
Sharing your screen when you are in a meeting is fine, but what about when you are chatting and immediately want to share something on the screen but don’t want to go through the hassle of starting a meeting, wait for the person to join the meeting and then begin the sharing session. It’s certainly a lot of steps to get to a simple thing. Especially when you could just share your screen right from the chat. That’s right! Zoom chat has the feature for screen sharing straight from the chat screen.
Alas, it’s only available in the iPhone and iPad app as of yet, but hopefully, it will soon be available across all platforms. So, if you are using the Zoom chat from your iPhone or iPad, just tap on the ‘+’ icon on the left of the message field and select ‘Screen share’ from the bunch of options that appear.
Drag and Drop Images Into Chat to Share
Although you can send images in the chat by uploading them from the ‘File’ button, there is an even quicker way that eliminates even those steps, saving you precious time (even a few seconds add up over time!)
Open the folder on your computer where the image is located and simply drag and drop it in the message field in Zoom chat to send it directly to the recipient.
Replying to a Specific Message in Chat
Zoom chat has wonderful little features that might not seem important at first glance, but their absence makes us realize how important they are. Case in point, the ‘Reply’ button for conversations. With no reply button, chats can get chaotic. You might even have to go to the lengths of copying and pasting the original message to make the other person understand exactly what it is you are talking about.
But not with Zoom chat. The reply option lets you reply to any messages in the chat, giving the conversations a sophisticated thread-like look and making it easier to follow the flow of the conversation for everyone, especially in the group chats. Go to the message that you want to reply to, and click on the ‘Reply’ button from the options that appear on the right when you hover on the message.
Move Messages with New Replies to the Bottom
The reply option to a specific message in Zoom Chat is a terrific feature that allows users to keep the communication streamlined and comprehensible. But there’s a problem that comes with it. When people are replying to old messages, it can become a pain in the neck to scroll all the way up and find the original message and the new reply.
But it doesn’t have to be a headache. Zoom chat allows the users to tweak the settings so the messages with new replies appear at the bottom of the screen. No more scrolling in search of the original message.
Go to Zoom settings, and open ‘Chat’ settings from the navigation menu on the left. Under the ‘Unread messages’ section, select the option for ‘Move messages with new replies to the bottom of the chat’. It will prompt you to restart the Zoom app to change this specific setting and apply the changes.
Hide Message Previews
A lot of important communications take place over Zoom chat, and a lot of them could be highly sensitive. If you have security concerns about the messages and don’t want people to be able to have a peek at your messages, you can disable the message previews in notifications.
Go to your settings, and open Chat settings. Scroll down to the very bottom, and uncheck the option for ‘Show message previews’.
Send GIF in Zoom Chat
GIFs have become somewhat of a deal-breaker when it comes to chatting, especially with younger people. There’s a perfect GIF on the internet for every situation, and they sure as hell make chatting a lot more fun. You can send GIFs in the Zoom chat too, but there’s a chance you might have overlooked the option till now because of its placement.
The GIF button in Zoom chat is accessible from the emoji picker. Click on the ‘smiley face’ icon on the right corner of the message field and switch from emojis to GIFs by clicking on the ‘GIF’ option.
Change Emoji Skin Tone
While we’re on the subject of emojis, Zoom really does offer a well-rounded experience with all the features you could ask for in a chatting platform. There’s no denying that emojis have become an essential part of our communication routine, but the ability to customize them really transcends the whole experience from the mundane realms.
In Zoom chat, you can easily change the skin tone for the emojis to make them a lot more personal. Click on the smiley face in the message field to open the emoji picker and change the emoji color from the ‘Skin tone’ option.
Deleting a Message
Sent the wrong message to someone and editing it just won’t suffice? Don’t worry. Zoom has got you covered. With this quick tip, you can delete the messages you’ve already sent out. The recipient won’t know that you deleted the message.
To delete the message, click on the ‘More’ option (three dots) next to the message in the chat screen and select ‘Delete’ from the context menu.
Delete or Clear Chat History
A lot of video meeting apps in the market right now do not offer the option to clear the chat history to its users, but not Zoom. If you need to clear your chat history, and we mean only yours (the delete button for individual messages deletes the message for everyone), you can easily do so in Zoom chat.
The ‘Clear chat history’ option is accessible from the context menu that appears after clicking the arrow next to the contact’s name in the chat list. Use it to clear old, stale messages in one fell swoop and declutter your inbox.
Viewing All Images and Files Shared in Zoom Chat with Any Contact
Looking for a file or image shared quite some time ago, but dreading scrolling endlessly upwards through the old chats? Even thinking of scrolling this much is giving us anxiety. Thank god for this lifesaver. In Zoom chat, all shared files and images are all accessible from a single place, making it incredibly easy and anxiety-free to find old stuff.
In the chat window, go to ‘All files’ from the navigation menu on the left to open all files and images. It even displays the contents in two divisions: ‘My Files’ that only shows files shared by you and ‘All files’ where you can find everything regardless of who sent it.
Star or Save Messages
Let us all be honest. A lot of messages in chats are simply a nuisance. They clutter our inbox and drown important messages in their midst. Having to find an important message can quickly turn into a pain in the neck, too frustrating to handle.
If you’ve ever been harrowed by this problem, you are simply going to love this little tip. In Zoom chat, you can star any messages and they can be quickly accessed separately from the navigation menu. To star important messages, click on the ‘More’ icon (three dots) next to the message and select ‘Star Message’ from the menu.
Messages in zoom chat can even be formatted but there’s a really good chance that it missed your notice as it is a bit hidden. To view formatting options, type the message, and then highlight the text you want to format. As soon as you highlight the text, formatting options will appear. You can choose from options like Bold, Italic, Strikethrough, or create bullet lists to adorn your text.
Share or Forward Messages to Other Contacts
Zoom chat also has the feature to forward the messages to your contacts. Sure, you might be thinking that you could always copy/ paste the message to send it to others. Why the need for an extra button? Of course, you could do that but why would you want to now that you know there is a dedicated sharing option. I mean who even enjoys dragging their fingers to highlight the text so you could copy it. And if it’s a long message, whew! What a nuisance.
Just click on the ‘More’ option, select the ‘Share Message’ option from the menu, and forward it to your contacts. You’d be done by the time you would have selected the message to copy it.
Mark a Message as Unread
If you opened a message when you didn’t have the time to deal with it and now you’re worried that you will forget to respond to it later on, there’s an easy way to set a visual reminder for yourself. Just mark the message as unread and the unread alert will remind you to get back to it. Marking a message as unread is for your benefit only.
To mark the message as unread, click on the ‘More’ option (three dots) next to the message and select ‘Mark as Unread’ from the context menu.
Block a Contact on Zoom
If some contact on Zoom is pestering you, and removing them as from your contact list just isn’t cutting it (after all they can still hound you with repeated requests), you can simply go ahead and block them. Blocked contacts cannot contact you in any form.
Go to the contact you want to block in the contact list on the left of the chats, click on the arrow to expand the menu, and select ‘Block contact’ from the list of options. Good riddance!
Start a Video or Audio Meet
You can even start an audio or video meeting with a contact from the chat without having to go through the hassle of inviting them. Click on the ‘video’ camera button on the top of the chat window to start a video meeting with them.
To start an audio meeting, click on the arrow next to the camera icon and unselect the ‘Meet with video’ option. The camera will be disabled. Now click on the camera icon to start an audio meeting.
Search in Chat
The search box you see at the top of the Zoom client no matter where you are in Zoom is quite a precious piece of real estate. You can use it to search for people or files but most importantly, messages in Zoom chats. No matter how old a message you want to find, you can do it from the search box. You can also apply filters on search results to streamline the results further, like show results only from a single chat, or messages sent by a specific person, etc.
Just enter the keyword in the search box, and click on the ‘Search in Messages for <keyword>’ from options that appear underneath the search box.
Hide and Unhide a Chat in Zoom
If you don’t want to delete a conversation but also don’t want it in your way, you can instead hide the chat and banish it from your chat lists. To hide a chat, click on the arrow button next to the contact name and select ‘Hide this chat’ from the menu. You can also use the keyboard shortcut
Ctrl + W to hide it when the chat is open.
The chat will unhide when you receive a message from that contact. Or, you can also unhide it at any time by going to your contact list in the ‘Contacts’ tab. Select the contact that you hid and click on the ‘Chat’ button next to their name to bring up the chat. It will stay unhid until you choose to hide it again.
Disable Link Preview
Zoom chat gives you a lot of control even over the tiniest aspects of your experience. Consider link previews. By default, link previews are on for whatever links you send or receive in the chat. But if it’s something that’s not up your alley, you can turn them off at any time.
Go to settings, and open ‘Chat’ settings from the navigation menu on the left. Then, uncheck the option for ‘Include link preview’. Previews for any links, whether you sent or received them, will be immediately disabled.
Select and Share Multiple Photos at Once
If you need to share photos in a Zoom chat, it is the easiest thing to do so. But did you know, you can even send multiple photos at once in Zoom chat? Whether you are using the app on your phone or desktop, sending multiple photos is a breeze but something you might not have considered and instead pained yourself by sending them one by one.
When you are sending photos from the desktop client, you can drag and drop multiple photos at once and it’ll be over in a jiffy. For the phone app, tap the ‘+’ icon on the left of the message field and choose the ‘Photo album’ option. Your photo gallery will open and you can send up to 9 photos at once.
Zoom chat is full of features that are sure to make your life easier and save you from potential headaches and tonnes of time too if you use them in all their glory. With the power of all these features at your disposal, you will be using Zoom chat like a pro in no time at all.