How to share your screen during a chat

Step 1. Start a screenshare session in LibChat

Regardless of whether you're chatting with a patron, or internally with a department or operator, you'll have the option of starting a screensharing session right from within LibChat. This allows you to not only share and annotate your screens, but you can also communicate via audio, and even share webcam video if you're so inclined. This not only allows you to more easily present info, provide demonstrations, and troubleshoot technical issues -- just like if you and the other user(s) were together in person.

Before you begin: screensharing is available as an add-on to your LibAnswers subscription. Learn how to enable LibChat screensharing for your LibAnswers system.

A screensharing session can be started once per chat by any staff operator (i.e. a patron cannot start a screensharing session on their own). However, once screensharing has been started and all users have joined the session, any user in the session can share their screen and request/give keyboard & mouse control (more on this in Step 2 below).

How to start a screensharing session

  1. While chatting with a patron, department, or operator, click on the Request Screenshare button in the operator chat window.

The Request Screenshare button

  1. In the chat message box, the patron will receive a message containing a Launch Screensharing window link. When they click this link, they will be able to join the session.
    • Tip: Admin users can customize the text of the patron message under Admin > LibChat Set-up > Screensharing.
  2. In the chat history, you'll see a System message appear, which includes a link for starting the screensharing session as the host. Click the Launch Screensharing window link in that message to begin the session as a host.

The links to join and start the screenshare session

  1. In another browser tab, the meeting launcher page will begin the secure, end-to-end encrypted session (this does not have to be downloaded in advance).
    • If a user does not currently have the client installed, they will be prompted to do so here. Otherwise, they'll just be prompted to launch their meeting client.
    • Please pay attention to this page, as you will likely need to confirm a dialog from your browser asking you to download and/or launch the client.
    • The meeting client supports all major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge, Safari, and even mobile devices), and also has a web-based option for users who cannot install the app.

The Zoom launcher page

Step 2. Use the meeting client to share your screen

​Although the meeting controls may look slightly different depending upon a user's operating system, the basics should generally look the same for all users in the meeting (i.e. the staff and patron users). Click on the links below the following image to learn more about using the meeting client directly from the Help Center.

Zoom Meeting client controls for joining audio and sharing your screen

  1. Joining the meeting audio (recommended)
    • By joining the meeting audio, you and the other user will be able to talk with each other over a high-quality VoIP connection.
    • Though you will most likely use your computer's audio, it is also possible to join via telephone.
    • You can mute and unmute your audio at any point during the session.
  2. Sharing your screen
    • This will allow you (or the other user) to share the entire screen or just individual windows.
    • While sharing, both users will find on-screen annotation tools, which allow you to highlight and mark up the screen (sort of like a SMART Board!). 
    • During screen sharing, whether its your screen or the other user's, you can request or give up keyboard & mouse control. For example, if you are sharing your own screen, this would allow the other user to interact with it.
  3. Enabling webcam video (optional)
    • If you would like to turn on your computer's webcam in addition to joining the meeting audio, you totally can! However, this is entirely optional.
    • There are different layout options for displaying webcam video while simultaneously sharing your screen.
  4. Using the built-in chat box (optional)
    • You may find it helpful to use the in-meeting chat feature during a screensharing session so you don't have to switch back and forth with LibChat.
    • Please note, however, that your chat transcript is not saved within your LibChat chat transcript. Instead, you would need to manually save your in-meeting chat transcript separately before exiting the screensharing session.

How to create & save annotated screenshots

During the screensharing session, both parties can choose to annotate the screen live and save a screenshot, using built in annotation tools. This helps draw a user's attention and highlight particular areas to focus on, plus you can save a screenshot to help remember what you discussed!

  1. Once you've begun a screensharing session, select Annotate from the sharing menu to begin annotating on your shared screen.

The Annotate button

  1. This will open the annotation toolbar - use these tools to annotate your screen:

The annotation toolbar

  1. Options include:
    • Text: Add text to clarify specific portions of the screen.
    • Draw: Use freehand drawing to literally draw attention to a particular spot on screen.
    • Spotlight/Arrow: Turn your cursor into a spotlight or arrow to help capture the user's attention, so they look where you're pointing.
    • Eraser: Erase some or all of your prior annotations. 
    • Color: Add a highlight splash of color to denote a particular portion of the screen.
    • Undo/Redo: Step backward and forward in time to undo/redo previous changes.
    • Clear: Removes all previous annotations with one click
  2. Save! This allows you to save all annotations on the screen as a screenshot. The screenshot will be saved to your local device. Once saved, you can share the screenshot with your patrons via the chat box.

How to record and share the screensharing session

Local recording allows users to record meeting video and audio locally to a computer. The recorded files can then be uploaded to a file storage website like Dropbox, Google Drive, and/or a public streaming server such as YouTube or Vimeo.

  1. Start the meeting as the host
  2. From the sharing menu, click the option to Record: 
  3. You'll see the following recording indicator in the top left corner when recording has started:
  4. After the meeting has ended, a prompt will appear stating You have a recording that needs to be converted before viewing. Wait for the recording to convert before it can be accessed.
  5. Once the conversion process is complete, the folder containing the recording files will automatically open - the mp4 file found within this location is the one to use for sharing. By default, all recordings will be placed in a Zoom folder found in the following file path on these devices:
    1. PC: C:\Users\User Name\Documents\Zoom
    2. Mac: /Users/User Name/Documents/Zoom
  6. To share the file, locate the mp4 file in the location above, then upload it to a video sharing service such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Youtube, Vimeo, etc.

Note: Screen sharing recording uses about 20M of storage per hour while video recording uses about 200M of storage an hour. This is an approximation, since the resolution and types of video or screen sharing content can change the amount of storage used.

Step 3. Ending a screensharing session

When you've finished sharing your screen, you have a couple of options:

  1. To continue the meeting, but stop sharing your screen (so you can continue talking over meeting audio), click the Stop Share button in the screensharing controls.

The options to stop sharing or end the meeting in the screensharing controls

  1. To completely end the meeting, click on the End Meeting option. Please note that this will only end your screensharing session -- your LibChat session will remain active until someone ends the chat.
    1. If you are sharing your screen, you'll find this under the More... menu in your screensharing controls.
    2. If screensharing has been stopped, then you'll see a red End Meeting button at the bottom of the meeting window.
    3. Closing the meeting window itself.

Options to close the meeting window or end the meeting


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