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In Adobe Connect Essential Training, author Tim Plumer, Jr. explains how to deliver and host interactive web meetings, webinars, and e-learning tutorials using Adobe Connect. The course covers the software's many tools for streamlining communication and engaging participants, such as the screen sharing, full-screen, and whiteboard features. Also included are tutorials on recording presentations, video conferencing, and using Connect with an iPhone or Android-based smartphone. Exercise files accompany the course.
So what we are looking at here are five of the six file types that Connect can share in a Share pod. There is a PowerPoint, JPEG, PDF, MP3, FLV and additionally, we can also share SWF, the Flash SWF file. But there are going to be times when you need to share something other than this. Maybe you are on a Macintosh using Apple's Keynote or maybe you're in a class and you want to show a document from Matlab or something like that. Connect has a solution for you and it's called the Screen Share, and so let's go ahead and take a look at that.
I'm going to put all of these pods away, except one, and I'm going to maximize this pod, and I'm going to stop the sharing so that I can access the Share My Screen button here, because that's exactly what we're going to do. If you don't have a file type that you can upload into a pod, but you want to show something, you can always share your screen. So first off select Share My Screen.
And the question that I need to answer here is what do I want to share? Do I want to share my entire desktop? Do I want to share a particular application or a particular window? So, we will start with Windows. If I select that, all of the open windows that are available to me are something that I can share. Now, some of these represent files, some of these represent applications that are running, some of them represent folders. I can also limit what I'm looking at to specific applications. In this case, if I want to just take a look at Acrobat, I can do that.
The advantage of using these is that nothing but that window or that particular application that you're sharing will be seen by your audience. Now, I am going to go ahead and choose to Share Only Acrobat and click Share. It doesn't look any different to me. It looks like I was working in the system. However, the entire audience can only see what's happening inside this Acrobat window. I want to point out a little foible though. If you are working in Acrobat and while you're presenting you accidentally click out of Acrobat, then the audience isn't going to see anything because you're only sharing this window.
In fact, what you'll see is a large area of blue crosshatches and your audience will immediately start complaining that they can't see anything. So, if you share a window or you share an application, make sure that you stay within that. Now, what's nice about that is that while you're sharing, you can actually control the sharing right from the window or the application that you are working from. So, I am going to select Stop Screen Sharing here and it will jump me back into my Presentation Room. That's handy. Frankly, most of the time though, I'm probably not organized enough to do that.
So what I'll do is I'll share my screen and I'll share the entire desktop. Now, when I say that I'm not organized enough, that's a little bit of a lie, because I have to be organized enough to remember to do things like shutdown my email client, my chat clients, all of those things that might pop up and show the audience something that I don't want seeing. So, that's just a step, you will have to take ahead of time, but then you have the flexibility of opening up any application that you want. So, I can show you something about Acrobat here. When I'm done, I can put Acrobat away and I can jump over to a browser.
Whatever I'm doing on my desktop is what the audience is seeing. Now, at some point, I may want to stop the presentation, so I can roll down here to the taskbar and if I click on my task icons in my system tray here, I can see the Adobe Connect icon. Click on it and that's how I can control the presentation. So, I have shown you that I can stop screen sharing, but can also do something interesting. I can pause and annotate in the middle of the presentation. What that does, it essentially takes a screenshot of what I was presenting and then shows it to the audience that way and I can use it to do things like markups and do some other stuff with it that would allow me to stop the screen share itself, focus my audience's attention on something static, and then when it's time to go ahead and continue, all I need to do is click on Resume and I'm back in the screen share mode.
Now, the Macintosh user isn't going to find something in the system tray because obviously it doesn't exist down there. Where you will look for the Connect icon is up in the menu bar, sort of in the upper right near where your Clock icon might be. But either way, it's going to provide the same function. It's going to allow you to stop and pause the screen share while it's happening. So, I am going to go ahead and stop it so we can jump back to Connect. And there is one last point that I want to make. If you don't want to give your users some control over the configuration of the way this pod looks, it's a good idea to maximize the pod.
So, you can see that I just chose Restore. Any pod when I select Maximize is going to fill the screen. And the reason that you want to do that is because your screen is going to be contained within the Connect environment on their screen, which means that it's going to shrink everything. And so if you're doing something that requires fine detail or little text that they have to read, it's going to be hard for them to see it, especially if the pod you're sharing is only this big, because this is exactly how big your version of the desktop will be on their system. The other thing that I'm going to recommend is that you take a look at your system's capability for resetting the screen size on your monitor and consider some of the lowest common denominator.
I typically choose 1024x768, because that means when you maximize it, you are not asking someone who does have their screen set to 1024x768 resolution to see your really nice big monitor in a little teeny tiny window on their already small monitor. It just makes it easy for people or easier for people to see what you're doing. But other than that, Share My Screen is a really great ad hoc way to start sharing something that you're doing on your system, so you can show any document type you like and you can even go a step further and show people how you might create that document in the software product that was used to create it.
And one more little tip about screen sharing. Screen sharing is a fairly bandwidth intensive thing to do, and so you may want to control that just a little bit, because if you're using a lot of bandwidth, there may be a lag time between what you're doing and what you're audience is seeing. And you can control that under the Meeting menu by selecting Preferences. The preference I am interested in is Screen Share, and you can determine the quality and the frame rate for your screen share. If everyone's on a local area network with nice high-speed access, crank the rate up to high.
It's going to look good. It will be fast and it will be a higher-quality presentation. If however, you know that there are a lot of people that have questionable bandwidth, you might even go down to Medium or even Low for your Quality and your Frame Rate. Things are going to look uglier and choppier, but you will at least be able to see them closer to real time, as opposed to waiting for the lag. So when screen sharing, think about your audience a little bit, understand their needs with respect to bandwidth, and throttle this to make sense for that audience. That way you'll be providing the best possible experience you can, given your need to screen share.
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