How to Give Presentations and Demo Apps in Zoom

Is there a reason you use the portion-of-the-screen-sharing with PDFs instead of setting Preview to display full screen and then share that? Seems like it would be more reliable as there’s no chance of other things encroaching on the portion is the screen being shared.

Another option would be to use Skim to view the PDF as it has a presentation view option (and you could share that window specifically).

Thank you for the article. Some helpful tips!
One issue often neglected using presentations is video and audio quality.
Apple’s built in camera is not something to write home about. If you present often and participate in zoom calls for business often (as I do) it would make sense to buy a higher quality camera connected to your Mac via a USB port.
Same goes to a decent microphone. Either a dash mike, or a super cardioid “shotgun”, will eliminate external noise. One does not need studio quality as long as it picks up your voice and not that of your kids playing in the other room or the lawnmower across the road.
And last - lighting. Make sure your face is evenly lit from both sides and that it is brighter than the background. No need for studio lights. Sometime the light coming from your screen is enough, but maybe a reading light (or two) positioned so they reflect light from the wall on your face will do a great job.

I have an idea for a Mac app that puts a bright white rectangle around the edge of the screen - like some make-up mirrors. Wish I knew how to create Mac apps!
I will test the idea by creating a suitable background image.

Nope … not bright enough!


Indeed! We’ve covered those topics in the past with a couple of articles:

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Yes, to see the thumbnails and have more control. Full-screen mode for Preview with Zoom (or any app in full-screen mode with Zoom) interacts poorly.

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My wife used the family iMac to do a zoom call a while back - her relatives are unfortunately Android and Windows users so FaceTime was out of the question. Unfortunately she didn’t quit the app (as is her forte) and later that night I received a notification that the family iMac was attempting to hack my own.

I reimaged the family iMac from a backup taken prior to the zoom call because I had no idea what the intruder may have done to that machine.

Long and the short … be careful what you do with Zoom and make sure it’s no longer active when you stop using it.

Can you share details about what happened? Zoom does have remote control capabilities, but they require some setup and permission on the part of the person whose Mac is being controlled. Or did you mean something else by “hack”? And how were you notified?

How long ago?

About a month prior to Thanksgiving is the closest we can come.

I knew nothing of Zoom and we were using it in its default configuration. We needed to join a family videoconference and at the time I wasn’t even aware that an app had to be installed, so it was just get it installed and go. It was certainly not configured to allow remote control.

Since that time we use my MacBook Pro and I insure the application is immediately quit after the videoconference.

Notification was probably via BitDefender or Netgear Armor which we have on our Orbi RBK853 mesh. It was unreasonably late at night - I was the only one awake - and it was pure good fortune that I was at my computer to receive the alert.

Zoom is certainly not in my bag of trusted apps, and if I could get the half dozen or so members of my wife’s not-too-technically-adept family to use something I trusted more I would certainly do it.

Unfortunately the controling parameters seem to be not too hard to use, windows compatible, and free.

Just make sure you turn off the kitten filter! :wink: :joy:


Seems quite unlikely that it was an attack via Zoom rather than Zoom doing something that the monitoring software didn’t like, as there are 100,000s of people pounding away on the app. If there had been an attack vector (particularly on Macs) I would think we would have heard about, since security researchers haven’t been shy about anything else.

Because of how meetings are configured, Zoom doesn’t maintain a connection after a session is completed. So in that scenario, there would have had to be a vulnerability in Zoom that allowed an arbitrary remote party to exploit it specifically for your wife’s machine in a way that didn’t alert a zillion other people, and then install malware that reached out over the network.

I do think it’s far more likely that Zoom engages in network activity for its LAN-based chat or other purposes that was identified as malicious because unknown. I’ll keep on it, though, as we’re about 90 days past November now, so if there were a serious exploit reported to the company around then that they silently fixed, now would be the time that a researcher would be allowed to disclose the flaw.


Didn’t say session was ended - does that require an explicit action or does it happen automatically? The conference exceeded an hour and I thought the free version wasn’t supposed to allow that long a session - there may be been changes made for the pandemic.

Only thing is is that was the one and only time it happened. That there was our first zoom conference that day would be an amazing coincidence if the two were unrelated.

Since that day, I no longer let my wife drive and I always quit the app immediately after the conference completes.

Not sure how many Mac users have anti-virus/anti-malware software installed, and really not sure how many run network intrusion software in their internet gateways. Netgear Armor runs both in the client (Mac) and in the router.

Perhaps somebody at Apple has been reading this thread. :laughing:


I use Camo with Zoom calls and I am usually the clearest looking person on the call these days. And I’m not even using the paid features which allows for 1080p and color adjustments. I do feel like buying some lighting since all of the lights in my room light up the walls, which are salmonberry, which in turn makes me look orange. On a sunny day the color is much better with light from the outside.

It’s great that Keynote Presentation in a Window now also opens a separate Presenter window. Another way to work with a presenter screen is also open Keynote on an iPad or iPhone and use the Keynote Remote option to display the Presenter window on the device. The only problems here is that while the computer version of the window shows the currents slide, next slide, and presenter notes, the Keynote Remote version only can show 2 of 3 (your choice).

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I use my iPad as a remote so I can use the “laser pointer” feature to draw attention to what I’m talking about, and occasionally, I will write something on the slide as I talk. When you go into that mode, however, you lose the presenter display on the iPad, which is inconvenient if you want to see your notes.

This is tremendously good news! It solves a lingering problem (and puts Keynote a leg up on PowerPoint for Mac).

The one fly in the upgrade ointment: Keynote 11.0 is only available for macOS 10.15 and 11.x.

Nobody at Microsoft has! (Yet?)

Actually, you now have the best of both worlds. On your Mac, run the slide show in a window which will also open the Presenter window (with your notes). Use the Keynote Remote option on your phone with the same slide show in markup mode. Share the Slide Show window and adjust the Presenter Window to a reasonable size so that you can use your notes. Now you can see your notes but control the show (including pointing and marking up) from your phone.


That is a superb tip, Alan!