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Better Application Sharing

Posted by Anita Wehnert on
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Application sharing is an important part of online collaboration. With application sharing we can demonstrate how an application works or collaborate on a spreadsheet, for example. Without application sharing, your online meetings are just static content.

Live Application Sharing
ReadyTalk offers application sharing in two ways. The meeting chair or any co-chair can share either their entire desktop or, on Windows, an individual application window.

When you share an application, you are sending an image of your entire desktop at full resolution to the other participants in the meeting many times a second. This kind of collaboration uses much more bandwidth than simple slide sharing.

For this reason, there are some things to consider, if you are chairperson, so participants have a positive experience. As a chairperson sharing applications, here are some things to keep in mind:


  • Avoid rapid mouse movements and mouse clicks. Your users will not have their screens updated at the rate your built-in video card can handle. Moving a little more slowly will allow participants to see what you are doing.

  • Make sure all of the meeting participants are on the fastest connection possible. As the presenter, you may not want to run a collaborative meeting from you local coffee shop or on a very busy office WiFi network. Take a moment to plug into a wired network if one is available.

  • Reduce your screen resolution to the minimum possible size that will support the applications you want to share. Reducing your screen resolution cuts down on the amount of data you will be sending to the other participants meaning they will get images of your screen faster. It is confusing if you are using many applications at once during a collaborative meeting anyway, so the loss of screen real estate won’t detract from the meeting.

  • Reduce the color depth of your screen. If you change form 32-bit color to 16-bit color, you only need to send half as much data to get an image of your screen to the other participants. Most viewers aren’t likely to notice the difference in colors. Just switch back when the meeting is over.

  • Use the ReadyTalk “Options” Web Tab to adjust the “Sharing Performance” slider bar to tune the balance between image quality and performance.

  • Have a second computer signed in as a participant to you can see what your other meeting participants are seeing. This will help you tune the balance between screen resolution, color depth and the ReadyTalk Options Slider.

 

Static Application Sharing
Another option for application sharing is available to you if you don’t need to interact with the application while you are showing it. This is useful when you want to show a spreadsheet in your presentation, but you don’t want to interact with it or change any cells. The advantage of static application sharing is that you won’t experience the bandwidth constraints you have with live application sharing.

There are two steps to sharing a static view of an application: create an image of the application and upload it.

Making the image. The maximum image size is 760 pixels wide by 720 pixels high (760x720). You will want to use the full size whenever possible. Any screen capture or screen clipping solution will work. Here’s an example of how to create one if you are using Windows 7:

 

  • Use the Snipping Tool in your Start menu. Be sure to choose the “Window Snip” option if you want to capture a single application. Arrange your application window so that it is approximately square and about 9 or so inches wide on the screen. With the Snipping Tool, take a snapshot of your application and save the file in a convenient location.

 

Adding the image to your presentation. To add this slide to your presentation, go to the ReadyTalk Conference Controls and choose “Insert Slides.” Select your image file and upload it as you would a presentation slide deck.

Now, you are ready to quickly and smoothly show a high resolution image of your application in your presentation.

How do you use application sharing in your web conferences? Are there other features you would like to have available?


Scott has worked on software product strategies and big data analysis problems at startups and public companies in the Denver area. Scott loves Barry Manilow, holding hands and long walks on the beach.


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