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October 23, 2020 | Video Conference Toolkit

Changing the Video Layout in a Zoom Meeting



Zoom provides 3 video layouts to choose from when no one in the meeting is sharing their screen. The options are: Active Speaker View, Gallery View, and Floating Thumbnail Window.

Additional Video Options:

Active Speaker View

Active Speaker View will switch the large video window between who is speaking with 3 or more participants in the meeting. If it is just you and one other participant, your video will be smaller at the top and their video will appear below.

While in a meeting, you can switch between Active Speaker View and Gallery View.
Active Speaker View

Gallery View

Gallery View lets you see thumbnail displays of participants, in a grid pattern, which expands and contracts as participants join and leave the meeting. Depending on your CPU, you can display up to 49 participants in a single screen of the gallery view. If more than 49 attendees are in the meeting, 49 thumbnails are displayed on each page. View up to 1,000 thumbnails by clicking the right or left arrows in gallery view to display the next page of 49 participants.

While in a meeting, you can customize the order of Gallery View or switch between Active Speaker View and Gallery View.
Gallery View

Floating Thumbnail Window

The floating thumbnail window allows you to minimize the main Zoom window, but keep the video on top of other applications you have open. You can move the window around your screen as needed, or hide the video entirely.

To switch to floating thumbnail view:

  1. Click on the minimize icon, located at the top-right corner for Windows, or top-left corner for macOS.
  2. Once in mini-window view, you can collapse the video by clicking on the arrow on the left side. Click the arrow again to expand the video thumbnail.
  3. To close the floating thumbnail window and return to the full Zoom window click the arrow on the right side.

Full Screen

You can switch any of the layouts (except floating the thumbnail window) to full screen mode by double-clicking your Zoom window.

You can exit full screen by double-clicking again or using the Esc key on your keyboard.

Note: In older versions of macOS, click Meeting and Enter Fullscreen in the Top Menu bar.

Custom Gallery View Organization

When in Gallery View, you can click and drag videos to create a custom organization. After the first change, all other participant tiles will remain in place until moved. New participants will be added to the bottom-right, on the last page if multiple are present. Your custom order will be seen only by you, or the host can deploy their custom view to all participants. This order can be released and gallery view will return to normal behavior.

  1. Click and drag any participant video to the location on screen you want.
    Custom Layout
  2. Continue as needed to achieve your desired on-screen order.
  3. (Optional) As the host, click View, then Follow Host’s Video Order, to deploy your custom view to all participants.
    Follow Host
  4. Click View, then Release Video Order, to release the custom order.
    Release Video

Switching between Gallery View and Active Speaker View

  1. Sign in to the Zoom client.
  2. Start or join a meeting.
  3. Click View in the top-right corner, and then select Speaker or Gallery
    Switch View

Note: If you’re displaying 49 participants per screen, you may need to change to full screen or adjust the size of your window to accommodate all 49 thumbnails.

Hide Non-Video Participants

  1. When you are in Gallery View, right-click on any participant that either has their video off or joined by telephone, or you can click on the 3 dots at the upper-right corner of their participant box.
  2. Click Hide Non-Video Participants to hide all participants without video.
  3. To show non-video participants again, click the View button at the top of your screen and select Show Non-Video Participants.
    hide non-video